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Seeking advice on charging stops for LA to Fresno round trip in a day

Discussion in 'California' started by 4SUPER9, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

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    #1 4SUPER9, Apr 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
    Good day y'all,

    I need to travel from LA to Fresno, and back, in 1 day. Actually, I have to do this twice a week apart. Yep, it sucks. I have checked both my car's nav and EVtripplanner and both tell me to stop in Buttonwillow. When I delete Buttonwillow as a charge stop, EVTripplanner says that I can make Kettleman with 237 RM. That is with a speed multiplier of 1.2. I get 272 max range on my 85D. Seems like I should be fine barring no major winds, etc. I would prefer to get my big charge in Kettleman as I am much closer to Fresno. With a decent charge there to over 150RM, I should easily make Fresno and back to Kettleman. Actually, I could conceivably make Fresno and make it back to Buttonwillow (231 RM).

    Alternatively, I could take the ICE and make a shorter trip of it, but not nearly as fun and no driver assist to help keep me relaxed.

    For those that have made this trip, I would appreciate to hear from your experiences.
     
  2. WalterB

    WalterB Member

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    I regularly travel north along i-5 and I can make to Kettleman easily from Pasadena/Glendale area if I leave 100% charged. Sometimes I push it even to Harris Ranch if I see that I have enough juice). Driving S75D.

    It depends where in LA area is your starting point.
    Also you can charge in Fresno and take 99 to Tejon Ranch on the way back.
     
  3. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

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    Thank you for your response. I am in West LA, so I have to navigate the Sepulveda pass, which eats up 20 miles right there. Seems like Kettleman should be easy to achieve. If I get nervous, I could stop at Buttonwillow for a few minutes.
     
  4. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Running on Empty

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    Best option is probably just to charge in Kettleman in both directions. Start in LA with a near full charge just to be safe.

    I'm assuming that you don't want to charge in Fresno for whatever reason. The supercharger there is north of town so somewhat inconvenient for your trip. If the conditions are decent and you don't need to drive around Fresno much, you might be able to make it all the one on one charge. If you try this, take 99 instead of I-5 of course.
     
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  5. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Running on Empty

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    I really don't think there's any scenario where you don't make it to Kettleman so I wouldn't worry about that. Unless you don't charge to full in LA for some reason or you drive 130mph the whole way :)
     
  6. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

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    This is a really short trip and I will not drive an inch once getting to Fresno. I'm just dropping my son off at a meeting point for an Outward Bound backpacking trip, then heading home. Of course, I want to spend as little time supercharging as possible.
    I am not sure I understand your point about the 99. Certainly I can not make it back to home, let alone Tejon unless I charge in Fresno. Kettleman to Fresno to Tejon is 288 RM.
     
  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    My approach for a trip like that in an S 85 would be too start out in LA with a 90% charge, spend 20-25 minutes charging at Tejon, and then the 150 miles to Fresno from there (up 99) should be easy, I would think. Charge up at the Fresno Supercharger and stop at Tejon on the way home just long enough to give you a 10% margin when you get back home in LA.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t it more direct to use 99 instead of 5? I know that Kettleman is an awesome place to charge, but it seems out of the way for the trip you describe.

    Maybe you want to maintain an average speed higher than what I am used to. ;)
     
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  8. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    A single stop at Tejon Ranch should be all you need to get to Fresno. Buttonwillow or any of the other I-5 chargers are out of the way... Tejon Ranch allows you to take SR 99 straight into Fresno.
     
  9. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Running on Empty

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    The point is that Fresno is on 99, not I-5.
     
  10. bmah

    bmah Moderator, Model S/X, California Forums

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    OP: What part of Fresno are you going to for your drop-off? The Fresno Supercharger is on the north end of town (the Herndon Ave. exit from 99) but depending on where you're going to, it might not be too far out of your way....give you another charging option.

    By going through Kettleman City you have to deal with going back and forth between I-5 and 99.

    Bruce.
     
  11. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

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    I am going to the Fresno airport.

    I don’t see the point in charging in Fresno anyway, as I still need to charge to get there, and will have sufficient charge to get back at least to Kettleman, if not back to Buttonwillow.
    And, while I get that Fresno is on the 99, how will taking the 99 get me there and back more efficiently? Where would I charge using that route?
     
  12. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    Tejon Ranch, Fresno, Tejon Ranch.

    Google maps will have you believe that the difference between staying on SR 99 and taking I-5 to Kettleman City and then SR-41 to Fresno is only ~15 minutes. Having taken both of these routes many many times, I don't find that reflective of reality. SR-41 is a two lane highway for a significant portion of the drive between Kettleman City and Fresno and can slow down significantly from heavy truck traffic. In my estimation it's a good 30 minutes out of the way in each direction vs. taking SR 99.

    It's about 20 minutes to the Fresno Supercharger from the airport. When you turn around to head back it's only about a 10 minute detour, for a total of 30 extra driving minutes. Half the extra time it would take to go through Kettleman City.

    I still think your most efficient route is 99, even with an additional short charging stop vs. two stops where you need to get the battery close to full at each one.
     
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  13. WalterB

    WalterB Member

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    According to google maps (no taking into account charging times):
    West LA - Fresno Airport - Fresno supercharger - West LA - 460 miles - 7h 6m
    West LA - Kettleman Supercharger - Fresno Airport - Kettleman Supercharger - West LA - 461 miles - 7h 20m

    My back of the napkin calculation estimates about 20 extra minutes charging (because of higher SOC at tejon and longer charge in Fresno SC) for SR 99 route which makes both routes almost equal.
    In reality many variables (as mentioned above) can affect total time.

