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Southern NJ to Central NC, then Asheville, and back

Discussion in 'Southeast' started by wk057, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    Hi everyone,

    First post, getting my Model S from store stock tomorrow! (They had exactly the configuation I would have ordered... go figure!) :biggrin: P85, Blue, Tech, Air Suspension, HD Sound, etc.

    Anyway, I'm coming to the MS from a 2012 Volt. Turns out the range of the MS is far more than I need on a daily basis 99% of the time, so, should be better all around. Can't wait.

    The Tesla store manager let me 'borrow' the car (with dealer tags) after I put my deposit down and had funding and insurance in order, for a couple of days earlier in the week. I'm pretty comfortable applying my EV driving techniques of the Volt (which I never take out of L gear, higher regen) to the MS to improve my range. Driving from home to the store and back (~40 miles each way) I stayed pretty much spot on the actual vs rated range when I tried, even in winter conditions. Had to give it back for final detailing, changing out the rims (only thing it didn't have that I wanted), and official delivery (tomorrow!).

    One thing I do a couple of times per year is drive from here, Sicklerville, NJ to around the Advance, NC area, then sometimes out towards Asheville for a little mountain drive, then back to Advance (friends there), then back home.

    Looking at the SuperCharger network already in place, it looks like the first part of my trip should be pretty simple...


    • Here to Newark, DE SC is ~40 miles. Guess I could top off there for the first trip to feel better about things.
    • Newark DE to Glen Allen, VA is ~200 miles.... should be doable I'd assume, driving reasonably. Winter temp concerns maybe...
    • Interestingly, the distance from Glen Allen, VA to Burlington, NC is almost the same, about 200 miles.
    • From there to my destination in Advance, NC area is only about 70 miles, where I have access to a 50A outlet at a family member's residence.

    I'm thinking this part of the trip should be very doable. I regularly hypermile my Volt, getting as high as 51 miles of range out of its EV mode in decent weather. Cold weather kills the Volt's EV range, and I guess I'll have to see how badly it does the MS in real world conditions also. (I keep the cabin temps in the mid 60s with seat warmers on low usually).

    Am I being too optimistic if I were to attempt this trip in a couple of weeks? I'll certainly jot down the locations of some Chargepoint J1772 chargers and such along the route as backup.

    Now for the second part of my trip, I like to go from Advance, NC to Canton, NC (past Asheville) and back. Looks like that round trip is about 300 miles. I'm guessing ideally, in the summer/spring I could maybe make that without a charge in between... but I'm guessing the uphill (westward) portion of the trip up in elevation might kill me.

    Recargo/Plugshare/etc show a lot of J1772 chargers in the Asheville area. I actually have used one with my Volt at one point (cant recall which) and there is one at the Energy United office on Hwy 64 in Statesville that I've used (Chargepoint) with my Volt. I'm wondering if I top off in Advance, drive to Statesville (~25 miles?), top off there, that should get me to a point where I could perhaps comfortably have a buffer to find a spot in the Asheville area to stop and charge for an hour or two to make it back to at least the Statesville j1772 charger?

    I'm just trying to get an idea of how difficult this may actually be, but I'm excited to try :)

    Some chargers that seem promising in that area:


    • 339 New Leicester Hwy, Asheville, North Carolina 28806 - Parking garage, $1.50/hr?
    • 309 Wiggins Rd, Candler, NC, 28715 - Camp ground/RV Park - Seen someone mention here that they've charged there while staying at a cabin... but I would want a day trip.
    • 221 Heywood Rd., Arden, NC 28704 - 4 J1772 Chargers, Eaton?
    • 164 College St., Asheville, NC, 28801 - $1/hr parking deck...?

    I figure I shouldn't need a long charge in that area... but I could be wrong. I just think I may be a little too optimistic, especially in cold weather.

    So, summary of what I'd like to do:


    • Leave Sicklerville, NJ
    • Supercharger top off at Newark, DE (since I may not have time for a full home charge before leaving)
    • Supercharger top off at Glen Allen, VA
    • Supercharger top off at Burlington, NC
    • Stop for the night (or two) in Advance, NC (family) - Charge to full there, one way or another (most likely can make use of their existing RV outlet)
    • Head off towards Canton, NC driving very conservatively.
    • Stop as possible/needed at misc J1772 public stations in between
    • Return to Advance, again driving very conservatively.
    • Get sufficient juice to make it back to Burlington, NC
    • Run the return to NJ trip, possibly skipping the DE supercharger if comfortable with remaining range at that time.

    I guess my questions would be, is the Supercharger network "stable" enough for planning these long trips yet? It would really be bad to make it to say, the VA supercharger and not be able to charge for one reason or another. Has this happened? I don't mean having to wait behind other MS... that I can handle I'd think. I'd just be concerned that I'd get there and have all of the spots ICE'd or no power, etc.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    -wk
     
  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Awesome first post. Welcome to TMC.

