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Trip from Sacramento to Los Angeles

I am planning a trip from Sacramento to Anaheim in my Model X 75D. Has anyone made this trip in a similar vehicle? I have 3 kids ages 4-6 so generally speaking, additional stops are necessary. We are hoping those stops can be planned around supercharging. Looking at the navigation, it suggests 3 charing stops and a total time of 8 hours and 15 mins. I would love some feedback from anyone who's made this trip.

Thanks in advance!
 

bmah

Moderator, Supercharger Hunter
Global Moderator
Mar 17, 2015
4,776
10,205
Lafayette, CA, USA
Neither a Sacramento resident nor an X75D owner but I'll toss in a few general thoughts from various trips from the SF Bay Area:

From Sacramento you've basically got two routes going south, I-5 and CA-99. I-5 has more alternatives and capacity in general, so I'd gravitate towards that. If you look on supercharge.info or Tesla's "find us" map, you'll see there are more Superchargers than you'll actually need, so you have some flexibility to accomodate the needs of your younger passengers.

Don't restrict yourself to what the car's navigation tells you. I almost never use the trip planner feature. Instead I'll pick out the route myself (including the sequence of chargers I want to use) and just use the in-car navigation to get to the "next" charger. Admittedly this is a holdover from the days before the trip planner feature existed, or it when it was just released and made truly horrible choices in routing. I presume it's gotten better since then.

If you want to mock this up, there are a few Web sites (such as A Better Route Planner) or apps (such as EV Trip Optimizer) that can help you play with different sets of chargers to see how the timing works out. Don't use the "trip planner" on the Tesla Web site...it's more of a marketing tool than a real estimator (it probably won't do the right computations for your car anyway).

Remember when you're Supercharging on a road trip, you don't need to "fill up" at every stop. Just give your self enough energy to make your next planned Supercharger plus a bit of margin. Unlike an ICE car, you'll probably want to run on the "bottom" part of the battery, because charging gets slower (and less efficient) as the battery fills up.

I haven't done any road trips under pandemic conditions, so I'm not sure I could comment about amenities at specific sites now. (Pre-pandemic, my usual stops on a north->south trip on I-5 were something like Gustine, Harris Ranch or Kettleman City, Tejon Ranch. Services and amenities were pretty good in those places.) Maybe someone else who's done this lately can chime in.

Bruce.
 
Neither a Sacramento resident nor an X75D owner but I'll toss in a few general thoughts from various trips from the SF Bay Area:

From Sacramento you've basically got two routes going south, I-5 and CA-99. I-5 has more alternatives and capacity in general, so I'd gravitate towards that. If you look on supercharge.info or Tesla's "find us" map, you'll see there are more Superchargers than you'll actually need, so you have some flexibility to accomodate the needs of your younger passengers.

Don't restrict yourself to what the car's navigation tells you. I almost never use the trip planner feature. Instead I'll pick out the route myself (including the sequence of chargers I want to use) and just use the in-car navigation to get to the "next" charger. Admittedly this is a holdover from the days before the trip planner feature existed, or it when it was just released and made truly horrible choices in routing. I presume it's gotten better since then.

If you want to mock this up, there are a few Web sites (such as A Better Route Planner) or apps (such as EV Trip Optimizer) that can help you play with different sets of chargers to see how the timing works out. Don't use the "trip planner" on the Tesla Web site...it's more of a marketing tool than a real estimator (it probably won't do the right computations for your car anyway).

Remember when you're Supercharging on a road trip, you don't need to "fill up" at every stop. Just give your self enough energy to make your next planned Supercharger plus a bit of margin. Unlike an ICE car, you'll probably want to run on the "bottom" part of the battery, because charging gets slower (and less efficient) as the battery fills up.

I haven't done any road trips under pandemic conditions, so I'm not sure I could comment about amenities at specific sites now. (Pre-pandemic, my usual stops on a north->south trip on I-5 were something like Gustine, Harris Ranch or Kettleman City, Tejon Ranch. Services and amenities were pretty good in those places.) Maybe someone else who's done this lately can chime in.

Bruce.
Oddly, I’m making this same trip as OP with the wife and two kids in my Model 3 next month. Some really good advice here, thanks!
 
