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SF Area to ... Road Trip Advice

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by mposki, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. mposki

    mposki Member

    May 23, 2015
    United States
    So I am going to be getting my S85D in about a month and the 2 regular longer trips I will be taking in it are Menlo Park to Reno and Menlo Park to LA. I have done the routes using and figure I have an idea what to do but am looking for some experiential knowledge. At each of the destinations I will be able to plug in and get the sweet nectar of electricity (in-laws and parent's houses) but to get there...
    MP-Reno - looks like I could make it to Reno with many miles to spare by charging in Rocklin (136 miles to get to Rocklin and then 123 to my destination) or would I be better served stopping in Truckee (212 there and then 50 to dest). The Truckee one looks more dicey as it is 255 rated miles and in winter and such?!!??!??!
    MP-LA (the valley) - Harris Ranch (160 to HR and then 183 to destination) or Harris Ranch AND Tejon (160 to HR, 113 to Tejon and then 74 for home stretch). For this one it seems more straight forward that the Harris Ranch would be enough. Is this true even if I drive at ~80mph?
    Love some advice from seasoned Tesla drivers.
  2. napabill

    napabill Active Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Napa, California, United States
    I live by the axiom to live in the bottom half of your battery. This necessitates more, shorter charges. I like to fill to 180 rated miles, then move on. Also like a 20% cushion. Allows for not worrying about speed. Got 47,000 miles on mine and have been to almost every SC in the western states. Road tripping in the S is my favorite thing to do!:biggrin:
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    San Mateo, CA
    The current onboard trip planning software will tell you where and how much to charge once you enter your nav destination. That said, I suggest...

    MP-Reno: charge to 90% in Rocklin and then charge enough at Truckee to get to Reno with a 20% cushion.

    MP-LA: charge at both Harris and Tejon. You are going to want a break anyway to stretch your legs and maybe eat.

    I know that at first as a new owner there may be some stressing about range. But I can assure you that there are so many Superchargers on those two routes that you have absolutely nothing to worry about. It's easy. That said, if you insist on going 80mph (and risking a hefty speeding ticket) then charge to 90% at all those Superchargers. You will be using more juice than the trip planning software will assume.

    Also, there is no need to start from your house with a high state of charge. 80% will be plenty.
  4. beingpaulp

    beingpaulp Member

    Dec 18, 2014
    SF, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos - CA
    The SC will charge at a very high rate up to about 50%, then slowly (but still plenty fast) charge the remaining 50% so it's better (faster) if you arrive with like 20% charge, then charge to 60% or whatever you need to get to the next SC or your destination.
  5. AGM

    AGM Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    El Dorado Hills, CA, United States
    The posts above as spot on. You just need a little experience with the car. Getting to know it and what are willing to do with the time you have will dictate your strategy. Sometime you will not feel like stopping and will stretch. In general just stop at the SC's and get that 20% buffer to make it to the next one. You will charge faster if you stay below 200 miles or so.

    First world problems on these routes.
  6. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

    Nov 8, 2014
    Bay Area & Montana
    I've done the SF to LA trip a number of times and the advice to charge at Harris and Tejon is my advice as well. I have a P85D and cruise I5 at 80+ mph as much as I can. I could probably make it with one charge, but the time math makes more sense if you charge enough to get from one SC to the next, then to the destination. You'll be fine with either approach and I actually suggest trying it with one charge on the way to LA and two charges on the way back just to see for yourself how things work out.
  7. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    Los Altos, CA
    Agree with this, and unless you're going to eat at Harris Ranch on the way to Tejon, you'll only need to charge to 180 rated at most before leaving Harris heading south. It's only about 120 miles or so to Tejon, so 180 rated should be plenty of buffer to get to Tejon unless you're doing 100 mph with the A/C cranked to max.
  8. tga

    tga Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2014
    New Hampshire
    How much of cusion is built into the on-board software? ie, do the charge times given for en-route SC stops assume you reach the next SC with 0%, 5%, 20%?
  9. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

    Jul 27, 2014
    We do the trip from Tahoe City to Bay Area regularly and usually stop in Vacaville each way. We can easily make it to Vacaville (149 miles but only 103 RM downhill) and a charge there gives us enough to driving around the Bay Area and back to Vacaville for the trip home (190 RM... uphill).
    Truckee is convenient but we don't usually stop since it's so close to home we can make it there without extra charging.
    Reno is only 30 miles from Truckee SC but only 22 RM getting there downhill and 38 RM getting back uphill.
  10. Khatsalano

    Khatsalano Member

    Mar 21, 2015
    San Mateo, CA
    I've driven these routes in an S85D and actually, you're thinking like a gas car owner. You don't need to "minimize" the number of times you fill up. Try to stop as often as possible instead. :) For example, on your way to Reno, stop at Roseville (much cooler location than the Rocklin SC), take a 10 min. break to hit the Starbucks and use the restroom. By the time you get back to your car, you will have the WTF reaction when your battery is full (or whatever you limited your SOC to). You can do the same at Truckee and just take a 10 min bathroom break or just to stretch your legs. Maybe even grab a meal. You will be surprised by how much charge you pick up without having to "wait" at all.

    Keep in mind, you only need enough charge to get to your next step plus some buffer. There is no need to go to 100% like in a gas car ... old habits, right?

    This way of driving, by taking 10 minute breaks every 1.5-2.0 hours, is much more safe because it prevents fatigue and ergonomic strain on the driver. The limit on road trips was never the car, be it an ICE or an EV. I don't think many people, that includes driver and passengers, can go 4 hours without a bathroom break or 6 hours without a meal.

    When I go south, I've gone through Gilroy SC (awesome dim sum at Ginger Cafe) to Harris Ranch and down. HR can be great for a meal, or the stinkiest cattle smell experience of your life. If it's a smell-less day, I would grab a meal. If not, I'd rather just do the 10 min boost charge and grab a meal at the next SC.

    - K

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