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Retractable Charging Solution - Driveway Charging

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by SheriffMoose, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. SheriffMoose

    SheriffMoose Member

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    I'm happily owning my new Model 3 SR+ and she's been great. Sadly though, my garage is too small to fit her well enough to get her in there regularly. As a result, she's typically parked in my driveway, usually behind my SO's car since I typically leave work first.

    How I'm charging today: I've got an extension cord running from inside the garage out about 1 car length to the back of the M3. Plug in the mobile connector, and leave the connector underneath the back of the car while charging.

    Does anyone know of a retractable solution for 'storing' the mobile charging connector outside? I'd like to be able to have the mobile connector in some sort of compartment or at least covered from rain and sun while also being able to pull the charging cable out, plug the car in when I get home, and then have a solution to roll the cord back up and store it while I'm away.

    I'm thinking something like a garden hose box could work, but thought I'd see if you guys have seen better solutions out there.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Jbuntz

    Jbuntz Member

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    Are you charging on 120V? If so you should be using a super high quality 12/3 extension cord that is of the shortest possible length. The best solution would be to install a 14-50 240V outlet outside next to the garage door and plug in the mobile connector there.
     
  3. SheriffMoose

    SheriffMoose Member

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    I am using 120V on an extension cord that I will admit is longer than I'd like; its of midrange quality. I wanted to give it a little bit of time to see how I would use the charger before I bought an extension cable specifically for the Tesla.

    As far as 240V goes, I don't currently have plans to get one installed since my daily commute is ~10 miles roundtrip, and I have some conveniently located free public chargers if I need to get some added range on the spot. I do still plan to have an electrician come out and quote me what it would take to have a 240v circuit installed with a 14-50 plug, but I doubt its something I'll do soon, especially since I'm pretty confident I'd have to add a subpanel and/or upgrade my circuit.
     
  4. Nocturnal

    Nocturnal Supporting Member

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    I haven't seen anything like that. Would probably need to be a DIY.
     
  5. lithium1330

    lithium1330 Member

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    Not sure you'll find a retracting until for the charger cord.
    I assume you don't have an outlet at/near the garage wall facing the driveway or outlet just inside the garage wall, that's why you need the extension cord?

    As for waterproof housing... less expensive route is put the MC inside a rubbermaid bin with a lid. Cut 2 notches on the brim/lip of the bin for the cords. Put MC in, lay the cords over the notches, then put lid back on.
     
  6. SheriffMoose

    SheriffMoose Member

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    That's correct, the outlet I have is inside the garage right next to the rollup door. I haven't actually tried seeing if the cord can reach , but its on the left side of the garage door, and I usually back in, putting the plug on the opposite side of the car. I definitely wouldn't be able to reach without an extension cord if I pulled in since I'd have to effectively go 2 car lengths to reach the car's plug.

    The rubbermaid bin idea would probably be a less expensive route compared to a hose reel. However, if I were to cut holes in the top of the lid, then I'd be creating holes for rain to go right into, then the MC would be sitting in a bin with water. That said, a container where I can basically lay or wrap the cord instead of reeling it might actually be more convenient.

    I think I'll also see if the MC can reach the M3 from inside the garage on the right side. If it does, I might be able to just store it inside, which could be as simple as a wall mounted hook to hang the cable from. My only concern with that is repeatedly closing the rollup garage door on the cable.
     
  7. derotam

    derotam Member

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    You can get an extension cord reel for $10 HERE. And HERE is the full search list. Most are manual retraction. Personally I think I would keep the real inside the garage when not using it and just open/close the garage door to get/put away the cord...hopefully you have an automatic garage door?
     
  8. lithium1330

    lithium1330 Member

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    the cord on the MC is (I think 20')... So, it really depends on how long the other car is. You can try it. Worse case, you run a short extension cord from wall to the MC unit inside garage... and only exposing the cord itself outside garage.

    As for rubbermaid bin... you don't cut the lid/top cover. Instead, you notch the rim/top of the bin. Then, the top lid goes on top, covering the notches.
    extension cover.jpg
     

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  9. SheriffMoose

    SheriffMoose Member

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    Ah, I see, that makes more sense regarding the rubbermaid cover.

    In regards to the garage and my SO's car, it ends up being a really snug fit. I could make it work, but she would have to pull up like 6" from the rolling garage door, and then I'd have to park within 2' (probably closer to 18") from her bumper to reach with the MC inside the garage.

    Right now, it seems like the hose reel solution might still work best in my particular situation. However, maybe I could find a housing (or use a rubbermaid like container) and wall mount the MC to the house. Still, I think the length of the cord is still going to be an issue with that setup. Regardless of the setup, I want to make sure that if the MC is in some sort of housing or enclosure that it can still breath to stay cool and prevent moisture from building up without a way to evaporate.
     
  10. PianoAl

    PianoAl Member

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    Can backing in allow you a shorter extension cord?
     
  11. Kevy Baby

    Kevy Baby Dis-Member

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    16 gauge is too thin for charging. It should be a minimum of 12 gauge at 25' or less. I know the reel your first link just includes the gauge as a reference for what it can handle, but only one of the reels in the second link was actually 12 gauge.
     
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  12. Kevy Baby

    Kevy Baby Dis-Member

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    Also, this was an interesting concept (wireless induction car charging). Unfortunately, the company went out of business.
     
  13. dmurphy

    dmurphy Woof.

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    Unfortunately I’m in a similar boat ... my car won’t fit in the garage due to a prior renovation.

    What I decided to do was break down, spend the bucks, and install an outdoor Wall Connector. I felt it was the safest, waterproof way to do outdoor charging. I’m thrilled with the results; it’s made charging completely seamless and painless. This goes a very very long way towards the Wife Adoption Factor. :)
     
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  14. derotam

    derotam Member

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    The point was that there are cord reels pretty readily available and cheap. Sorry I didn't quote the post I was responding too for clarity. The relevant part that I was trying to contradict was

    Hose reels are pretty cheap.
     
  15. jerry33

    jerry33 (S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20

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    Mine is not retractable, but I do it this way:
    Cut.jpg charging_2_jerry.jpg
     

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  16. GPinzone

    GPinzone Member

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    If you get an outdoor 120V outlet, there's a 99.999% chance it will have to be a GFCI outlet, which is not recommended for EV charging because it can erroneously trip. A 240V outdoor outlet might not have this restriction. The code update made for electrical vehicles in 2017 made it a requirement for 240V outlets, but AFAIK, that requirement isn't enforced everywhere. (What if you don't specify what the outlet is for? What if you say it's for power tools?)
     
  17. ElectricIAC

    ElectricIAC Devil’s Advocate

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    If it gets *cold* where you live I would highly rethink not going 240v as your car may actually lose range (slowly) plugged into a 120v trying to keep itself in good spirits.
     
  18. ElectricIAC

    ElectricIAC Devil’s Advocate

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    Agreed. Our installer wouldn’t budge on GFCI and I can testify that it makes the Gen2 UMC lose it’s crap regularly. Gen1 and of course our old 24A Clipper creek however just plod along.
     
  19. ralph142

    ralph142 Member

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    might be solved with a better quality gfci outlet, i replaced a contractor grade that gave me problems with an eaton and it has gone without false trips now since june.
     
    • Informative x 1
  20. ElectricIAC

    ElectricIAC Devil’s Advocate

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    image.jpg
    We have an Eaton...
     

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