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Road Trip Experiences

ps83v18

EVentuallyEVeryV
Mar 12, 2021
186
223
Mississippi
Thought I’d start a little journal here for my first road trip. Might be interesting to some ….. but feel free to ignore if not.

Heading from NE Mississippi up to northern NJ to welcome our first grandchild. Fairly big moment for us.

So I have way over-planned everything with the car. Got all the supercharger stops planned out with ABRP. Real nice app by the way. Adjusted a few of the settings to be closer to actual car performance …… and subscribed to the extra features so I could have real-time weather (headwind, etc) updates. All overnight stops are at hotels with Tesla destination chargers. Got me a variety of plugs and a backup charging kit ……. Plus a nice long 10 gauge extension cord for trickle charging at our Airbnb up there (hopefully). Loaded up the frunk with some windshield and front bumper cleaning gear. Got my tire plug kit, scissor jack, and inflator in the sub-trunk, plus a portable battery charger in the frunk, and even a teeny weeny little 12v battery tucked in the front bumper where the leads are in case I need to pop the frunk without power from the car. And a cooler up in the frunk for goodies.

Oh ….. and I also subscribed to FSD to have something to play around with on the way. Hopefully I won’t freak out my wife too much.

Like I said …. Way over-planned. Sort of my thing.

First leg is this afternoon heading up to Nashville to drop off the geriatric, special needs, cat at a special needs, rather expensive, boarding place. Trust me ….. if we left the cat here under the watchful eyes of our local teenager …….. we’d have to burn the house down when we got back. Charging up to 100% prior to departure. Should leave us 20% or so after dropping off cat, picking up some odds-and-ends at a Whole Foods (really big, special, deal for us given where we live), and making it to the hotel with destination chargers. And there’s a supercharger pretty close by in case everything’s ICEd at the hotel.

I’ll post updates along the way …… at least until I get bored. Or if I get totally distracted by some big emergency.
 
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Johnny Vector

Member
Jun 21, 2020
286
458
Maryland
Wow, I thought I overplanned, but I tip my hat to you!

The only thing I might do different is not charge to 100%. If you charge to 95 (or even 90), you'll still have some (or most) of your regen capability at the start of the trip, and you'll still have plenty of charge at the end of the first leg.

Have fun!
 

Dennisis

Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2020
747
699
Tucson
Wow nice drive and very well prepared. I have the tire repair kit and pump but never thought about a scissor jack to keep in the car. Is that something most owners get?
Not me. You can position the car just right so you can reach underneath and plug the tire - hence the coveralls I keep along with my needle nose pliers and plug kit. Not as easy perhaps but I'm not lugging along a jack I may never need otherwise...
 
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ps83v18

EVentuallyEVeryV
Mar 12, 2021
186
223
Mississippi
Leg 1 complete. Cat dropped off. Made it to hotel.

Turns out I didn’t need to charge to 100%. Both ABRP and Tesla overestimated my energy consumption. I expected to reach final destination with around 20% left, but actually ended up with more like 36%. Not sure why that was. Could have left with 90% and would have been fine.

I’m the only EV here at the hotel tonight. 6 Tesla and 2 J-1772 chargers all coned off. Nice touch. Just move a cone, backed in, and plugged up. Started charging right away at 8kw and 40amps. Set the schedule to have me back at 90% for departure tomorrow morning at 8am.
 

ps83v18

EVentuallyEVeryV
Mar 12, 2021
186
223
Mississippi
Legs 2 and 3 now complete. Somehow didn’t find time to post yesterday.

Leg 2 was Nashville to Salem VA. Charged up to 90 and drove to Knoxville SC. Very busy there. Got the had to take the second of a pair …. And within just a few minutes all stalls were full and there was a line. So we went off to get lunch and came back when we reached our charging goal. Stopped again at Bristol VA for a real quick in-and-out. Made it to hotel in Salem, grabbed dinner and “plugged up” at one of 2 destination chargers. Pretty beat up charger but worked fine. Good thing we got there before it was too late because the other charger was ICEd up the next morning. Enjoyed playing with the lane change function of FSD. I’d buy that a-la-carte if it was available.

Leg 3 today was Salem to Hawthorne NJ. Stopped at Mt Jackson VA, Carlisle and Allentown PA and finally Boonton NJ superchargers. Didn’t technically need to stop at Boonton but wanted some spare charge at destination. All chargers were in-and-out. Not empty, but not crowded like Knoxville. We had been a little concerned that the supercharger wait times would feel like they were slowing us down ……. But frankly we felt a little rushed each time. By the time we stretched our legs, hit the restroom, and maybe snacked, it was time to roll again. Great way to road-trip (except lunch at Sheetz was aweful). Played with NoA today and liked it, too. Real easy to get used too. Might be a regular practice to subscribe for future road trips.

so far so good. Absolutely loving this car for road tripping. Very, very comfortable and pleasant experience all around.
 

ps83v18

EVentuallyEVeryV
Mar 12, 2021
186
223
Mississippi
Some observations from the last three days of driving ———-

Ride & comfort: We find the ride to be very quiet, smooth, and comfortable. Much better in all respects than the CR-V we came from. Others have said ride is rough, but we don’t find it that way. Unless the road is real rough ……

TACC & Phantom braking: Only two events in the whole 1031 miles. They came in a pair …. Within just a minute or so. Couple other vehicles around, lightly overcast sky. No apparent reason. But just that one event for the whole drive. Otherwise TACC was fantastic.