Neither a Sacramento resident nor an X75D owner but I'll toss in a few general thoughts from various trips from the SF Bay Area:

From Sacramento you've basically got two routes going south, I-5 and CA-99. I-5 has more alternatives and capacity in general, so I'd gravitate towards that. If you look on supercharge.info or Tesla's "find us" map, you'll see there are more Superchargers than you'll actually need, so you have some flexibility to accomodate the needs of your younger passengers.

Don't restrict yourself to what the car's navigation tells you. I almost never use the trip planner feature. Instead I'll pick out the route myself (including the sequence of chargers I want to use) and just use the in-car navigation to get to the "next" charger. Admittedly this is a holdover from the days before the trip planner feature existed, or it when it was just released and made truly horrible choices in routing. I presume it's gotten better since then.

If you want to mock this up, there are a few Web sites (such as A Better Route Planner) or apps (such as EV Trip Optimizer) that can help you play with different sets of chargers to see how the timing works out. Don't use the "trip planner" on the Tesla Web site...it's more of a marketing tool than a real estimator (it probably won't do the right computations for your car anyway).

Remember when you're Supercharging on a road trip, you don't need to "fill up" at every stop. Just give your self enough energy to make your next planned Supercharger plus a bit of margin. Unlike an ICE car, you'll probably want to run on the "bottom" part of the battery, because charging gets slower (and less efficient) as the battery fills up.

I haven't done any road trips under pandemic conditions, so I'm not sure I could comment about amenities at specific sites now. (Pre-pandemic, my usual stops on a north->south trip on I-5 were something like Gustine, Harris Ranch or Kettleman City, Tejon Ranch. Services and amenities were pretty good in those places.) Maybe someone else who's done this lately can chime in.

Bruce.
Thanks for your feedback. This really helps!
 

Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
3,097
2,434
Rancho Cucamonga
We have a 2017 Model X 75D and we have gone from Rancho Cucamonga to San Francisco and back a few times. The distance is about the same to Sacramento. On the way up, we plan with abetterrouteplanner taking 101 and stop overnight in the middle somewhere off the coast. On the way down, we just do one trip home on 5 stopping for lunch and charging. Depends on how "fast" you are driving, you may need 4 stops. After I stop at a Supercharger, I set the next one as my destination and charge to when the in car planner that I will have at least 18% at the next supercharger. You may be able to do it with 3 stops but arrival charge maybe at 10% which is too close to my liking. Since my max is set to 100%, at lunch/dinner stop, I just let it charge until we are done eating. It never gets to 100%, once it reach 90%, it takes like 45 more min or more to get to 100%.

One thing I do on the way back is looking for superchargers that has like restaurant or Lowes or supermarket within walking distance...so we could use the bathroom! Last trip we stopped at Bakersfield supercharger for late lunch/early dinner because they have an IHOP. After Bakersfield, we stopped at Valencia supercharger. The planner won't tell you to go to Valencia. It will probably tell you to go to Pasadena. But Pasadena is a paid parking lot to charge unless you leave in like 15/20 min or validate your ticket. So we charged at Valencia. It is off the freeway a bit, but that section of the freeway (near Magic Mountain) is super congested around 5/6pm on weekday, so going around it is actually not a bad idea. The Valencia supercharger has a supermarket and the pastry shop inside is pretty good. Also there is a pond in the parking lot and kids would feed the ducks. After that you should have enough to get to Anaheim. If not, stop at Downey.
 
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Sacramento

2021 Tesla Model Y LR AWD
Mar 13, 2021
62
101
Sacramento, CA
I just drove from Sacramento to Palm Springs– Interstate 5 to Burbank then 210/10 to the desert. I was driving a Model S loaner to pick up my Model Y that had died in Palm Springs a week earlier. As others have mentioned, there are lots of Supercharger options on I-5. My favorites stops are Kettleman City (40 superchargers up to 250 kW) and Firebaugh (60 superchargers 250 kW). Both supercharger "campuses" are a short walk to fast food and other services.
 
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Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,635
Canyon Lake,CA
Your onboard computer will monitor your travels in real time. It will give you a suggested route and stopping points to make travel time efficient. As you drive it will reconsider how things are going and may change the stops or how long to stop to continue your journey.

Driver can always choose a different strategy, depending on how much a hurry they are in, or where they would like to schedule meals/bio-breaks.

It really becomes quite simple to travel long distances, once you get accustomed to the capabilities of your car and your passengers.

