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The Ups and Downs (not just elevation) of a First Real Road Trip MYP '22 - 1,400+ mi. trip

Dallas, TX to Santa Fe & Taos, NM and back. 1,434 miles over Labor Day Weekend.

Just figured I'd share my experience...

Dedicated to those who care...

Car:
Model Y Performance, 21" wheels, Midnight Grey, Black Interior... 15% window tint on the front sides (proper matching on rear) and 75% on windshield, Tesla Sunshade, blue interior footwell lights and blue puddle lights.

Trip Overview:
Day One: Dallas to Santa Fe -> 655 miles
Day Two: Santa Fe, out and about -> 27 miles
Day Three: Outskirts of Santa Fe to Taos Ski Valley and Back -> 99 miles
Day Four: Santa Fe to Dallas -> 653 miles

The Trip:
Day One:
(3 Days before the Day One) The Tuesday before Day One, I canceled the hotel in Santa Fe (the only out of pocket expense for the trip since we were planning on driving, fully refundable on Tuesday - so went ahead and canceled) because work was supposed to pick up this past week and its an unpredictable industry... Wednesday, Thursday... Everything got delayed and I am slightly upset about the cancelation. Friday (Day One) my wife goes, why don't we just do it. I check, the hotel is cheaper, rebook at a substantial discount. Win #1.

I am stressed. I didn't charge the Tesla overnight, so it had about 70% charge. I had been checking the ABPR and Tesla Route Planner, since I've put less than 1,000 miles on it (mostly driving around town, went to Austin once, ~180mi., but that's it) and its my first electric car. Range anxiety is real - what if a super charger doesn't work. What if my driving habits cause us to drain too much battery, a lot of rural areas to pass through at night... I still had a few hrs. of work and we both had to pack.

We leave home with 100% battery at about 10:30am. Getting out of Dallas, it was raining... glad it just washed the car (but more happy about the ceramic coating I put on all the windows)... Some stressful details about a route change I don't feel like explaining at this juncture because this is getting too long on Day One already.

First Stop: Henrietta, TX - 42 kwh @ $0.34 = $14.28... After the rain... man is autopilot awesome. Just kind of sit there and let your hand hang and get to look around. Pretty much 85 on AP the whole time... Some pushes in to 100+ zone too and came in at a high charge % then was projected by the car. Very pleased. Good bathroom at this stop. Steak N Shake had the slowest employees I've ever encountered though. Dinosaurs, lot of people taking pictures in front of the unimpressive plastic dinosaurs out front.

Second Stop: Childress, TX - 37 kwh @ $0.34 = $12.58... Not much to report. Decent gas station, driving style the same as above and came in above prediction again. Very pleased with that. Bathrooms - fine for me, but not the best.

Third Stop: Amarillo, TX - 62 kwh @ $0.35 = $21.70... Again same to report. Displeased that I got lunch after instead of when I was charging. Jimmy Johns was too far to walk, so felt like I wasted time there. This was the first SC that was in a hotel. A little harder to find, but in retrospect easy enough.

Fourth and Final Stop: Santa Rosa, NM - 55 kwh @ $0.43 = $23.65... Again loving the AP... some phantom breaking throughout the day. I hate it... the wife hates it even more. Doesn't want me to use AP... But I am going to because it is so much better than driving myself. At a Holiday Inn or something like that - nice bathroom... good spot for the dog to pee. Getting dark after this stop.

Once we turn on the ______ Corner (can't remember the name) on to a two lane road in the dark (no lights, no other cars really except the occasional one to pass or one coming the other way), all of the cameras stopped working, it was back to old fashioned driving. No problem... Probably pushed the driving a bit... arriving at the hotel was the only arrival below estimates... but being new to EVs, I had charged more than enough to make the trip and also was probably the most remote portion. I arrived with ~19%, so was never nervous.

I had called ahead and they said they had six chargers at the hotel, first come first serve, so I was a bit nervous about that. They had Tesla and Porsche charger. I opted for the Porsche since it was closer to the room. First time I used the converter that comes in the mobile charge kit... Nice to know that works. Also free charging at the hotel.

Day Two:
100% charge just a jaunt into town and back... nothing to report other than my own personal experiences. Some of you may or may not want to hear them, but the decision isn't yours. I mentioned in Day One that my writing was getting a bit superfluous.

