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Various roadster questions from a prospective owner who's never seen one before

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by NicholasJB, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. NicholasJB

    NicholasJB Member

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    I'm beginning my search to buy a used Tesla Roadster. Everyone on this forum has been a huge help so far with the big questions I've had. I've also been accumulating some little questions that don't necessarily deserve their own thread (or at least I don't want to flood the forum in my first month here ;)). So I thought I would group them together in one place.

    1) What charging hardware is required in the garage and is it difficult/expensive to hook up in your average fairly-new home? What do I need to look for in ads to know I'm getting the right parts?


    2) What happens if it bottoms out? I live in Pittsburgh, PA. I bottom out my Mustang from time to time, and my old Firehawk required a lot of care to get around.


    3) Where does the top go? Is it like a convertible where it slides back into a hidden nook, more like a Corvette roof that you manually store in the trunk, or do you need to store it at home before going out and pray it doesn't rain?


    4) How does the range change between highway and city driving? We have a lot of big hills around here and a fair amount of stop signs and traffic lights.


    5) How does the heater/ac affect range? Just wandering if blasting the A/C on a hot summer day, or heat in the snowy winter, will cost me 3% of my range or 30%.



    6) What options are available for charging outside the home? I know Roadsters can't access the Supercharger network, but are there other options (besides the mobile pack that plugs into a standard outlet) and how do they perform?

    7) If I end up getting caught out in the snow at some point, how does a Roadster handle? I've driven F-bodies, Mustangs, and Corvettes in the snow as reference points.

    I'd appreciate any insights on any of the above. Thanks!
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Regarding your items 1 and 6:

    The Roadster was built before the Tesla Supercharger network existed, and cannot use it (that network is DC charging at a very high rate and only the Model S and the upcoming Model X, can use it). The Roadster will charge on AC current up to a max of 70 amps. My car came to me with the Roadster-specific 70A charger as shown here Tesla Gear Shop Roadster High Power Wall Connector

    Many Roadster owners charge using the 220/240V cable but it was an option and not every used Roadster for sale includes one. You can buy them, see Tesla Gear Shop Roadster Universal Mobile Connector - Available in North America Only

    The standard 110V cable that came with every Roadster charges very slowly. It's usable but not if you drive the car more than 40 miles a day. Tesla Gear Shop Spare Connector - Available in North America Only

    There are other ways to charge the Roadster using adaptor cables. J1772 is an EV charging standard and there is a cable for that. J1772 are widespread and operated by various companies. See the Plugshare website.

    Also, a Roadster owner in Vermont makes an adaptor (there is a long thread about it) to charge a Roadster from a Model S HPWC. (High Powered Wall Connector, see Tesla Gear Shop Wall Connector )

    I have an HPWC installed in my garage that I use for my Model S. There are also HPWCs at Tesla Service Centers, some Tesla Showrooms, and an increasing number of hotels and other destination businesses.

    If I was buying a Roadster today and it did not come with a Roadster HPC, and I did not already own a Model S, I would buy a Model S HPWC and Henry's SR adaptor and charge it that way.

    Regarding your item #3: the soft top came as standard, when removed it sort of rolls up and easily fits in the trunk. There was an optional hardtop from Tesla, and there is an aftermarket clear polycarbonate top called the "Visium" that is available here Tesla Roadster Opel Speedster Vauxhall VX220 Transparent Hardtop Basic

    There is a long thread about that top in the main Roadster forum. It's an awesome top, but in my opinion not suitable for hot climates because it lets a lot of heat in when the sun is out. Should be okay for your area, I would think.
     
  3. Habious

    Habious Member

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    You have quite a few options.

    Simplest is the 110V cord but, it's incredibly slow.

    You can get the Tesla High Power Wall Connector (HPWC), which can charge at a rate up to 70A (this requires professional installation by a qualified electrician).

    You can use the Universal Mobile Connector (UMC), which can charge at a rate up to 40A. It uses a "14-50" power connector, which is basically the same kind of high-current connector that a standard home clothes dryer uses. (this is what I have. Works fine)

    You can also buy "the Can Jr." adapter that Henry Sharp (on this forum) makes/sells. This allows you to use a standard J-1772 charging connector. With that adapter, you can use a more "universal" charging station (they sell several at Home Depot). This would allow you to also be able to charge other EVs at your house (if you care about that).


    You'll cringe, very badly.


    The standard cloth top is removed manually (there's the canvas part, attached to 2 rigid end pieces, plus 2 small support brackets). The whole thing rolls up and stows in the trunk. Takes about 45 seconds to put on or take off.

