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Road Trip Tips/Advice

Discussion in 'Model S' started by benjiejr, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. benjiejr

    benjiejr Technogeekextraordinaire

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    I searched the forums and have seen several posts related to specific road trips, which I enjoy reading, but I don't see one dedicated to tips and advice for planning road trips specifically in a Tesla. What are some of the most important things you think someone else should know before traveling long distances in a Tesla?

    I'll start with a few things that come to mind:


    • Plan your trip and charging with evtripplanner.com. This tool is invaluable and probably the most important tip I can think of.
    • Pack your mobile connector and adapters. I don't have the mobile connector in my car all the time since I use it in my garage, so I have to make sure to bring it with me when going on a road trip. Having an extra one would be nice. Having a CHAdeMO adapter might be good too; they can be expensive but you might find someone near you willing to loan you one for a road trip.
    • Pack tire repair kit. Since we don't have a spare, this could come in handy. I must admit, not having a spare is probably one of the things that worries me the most about a road trip.
    • Check tire tread and pressure. Tire maintenance is always important but I find it even more important with the Tesla since I'm more aware of range and I don't have a spare.
    • Sign up for charging networks. I mainly do this for the free options at least. If they have an RFID, I keep it in the car. Sometimes it's just good to have an account created in case you need to use it. Some examples are ChargePoint, Blink, EVgo, etc.
    • Research what restaurants, restrooms, etc. are near your charging stops. My bladder capacity is usually less than my battery capacity so charging stops work out well for me and allow me to stretch my legs. I also like to know what eating options there are ahead of time.
    • Don't underestimate destination charging at your hotel. I almost exclusively narrow the hotels I stay at to those with HPWCs or J1772 level 2 chargers. I enjoy letting the car charge overnight and having a full battery in the morning. I've always had good luck with HPWCs because they seem to be located away from the front entrance and are clearly marked, but the opposite seems to be true of other charging options and they can often be ICE'd.
    • Have backup charging plans. PlugShare has a website (plugshare.com) and an app that are great resources for this.
    • Monitor traffic conditions. This isn't specific to Tesla, but still worth mentioning. Waze is a great app to monitor real-time traffic and road information.

    Thank you for any other tips and advice you can offer!
     
  2. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    Excellent advice!

    I would just like to add
    Monitor Weather: weather conditions may have a significant impact on range, a simple glance at a weather app that has a live radar can save your day!
     
  3. taurusking

    taurusking Member

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    Make sure check your phone when charging ...this is very important step.

    I parked my car at a supercharger location in Florida and 10 minutes or so..error message popped up and long story short ...car had to be towed to nearest service center.
     
  4. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    That's a good list...

    I have a few that I compiled from our start of summer trip in May. That I featured on our thread - Here, There, and EVerywhere... Posting our trip SoCal to East Coast and back...

    Here is the link to my list - Lessons Learned from our first Cross Country EV Trip | My ActiveE made me Accidentally Environmental

    I also propose a few things not on your list.

    1) carry multiple phone company networks (i.e. A Verizon or Sprint or T-Mobile if you carry AT&T.) if you can tether even better. I lost the car's signal in St Louis and had to run tethered to my T-Mobile phone for a while.

    2) carry an EV card or hang-tag for when you have to leave your car plugged in, in case someone needs to contact you to move so they can charge.
     
  5. benjiejr

    benjiejr Technogeekextraordinaire

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    This is very true! Thank you!

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    This would stink! Good idea to monitor charge and status via app!

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    That's a great post!

    I never really thought much of losing signal. Good thing to point out esp in areas like Federal/State Parks and rural areas.

    Leaving a note while charging is something I always do too and I have actually been called once by a Tesla employee when they needed to charge; I think I was the only one that left a note so I was the only one they could contact.
     
  6. Brit4864

    Brit4864 Member

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    All of the above are good tips. The weather thing is quite important, especially if you're operating at near the maximum range. Rain will decrease the range quite a bit because of aquaplaning. I'm in the middle of a big road trip right now and ran into a lot of rain here in MO today. One thing I wish they would add is a real time weather radar overlay on the Google map along with real time wind information. Having AWD helps in heavy rain however :smile:
     
  7. AlanSqB

    AlanSqB Member

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    +1 for having the RFID cards in the car, even if they have an app. I have been to several locations where I couldn't get signal and was unable to initiate charging. Charge Point most frequently, due more to prevalence than anything. So I ordered the RFID cards and keep them in the car (LEAF) at all times. I have since found it much easier to swipe the card than to use the app and prefer that method even though I'm a "not another card" guy.
     
  8. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    I have a separate slimline wallet with my insurance, AAA card, and the charging network RFIDs that I keep in the driver's kangaroo pocket. I don't even pull anything up, just hold the wallet to the ChargePoint I use (the only network charger I have used thus far). Works great and I agree is easier than using the app.
     
  9. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Two other items to consider: Use the trip tab feature on the energy screen, particularly for longer distances or when the weather is poor. Before you unplug, dial in the destination to your next charging stop. The navigation screen will select the route, and then you can view the estimated battery state of charge upon arrival. After departure I always glance at the trip graph every 10-20 miles to verify that my consumption is close to the estimate generated by the software. This is really important because the initial calculation only considers the road and any elevation gain or loss. Contemporaneous factors like wind, rain, or temperature are not factored in until you start driving and the battery consumption increases because of wet roads, cold temperatures or high winds. This way, you can slow down enough early on in your journey in order to arrive with a reasonable amount of charge. You can always speed up 30 minutes later if the projection appears to be satisfactory.

    Second, EVTripplanner gives an estimated wh/mile for the leg selected. I would record these estimates and keep them handy to compare to the display on the odometer to see if you are in the ballpark.
     
  10. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    +1
    I put my parking pass and chargepoint card in a clear plastic badge holder.
    Works perfectly!
     
  11. benjiejr

    benjiejr Technogeekextraordinaire

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    I am always surprised how much impact rain and cold weather have on range. Thanks for the tip!

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    Yasss! Forgot to mention the Trip tab! It's very helpful to get real-time feedback and help you adjust your speed, etc. Thank you!

    @AlanSqB, @Cyclone, and @AMPd, thanks for all the ideas on the RFIDs!
     

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