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Trip Report - Ottawa to Suffern NY and back

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Doug_G, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    #1 Doug_G, Apr 10, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
    I just got back from a conference (two actually) in Suffern NY. Last year I took my Tesla but there were some hassles. I had to take some back roads in order to reach a usable Supercharger from Ottawa. The trip planner didn't work at all well, and I had to take two side-trips to Paramus NJ to Supercharge. Things were much easier this year, especially since there were several new Superchargers.

    Well this year things were much easier. The trip planner gave very useful advice. It takes longer to calculate, but came up with a completely reasonable route. The route would adapt to the SOC of the car. It appears to only divert to a Supercharger off your route if the arrival SOC is under 20%. This meant it kept telling me to divert to Kingston on the Ottawa-Syracuse (and back) route, but I could do that direct at 18% so I removed the extra charging stop. But that's a reasonable recommendation if you're not that familiar with route planning, and one that I could easily override.

    It poured rain all the way down. The trip back was much better - cold but weak sunlight throughout. Luckily the temperatures stayed above freezing despite the current "cold wave".

    My first leg was direct to Syracuse - a new charger since last year's trip (missed it by a week as usual). I bypassed the recommended Kingston stop, which saved a lot of time. I did this route with 18% remaining Southbound, and 23% remaining returning Northbound in better weather (despite driving faster).

    [​IMG]

    There's a restaurant right at the Syracuse station, which was handy for a quick bite on the way down (the car was ready before I was). We lingered longer on the way back because I wanted to hit 95% for the longest leg (which was overkill as it turned out).

    From there I went to Binghampton, which is also a new station since last year. This one is really great because it's on my usual route to Suffern. It's shorter and faster. Last year I had to go a longer route due to available chargers.


    IMG_5299.JPG

    On the way down, I plugged in and went into the hotel, and found the restaurant. At that exact moment, the fire alarm went off and the hotel was evacuated. I ended up at the Taco Bell across the street. Groan.

    On the way back, I plugged in and went into the hotel, and found the restaurant was closed. Back to Taco Bell...

    Now I could go direct to the conference hotel, but I realized I wouldn't have much charge left when I got there. So I headed over to the Newburg Supercharger. This was about 30 miles out of my way but I figured it would be useful to have more power to drive around the next day.

    IMG_5302.JPG

    This is right outside a nice-looking restaurant. No doubt due to the proximity to the restaurant, most of the slots have traffic cones reserving them for EV charging. At least one of the spot had a "30 minute parking" only sign instead (it was occupied by a BMW the whole time). I went to the gas station across the street to pick up some drinks.

    Once I got back I got a text from a friend. They had discovered that the Crowne Plaza Suffern had a Tesla charger! It's not on the map. D'oh!!! I didn't need to charge at all. I unplugged immediately and left. I had wasted an hour of my time with the unnecessary side trip, but at least now I knew things would be much easier over the next few days.

    IMG_5305.JPG

    Good stuff! There are no reserved slots, but the cable reaches a fair distance. I was able to fully recharge! Even better, it's an 80A station, and there's even a J1772 paddle on the same post.

    Now the bad news - there's no "Electric Vehicle Parking Only" sign on the station. The spot is right near the entrance to the hotel parking lot, so the spots were ALWAYS blocked every evening. I was there three days and I could only ever get a spot during the day, which is a problem because I USE the car during the day.

    On the last day I left the conference early and got back in time to snag a spot in front of the charger, so I could top up for the return trip. What was funny is the spot beside me was later snagged by a Plug-in Prius, which was in fact plugged into the J paddle. Cool!

    IMG_5311.JPG

    In the morning I fully topped the car and preheated it. That made it pretty easy to get back to Binghampton, without having to divert to Paramus or Newburgh. That saved me a LOT of time, despite the hassle of trying to get access to the spot.

    Not once did I see another Tesla charging, though a silver one drove by and honked and waved the second time I was at Binghampton. (If that was you, hi there!)

    I have one last word:

    IMG_5317.JPG

    PLEASE!!! At least one of the spots!
     

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  2. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    So... Are you going to update your stats in the Superchargers visited thread?
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Maybe...

    Just heard from Tesla that the Suffern destination charger was installed last week. OMG my week-later curse has ended!
     
  4. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    I've been to several places that didn't have Superchargers when I went through, but now have them (or are on Tesla's 2016 map)... Haven't missed any by as close to a week though! That would be frustrating.
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Follow-up on the signs. I contacted the hotel thanking them profusely for the charging station, and asked for "No Parking - Electric Vehicle Charging Only" signs. I got a response very quickly from the General Manager:

    "Absolutely we will order the sign today! Thank you for the great comments. I appreciate it. If there is anything else I can do, please contact me."

    Wow. If you need to stay in that area, a big thumbs up on the hotel!
     
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