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Unofficial Road Trip Thread

Discussion in 'Model S' started by aviators99, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    I thought it might be useful to have a thread for road trips. I'll start, and anyone else can feel free to contribute (or not).

    I'm planning my first road trip on Friday, from Weston, FL to Tampa, FL with my son, and returning on Sunday. When I first decided to take this trip (before I even got the car), I started searching for places where I could stop and get some juice. After having commuted in the car for a month now, I feel much more confident in my range, and have decided to do it without stopping. The plan is to be conservative on the way up, but not to hypermile. I plan to max the speed at 60mph, and aim for rated range (270+ miles). Depending on how successful I am, and how much I have left over, I might be less conservative on the way back.

    The route I have always taken with my ICE car has been I-75 all the way. This works out to 250 miles. That's a bit close for me, so at least for the way up I will take the alternate route of US-27 to SR-60, which is 227 miles. Across the street from my hotel is the Tampa Times Forum, which has two free Chargepoint stations (although entry to the lot is $8). Part of the point of this trip is to demo the car to some people on Saturday, so I'm driving up a day early so that I have have a full charge the next day.

    In case things go awry, I have mapped out some spots where I can recharge along the way. Looking at Plugshare, you'd think there's absolutely nothing along the route, while there would have been plenty along I-75. But while investigating this, I learned that if you don't look at RV parks, you're missing a BIG part of the picture, and Plugshare doesn't show these. I downloaded Allstays, and filtered on 50amp service. There are TONS of RV parks on US-27. The one issue I have is that the ones that have the best location (towards the end of my trip) are all designated at "55+" (meaning they are for seniors). I plan to call them to see if they will accommodate me.

    On Thursday night I will start a standard charge. When I'm an hour from being ready to leave on Friday morning, I will initiate a range charge, and will leave as soon as it completes, so that I start with the maximum before the vampire load kicks in. I will probably try out "range driving", as it should be cool (in the 70s) outside and the A/C shouldn't need to be as effective as normal.

    US-27 and SR-60 are 65mph speed limit roads that go through some small towns where it goes down to 50, and occasionally 35 for a couple of miles.

    From my commuting over the past month, I have averaged 327 Wh/mi, and that's with unconservative driving, and some very spirited demos. Even with that number, I shouldn't have a problem. But I should be able to get better than 327, and to get rated range I need somewhere around 304 (which I've done via experimentation over moderate distance). Right now the headwind component is forecast be somewhere between 4-6mph going up there, and is forecast to stay in the same direction coming back, for a tailwind.

    If people are interested, I will update this thread enroute, to say how we're doing.
     
  2. Eberhard

    Eberhard #421 Model S #S32

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    i am eager to hear your full story

    best

    Eberhard
     
  3. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    +1. When you don't have your car yet (remember those days?) you love any and all info.
     
  4. PeterW

    PeterW Member

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    will also follow with interest, hope it goes well for you.
     
  5. driver_EV

    driver_EV Member

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    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Use another search app to locate RV parks.
    NEMA 14-50 is often listed to assist in locating the electrical service customers need.
    Call ahead when you locate a park to visit and ask to use a site for EV charging.

    I have done this a few times, and find they usually have not had such a call. Generally they are interested as most people are to see the electric car, and unless it is a state facility, will negotiate for the cost of charging for a few hours.

    I try to be generous in payment so they will not be put off by the unfamiliar business prospect.

    After a visit I add the RV Park to PlugShare myself with as much detail and helpful information as I can.
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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  7. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    In this thread of my review of various charging station apps I recommend the free RVParks app who also has an online RVParking.com site for searching RV parks and most say if they have 50 amp service. The KOA online Trip planner is very good,but only lists KOA parks, so you'll miss many others, but at least you know you're getting KOA quality.
     
  8. Brian H

    Brian H Banned

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    Check out Day 3 From Charger Woes to Charger Boon | Electric Road Trips in an S

    An EE crossing the country using a rig called his Multi-Input EVSE, which allows use of 2 14-50s at once -- usually at KOA trailer parks and campgrounds.
     
  9. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    #9 aviators99, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
    Woke up to standard charge complete at 241 rated miles. Just activated range charge. Showing 1 hr, 15 minutes. Packing suitcase and getting ready.

    Edit: Charging has accelerated. Now showing 45 minutes. Total will have been 1 hr and 2 minutes.
     
  10. Darren

    Darren Member

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    Awesome! Good luck! I will be on a 380 miles trip from San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles later today (leaving in 6 hours). I'm so scared, but also very excited!
     
  11. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Have fun, Aviators.

