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Northern VA to central NJ: adventures in destination charging

Left the hotel with 159 miles, stopped at in-laws and made it to DE with 38 remaining. Plenty of buffer. And now the supercharger is doing its job beautifully -- we'll be over 200 miles before we leave.

And if you're reading this, hello to the driver of the dark (black?) Model S who flashed their lights at me just off of Route 31 in NJ. :)
 
Piece of cake, as expected. More fast driving to get home, and 65 miles rated range remaining when we arrived. (By the way, is there a common abbreviation for "miles of rated range remaining" around here? If so, I don't remember seeing it. MRRR??) Now I'm back to 1:05am scheduled charging, rather than every-chance-I-get charging. :)

I'm hoping I can post some detailed stats and lessons learned later tonight. But yes, I consider the trip to be a success!
 

kendallpb

Model S: P 8061
Oct 29, 2010
1,254
56
MD, USA
Piece of cake, as expected. More fast driving to get home, and 65 miles rated range remaining when we arrived. (By the way, is there a common abbreviation for "miles of rated range remaining" around here? If so, I don't remember seeing it. MRRR??) Now I'm back to 1:05am scheduled charging, rather than every-chance-I-get charging. :)

I'm hoping I can post some detailed stats and lessons learned later tonight. But yes, I consider the trip to be a success!

Shorter: "65 miles left"? ;-) I haven't seen other abbreviations that I remember.
 
Almost a week later (sorry for the delay), here are my lessons learned and detailed stats.


  • For 110-120V charging:
    • Try to find out if it's 15A or 20A. The hotel's outlets appeared to be NEMA 5-20, so with a $45 adapter I think I could have gotten a significantly better charging rate overnight.
    • Bring an outdoor extension cord, and make sure it's rated to handle >12A continuous load. I know Tesla advises against using one, but charging at a reduced rate is better than not charging at all.
    • Especially if you're hoping to charge at an older building, don't necessarily expect a nearby outdoor outlet or "clean" power. My in-laws' power outlets (at their home and their office) aren't convenient, which means I needed to use an extension cord. At best I could get 2-3 mph, and charging stopped multiple times.
  • Even if someone says they allow charging, be prepared with alternatives. In addition to problems charging at the in-laws, one of the four outlets at the hotel didn't work, and on the first night, the hotel was busy so I needed to use an extension cord.
  • Local driving eats up a LOT of range, especially short trips on cold days.
  • Charging at 208V 30A while having to wait with the car really isn't any fun, even with work to keep me busy.
  • Plugshare/Recargo data isn't perfect. Fix it when you find mistakes and future travelers will be thankful. Minor examples: the entry for RVCC indicated I'd have to pay for parking, which wasn't true, and Bridgewater Nissan's charging station was listed as "dealership hours" although it's accessible 24/7.
  • To track a trip like this in detail, just take a photo of the Trip Meter every time you enter and exit the car, and take screenshots of the mobile app while charging. I didn't remember every time, so some of the stats are extrapolated and some are missing entirely.

Stats are available here as a Google spreadsheet. I welcome questions, comments, and suggestions about the format or the content.
Google Drive

2014-01-Trip-to-NJ.png
 

scaesare

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2013
9,127
17,928
NoVA
    • Bring an outdoor extension cord, and make sure it's rated to handle >12A continuous load. I know Tesla advises against using one, but charging at a reduced rate is better than not charging at all.

Agreed... I have an uber-heavy duty one I built years ago I've used a couple of times... better to have it and not need it than need and not have it.
 
I'm debating whether to buy a NEMA 5-20 extension cord along with the 5-20 adapter for the next trip. Not sure I want to lug two extension cords around though in addition to the UMC, and not sure how safe it would be to use a 5-20 to 5-15 adapter so I could bring just one extension cord. (I'd guess it would be safe as long as I make sure I use the 5-15 adapter on the UMC.)

I'm hoping the Edison supercharger is ready by the next trip, that'll probably make the whole thing moot for me.
 

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