    There are few hard-top options. They require tools (and about 15 minutes) to put on or take off. They do NOT fit anywhere in the car, so they get left at home.


    Varies quite a bit. I get around 90 miles on a standard charge, zipping around time, driving "lively". But, closer to 150+ on the highway (depending on cruising speed).


    The A/C and heat do draw a lot of power (as do the headlights). The manual even states that, if you want to maximize range, the seat heaters draw considerably less power than the heater. Not sure if there's exact data on what percentage of range loss you'll get with each.


    If you have the Can Jr. adapter (see answer to question #1) you can use any J-1772 public charging station. Depending on your area, there can be quite a few of these. From the factory, the Roadster uses a proprietary connector so, you're kinda SOL without some kind of adapter.

    Henry is also in the process of producing the Can Sr., which is an adapter that lets you charge the Roadster from a Model S High Power Connector (HPC) charger. This is NOT Supercharger but, the standard Model S wall charger.

    I've been caught out in the snow in my Roadster once...and it was horrible. Slid all over the place. But, I'm running summer sport tires. There are members here who have a second set of rims with dedicated snow tires, and they say the car goes like stink in the snow, with proper tires.
     
  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    @Habius, Henry's CAN SR adaptor has been available for months now. Many people have them and highly recommend it. It works on almost all HPWCs. Apparently there are a few it doesn't work on. If it doesn't work on someone's home HPWC Henry will refund the purchase price when you return it. He does not guarantee that it will work on 100% of HPWCs.
     
  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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  6. PokerBroker

    PokerBroker Member

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    Looks like you've gotten answers to most of your questions... so I'll just say that I took the plunge having never sat in one before and I couldn't be happier... I'm just glad I'm not much taller than 6'
     
  7. wart

    wart Member

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    Since NicholasJB asked about the top I have a follow up question.

    I saw in an owner's manual online that the side windows have to be adjusted to fit EITHER the soft top OR the hard top.

    Is this true? Do you have to take your car to the service center to get the power windows adjusted whenever you want to install or remove the hard top? That seems pretty annoying.
     
  8. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I can't speak to the factory hardtop, but with my Visium aftermarket clear hardtop the side windows fit properly with it and the factory soft top.
     
  9. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    I switch back and forth every winter and don't adjust anything.
     
  10. wart

    wart Member

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    Thank you ecarfan and Andrew!
     
  11. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    At least with my car (a 2.5 but doubt if it's different) changing back and forth between hard and soft tops doesn't require any adjustments.
     
  12. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    I, too, switch between the hard- and soft-tops without requiring a window adjustment. The reason for that statement is that there is enough possible variation from car to car that adjustment might be needed, so they are playing it safe.
     
  13. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I've never required an adjustment either. I suspect the early VINs required adjustment much more than the later ones.
     
  14. PokerBroker

    PokerBroker Member

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    My drivers side window needs to be adjusted from top to top or I get lots of noise... I drive 105 so maybe it is the early cars
     
  15. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

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    My #189 does not require window adjustment when going from hard to soft top.
     
  16. Curt

    Curt Roadster Signature #55

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    VIN 76 didn't (quite) require an adjustment. However, driving at highway speeds in heavy rain with the soft top would always result in some dripping just over my elbow (and same dripping location on the passenger side).

    It wasn't enough of a bother for me to readjust, though.
     
  17. wart

    wart Member

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    Thanks again to everyone who has responded with their experience with tops and window adjustments. Anecdotally it does seem like this may have only been an issue with the early cars. I'm still thinking I want to aim for a 2.0 or 2.5 so I'll quit worrying about the windows.
     
  18. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Except, as I posted up thread, it is not an issue in my 1.5 which is #425, and @sparrow does not have the issue with his 1.5 which is #189.
     
  19. pharma5

    pharma5 Roadster F#25

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    Hi wart, I have one of the earliest cars made and do not have an issue switching between factory hard top and soft top. I think a lot of the adjustments were made in the very early days, e.g., 2008-2010, with the amount of seal material where window and top come together and the "positioners" in the door.

    (I did have a brief unrelated issue where the driver's side window slouched down a few maybe a half inch - something had come loose inside and was a quick fix for a Tesla ranger. No issue since).

    I'd be surprised if the 1.5's are at any disadvantage on this item, imho. Hope that helps!:smile:
     
  20. ravng

    ravng Member

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    With my 2.5 roadster I had to have it adjusted when going from soft to hard the firest time (free of charge at Tesla Norway, they even cleaned and washed my car inside and out for free).


     

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