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POLL: 15 miles of unpaved road - Model S or my ICE SUV

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Barry, May 29, 2015.

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Unpaved road - new MS or old ICE

  1. New MS

    39 vote(s)
    53.4%
  2. Old ICE

    34 vote(s)
    46.6%
  1. Barry

    Barry Member

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    Going to be visiting a friend this weekend who lives off the beaten path, literally. After a 50 mile drive on a 2-land road, I turn left. Then, I continue 15 miles down an unpaved (dirt and small stones) county road. Speed limit on the unpaved road is 35 mph. It's wide enough for 2 way traffic, but typically raises clouds of dust when 2 vehicles pass each other.

    Last time I drove my ICE was last month on a trip from Denver to Albuquerque, because the superchargers haven't been built out yet on the Interstate south of Denver. I plan to give the vehicle to one of my kids soon and be ICEless.

    Sooo, do I want to risk dings to my 2 month old MS from the unpaved road (no paint protection), or drive the ICE? I'm leaning towards the ICE, but interested in opinions.
     
  2. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    #2 scottm, May 29, 2015
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
    I don't drive my S on gravel roads. Period. We take the ICE to visit grandma in the country... every one complains. Too bad. It is practically the only time the family uses the ICE. So ICE does still have a purpose, to receive abuse, with the I'm not bother fixing those rock chips attitude that goes with it.

    I have air suspension. I don't want rocks flying up and dinging those delicate connector links, or flying up through the significantly sized openings for suspension travel and filling my car with gravel... As soon as I washed the car the first time and paid attention to the wheel wells and suspension clearances ... (less than 1/4" between lower front A-arm bolts meeting wheel rims..!!) no way that car is seeing gravel roads.

    I do drive my S up my 200 yards of gravel driveway to my house, at maybe 5 MPH.
     
  3. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    You can do just as much damage to an ICE and the clouds of dust might also clog your filters on either car. My vote would be to park at the start of the unpaved road and have your friend come pick you up in his already ruined vehicle.
     
  4. Barry

    Barry Member

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    That is the plan once I get rid of the ICE. It's almost 10 years old, so I'm not that concerned about it, and it does sit higher, being a SUV.
     
  5. sg021

    sg021 Member

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    I'd want more ground clearance, depending on the quality of the road you can do some damage. I tore the CV boot on my ICE car driving on a rough gravel road.
     
  6. anthony

    anthony Member

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    New Hampshire
    You have the air suspension, put it on high and go.
    Take it camping because its the perfect camping car (free juice).
    The ground clearance with air suspension up is more than most cars normally.
    Wash it when you get home, not before.

    I was just on a dirt road in VT with terrible pot holes and frost heaves. It handled it fine, better than some paved roads.
     
  7. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    I declined a real estate listing because it was on a dirt road. There are some things that I'm just not willing to do in my Model S.
     
  8. Tinde

    Tinde Member

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    I don't really see the problem here. Even though I have never driven unpaved roads in US, I have gone through thousands of miles of gravel roads in Mexico and Argentina (not with Tesla). Most of those roads would not be a problem for Model S.
    Here in Finland we have about 450 000 km of roads, of which about 50 000 km is paved. So I drive on gravel roads on daily basis with my P85D.

    Go for it! Forget your ICE.
     
  9. steph280

    steph280 Member

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    Probably not a good idea if you have 21" wheels. Probably not a good idea for a new car period.
     
  10. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I'm leaning toward the Model S - I know I'd drive mine there - but here's a Q for more data:

    How far is the total trip length? For example, if it's only those 50 miles asphalt + 15 miles gravel, I'd take the ICE. But it's more than that, isn't it?
     
  11. kevinf311

    kevinf311 Member

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    My friend and I got detoured onto a gravel/dirt road coming back from a lake trip. Our road was probably only about 5 miles, but I set the suspension on "high" and there didn't seem to be any trouble.

    Unfortunately, my car has already taken some paint related abuse thanks to the wonderful condition of Maryland roads and very tight parking spaces at work, so I might be a little more cavalier in my attitude towards chips :p
     
  12. AB4EJ

    AB4EJ Member

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    I don't get the impression that the Model S was intended to be a delicate museum piece, that you have to be afraid to drive on a gravel road. Conversely, I have never taken my Mercedes SLK off paved roads, and it still has a ton of stone chips anyway. If it was me, I wouldn't worry about it. ("That's why we can never have anything nice!!")
     
  13. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I was faced with a similar situation. I decided to not use my S and getting a ride with a friend. I'm glad I did. The road turned out to be rather rough and I would have bottomed out for sure.
     
  14. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Eh. I'd take the S. I drive on unpaved roads all the time in upstate PA and NY mountains no problem. If a road is bad that's where driving slower and very high setting on air suspension helps. I also have 19s not 21s. HIGHLY recommend XPEL ultimate wrap and permanent coatings though.
     
  15. invisik

    invisik Member

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    I drive my S85 in everything, it's no garage queen (but I still keep it up no doubt). I'd take it and drive slower so stones don't kick up. Get a car wash afterwards.There must be a dirt road somewhere in California they tested it on. :)-m
     
  16. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I think you should take the S, but you should pay special attention to something you should be doing everywhere you drive - don't tailgate.
    Leave extra room between you and any car in front of you - enough so that any rock that is kicked up has time to land long before you get there.
     
  17. JMG

    JMG Member

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    I was just on one yesterday in fact. So that answers my question.

    However, I knew when I bought it that it wouldn't be a garage queen and my daily driver. Sometimes I have to inspect homes down dirt roads. I just raise the suspension and drive very slowly. I also have the car wrapped.
     
  18. TomServo

    TomServo Member

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    If you owned an X would you take that?
     
  19. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    Use the air suspension for what it's for and go for it!
     
  20. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #20 Cottonwood, May 30, 2015
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
    It is two miles of gravel from the paved highway to my house in Pagosa. I can't count the number of round trips that I have done in my Teslas on that driveway, but I am sure that they add up to more than a few times 32 miles.

    For most of the winter, the packed powder covers the gravel...my snow plow guy prefers to maintain it with the couple of inches of packed powder to save his snowplow blade.

    Use your Tesla and enjoy!
     

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