    Regarding relying on Superchargers ... I haven't heard of anyone getting locked out, but surely it's possible.

    Definitely always 100% of the time on roadtrips be prepared with a backup plan for other charging options. You can use an iPhone app like recargo.com to find J1772 options in the area or plugshare to maybe find a Tesla owner willing to share a higher amperage plug with you. It's worth having a backup plan until there are more and more charging options.

    Someday you'll tell your grandkids about how you had to have a backup plan. They won't believe you. :)
     
  3. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    There are tons of J1772 chargers between here and there. Probably enough to do the trip without the superchargers, albeit at a much extended time. Part of my issue is I usually make these as extended weekend trips, like Friday afternoon to Tuesday night, so, spending more time charging than really needed probably would make me considering taking the Volt instead. ~15 hours at a Chargepoint station probably wouldn't make the trip very fun.

    Yes, I am keeping the Volt for the time being. Probably will sell it to my brother with the brother discount soon, though.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hmmm... not used to the lack of editing/append ability on this forum. ;)

    Basically, I'm familiar with most of the charger locator apps, including plug share (will add mine to there soon), so finding a backup shouldnt be an issue, and I plan to bring a good old-fashion paper list of ones close to the route anyway, just in case.
     
  4. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Hello fellow south NJ owner :) one of the first things you might consider doing after getting your car, especially since it's a loaner, is get it fully paint corrected and wrapped with XPEL Ultimate. I'm not really sure what's going on lately with the local Tesla detailers but week by week I am seeing brand new Tesla's with the paint literally destroyed around here as they are delivered and it's getting worse - not better. The local experts NJ owners have been using for full paint correction and XPEL wrap are Lee and Greg at Leeberbs. The MS paint is super soft anyway and you might want to seriously consider Opticoat which they also do. Feel free to give them a shout https://www.facebook.com/Leeberbs they tint too.

    Greg posts a lot of his work to autopia. Check this one out. The owner scheduled the paint correction BEFORE getting his car delivered. That's how bad it is getting around here. Check out how bad Tesla delivered this car and then you can see Greg's work correcting it too and then it was wrapped by Lee. Tesla Model S Correction and Opti-Coat by Greg Gellas Signature Detailing - Click & Brag - Autopia
     
  5. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    This thread might be of interest to you.

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

    I took a trip from CT to Knoxville along that route during Thanksgiving. The weather was fairly chilly … well below freezing the whole way with headwinds. Each of the SCs are reachable, though I was slightly below the speed limit from Glen Allen to Burlington. As you know from having an EV, when in doubt with range, slow down.
     
  6. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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    I have used the superchargers on several road trips with no problems charging. I have encountered the occasional non functional supercharger but there are several others available onsite. I'm sure a grid outage would seriously mess up the plan though. Also try the Allstays website which is a list of campgrounds in the US, many of which are not cross listed on plug share etc.
    Campgrounds in North Carolina with 50 Amp Sites
    You can view on a map and filter for "50 amp service" which is typically a 14-50 outlet. This gives about 28mph of charge -v-about 17mph charging rate of most J-1772's. Always a good idea to call the campground ahead of time and see if they are EV friendly.
     
  7. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    Thanks for all of the replies! :)

    Just spoke to Tesla in Norristown, PA regarding pickup/delivery and it turns out they're replacing the entire windshield because they found a small crack during pre-delivery inspection. Pretty sharp because I went over the car pretty well when I had it for a day and didn't even notice anything out of the ordinary. Delivery rescheduled for Wednesday now.
     
  8. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if that's their way of saying "oopsie I dropped a sledgehammer on it" haha
     
  9. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    I sure hope not! :scared:
     
  10. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

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    I wouldn't worry about Supercharger availability.

    Im assuming there's a reason you want to go to Canton, but if you just want to get into the mountains, there is a Tesla owner in Boone who has a HPWC at his sushi restaurant. If you have twin chargers, you could get some quick cushion miles while downing a dragon roll.
     
  11. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    3 ICE'd spots in Glen Allen last night, but 5 empty spots, so I agree. The other times I've used it (and others), I've usually seen no ICE'd spots (granted, I haven't taken tons of trips). I haven't seen a full-of-Tesla's SuperCharger yet; I'm lucky if I see 1 other Tesla! ;-)

    @wk057: I will say, though, with the 200-mile stretches, drive conservatively; it's good to arrive with 10-20 miles left, just in case. I went DC-Glen Allen-Burlington-Durham and back, and had to be a little conservative on the Glen Allen-Burlington and back legs of the trip. I know it's a little inefficient for some, but I used cruise control (more efficient than my inconsistent lead foot...) and that helped me. (I nudged the MPH down a bit sometimes going up inclines, and up a bit going back down again).