Autopilot: Love this feature and used it as much as possible. Not real comfortable with it on curvy stretches through mountains, so usually I disengaged it then. Also for construction areas. But otherwise, the longer I used it the more I got comfortable with it and liked it.

NoA: Subscribed for the trip. Absolutely love the Lane Change Assist. And with time got to where I liked the auto lane change, too. I kept it on the setting where you have to confirm the suggestion …… but it was nice. By the end of the third leg, I was using it pretty much all the time. And for one exit, I let the NoA handle it. That one was a little unsettling. Not sure I’m a fan ….. not sure it has value for me.

For both Autopilot and NoA, I often disengaged them when in very heavy/complicated traffic. Just too much going on and too many variables. I almost always wanted the car to be doing something it wasn’t, under those circumstances.

Supercharging: We loved this part of the experience. Taking a short break every couple hundred miles is perfect for us. And the stops were never “too long”. As mentioned before, sometimes we even felt rushed and I added some more charging time even though we didn’t need it. All the chargers we stopped at were just about half full when we arrived, but the stalls turn over so quick. Only one was busy and developed a line. The services at them vary, of course. We prefer the little strip mall settings better than the Sheetz ones. Nothing much good about a Sheetz, while the little malls have an occasional gem. We had great weather ……… so I bet we would have liked it less if it was raining.

Burning through my free miles pretty quick.

Destination Charging: Chargers at hotels seem pretty hit/miss. The first hotel was cool, had 6 chargers (Tesla), easily accessible, close to door, all blocked by cones. Nice. Second hotel had 2, around back by back entrance, tight little parking lot, no cones, and eventually ICEd. I got a spot before that happened. Also, the condition of these charges seems a little rough I guess because they are outside and not really maintained. The second one was pretty beat up.

That’s all I can think of right now …… maybe some more later.
 
What is the protocol if both were ICEd?
I am doing a coast to coast trip in September. I would not depend on the destination chargers at all. If they are available, great. If not I plan to arrive at hotel with enough charge to get to the next SC.
I did a 750 mile trip last month and used that strategy. One hotel I stayed for 2 nights had Tesla Destination chargers available so I used them but there was also a SC less than 1 mi away that I could have used. Second 2 nights there was no SC available for over 40 miles in the wrong direction so I made sure I had enough charge to get home before I arrived at the hotel. We did use a destination charger that was available for dinner away from the hotel one night but that was just for an hour so it did not add much charge.
 

ps83v18

EVentuallyEVeryV
Mar 12, 2021
186
223
Mississippi
So ….. little bit of an update from today.

Airbnb host said I could trickle charge off the outside outlet right near my parking space. Yay!
Plugged into the outlet to charge and ……………… dead. No power. Booo!

Got an SC about 10-min away so …… oh well.
 

ps83v18

EVentuallyEVeryV
Mar 12, 2021
186
223
Mississippi
Been driving all over the place while here in NJ. Supercharged a couple times at Paramus …. Busy place. Today went up to Woodcliff Lake. Thought that was V3? But didn’t seem much different. Much nicer environment though. Nice little mall, Starbucks, etc. We’ll be going back there for the next charge (or two) before we head home.

Getting totally comfortable with the car on this trip. All anxiety about charging, driving, etc, etc is gone. Love the car.

Going back home might be a non-event. Probably won’t post again unless something interesting happens.
 

Johnny Vector

Member
Jun 21, 2020
286
458
Maryland
Been driving all over the place while here in NJ. Supercharged a couple times at Paramus …. Busy place. Today went up to Woodcliff Lake. Thought that was V3? But didn’t seem much different.
If your state of charge may have been high enough that V3 wasn't any faster than V2. V3 has two main advantages:

  • Higher peak rate, which only helps below about 50% state of charge. At higher states, the car is the limiting factor
  • The station power is shared among all charge points, rather than in pairs, so you don't have to worry about whether the neighboring charge point is in use
 
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ps83v18

EVentuallyEVeryV
Mar 12, 2021
186
223
Mississippi
Well …… last night was interesting. We’re in an Airbnb which is a basement apartment entered through a sliding door from the driveway. Our car is parked right in front of the sliding door, headlights pointing at the door. We’ve been leaving sentry mode on.

Up to last night, sentry was picking up others who live in this home arriving home late or leaving early …….. there are a couple other cars that park in this driveway. No prob ……. 2-3 sentry videos to delete each morning.

Last night though, we were awakened at around 2:30am because the headlights were flashing every couple of minutes. As though we were having a sentry event every 1.5 to 2 minutes. It’s a little foggy in my mind, but I think there might have been very light rain falling. Anyway …. After investigating a little and finding nothing wrong, we went back to bed.

2 minutes later the headlights flashed again …….. and I shut sentry mode off so we could go back to sleep.

This morning, the car reported 79 sentry events ……. But there were zero video recordings. None.

Wierd.

Car is now in driveway with sentry mode on and nothing his happening.

🤷‍♂️
 

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