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Road Trip from Redding, CT to Caryville, TN (north of Knoxville)

Discussion in 'New England' started by JohnQ, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    #1 JohnQ, Nov 23, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
    We've decided on a last minute trip to see my wife's folks, leaving tomorrow and returning next Saturday … a long drive, but I've talked my wife into taking the Model S rather than the minivan. Unfortunately, I'll have to relent about food and drink in the backseat for our 6 year old daughters. Not an easy thing for me.

    The normal route is a straight shot down I-81 to just west of Knoxville, then I-40 to I-75. Clearly, that won't work unless we want to camp out at RV parks for hours on end and that will get me relegated to the minivan in a heartbeat. So, instead, we'll be taking the supercharger route through Burlington, NC with an overnight in Asheville to charge. Will then pick up the next morning for the remaining distance.

    Details:
    Normal route: 810 miles
    Supercharger route: 915 miles
    Redding, CT to Newark, DE: 187 miles
    Newark, DE to Glen Allen, VA: 197 miles
    Glen Allen, VA to Burlington, NC: 197 miles
    Burlington, NC to Asheville, NC: 188 miles
    Asheville, NC to Caryville, TN: 146 miles​

    Estimated time to Asheville, including stops, is 14 hours, then another 2.5 the next day. On the return trip, we'll leave after dinner on Friday, stay the night in Asheville again, then the rest of the way home the following day. Looks like crosswinds until DC then a tail wind for a bit followed by more crosswinds when we get into NC so energy usage should be reasonable at highway speeds. There's a nice high pressure system over MO that will bring us neutral to favorable winds. It really is like flight planning, though all bets are off in the Smokies.

    For those who waste their time on Twitter I'll be tweeting periodically from @queuect on the trip down and back.

    Tennessee Trip.jpg
     
  2. aaron.s

    aaron.s Member

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    Good luck John!

    If you keep your Twitter feed up to date, I'll retweet your posts on @TeslaRoadTrip....

    Aaron
     
  3. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    At the Newark supercharger. Drove 190 miles at 66 mph using 240 miles of rated range. The cold (22F) and the winds (NW20 G40) are brutal. Plus, my range charge is netting only 252 miles now. Averaging 364 Wh/mi so have to be careful. Arrived with only 14 miles to spare. Heat was on 65F.

    Relaxing over some coffee and a breakfast sandwich, planning my speed for the second leg of the trip to Glen Allen.

    image.jpg
     
  4. Lanny

    Lanny @Lanny

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    Wow, the East Coast Supercharger network is enabling a whole new dimension to "over the river and through the woods..." this holiday season.

    Glad you worked it out that you don't have to take the minivan. Ugh, that is so 2012!

    Have a smooth, quiet, clean and safe trip.

    Lanny
     
  5. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Good luck.
    Have a safe drive.
    Smokie Mountains around and past Asheville will really impact your driving speed and kWh average.

    Are you planning your stay for any of the KOAs, either Asheville East (Swannanoa ) or Asheville West (Candler)?
    You can easily reach Candler from Burlington.
    Candler KOA also has some lodges: they probably have linens and such, Kabins typically don't.

    Or have you located/confirmed a traditional hotel in Asheville that has overnight charging for your car?
     
  6. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    There are a few hotels close to chargers in Asheville. Fortunately, it's only 145 or so miles from there to our destination.
     
  7. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    So, first error of the trip. Didn't fully seat the plug and didn't think to check before sitting down for lunch. 30 minutes lost, family natives getting restless. Off to Burlington in 20 minutes. Problem is I need nearly a full range charge in this weather and wind. 250 range in Newark. 200 miles to Glen Allem, 25 or so left on arrival. I was going 65 to 70 the whole way so some room to slow down.

    I don't want to arrive with less than 15 miles so need to charge fairly full. Those last 30 miles of charge take a while with the power taper.
     
  8. brandonmbeard

    brandonmbeard Member

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    Good luck John. Keep us informed of the progress.
     
  9. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    You will have a lot of Options for food and shopping and movies @ the Mall in Burlington.
    Be on the lookout for a lot of signs for Elon University in the area...

    There are lots of great and interesting restaurants, maybe some window shopping in Asheville.
    Didn't know about the location of the chargers near Hotels: hope they are truly close.

    145 miles in those mountains is a real battery drain, actually a triple drain with the cold and headwinds.
    Easy does it, especially with lots of long-distance trucks.
     
  10. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Wish I could find some trucks, drafting is my friend right now. It's 188 from Burlington to Asheville with a big mountain at the end. Truthfully, I'm a little stressed. My last bail out point is the KOA in Statesville and I don't have a res. need to calculate my go/no go point.
     
