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Ohmman's Airstream Adventures

Discussion in 'Model X' started by ohmman, Dec 29, 2016.

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  1. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    #1 ohmman, Dec 29, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
    Today, after long last, my excruciatingly boring posts about potential Model X trailer dynamics are over. At this point, I will begin with a different variety of snoozers - data-driven Model X trailer dynamics posts from my own experience.

    I drove over to Fairfield, CA this morning to pick up our Airstream 22' Sport. Please excuse the fact that the photos look identical to @JimVandegriff's awesome rig, but you can't help good taste. Delivery went relatively well. The fit and finish issues on the Airstream are worse than they are with Tesla. And Airstream has a very good reputation in the RV world.. so deduce from that what you will. In general, the coach looks great, though. We got our Equalizer weight distribution hitch installed without much issue, and after a walk-through, I was on my way.

    The first data pieces - my drive to Fairfield was over hilly terrain in very gusty conditions. I didn't bother with curbing my speed and probably averaged 65mph while reaching as high as 75mph. 30.7 miles, 307Wh/mi. I didn't fudge those numbers to make them a multiple of ten. Also, those numbers clearly represent a tailwind based on my average consumption. That means headed home, I was trailering into a headwind. On that journey, I averaged about 55mph, with a max of about 62mph, and along the way I consumed 582Wh/mi. Generally speaking, that's just about what I expected since @JimVandegriff has consistently reported around 575Wh/mi at 55mph.

    It was my first time towing anything, other than behind my compact tractor, and while it definitely felt different, it was comfortable. I set my brake controller at a very low level so that I could recapture as much regen as possible. I was really astounded by how much the regen could slow down the trailer/Model X combo without trailer brakes engaging. This is an area for definite attention, as I think it has some potential for extending stop-and-go range.

    The X could accelerate without issue. I'm not surprised. I generally tried to drive like there was an egg on the pedal, but a few times I wanted to see how quickly I could get up to merge speed. It's absolutely not a problem - on the Model X, range is constraint when hauling an appropriately sized travel trailer.

    There is more to come. I am intending to post to this thread when we have outings in the camper, and supply consumption numbers ad nauseum. Until then, here are some photos from today.
    IMG_3103.JPG fullsizeoutput_94a0.jpeg IMG_3108.JPG IMG_3112.JPG IMG_3116.JPG
     
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  2. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    One focal point for me today has been the hitch setup. In my research leading up to the purchase, I learned that minimizing the distance between the trailer and the towing vehicle is quite important for aerodynamics:


    Untitled-6-2.jpg
    As you can see in the following image, the standard hitch package includes a bit of unnecessary gap. I get the feeling I could eliminate at least the marked distance with a custom hitch, and potentially a bit more. I'm not sure how much impact that would have on the aerodynamic front, but dropping Cd by a few hundredths is no small matter when it comes to consumption. More to come on this.

    IMG_3101.jpg
     
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  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations @ohmman ! Looks fabulous. Looking forward to endless posts full of minutia about fractional differences in wH/mi depending on speed, terrain, humidity, barometric pressure, and where we are in the sunspot cycle. ;)
     
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  4. JimVandegriff

    JimVandegriff Member

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    Wow! Looks great. I liked the 307 wh/m. What did you do about the adapter/led lights issue? Did you do any mods to the dinette for kid sleeping? We are so looking forward to hearing about your adventures and numbers. Total congratulations. Jim and Illijana
     
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  5. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Congrats!

    Should be lots of fun. Whatever you do, stay off the road during the upcoming leap second! I heard it will be much worse than Y2K...

    RT
     
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  6. RichardL

    RichardL Member

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    Congrats. This is a subject of great interest to me also.

    Looking forward to your detailed posts
     
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  7. Solarman004

    Solarman004 Member

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    Congratulations, @ohmman ! I can't wait to get your travel reports.
     
