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The first 10 days, 1000 miles, a road trip and camping.

Nathan S

Jun 11, 2018
Sacramento CA
We’ve only owned our Model 3 for 10 days but we’ve put it to great use during that time.

In 10 days we’ve taken a road trip from Sacramento CA to Ashland OR on the first weekend, a camping trip to Lake Tahoe the next weekend and driven a total of 1,088 miles.

We picked it up on a Thursday and on Saturday drove up I-5 to Ashland Oregon. We started with a 100% trip charge and stopped in Corning for our first Supercharger. In the 15 minutes it took us to walk into the Starbucks, use the bathroom and get a coffee the car was charged back up to 80%.

Our next stop was in Mt. Shasta at the Supercharger there. In the time it took us to walk to the grocery store on the other end of the parking lot to pick up some snacks it charged back up to 80%.

We tested out the autopilot throughout the trip on the long stretches of highway and were amazed at how well it performed. It’s still a beta product and it had us driving too close to the edge of the lane on some turns but all in all it was impressive. I had the car in autopilot from Weed CA to Ashland OR for all but about a minute and a half and that was due to one really tight turn and the minute where I wanted control due to a crazy driver on the road around us. The fact that Autopilot drove 99% of the road over the Sisques mountain pass exceeded my expectations (I still had my hands tight on the wheel and my foot covering the break, just in case). It is great on the long straightaways but some of the turns were a bit nerve wracking resulting in us taking over the controls. I’m sure time will help refine it.

Since we didn’t charge to 100% before going over the pass and we didn’t stay somewhere in Ashland with a charger (we will know better next time) I had range anxiety and we did a minor charge at an independent charger before heading home. It was painfully slow and a waste of time and money compared to better planning or charging practices.

On the drive home we stopped in Mt. Shasta to recharge and have dinner. The car was charged back to 100% before our dinner was served! This one charge got us back to Sacrarmento with 60 miles remaining.

My 10-20 miles per day driving for work has been a joy and my clients (I’m a Realtor) and co-workers have loved the car. After signing closing paperwork one of my clients saw my car and was floored by it. He is seriously thinking of getting one. Given that he was driving a high end Mercedes I was very flattered with the attention my “entry level Tesla” was getting. As he said, “this is the future of cars”.

This weekend we had a camping trip up at Lake Tahoe planned. For a while I first thought we should take our older VW Jetta but if the Model 3 is going to be our primary car and if it can’t do the road trips and camping, we shouldn’t go all electric when we replace the Jetta.

Again, the Model 3 has exceeded our expectations. It held all of our camping gear with room to spare (blankets laid down first to protect the interior).

We took it down a twisty, paved but small pothole filled road around a smaller lake and just like with my VW CC, I took it slow and easy to avoid any of the serious potholes. A friendly old timer in an old pickup coming the other way warned us about taking such a nice car down this road and that he wouldn’t drive his classic Corvette on it. The road was fine and the Model 3 handled it without any real concern. Again, I was flattered by the attention the Model 3 got.

The speed and handling in this car is impressive. The comfort features are better than any other car I’ve ever owned. The drive home from Lake Tahoe down Highway 50 was a breeze of twisty roads in a car that loves the turns. Despite using our car to recharge our phones while camping for three days we made it home with 70 miles of charge left over.

The 2 years, 3 months and 9 days since putting down the initial deposit it was well worth the wait to get this car.

The day after we picked up the car my wife stoped referring to it as “your car” and has started to refer to it as “our car” and even as “my car”. I’m pretty sure that a Tesla will replace her Jetta when that time comes.


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Feb 25, 2017
Just so you know, it may soon become exclusively her car :). Good to hear about your experience. We went on 600 miles first road trip in our m3 which now has 6k miles and it very much resembled what you've started. Some range anxiety, very fast charging, 0 issues on the trip. M3 is now our primary car. We love driving it every day and have to arrange who drives m3 so there is no fighting over who drives the other car which is ice.


Jul 21, 2018
Bay Area
Very nice write up of your experience! I’m new to Tesla and hope to have the same experience! Well maybe not my better half stealing it from me!

Nathan S

Jun 11, 2018
Sacramento CA
[QUOTE="SlicedBr3ad, post: 2890635, member: 58241"We love driving it every day and have to arrange who drives m3 so there is no fighting over who drives the other car which is ice.[/QUOTE]

I get to claim business use so I hope to have more time with the car but she can see my schedule so if I don’t have client appointments that day I might not have a chance to win that conversation.
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