Well here's a bit - I'll attach photos... after town, we (I) decided it would be fun to take the car into the Santa Fe National Forest... I decided to push it a bit and it was awesome, windows down, dirt road, mountain climbing, amazing views, dogs head sticking out the window. Probably went were no Model Y with the 21 inch wheels have ever been before. I took it slow and was very attentive to the ground I was crossing as there were some jagged rocks etc. But man was it cool. Makes me want to get something to overland in. Turned around after I passed a parked Subaru that was like "that's a Tesla out here" under his breath.

Day Three:
100% Charge from hotel... Wanted to go to Taos and go over the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge (maybe its that, but you can figure it out with that description, its close enough)... We drove through Carson National Forest... There were roads everywhere and it was very pretty. Crossed the bridge (2nd highest highway bridge in the US). Was pretty cool. Then headed down to Taos Ski Valley for lunch. The mountain roads down and up in the valley were spectacular. Try to get a little security charge at the main village from a Juice Box charger that was a surprise that it was there... downloaded the app and everything and tried nearly all the chargers... none worked... whatever after exploring there we wanted to get lunch at the Bavarian... Wife found it online and called... they were open... Thought my off-roading days were over after Day Two. It certainly wasn't as bad (more of a dirt road, but by no means was it a nice dirt road) but again just took it slow and got there no problem (pulled over and let all the Tacomas beat me there). Again windows down, dog out the window, listening to music. The day was good. On the way out a kid said "Look at that Tesla". Put a smile on my face... I was also thinking man maybe people don't drive them here because the roads aren't suitable... Great roads back, through the town of Taos, which seemed underwhelming... glad we spent the day in the Ski Valley... But beautiful roads after. Got home with ~32% charge. I was impressed. Small amount of range anxiety when I was leaving the Ski Village, not knowing how the slow going quasi off-roading would affect the range.

Day Four:
100% Charge from the hotel... headed home at around 9:00am. I am booking it back on that two lane road, 120+ a couple time (when it was safe) [maybe I am just exaggerating (statement for legal purposes)]. I get to charge one:

First Stop: Tucumcari, NM - 31 kwh @ $0.43 = $13.33 - another Holiday Inn or something. Nice bathrooms. Saw the biggest ants I've ever seen in the median just off the supercharger... didn't like that lol... but no issue... When I tried to plug in the charge port was locked... the flap was open but wouldn't let me put the charger in. This was the first trial. I was frustrated because I had to pee, but wanted to plug it in before running inside... I didn't want to force anything, so after moving the car to a new charger thinking that was the issue, nothing was solved. Ran inside. Came back out with a much clearer head. I needed to press unlock charge port inside the car. Boom off and charging.

Second Stop: Amarillo, TX - 44 kwh @ $0.35 = $15.40 - same place as last time... got my Jimmy Johns before hand. enjoyed it in the car. Still loving AP... Makes driving a breeze when the traffic is light. You get to look around and just enjoy the experience.

Third Stop: Childress, TX - 48 kwh @ $0.34 = $16.32 - The first DOWN of the trip. Had to pull the charge port door open with my hands no command on screen or voice would work. Not too much resistance. Glitch. Moving on... New windshield wiper fluid, lot of bugs, so used the majority of it on the way out there and up to this point. Leave, happy only about 4 more hrs. of driving left...

Weird. The charge port flap just opened while driving. Not sure what to do, kept driving for about 15 minutes... was going to stop at the next small town. Then though, oh... *press right button* "Close Charge Port" -> "Charge Port Closed"... The charge port was in fact not closed. Pulled over at the next small town. Get out and push it closed (after some additional attempts through the screen and voice control). Didn't feel good but it closed... got back on the road... charge port opens... pull over again...

DOWNS:
1. Incompatible drive system software detected (unable to drive until updated)
2. Traction control disabled
3. Stability control disabled
4. Charge port door sensor fault
5. Automatic Vehicle Hold Disabled
6. Power Reduced - OK to drive (Front Motor temporarily disabled)
7. Automatic Emergency Braking is disabled
8. Autosteer temporarily disabled

The car wouldn't go into gear... Explative... Try about 5 times, it goes into drive... I'm not getting stuck, I start driving... clearly not much power... back to range anxiety, how is this going to affect my range.... No AP, No regen braking, the car feels weird, I just press through.

Fourth Stop: Henrietta, TX - 52 kwh @ $0.34 - $17.68 - Lock car and walk away while its charging. clean windshield. sit in car for remainder of charge. Unplug. Everything is back to normal...

This wasn't a good feeling and makes me hesitant to take it on a road trip ever again. And I really like road trips. If something happens to a Tesla the run of the mill small town mechanic can't help, can't bring a gas can if you run out of juice.

