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Road trip range anxiety is still a thing?

  • It's worth an extra $20 to find a hotel with charging, so try that first on plugshare. Some day a site will combine plugshare with a hotel search to let you do hotel search with hotels-with-chargers highlighted in red.
  • Yup on the RV parks. Now 30A RV only gains you 100 miles in a night but it's still nice. There are often RV parks with cabins, and you can stay in those and charge, if they have a spare 50a.
I've charged at RV parks, and as I recall, we spent maybe an hour (and $10) to plug into an outlet. But that wasn't a 30 amp, but a 14-50 outlet. As to finding hotels with 50-amp outlets, I usually search for "hotels motels with 50-amp outlets." But nowadays, there are so many superchargers it's almost ridiculous to spend time thinking of charging overnight at a motel. I've also found that having a Model S, with 400 miles of range, charging is seldom a worry.
 
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bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
860
969
Sunnyvale, CA
I've charged at RV parks, and as I recall, we spent maybe an hour (and $10) to plug into an outlet. But that wasn't a 30 amp, but a 14-50 outlet. As to finding hotels with 50-amp outlets, I usually search for "hotels motels with 50-amp outlets." But nowadays, there are so many superchargers it's almost ridiculous to spend time thinking of charging overnight at a motel. I've also found that having a Model S, with 400 miles of range, charging is seldom a worry.
Hotels rarely have 30a or 50a outlets unless the hotel also has a small RV-park with it, or it is a an RV park with attached motel. But those certainly exist.

I have to say I am baffled at the idea that it takes more time to look for a hotel with charging than it does to supercharge. Yes, the supercharger is easy to find, but it then takes you 30-60 minutes to charge there, plus a detour to it in most cases. Charging at a hotel takes zero time. And is better for your battery, and for now, cheaper.
 
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I have to say I am baffled at the idea that it takes more time to look for a hotel with charging than it does to supercharge.

When we roa trip, we have always had a gener idea where we want to stop, but don’t really know until that afternoon. We used to use those booklets you’d get at welcome centers to find them, but then when apps became available, we started using them. I said all this to say that we’ve always spent time searching for a hotel for the night. Not a lot of time, but still some time.

When I was looking at getting a Tesla, I found out about charging at hotels and tried to figure out how to easily find hotels with charging. I found an app called EV Hotels that makes it very easy to find them in an area and I’ve used it successfully multiple times. However, instead of searching in the afternoon, I search the night before to find a couple of options because there are hotel charging deserts.

A word about the app. Like most apps, it is sometimes hard to figure out the interface to get the most out of it. Once I went on the website and saw some options I hadn’t figured out on my own. After that, it made a useful app really useful for exploring areas to stop.
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
860
969
Sunnyvale, CA
When we roa trip, we have always had a gener idea where we want to stop, but don’t really know until that afternoon. We used to use those booklets you’d get at welcome centers to find them, but then when apps became available, we started using them. I said all this to say that we’ve always spent time searching for a hotel for the night. Not a lot of time, but still some time.

When I was looking at getting a Tesla, I found out about charging at hotels and tried to figure out how to easily find hotels with charging. I found an app called EV Hotels that makes it very easy to find them in an area and I’ve used it successfully multiple times. However, instead of searching in the afternoon, I search the night before to find a couple of options because there are hotel charging deserts.

A word about the app. Like most apps, it is sometimes hard to figure out the interface to get the most out of it. Once I went on the website and saw some options I hadn’t figured out on my own. After that, it made a useful app really useful for exploring areas to stop.
I also pick my hotel around 5pm, but then I mostly travel off-season but I even pull this off high season too. That's my style of travel, nothing to do with charging.

But I don't insist on a hotel with charging. I just look around at the hotels I would like to see if any have charging. If I don't see one that's good, then it's dinner at the supercharger. That also means zero time charging of course, but it does mean I limit my food choices and may detour a bit. I have never had to do it, but it could also mean breakfast at the charger. (I am also more tolerant of a chain fast food breakfast I guess.)

Even at regular hotels I do a quick scout for a 120v plug in the parking lot and ask. It's there about 1/3rd to 1/2 of the time. It only gets 50 miles but that opens up new options and you supercharge later. This may not be as productive a use of time, I agree.