    Next week my wife and I will drive our Model S from Seattle to Death Valley (with a stop in Palo Alto). From here to Palo Alto, we'll be using 240V 70A HPCs. From Palo Alto to Death Valley, we'll be using Superchargers. (The last one in Barstow will just get me to Furnace Creek, where we have an RV spot reserved so we can charge at a 14-50). I expect we'll put on about 3k miles.

    I'm excited to try the Superchargers. About 3 years ago I took a similar trip to San Diego in the Roadster. Except then the first half of the trip was at campgrounds, and the second half of the trip was 240V 70A HPCs. The HPCs were SO much nicer than the campgrounds. I expect this difference to be the same, only more so...
     
  12. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Ron,

    Good luck. Please keep us posted on your progress. If you've discussed charging with RV parks, I'd be interested in how those conversations went.

    Larry
     
  13. Kauai

    Kauai Signature PS588

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    Location:
    Bay Area
    Have no fear. I took the kids from Silicon Valley to Disneyland last month. Here are quick watch outs in case you are nervous:

    1. Only one charger was active at Harris Ranch so it is good to have some flexibility on timing if you have to wait. When I went I left my mobile number in the car window and got called 20min after connecting. There were two Teslas that arrived just after me - both had just taken factory delivery. Because they called I was able to disconnect early and save them some time.
    2. Tejon has multiple chargers, but it is worth checking on the charging part way through. Last month they were adding a second charger stack and increasing the number of active charging bays to 4. During the work my car stopped charging, and I had to call the Charging "hotline" to get the software at the charging station reset. May not be a concern if the work is done, but I needed and extra hour to charge.
    3. It is worth calling and checking that all the charge stations are active when you start your drive. On my trip, near the holidays, the Hawthorne chargers weren't accessible for awhile due to holiday party preparations. I found this out while I was in Tejon so I chose to range charge and drive slowly, 50-60 mph, over the Tejon pass and straight to Anaheim which bypassed the Hawthorne supercharger and left me with 120 rated miles despite a 1 hour traffic jam on the I-5...

    YMMV
     
  14. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    At first stop, in Sebring, FL. No worries at all. For the first 50 miles I was behind a Jumbo RV who also obviously had cruise control set to 60! It ended up making a huge difference. I was at a very safe distance. If I had been able to stay behind him I would have gotten 316 miles range (at 60mph!). The Wh/mi was 261 behind him and went up to 289 after he turned off. 289 is still great, and will probably have 40+ miles to spare. I will add pictures to this thread when I get to the hotel.

    TTFN from the Sebring Diner.
     
  15. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    #15 aviators99, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
    We're safely in our hotel room and the car is safely across the street, charging. I could have gone around another 60 miles, for a total of around 280. The parking attendant was a bit confused about my plans to stay overnight, but I explained that I had called ahead, and she called her supervisor and he approved it.

    Here are some pics:

    About to depart. The charging slowed down at this point and wasn't making much progress. I expected 3 more miles of rated range, but the amps kept going down, so it was time to go. Redacted part contained my address...

    20130104_105436.jpg

    Was still drafting the RV at this point. Really steady for 50 miles.

    20130104_111832.jpg
    20130104_111904.jpg

    Just lost the RV at this point:

    20130104_115621.jpg

    The 100 mile mark. Still doing great. Getting much colder outside! (Sorry for all of you north of here):

    20130104_124751.jpg

    Stopped for lunch:

    20130104_132555.jpg

    The 200 mile mark:

    20130104_153340.jpg

    Arrived. Freezing here!

    20130104_162015.jpg
    20130104_172124.jpg
     
  16. Zextraterrestrial

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    I've never seen a Buick EV.. Strange one ;>
    lots of very considerate/observant people in this world
     
  17. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    I admire your patience to stay at 60 mph the whole way. Finding the balance between fast enough for me and enough range will be an interesting process.
     
  18. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    60 was pretty good on US 27. Most of the way the speed limit was 65. There were portions where it was 55. During the parts where it was 35, I slowed down significantly to near 35. I ended up with the flow of traffic, mostly.
     
  19. PeterW

    PeterW Member

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    In New Zealand our speed limit is 100kph, which is 62.5mph. So this was very interesting for me to see a real world situation close to the speeds that I would normally travel at.

    Thanks for sharing Aviators.
     
  20. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Ron,

    When you get an opportunity would you please provide a brief review of this hotel and your charging experience over at this thread:

    Hotels in Florida with Charging Stations

    By the way, do you happen to know whether this hotel is also referred to as the Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club?

    Thanks.

    Larry
     

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