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  8. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    No mods to the dinette. We put the kids head to toe in sleeping bags today as a test, and also tried putting my daughter on the floor on a sleeping pad between the entry door and the closet. The latter is an easier solution for me to step over her at night when going to the bathroom. The downside is I'd have to keep the door to the bathroom open because she'd be in the way of the swing. Privacy curtain? :)

    For now, we're going to have them share the dinette bed. It's narrow but not terrible. I'll continue to consider solutions.

    I have the 7 pin adapter for LEDs. They had them in stock there and everything works as desired. I discussed your issue with the plug falling out of the Tesla and the techs were surprised it was possible considering the latch on the spring door. I assured them it was, and that you had taken to bungee cords. I'm going to follow in your footsteps and not relearn your hard lessons.

    Thanks for the inspiration, both of you.
     
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  9. xkwizit

    xkwizit Member

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    What a beauty! Congrats and look forward to hearing about your trips. Central coast is perfect location to bring your airstream.
     
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  10. Seattle Tom

    Seattle Tom Member

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    Congrats! I've also been following (lurking?) on the many camper option threads for the X. So much so that "Tesla Campers" is a dedicated Favorites Bar item on the ol' iPad.

    But your Airstream looks great behind the X. For our edification, could you expand on the "fit and finish" issues you saw with the Airstream? What did you see and were they as amenable to addressing them as Tesla?

    I won't expect an Airstream Delivery Checkli...wait, yes, I do expect one. Get to work! :)
     
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  11. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    1. I'm sure your new Airstream is under warranty, but if you need a resource down the road for anything to do with your unit here is a good one that is local. Vinnie's Airstream repair, he is in Santa Rosa and is an amazing resource for anything Airstream. I know him personally is you want more info pm me.
     
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  12. muleferg

    muleferg Active Member

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    My wife wants one. She loves Airstream.
     
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  13. beths11

    beths11 THE LONG RANGER

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    Congratulations @ohmman , what a gorgeous set up. Enjoy!
     
  14. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Congrats ohmman. That is a great looking rig. I look forward to reading about your adventures.

    GSP
     
  15. Tomasz

    Tomasz Member

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    Before you start cutting - make sure that you can still fully turn with shortened hitch and that you won't hit your trailer with your car when fully articulated (especially in reverse)
     
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  16. bushburner

    bushburner Member

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    very informative. I did some researching and couldn't come to a conclusive answer. Is the hitch package the same thing as the tow package? I asked the tesla representative and he said no.
     
  17. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    The Tesla Model X "Towing Package" option consists of the items listed for that option show on this page Order a Tesla Model X | Tesla so it is just a "hitch receiver", it is not the towing hitch itself. That is part of the trailer.
     
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  18. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Yes, I have considered this. My plan is to minimize the space while still allowing for full articulation without contact.
    They were not nearly as amenable to addressing them as Tesla. They considered all of it to be within tolerances. Here are some photos of what I consider below-average work. Note the usual disclaimer, which is similar to what I said with my Model X: The rest of the coach looks excellent and pointing out a few issues doesn't reflect on how pleased I am overall with the Airstream.

    Caulk around sink drain (both look like this):

    IMG_3124.JPG

    Note the bottom of the window trim, how it angles upward in the middle toward the split:
    IMG_3127.JPG
    Gap between window trim and frame - you can see the insulation in there:
    IMG_3129.JPG
    Their caulk work in some spots looks like mine, which is not a compliment:
    IMG_3131.JPG
    Linoleum edges are ragged cut in some spots:
    IMG_3132.JPG

    Hope this helps explain what I mean by fit and finish. My understanding is that the Sport is more likely to have these issues, as it is considered the entry level Airstream trim. Once you move up to Flying Cloud, Signature, and above, things would be potentially better.
     
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  19. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    The trim job on the Formica looks horrible. I would see that every time and it would drive my nuts. They obviously did something wrong with it. (Normally you would use a router to trim it perfectly flush before putting the front edge on.)
     
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  20. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    I have never thought of myself as a stickler on details but the fit&finish details you point out are downright shoddy work.
     
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