I will look at EVHotels. Plugshare has a "show chargers near lodging" option, and Hotels.com has charging as an option, though what I really want would be for Google maps to have that option as it does have the data, and it's the easiest for shopping hotels from OTAs.

Of course, half the hotels are not in the OTAs and I really wish there were an app that showed all the hotels, not just the ones in the OTAs, with their rack rates. And I would pay for it if it could show their availability. The non-OTA hotels want bookings they just don't want to give 20% to the OTAs and I think they would be happy to update when they are sold out. In fact, there is one site used by non-OTA hotels that now shows up in google that does just that.

Can't tell a lot about EVHotels, it is iphone only, and it's not clear how complete it is or how you do reservations, but it looks like a step in the right direction. In the future, I hope to have this in Google maps and I want to be able to even reserve a charger, not just a room. In addition, hotels should offer to drive you to a nearby charger they have a deal with though this is of course not as convenient, but it's still less time than supercharging. Hotels could also offer a scooter that fits in your trunk -- unload bags, put in scooter, drive to charger, scoot back to hotel. (For chargers that are close but hard to walk.)
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,689
12,970
MI
Just did two road trips totaling just short of 10k miles this summer in my 2017 MS 90D.

One trip out west through MT, WY and CO and the other out east through Canada, Maine and Nova Scotia. (From MI.) The only time I needed to plan ahead was in northern Nova Scotia. Plug share is fantastic for finding a place with destination charging if outside of the reach of the supercharger network.

PS - was wonderful to see so many teslas in Canada.
 

AudreyHTX1

Member
Supporting Member
Jun 11, 2021
507
557
South Texas
The only range anxiety I’ve encountered so far since getting my X this year has been from people who don’t own electric cars.

I don’t mind the charging time. I do all the driving and the driver appreciates the break! Although I’m often busy doing something else - bathroom break, booking last minute hotel reservation on the phone app, reviewing routes and next charging stops and updating nav.

We don’t eat at restaurants on the road, nor get food to go. We carry our food on road trips and have very nice snacking in the car - like a high quality charcuterie plate. We also like interstate welcome centers for decent bathrooms and maybe even a picnic and/or a nice stroll.

We recently did a 3000 mile trip Southeast US. A lot was along interstates and plenty of superchargers on route. We didn’t stay at hotels with chargers with one exception which hosted a supercharger. We often visited a supercharger late in the day and it took me longer to make to make a hotel reservation on the phone app, check in, and get the digital key than it did to charge.

Most importantly we are rarely in a hurry.
 
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bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
860
969
Sunnyvale, CA
The only range anxiety I’ve encountered so far since getting my X this year has been from people who don’t own electric cars.

I don’t mind the charging time. I do all the driving and the driver appreciates the break! Although I’m often busy doing something else - bathroom break, booking last minute hotel reservation on the phone app, reviewing routes and next charging stops and updating nav.

We don’t eat at restaurants on the road, nor get food to go. We carry our food on road trips and have very nice snacking in the car - like a high quality charcuterie plate. We also like interstate welcome centers for decent bathrooms and maybe even a picnic and/or a nice stroll.

We recently did a 3000 mile trip Southeast US. A lot was along interstates and plenty of superchargers on route. We didn’t stay at hotels with chargers with one exception which hosted a supercharger. We often visited a supercharger late in the day and it took me longer to make to make a hotel reservation on the phone app, check in, and get the digital key than it did to charge.

Most importantly we are rarely in a hurry.
It's not too bad. I like to take road trips that are off the interstate, and while I have been able to do most of them, I won't pretend some of them involved some anxiety and needed too much planning, and there were also places I would have liked to go that I knew it would be foolish to try to get.

One can't pretend otherwise. However, the good news is this will fade with time, charging will show up along these routes. I don't care if it's just 50kw though 100kw would be nice. And more and more hotels will get it too.

But it is a compromise. A gas car has other compromises. A gas car has a lot more compromises when you are driving around town, or along major highways. However, an EV has more compromises when you are getting off the beaten path.
 