Also about 30 min away from home. *intense rain,* *couple loud hail clanks* - I was about to pull over and try to find some cover for the cars sake if one more happened but ended up with no more hail. Spectacular lightning show. Must have been a bad storm before, I saw a number of cars abandoned on the side of the road. One with the back window smashed.

Pulled into the garage with plenty of juice. No real issues. I just feel differently about the car now. I just don't know. Pros and Cons.

That's the story. I applaud you if you made it this far. I hope my stamina didn't die off at the end there. Typed this in one quick sitting.

Attaching a few photos. Have some more cool ones of the car and the trip if there is interest.
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Awesome photos and very detailed write up. Sucks about the car with all the error message towards the end. Usually can try to hold both steering wheel buttons down for about 10-15 seconds to restart the car if that happens next time. It just might work and need to work out any bugs in the software since still new and first long drive. I did a similar road trip (1,200 miles to Canada from NYC) and i had a blast with my family and can't wait for next year's trip to Florida or Texas. It's so much easier and cheaper than any other car i've had. I am more comfortable going on much longer trips now.

How did you mount the radar detector there and is it just plugged into your center console?
 
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Reactions: jsight and Rover123
Awesome photos and very detailed write up. Sucks about the car with all the error message towards the end. Usually can try to hold both steering wheel buttons down for about 10-15 seconds to restart the car if that happens next time. It just might work and need to work out any bugs in the software since still new and first long drive. I did a similar road trip (1,200 miles to Canada from NYC) and i had a blast with my family and can't wait for next year's trip to Florida or Texas. It's so much easier and cheaper than any other car i've had. I am more comfortable going on much longer trips now.

How did you mount the radar detector there and is it just plugged into your center console?

Its a Mag Safe iPhone Mount. It comes with a stick-on metallic ring you can put on the radar detector, so it connects to the magnet. The first one I tried didn't stick well, so I tried with another one.

This one worked:

This one did not:

Not affiliate links... Then I used the straight cord and tucked it into the center console body panels and it plugs into the lighter plug. Wish it wasn't difficult to hardwire to the lightbulbs above the mirror...
 
  • Informative
Reactions: alexcue
I’ve done Dallas to Albuquerque and back a few times, going again next week.
In terms of charging etc my experience mirrors yours except I’ve never had a technical issue with the car.
And yeah, get lunch while charging.

Seems like you have a glitch with the charge door and (hopefully) a minor software issue that can be resolved with a full software reinstall. Your service center can do that.

You’ll be fine. I’ve driven across many states and on lonely roads and never had a worry. Worst case you call Tesla and get them to tow it. It could happen with a fancy gas car too and you wouldn’t want some small town truck mechanic working on your Range Rover (for example). No different.
But sucks you had your first issues on a road trip.

I’m with your wife regarding AP, I don’t trust it due to the phantom braking fits it goes into from time to time…
 
@Rover123 was tesla able to diagnose the why the warnings came up? Any repairs needed?
No diagnosis… I canceled my trip in to the shop. All of the errors stopped two days after getting home. It’s been about a month now and no errors again. I had the appointment set (I asked if they would look over software and stuff they could over the internet and they said they would but never heard anything and the day after that correspondence no issues have come back). So I canceled and was like whatever, if it happens again I’ll call them back. Car is great around town etc. never worried about charge or anything anymore. Just don’t know if I want to do any more road trips in it. Considering trading it for something with terrible gas mileage but maybe more fun for me.
 
No diagnosis… I canceled my trip in to the shop. All of the errors stopped two days after getting home. It’s been about a month now and no errors again. I had the appointment set (I asked if they would look over software and stuff they could over the internet and they said they would but never heard anything and the day after that correspondence no issues have come back). So I canceled and was like whatever, if it happens again I’ll call them back. Car is great around town etc. never worried about charge or anything anymore. Just don’t know if I want to do any more road trips in it. Considering trading it for something with terrible gas mileage but maybe more fun for me.
Would certainly do a trip that’s a few hundred miles but nothing to this extent again in the car until I felt better about it… would take the wife’s car but the Audi Q3 seats are a bit tight imo
 
Would certainly do a trip that’s a few hundred miles but nothing to this extent again in the car until I felt better about it… would take the wife’s car but the Audi Q3 seats are a bit tight imo
I take long road trips often. The car should be able to do it. Reason I got a Tesla was no compromises. I took it on a dirt road with rocks too. Kinda wish I had 18" tires at least but I took it slow and we were in an elk reservation so I knew we'd go slow. Ranger knew all about tesla's lol. It was my Tesla and 5 pickup trucks. I'd hate for you to live in fear of the car though...perhaps it was just a fluke.
 

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