    - - - Updated - - -

    P.S. I'm not saying hyper mile; but on a 200-mile stretch with a lot of small ups-and-downs, I recommend against going 70 even when that's the speed limit. If I had, I'm not sure I'd've made it. (Though the Model S can go below zero, so perhaps I was overly paranoid.) But if it's warmer...go a little faster and see how it goes. Coming home, the weather was warmer and I drove faster than I did going south.
     
  12. Only Trons

    Only Trons Member

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    Bonnie: ain't that the truth????? Got a laugh out of that.
     
  13. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Regarding your initial plan, you won't need to stop at the DE SC-er but instead should drop in at the one in Bethesda, MD - which only has 2 stalls although there are some NEMA 14-50 outlets.

    You will definitely want to charge at every L2 charger in Ashville.
     
  14. Atebit

    Atebit Member

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    Wk057, how did your drive work out? I plan to be making a similar trip frequently, just in the other direction, so it would be good to know if theory matches reality.
     
  15. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Was every single other spot in the parking lot taken? These spots aren't near anything...
    Big sale at Men's Wearhouse? Chili's new menu?
     
  16. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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    #16 DFibRL8R, Mar 6, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
    photo-14.JPG
    This was the scene in Delaware Sunday afternoon. I'm pretty sure the OP on this thread (not pictured) was there waiting to plug in his new Model S. Unfortunately, that SC has only 4 spots. Hopefully it is on Tesla's list to upgrade/add more along this busy stretch of I-95. The special parking spaces reserved for Hybrids etc to the right are often ICE'd.

     
  17. apvbguy

    apvbguy Banned

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    great pic, I hope it isn't so busy when I pass through in few long weeks
     
  18. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Yeah, this seems like a weak link in the chain between DC and Boston.
     
  19. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    LOL, must've been the Men's Warehouse. I dunno. One was a monster truck; the other two were regular cars.
     
  20. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    Aha! Yes, that was me waiting. I was just taking a trip down to the Christiana Mall and figured I'd check out the SuperCharger nearby while I was in the area, in anticipation of my trip to NC (scheduled to start tomorrow evening).

    Here is the pic I took after getting a spot (i'm third from left):
    6f5z41.jpg

    Spoke to some other owners while waiting and charging, very nice people :).

    I had thought of that until I saw that it was temporary with only 2 stalls. After seeing the DE supercharger full on Sunday I wouldn't want to get stuck waiting for a while for one of only 2 stalls.

    I plan on leaving probably late tomorrow evening (7PM maybe). Hitting the DE supercharger to top off first, then on to Glen Allen, then Burlington, then my initial destination. I plan to charge fully at each stop, since this will be my first long trip.

    Definitely going to Asheville, probably Saturday morning. I have everything set to get a NEMA 14-50 charge tomorrow night when I arrive to top off at the end of my trip.

    I will take it pretty easy. I've noted the locations of public chargers along the way, and I've made a secondary route which adds ~65 miles overall, but sneaks over to the Rocky Mount supercharger, which shaves 30 miles from the Glen Allen to next-charge part of the trip, and I can make this decision about half-way through that portion of the trip too.

    I'm mainly concerned about the Newark, DE to Glen Allen, VA portion, since it will be chilly (30s F) and Friday night (traffic). I will detour to the Bethesda, MD Supercharger if it looks like my Wh/mi are too high for comfort at the decision point for that stop. There are plenty of J1772 chargers along that route it seems, however, so, I'm not overly concerned.

    Looking at the route Google gives for the trip, I'm not 100% sure I want to follow it. I've never actually taken the Harbor Tunnel or the Baltimore-Washington Parkway on this trip, opting to just follow 95 all the way through (and the Fort McHenry Tunnel). Although, my route is a little longer, so, not sure yet. Any suggestions?

    Here is the normal Google-given route for the Supercharger to Supercharger portions of the trip (the beginning and end portions arent really important): http://goo.gl/maps/dvidE (394 miles, 197 miles between both superchargers)
    Now here is the version I modified to make it match my normal route I use on this trip: http://goo.gl/maps/6Gejl (404 miles, 207 miles from Newark, DE to Glen Allen VA (+10 miles); 197 from Glen Allen, VA to Burlington, NC (unchanged))

    I know the second route easily enough, so I'm a tiny bit concerned about getting off track trying to follow the shorter route. Could 10 miles really mean that much? Haven't decided which route to follow yet...

    Thanks everyone for all of the replies. I hope this trip goes well....

    - - - Updated - - -

    I just wanted to note that I am encouraged by the conversations with the other drivers who were at the DE supercharger, all with 60 kWh versions and succeeding in much longer trips than I'm attempting.
     

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