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SteelClouds

Member
Supporting Member
Nov 12, 2021
424
567
CA
The biggest compromise right now can be minimized with a CCS adapter or chadamo adapter. I had to bypass the Grand Canyon because I couldn’t get the numbers to work with my standard range M3. If I had my adapters then, I could have charged in Williams and been good to go. Next time :)
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
860
969
Sunnyvale, CA
The biggest compromise right now can be minimized with a CCS adapter or chadamo adapter. I had to bypass the Grand Canyon because I couldn’t get the numbers to work with my standard range M3. If I had my adapters then, I could have charged in Williams and been good to go. Next time :)
There has been a supercharger at the South Rim for some time, but it is challenging to take anything but the main routes in and out. I presume you mean North Rim? Anyway, we're largely agreeing. I want them to stop putting more chargers in cities and put more in national parks and on scenic roads. Of course, the people who don't have charging in their home want more chargers in cities.
 

AudreyHTX1

Member
Supporting Member
Jun 11, 2021
507
557
South Texas
If we could order that Tesla CCS adapter it would really help! Odd that it’s still only available in South Korea.

Big Bend NP is our main out of range location. It’s not undoable, but tricky utilizing various spots that have 50A RV hookups. A supercharger at Alpine would go a long way, but you probably still need a reservation at Rio Grande Village RV Park to make it back out of the park OK.
 
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SteelClouds

Member
Supporting Member
Nov 12, 2021
424
567
CA
If we could order that Tesla CCS adapter it would really help! Odd that it’s still only available in South Korea
Nope. I just got mine from A2Z so it’s a clone or close copy of Teslas version. 280 usd. Nice build quality and works great on my 2019 M3 with a new ECU gen 4 and a bundle of wires :)



A
 
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AudreyHTX1

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Jun 11, 2021
507
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South Texas
What other snack tips do you have??? I’ve never thought of charcuterie as a road trip snack, but now I want it!
We usually take a plastic container with various cheeses cut in cubes, and sliced Spanish chorizo or salami slices, plus carrot and celery sticks. Sometimes we take mozzarella sticks wrapped in prosciutto. I’ll have to throw some olives in there next time. We also usually carry hard boiled eggs, small dill pickles. Sometimes even deviled eggs. We also have home roasted nuts with us. Parmesan whisps is another staple. We always have a small cooler handy.
 
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bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
860
969
Sunnyvale, CA
What other snack tips do you have??? I’ve never thought of charcuterie as a road trip snack, but now I want it!
You may also like my guide to running a 12v compressor fridge in your Tesla. Sadly it's not as easy as it should be with a battery that can run that thing for weeks. The Tesla has to turn 250w of computer on to run your fridge that averages 20w. Sigh.
But it's nice to have it and not worry about ice, and keep that meat and cheese for snacks at any picnic spot not just a supercharger.

 
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If we could order that Tesla CCS adapter it would really help! Odd that it’s still only available in South Korea.

Big Bend NP is our main out of range location. It’s not undoable, but tricky utilizing various spots that have 50A RV hookups. A supercharger at Alpine would go a long way, but you probably still need a reservation at Rio Grande Village RV Park to make it back out of the park OK.
Just ordered one from the Tesla website
 
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AudreyHTX1

Member
Supporting Member
Jun 11, 2021
507
557
South Texas
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anybody bother buying a spare tire/wheel to toss in the back on road trips?
A local Tesla owners club decided to buy a full-size wheel and OEM tire (18”) and loan it to members on request. I did this on a recent 1300-mile trip. Thankfully I didn’t need it but it did give a lot of peace of mind vs. the many other similar trips I’ve taken in the past. Downside: it takes up a lot of room in the trunk which is ill-designed for it. I also carry a plug kit and inflator with me, and AAA membership too. But the spare is the quickest solution to a flat anywhere. Considering a ModernTire solution, but not there yet.
 

AudreyHTX1

Member
Supporting Member
Jun 11, 2021
507
557
South Texas
What other snack tips do you have??? I’ve never thought of charcuterie as a road trip snack, but now I want it!
Our recent road trip goodies getting packed for the cooler:
B6A43AB9-52E8-4C5C-9294-68134115B00F.jpeg
 

doghousePVD

My grandfather’s car
Dec 3, 2018
697
641
New England, USA
If we could order that Tesla CCS adapter it would really help! Odd that it’s still only available in South Korea.

Big Bend NP is our main out of range location. It’s not undoable, but tricky utilizing various spots that have 50A RV hookups. A supercharger at Alpine would go a long way, but you probably still need a reservation at Rio Grande Village RV Park to make it back out of the park OK.
We did Big Bend this year, towing a trailer from Maine. Good fun, but took a lot of planning. We got everywhere we wanted.
 
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