  11. Enadler

    Enadler Member

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    If you are really close you have another possible stop about 16 miles outside of Asheville. I found this on Plugshare.

    Black Mountain Public Safety Building
    Ports
    EV Plug (J1772)



    Address
    106 Montreat Rd, Black Mountain, NC, 28711

    Phone
    (828) 669-2300


    Hours
    24 hours daily


    Description
    The charging station is located within sight of US70 between the Police Dept. and the Chamber of Commerce, at the corner of West St./Richardson Blvd., and Honeycutt.


     
  12. Tslagrl

    Tslagrl Member

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    Good luck, I hope you are making progress. I agree the cold and wind was brutal today, I did a round trip and the miles just got eaten up, and a power outage at my destination in CT meant no hot coffee!
    I am enjoying following the progress of all our East Coast travelers this week, good learning process.
     
  13. Bifff67

    Bifff67 Member

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    Yes today with the new 5.8 and 29 degrees I first saw the message that I will not have regen and shortly after the apologetic battery warming message. You picked an interesting time. Keep us up on how it goes. Thanks so much for the travel data and all the best!
     
  14. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Really hope you made it to either Statesville or Swannonoa KOAs tonight.

    My earlier comment about "easy does it" meant slow down, not to try drafting big trucks.
    My suggestion: you may consider driving @ 58 MPH (or slower) as a way to keep your range up with some sort of adequate buffer.
    I just did that drive, but it was not as cold and certainly not as windy.
    Without access to Superchargers in Western NC, it was easier (on my nerves) to drive slower, arrive with a suitable range buffer and charge overnight while I slept, than to be forced to stop and wait a couple hours (@ 30 miles/hour charge max.) to charge before continuing.

    Driving slower will reduce your stress, and you will still get there.
     
  15. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Precisely what I did. First, I established where my backups were, Statesville KOA and dealership chargers in Hickory, as well as the Black Mountain KOA. Then established personal minimums. 150 rated range at Statesville and 130 at Hickory. These were purposefully conservative. I had two 6 year olds in the back seat so wanted to be safe. Then set the cruise at 58 mph. Used the heat very sparingly.

    At 50 miles to go I had 100 rated range left which gave me enormous comfort. The steep portion of the climb up the mountain was shorter than expected so cranked the heat (a balmy 70 degrees!). Ended up at the hotel with 40 rated remaining and have been charging overnight. The rest if the run is easy, less than 150 miles.

    Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement and advice, both here and on Twitter. It's always good to have extra sets of eyes on a plan.
     
  16. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Outstanding!
    Really glad you made it to Asheville with a decent buffer...

    Similar to what you learned with the plug not being properly set, double check your app to ensure your car is still charging.
    A tripped breaker can add delay time to your trip.

    Adapting your driving speed to weather and other conditions in order to maintain adequate buffer for your range is the prudent tact to take.
    In 12-14 months with Superchargers galore, your trip will be a lot less stressful.

    Welcome to the Wild!
     
  17. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Made the final run this morning, plenty of range and a completely different experience than yesterday. I went the speed limit or slightly above, kept up with traffic and had no range issues. Got better than rated the whole way. Partly because of terrain differences (quite a bit of downhill) and partly because it was at least 10 degrees warmer with no winds. Plugged in to a 110V outlet for the first time at my in-laws (just for kicks) and was getting 3-4 mph charge.

    Will share some opinions and personal learnings later this week; the first one is that 600 miles is about my limit for driving. That extra 190 miles at the end (plus the time waiting for a full supercharge) was just too much.

    Getting ready to leave Asheville:
    Charging.jpg


    Final energy tally for the trip:
    Final energy.jpg
     
  18. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Hope you are able to locate a suitable (faster) charging station other than 110 V outlet.:wink:

    I figure that 600 miles in a day is a great deal of driving, either in an ICE or a Tesla.
    Maybe your return trip will be a bit better (and warmer).
     
  19. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Glad you made it! Nice job!!!

    Easy to tell its a pilot doing the planning... Yes, planning a cross-country Model S trip beyond the region of well spaced Superchargers is much like doing the flight planning for a cross-country flight. When I am charging and head off to eat and pass the time, I always check on the car with the App. At least twice since the App came out, I have discovered a problem and returned to fix it before wasting too much time.

    See my writeup on some long distance winter driving at Realistic Range Expectations in Crummy Winter Weather - Page 2
     
  20. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Yup, there are two within 5 miles and another 15 miles away. I had never charged at 110V so was curious what would happen. At the very least I thought I'd keep the battery warm :smile:



    I was thinking that on the trip, it's very much like planning for a flight. There's also quite a bit of energy management involved, obviously, though it's more explicit in the S than in an aircraft.
     

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