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Trailer-friendly Supercharger Locations

Discussion in 'Model X: Battery & Charging' started by ohmman, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    #1 ohmman, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
    I thought it might be worthwhile to create a thread with a wiki to keep track of Supercharger locations where at least one charger is in a trailer-friendly location. I believe there are three categories.

    Category 1 - No disconnect necessary
    • Charging cable can be plugged in without disconnecting trailer (e.g. pull-through spots)
    • Charging with the trailer does not block through-traffic

    Category 2 - Disconnect necessary, but space is readily available for trailer parking during normal business hours. I'm not sure it's worth listing these, so I'll leave them out for now. But I do think it's valuable information to at least know the inverse.

    Category 3 - No disconnect necessary, but will need to block one Supercharger stall. The idea here is that you could pull parallel to a bank of back-in chargers from the left. Using the charger on the far left, the front of the MX would block the second charger over. This requires space to the left of the back-in Supercharger bank.

    Please edit the wiki below and add any that you think qualify.
     
  2. Thread Summary

    Thread Summary Member Generated Post Wiki

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    #2 Thread Summary, Jan 25, 2016
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    Note that the links should take you to threads on TMC that include photos of the layout. Use your own judgement as to whether these locations are viable. Obviously no guarantees that they'll work, so if you have trouble please come back and edit the wiki for others.

    Category 1: Unhitching not necessary

    ---United States---

    California
    Fountain Valley
    One possible location which might block a couple of ICE/flex spots.​
    Hawthorne
    Pull through spots but a very tight parking lot with lots of SpaceX and Tesla traffic. Not recommended but possible.​
    Mammoth Mountain
    Back to back stalls may require parking on the outside and pulling the cable through.​
    Manteca
    Pull through spots in a mall parking lot. Trailer would be an annoyance in the lot, but the spots are far from shopping so it's possible. Note also that the spacing on the obelisks seems tighter than in other pull-through locations.​
    Petaluma
    Back-to-back pull-through chargers. If you park in the spots on the north side of the chargers, you could take one of the Supercharger cables and still not block the second space.​
    Rocklin
    Pull through stalls, may allow outside cable or by blocking a single charger.​
    Tejon Ranch
    Plenty of space behind any of the chargers for vehicles to maneuver.​

    Colorado
    Trinidad
    One end pull-through spot has plenty of clearance behind it for a trailer.

    Idaho
    Twin Falls
    Appears to be a single pull through charger that would work.​

    Indiana
    Indianapolis
    End charger is pull-in and the charger is in a hotel lot.​

    Kentucky
    London
    End charger is pull-in and it's in a visitor center parking lot.​

    Maine
    Augusta
    1 pull-in spot. You'd be blocking an end of an aisle, but it's (currently) in a little-used area and it would easy to get round the other way. Other notes in post below.​

    Montana
    Butte
    The end charger has a vacant space next to it that appears to be workable.​

    New Mexico
    Santa Rosa
    Pull through chargers, two look doable, and in the linked photo someone has a trailer, so it's definitely possible.​

    Ohio
    Cincinnati (Blue Ash)
    End charger is pull-through. Trailer would have to be short and angled in order to avoid blocking the roadway.​

    Oregon
    Sandy
    There appears to be a single charger at this location that is usable by an MX hauling a trailer. The remainder are back-in.​

    Texas
    Denton
    At least the far left can be used (though it blocks some distant parking spots). ​

    Washington
    Ellensburg
    One charger that would marginally, but not completely block the lane.​

    ---Norway---

    Nes i Ådal
    Room for 4 cars with trailer without blocking access to remaining chargers. Additional photo.
     
  3. CTemp222

    CTemp222 Member

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    May be helpful to post pictures of the chargers too!
     
  4. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Thanks. I've included a link to their associated TMC threads, which usually include pictures and discussion. Hopefully future editors will follow suit.
     
  5. Half Dollar Bill

    Half Dollar Bill Traveller, teacher, poet, accountant

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    I tried to go through my travel pix for verification. Ultimately some of these will be owner judgment calls about whether to unhook. Please feel free to edit/substitute my commentary.

    Indianapolis, IN - end charger is pull-in and the charger is in a hotel lot.
    Manteca, CA - All spots are pull-in and it's a mall parking lot.
    Hawthorne, CA - From my recollection, getting to the spots and maneuvering with a trailer could be challenging.
    Blus Ash (Cincinnati), OH - I believe the end charger is pull-in but the chargers are right by the service bays.
    London, KY - The end charger is pull-in and it's a visitor center parking lot.
    Strasburg, VA - All chargers are pull-in but it's a busy restaurant lot.
     
  6. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Thanks, HDB. I have integrated them to the wiki. Note that anyone can edit the wiki directly.
     
  7. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Augusta, ME:
    - 1 pull-in spot. You'd be blocking an end of an aisle, but it's (currently) in a little-used area and it would easy to get round the other way
    - Other end of the 2 x 4 layout would allow for the possibility of pulling in at an angle to charge, although it would block another spot.
    - There are double-spots next to the Supercharger stalls, and it's in a little-used area, so if you do need to detach a trailer you'd probably be able to do it quite conveniently.

    The first person to charge there had a good photo showing the layout: Supercharger - Augusta ME - Page 7
     
  8. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    I've added a potential third category, based on my review of photos of installations around the country. I think there are too few "Category 1" chargers. I think the third category is a little selfish, but only if the Supercharger is busy. If not, there seems to be little reason to worry about it. One downside is you're likely to be there longer because you're going to need more range to reach the next charger. Any thoughts?
     
