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What to carry for 5-15 or 5-20 charging if that's all I can get

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by nevrenuf, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. nevrenuf

    nevrenuf Member

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    Taking a 1000 mile trip soon and expect at my destination to have no other options than 120v. Don't know if I will have a 15 or 20 amp outlet and fully expect I'll need an extension cord. I have both the 5-15 and 5-20 adapters but dont want to have to carry both long extension cords. Are there any better options?
     
  2. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    #2 TexasEV, Jun 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
    I never found a way to not have both 15A and 20A extension cords. Could you ask someone there to send you a picture of the outlet you’d be using?
     
  3. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    I have both adapters from Tesla but really it’s easier to use a 14-50 cord and 14-50 adapters for everything. Then you just set the car to the max current and you are set with one extension code. Obviously I only use the Tesla 14-50 adapter when using the extension cord and then evseadapters.com adapters on the far end. (Tesla adapters on the UMC when I don’t need an extension.)

    Hope that makes sense. I find this easier than carrying multiple extension cords.
     
  4. SSedan

    SSedan Member

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    Where are you heading? Maybe someone had some other ideas an RV park or have you checked Plugshare?
     
    • Informative x 1
  5. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

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    A 5-20 extension cord probably will not be of much use, it will be iffy to use. The 5-15 will be much more commonly used.
    But as SSedan mentioned, check PlugShare.com. You'll find a LOT more availability of J-1772 chargers around the country then Tesla Superchargers or destination chargers. A couple of hours at a J-1772 can make up an overnight at 120V.
    Unless you are going to be a lot of travelling off of the Interstates, the Superchargers should handle a lot of your requirements, even if you don't plug in overnight.
    Don't forget campgrounds if you get in a bind.
     
  6. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    Depends on where you’ll be plugging in. Many commercial locations have outdoor 20A outlets. I’ve used my 20A extension cord and 5-20 UMC adapter many times overnight at hotels. It charges about 40% faster than on a 15A circuit as once you account for the charging overhead, all the extra amps goes into the battery. Sure it takes longer than charging at a J772, but who cares as the car has to sit at the hotel overnight anyway so it might as well be charging. Better than having to drive to a J1772 somewhere and take the time to charge when you’d rather be somewhere else.
     
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  7. tpham07

    tpham07 Active Member

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  8. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    If anyone uses this remember you will have the 5-20 UMC adapter on the other end and the car will think it can draw 16A, so you will need to turn down the amps on the charging screen to 12A manually.
     
  9. gsteele

    gsteele Member

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    I built my own 75 foot 10-gauge extension cord. I used industrial grade connectors on the end, and it’s obvious that 5-15 and 5-20 male ends are identical construction expect for the direction of the one blade. Therefore the 5-15 should handle just as much current as the 5-20, so I just leave the 5-15 on the cord. If I plug it into a 5-20 outlet, I put the 5-20 adapter on the UMC. I also carry a 6-15 end for this cord, since I know a few places that can be useful. Swapping takes a few minutes and a screwdriver. The UMC is fine with getting 240v though the 5-15 or 5-20 adapters.
     
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  10. davewill

    davewill Member

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    Why would that be? The 5-20 socket on the extension will also accept the 5-15 plug. No reason not to use the right adapter for the circuit.
     
  11. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    My 20A extension cord (Yellow Jacket) only accepts 5-20 plugs.
     
  12. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    I have my kit for this. I bought a heavy duty 10 gauge extension cord--50 feet I think. The plug and receptacle ends of it are 5-15, but I did buy that same tiny little pigtail that @tpham07 showed a link to. So I can look if the outlet is a 5-20 or not. The extension cord's 5-15 plug can plug into it either way, and if the outlet really is a 5-20, then I can put that little pigtail on the other end for the UMC to plug the 5-20 adapter into.
     
  13. yuhong

    yuhong Member

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    Just because the extension cord has NEMA 5-20 ends don't mean that you will be able to charge at 16A, and at longer lengths NEMA 5-15 is likely cheaper.
     
  14. tpham07

    tpham07 Active Member

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    I have charged at 16A with my NEMA 5-20 extension cord plenty of times. its a thick gauge meant for high amperage. https://www.amazon.com/Conntek-20520-025-Outdoor-Extension-Volts/dp/B00KC108K4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1529968410&sr=8-5&keywords=NEMA+5-20+extension+cord&dpID=41fJMauMMgL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

    When there is only a nema 5-15 plug I just use the appropriate adapter and Tesla 5-15 plug as well.
     
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  15. Chaserr

    Chaserr Member

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    I've used a Quick220 to tie two 120v outlets together and get 240v at 12amp. It's about 3 times the charge rate of just 120v but you need 2 different circuits to make it work, they can't be on the same outlet or 'leg' of the house wiring.
     
  16. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    I was caught at my brother's with only 110. We went down to Home Depot and got two 50 foot extension cords a 14 50 plug and one of those cheap little 110 or 220 measurement devices. Saved a lot of money over the quick220! And, of course, works exactly the same. Took me about 25 minutes to put it all together, and then about 10 minutes to find two plugs that would work!
     

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