Sometimes it is more time efficient to slow down and make fewer stops, or drive at higher speeds but make more and longer stops.

Soon it becomes quite comfortable working your way from Supercharger to Supercharger.

Kettleman city often becomes a favorite destination stop. It offers 40 Solar powered stalls, it's own private barista & coffee shop with snacks, work pods, vending machines, bathrooms etc.
 
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We have a 2017 Model X 75D and we have gone from Rancho Cucamonga to San Francisco and back a few times. The distance is about the same to Sacramento. On the way up, we plan with abetterrouteplanner taking 101 and stop overnight in the middle somewhere off the coast. On the way down, we just do one trip home on 5 stopping for lunch and charging. Depends on how "fast" you are driving, you may need 4 stops. After I stop at a Supercharger, I set the next one as my destination and charge to when the in car planner that I will have at least 18% at the next supercharger. You may be able to do it with 3 stops but arrival charge maybe at 10% which is too close to my liking. Since my max is set to 100%, at lunch/dinner stop, I just let it charge until we are done eating. It never gets to 100%, once it reach 90%, it takes like 45 more min or more to get to 100%.

One thing I do on the way back is looking for superchargers that has like restaurant or Lowes or supermarket within walking distance...so we could use the bathroom! Last trip we stopped at Bakersfield supercharger for late lunch/early dinner because they have an IHOP. After Bakersfield, we stopped at Valencia supercharger. The planner won't tell you to go to Valencia. It will probably tell you to go to Pasadena. But Pasadena is a paid parking lot to charge unless you leave in like 15/20 min or validate your ticket. So we charged at Valencia. It is off the freeway a bit, but that section of the freeway (near Magic Mountain) is super congested around 5/6pm on weekday, so going around it is actually not a bad idea. The Valencia supercharger has a supermarket and the pastry shop inside is pretty good. Also there is a pond in the parking lot and kids would feed the ducks. After that you should have enough to get to Anaheim. If not, stop at Downey.
Thanks for this feedback. I was anticipating about 3 stops; Gustine, Harris Ranch or Kettleman, then Tejon Ranch. Those would be putting me at 10% on arrival. Seems like I should be able to pick and choose stops and don't have to listen to the Nav the entire way. I've been to Monterey a few times and feel comfortable choosing my supercharging stop instead of what the Nav tells me. I'll just have to keep that in mind on the way down to LA. I guess it's more a peace of mind thing lol There's enough chargers to make it down there.
 

Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
3,097
2,434
Rancho Cucamonga
Thanks for this feedback. I was anticipating about 3 stops; Gustine, Harris Ranch or Kettleman, then Tejon Ranch. Those would be putting me at 10% on arrival. Seems like I should be able to pick and choose stops and don't have to listen to the Nav the entire way. I've been to Monterey a few times and feel comfortable choosing my supercharging stop instead of what the Nav tells me. I'll just have to keep that in mind on the way down to LA. I guess it's more a peace of mind thing lol There's enough chargers to make it down there.
Oh yeah Tejon Ranch was suggested for my trip as the last stop. But as I was driving, I kept an eye on the number of available spots, it is going from 1 or 2 to 0 the whole afternoon. So I decided to not charge there and stop early in Bakersfield as I really don't want to wait in a queue. I think the Tesla trip planner suggests to the majority of the Tesla's southbound to charge there as a last stop before reaching the Greater LA area, so that's why it is so full. So that's something you should look at too is how full the superchargers are in real time. I have a feeling that trip planner does not take into consideration of how busy a particular supercharger location is.
 
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I just did Bay Area to San Diego and back. It turned out a lot more comfortable than assumed. Two stops each way:
Outbound: Kettleman City, Santa Clarita
Return: Santa Clarita, Harris Ranch

Despite keeping up with left lane traffic for most part, and family running the A/C running at 8-10 all the while (it was a hot weekend - 116 atop the grapevine), I was consistently doing better than rated range. I found that surprising, even with Chill Mode set. I've heard San Diego to Santa Clarita is hard in a 75D unless fully charged, but I started out with 88% thinking I'd do Burbank, but got to Santa Clarita with 18% left. Marston's is a good lunch stop there.

With the number of superchargers on the 5, especially the big ones like Firebaugh, Harris Ranch and Kettleman, it really doesn't take any planning to do NorCal-SoCal anymore.