  9. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Ohmman,

    I have used Manteca about a dozen times the past year. Doubtless you have used it too, since you are in the Marin/Sonoma County region. Manteca is a little tricky to maneuver into unless you approach the pedestals from a parking aisle.

    From my experience Manteca does not seem to be too crowded with Teslas until late afternoon. Daytime parking with ICE cars in the general parking lot is virtually nil. However, I have charged Friday and Saturday nights (~6:30 - 8:30) and the general parking lot is full with people eating out and/or going to the movies. Date night and all that. Those times are also higher Tesla usage times--I had to share a paired stall two out of the four times that I charged during those days and hours.

    So, I would think that there would be those times at Manteca when the ICE lot is full and there are several Teslas already plugged in. Trailers might very well block ingress and egress not only for Model S owners but also for ICE drivers who are cruising the parking lot looking for an open spot.

    I think the last thing we wish to do is to upset the 99.99% of automobile drivers by blocking easy maneuverability in a tightly-configured parking lot during heavy usage.

    One final note is that backing up safely with a trailer on a swivel hitch is not an easy thing to do. It is worse if the vehicle is slightly angled into the parking stall, and not perpendicular to the aisle. I do not doubt your ability or the ability of many drivers out there. But we all know that a lot of folks are inept when it comes to this skill. The tight aisle that accesses the supercharger pedestals makes the task even more daunting.

    Good luck in your pursuit, and I certainly hope that there will be an easier solution down the road so that all you Model X types that wish to tow a trailer will have an easier time getting into and out of the Supercharger stalls.
     
  10. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Thanks, cpa.

    I think your note is an important one, which is why I mentioned that judgement is important at the top of the wiki. I've been to Manteca at 7am before, and I could very easily (and without annoying anyone) get a vehicle with a trailer in and out for charging. There are times of day it would be completely impossible, though.

    The comment about backing out with a swivel hitch is a great point as well. That's one reason the back-in Superchargers with a single pull-through on the curb are ideal, if you're able to do so without blocking the way.

    In the end, I think most of us will be stuck unhitching for charging. It'll certainly be a pretty big drawback if medium distance camper travel is the goal.
     
  11. Half Dollar Bill

    Half Dollar Bill Traveller, teacher, poet, accountant

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    This might be a Category 2?
    I just saw a picture of Newburgh NY yesterday and it reminded me that the spots are pull-in. The charger is at a restaurant, however, and maneuvering is tight during business hours; it would be even tighter with a trailer so I think unhitching would be advised. There is plenty of parking for the trailer around the establishment.
     
  12. Half Dollar Bill

    Half Dollar Bill Traveller, teacher, poet, accountant

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    Just got to Tannersville PA and noticed that there are two pull-in chargers here as well, 1A and 4A. The chargers are around the back of the building in a less used spot so you may not have to disconnect but it would be a tight turn around so you may want to after all.
     
  13. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    FYI, I contacted the Supercharger team about the desire for some trailer-friendly locations and received the following response:

     
  14. pvogel

    pvogel Member

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    Yep. Got the same reply today
     
  15. pvogel

    pvogel Member

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    Gilroy, CA has 4-6 stalls that are trailer friendly, and 8+ stalls that are back-in and not trailer friendly.
     
  16. steve56

    steve56 TeslaTouring.com

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    Thanks for creating this thread! I have a Model X with the towing packing. I am making a trip from Southern California to Missouri and have a lot of stuff I'd like to bring with me to drop off in Missouri. I was giving some thought to renting a trailer, but the list provided here has helped make my final decision to not do so. I really don't want to unhitch and re-hitch at almost every Supercharger along the way. Instead I'll just stuff the Model X with as much as I can and worry about how to get the rest to Missouri later. I made this same round-trip about a year ago in my Model S but had no reason to make note of which Superchargers are trailer friendly. As I make this upcoming trip I will make notes at each Supercharger based on the categories you listed and take photos to try to show the layout as relevant to charging with a trailer. This trip, just like the one I did a year ago, will pretty much take me straight north on I-15 and then straight east on I-70 all the way to St. Louis.

    I purchased my first Model S in early 2013 (since replaced with a 2015 Model S P85D). There were very few Superchargers around at that time. I still have my Roadster adapter cable as there were more Roadster charging locations than Superchargers at that time. The first Superchargers were mostly the type where you drive forward into them. In that configuration it made sense that the Tesla would have the charge port in the rear. But for some reason Tesla changed to a configuration where you have to back into most Superchargers. I assume those turned out to be easier, quicker and less expensive to build. With that change, maybe Tesla should have started building with a charge port in the front or maybe both front and back. This would certainly have made a lot more Supercharging locations to be trailer friendly. Any word if Tesla is at least going to come up with an extension cord so that any Tesla can just pull in forward, but especially one pulling a trailer?
     
  17. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Thanks for checking out the sites and contributing. I agree, it seems like too much of a pain to pull a trailer right now.

    Have you considered an open hitch-mounted cargo tray, something like this? 500 lb capacity and you could use tie-downs to keep things in place. I don't think you'd get a huge hit on range and I do think you'd fit at Superchargers. Might be worth a look.
     
  18. steve56

    steve56 TeslaTouring.com

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I looked at it, but I'm not sure that will work for me. Everything I'm taking is in banker boxes. That tray looks like it could maybe hold 3 banker boxes, or maybe 6 if I stack a second row. And of course, if there is any inclement weather it will destroy the banker boxes. I'll have to give it some thought and see if there is some kind of enclosed weather proof box I can put in the tray and transfer the materials from the banker boxes. But definitely thanks for the suggestion! I'll explore and see if something like that might help out.
     
  19. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    You might also find one of these useful. Good luck with the trip and keep us posted!
     
  20. vandacca

    vandacca Active Member

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