    Since you have to do this trip twice, you can take each route and compare times. :)
     
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  14. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Running on Empty

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    Kettleman is a more fun stop though. And I-5 is a much more pleasant drive than 99.

    Given all the considerations, I think it's a fairly close decision. If it were me, I would stop in Kettleman one way and Tejon the other. When it's close I just like seeing some different scenery when possible.

    It's 202 miles from Kettleman to Fresno airport to Tejon so that might be tight. But if it looks like you won't make it you can always detour back to I-5 (Buttonwillow or Bakersfield).

    West LA to Fresno airport to Fresno supercharger is 236 miles. If it's warm and you drive slow, it might be doable, but probably isn't worth the risk. That is the route I would take in my S100D though. Just one long charge at Fresno.
     
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  15. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

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    Thank everyone. I love this forum. I love the calculations and thought that everyone is putting into this. I have only traveled the I-5 north and the 99 several times over the past 20+ years, so I have no experience with traffic patterns.

    The advantages to Kettleman seem to be 1) I haven't been to a 40 stall site yet and can check out the lounge :D, and 2) There is no chance of pairing there. I have no idea if Tejon gets congested any more since the massive expansion on the I-5, and 3) I will arrive with a much lower state of charge. Given that I am planning a long stop there with a nice lunch for my son before launching him into the woods, I could get an excellent charge there. The disadvantage seems to be the road to Fresno, vs the 99.

    As far as the second trip goes the following week, I am honestly thinking of sending him back on a plane. Tix are over $200 right now, but a 460 mile trip is a long trip for me as is. Twice in a week is pushing it.
     
  16. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Running on Empty

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    If you haven't been to Kettleman, I would check it out. Might be cool to show your son too. Not sure how old he is, but maybe he can chat up the baristas :)

    Also I don't think 41 is that bad. It is a somewhat dangerous road in the sense that it's a high speed 2-lane highway with lots of cross-traffic in places, but it does go directly from Kettleman to Fresno so that's nice. As long as you pay attention while driving that stretch you should be fine. Driving 99 is a PITA as well imo and you'd be on 99 for much longer.
     
  17. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    I live in Fresno, but four miles from the Supercharger, and not anywhere near the airport.

    Tejon Ranch is easy peasy to and from our house. I use up approximately 155-165 range miles between those points. I do not drive fast in our '14 S85.

    SR99 has been widened to six lanes for about 60% of the distance between Fresno and the Grapevine. Interstate 5 is four lanes. Period. Truck traffic is generally heavier on Interstate 5 than SR99. However, the speed limit on Interstate 5 is 70, while on SR99 only has about 50 miles (off the top of my head) at 70.

    Highway 41 north of Kettleman City can be great, or it can be dreadful depending upon time of day, day of week, and agricultural activity among the surrounding farms. You do have about 10 miles of 4 lanes at the 41/198 junction and again the final 15-20 miles or so as you approach Fresno. But there are signals--lots of signals on the 4-lane. Sometimes you can time them perfectly, and other times you stop at every other light.

    The back way from Harris Ranch is usually easier than taking 41. It is all two lanes, but it is also lightly traveled. Probably not much a difference in time coming in from Harris Ranch on SR145/McMullin Grade, Dickenson Avenue, and Whitesbridge Road (SR180.)

    My feeling is that the time frames on Google Maps are too optimistic. The route is longer by at least 20-25 miles, and you just don't know if you will be following a convoy of ag trucks, some RVs or buses, or a farmer driving his tractor along the shoulder of the road. And sometimes 41 is saturated on anticipated busy travel days.

    If you decide to forgo the Fresno Supercharger (about 20 minutes NW from the airport), then I would suggest using Harris Ranch for the way home. A 90+% charge at Tejon Ranch going north will be more than enough to make the airport and then reach Harris Ranch for some juice. (But then the Kettleman City Lounge is pretty cool, so good luck with your decision.)
     
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  18. T34ME

    T34ME Active Member

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    We will be driving Redlands to Fresno a few times a year and I am very familiar with 99 and 5/41 routes to Fresno. Without a doubt we will take the 99 route and charging at Tejon/Fresno/Tejon. We like the Firehouse Subs restaurant right next door to Tejon SC.
     
  19. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

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    Interesting. I never even considered Harris Ranch. My only concern with the Tejon route is that if I use up too much juice, which I tend to do ;), I will be forced to go to the Fresno SC anyway in order to make my next destination. The Fresno SC is definitely inconvenient and adds significant time to a one-day round trip.

    This makes sense too.

    Comparing:
    LA --> Kettleman SC --> Fresno Airport --> Kettleman SC --> LA, and
    LA --> Tejon --> Fresno Airport --> Fresno SC --> Tejon SC --> LA​

    -Both are exactly 464 miles
    -The Tejon method uses 99. From what everyone is saying, it is definitely a better route.
    -The Tejon route requires 3 SC stops. The Kettleman is only 2. Though, I may still need a brief charge in Buttonwillow.

    I am also strongly leaning towards having my son fly back the following week. Flights from Fresno to LA are more expensive that flying to Puerto Vallarta (my next trip)!!!
     
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  20. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    You can also exit 99 at Clovis Avenue south of town. That will take you directly to the airport. It is the hypotenuse of the sorta triangle formed by 99/41/180 freeway route, so is shorter and slightly slower. Not sure how many miles it saves each way, but I would guess it is in the neighborhood of 5-6 miles one way.

    I do not know if the hallowed Google Maps and Tesla directionally-challenged navigation system routed you onto Clovis Avenue or not.
     
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