For us, family + dog takes as much or more time at any stop than the car itself and that in fact worked out rather well. The car's trip planner initially figured Kettleman, Tejon Ranch and Irvine, but after spending ~10 mins longer than recommended at Kettleman, it changed to just Santa Clarita and that was plenty to get all the way.

Santa Clarita to San Diego was pretty impressive in my eyes, keeping up with left lane speeds in the HOV lane all the way down 5S->405S->5S and still reaching destination with 16% left and a trip consumption rate of 268Wh/mi, just under the 273Wh/mi breakeven .

Disneyland from Sac would probably be Sac to Firebaugh to Tejon Ranch about 150 mi each, and about 130mi to Anaheim from there. From Bay Area I'd do Kettleman and Santa Clarita with a 75D. The longer range cars probably take just 1 stop.
 
I ended up breaking up the trip. I stayed in Bakersfield on the way down and then in Paso Robles on the way back.

Southbound: We stopped at Gustine, Kettleman City, and Tejon Ranch.
Northbound: We stopped at Tejon Ranch, Firebaugh, and Stockton.

It was a good learning experience. We know now that we would have no problem doing the trip in one shot with the kids. We'd be able to eliminate a stop if we're not spending the night part way. I have 22" wheels and with the 5 of us, 3 car seats, stroller, luggage, A/C, and setting AP to 80, I was getting around 400 wh/mi.
 
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400Wh/mi is quite high indeed - 60kWh in 150 miles. The higher frontal area on the X seems to result in much greater losses at higher speeds, as expected.

I had AP set to 78 all the way from Santa Clarita to San Diego while getting under 270 Wh/mi, and in the 280-290 region through central valley, which I thought was really impressive. I find Chill Mode quite helpful on long AP drives, and I manually override and keep acceleration smooth in the familiar bunched up accordion effect traffic on the I5. Suits everyone, since the normal spirited acceleration can get tiring for everyone on a long drive.
 
400Wh/mi is quite high indeed - 60kWh in 150 miles. The higher frontal area on the X seems to result in much greater losses at higher speeds, as expected.

I had AP set to 78 all the way from Santa Clarita to San Diego while getting under 270 Wh/mi, and in the 280-290 region through central valley, which I thought was really impressive. I find Chill Mode quite helpful on long AP drives, and I manually override and keep acceleration smooth in the familiar bunched up accordion effect traffic on the I5. Suits everyone, since the normal spirited acceleration can get tiring for everyone on a long drive.
It is not purely because of the MX. Our MX gets about 340 to 360Wh/mi on average driving 80+. I think it could be MX + 22" wheels. We have the standard wheels.. 20" I think?
 
400Wh/mi is quite high indeed - 60kWh in 150 miles. The higher frontal area on the X seems to result in much greater losses at higher speeds, as expected.

I had AP set to 78 all the way from Santa Clarita to San Diego while getting under 270 Wh/mi, and in the 280-290 region through central valley, which I thought was really impressive. I find Chill Mode quite helpful on long AP drives, and I manually override and keep acceleration smooth in the familiar bunched up accordion effect traffic on the I5. Suits everyone, since the normal spirited acceleration can get tiring for everyone on a long drive.
I had Chill mode on as well. Even with my 20" wheels I've never been able to get in the 200's Wh/mi. With my 20" wheels I'd be able to get around 340-360 Wh/mi on trips to the bay area. Now with my 22" wheels, I've been getting around 400 Wh/mi on my trips to the bay area. On trips like those I enable Chill mode with AP.
 
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Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
3,097
2,434
Rancho Cucamonga
So that's two successive datapoints indicating mid-300s Wh/mi with 20s and 400 with 22s on an MX75D. Mine are stock 19s (MXM4 Primacys) FWIW. Its your choice but I'd rather take the range over the look, which I can't see from inside anyway.
It's really only about 10% difference (360 vs 400). With the MX 75D, it is like 20 miles. On a trip it really does not matter much if you get extra 20 miles or not and supercharging is free for the trip. Day to day usage, you will pay extra 10% if you are charging at home, but that's what you have to pay for the look! Honestly I like the look but the ride is also more rough with the bigger wheels. I asked my wife when we got the MX if she wanted the bigger wheels and she would rather prefer the smoother ride.
 
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