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What to do when battery is about to die in the middle of nowhere?!

VivekDr

Not a real doctor
Jun 25, 2021
48
80
DC
Hi everyone!
I am planning to go camping soon in VA. The place is probably a worst possible location; the nearest supercharger is 100 mile away. Note, I will be camping out for 2 days. I might be car camping one night (so need to consider energy for climate controller as well). So back and forth 100+100 miles and climate controller for a night and who knows I might take some wrong turns and get lost for while using more juice.

In my short (2 weeks) experience with the M3SR+, my driving knocks out lot more range than actual miles (eg. 10 mile drive reduces 14 mile estimated range).

So here is the "riddle" for you:
What do I do if I get in a situation when the battery is about to die and there is no charging stations nearby.
  1. Should I try to go to nearest charging station even if the estimated range is not close to actual miles required to make it?
  2. Should I stop driving at some level (say 3%) to avoid draining the battery fully? And call roadside assistance? (and how much do they charge and how long do they take come down)
Are there any other options? Can I make this trip in this car or is it too risky?
 

jmaddr

Active Member
Mar 29, 2019
1,018
1,034
Florida
Likely you can find a L2 nearby. Use ChargePoint or PlugShare to see where any L2 chargers are. Hopefully some will be nearby. And before you get to the point of needing the L2 chargers, make sure you visit them before you need them on the way there to verify their operational state. Second, since you’ll be camping, look for RV parks that may have 50 or 30A service where you can use your UMC. Be sure to have the right pigtail…call ahead and see what outlets they provide.

Otherwise, with a SR+, I think you better plan on a tent instead of a climate controlled Model 3 and drive conservative.
 
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Rice&Curry

Member
May 9, 2018
383
196
San Jose
Driving range is mainly affected by ( 1) speed, (2) Weight you are carrying in the car (3) wind resistance and weather ( rain/heat or cold), (4) elevation gain.
So when you have range anxiety - please reduce speed generally around 50 or 55 mph , draft behind a big rig at a safe distance but near enough to take advantage draft from the big rig/truck , change cabin temp- (heat/AC) to reduce battery consumption. Hope this helps - good luck with your trip.
 
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VivekDr

Not a real doctor
Jun 25, 2021
48
80
DC
Likely you can find a L2 nearby. Use ChargePoint or PlugShare to see where any L2 chargers are. Hopefully some will be nearby. And before you get to the point of needing the L2 chargers, make sure you visit them before you need them on the way there to verify their operational state. Second, since you’ll be camping, look for RV parks that may have 50 or 30A service where you can use your UMC. Be sure to have the right pigtail…call ahead and see what outlets they provide.

Otherwise, with a SR+, I think you better plan on a tent instead of a climate controlled Model 3 and drive conservative.
Thanks for the tips. I guess I should have included few more details.
Yes there are few other charge points and other chargers like 30 miles from the location. But it is slow and would take few hours to get charged to a reasonable level. And I am going with a group and don't want to fall behind others. Otherwise if it gets to no way out, I'd definitely wait and charge at whatever is nearby.
We are not camping at the RV parks unfortunately. That's what I initially thought too. We are entering a true wilderness!
 

VivekDr

Not a real doctor
Jun 25, 2021
48
80
DC
Driving range is mainly affected by ( 1) speed, (2) Weight you are carrying in the car (3) wind resistance and weather ( rain/heat or cold), (4) elevation gain.
So when you have range anxiety - please reduce speed generally around 50 or 55 mph , draft behind a big rig at a safe distance but near enough to take advantage draft from the big rig/truck , change cabin temp- (heat/AC) to reduce battery consumption. Hope this helps - good luck with your trip.
Thanks for the tip. I'd really doubt any truck going on that way and not sure if I'd be comfortable driving behind a truck :D (irrespective of what the science has to say about drag). but I'll slow down!
 

Rice&Curry

Member
May 9, 2018
383
196
San Jose
Well this is the fun or challenge of early EV adopters. I have a trip coming up next month visiting 5 national parks and in one of the segments based on ABRP planning with 95% SoC at the beginning of journey ( cant start at 100%) as i have a waypoint stop for a hike I will arrive at destination with 4%SoC due to elevation gain. However, if i reduce my speed to 50~55 mph, I will arrive with 11% SoC . My hotel has no EV charge station and the nearest RV park is 5 miles. So , I am carrying a 50 ft cable to charge using standard 110V /15 amp connection from the hotel at night to put on a few miles into the battery of my MX. If i leave my car at the RV park for overnight charging then I will have to walk back 5 miles to the hotel which will be a good hike any way unless i get a courtesy ride from someone. I am confident that it will all work out at the end. Since Tesla does not have spares, don't forget to carry a tire patch up kit and a 12V air compressor.
 
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webfootguy

Member
Jun 11, 2014
18
10
Portland, Oregon
Charge to 100% and time it to finish at least an hour before you leave so you start with a full tank (of electrons). Find out if there is any 120v at the place you are staying (if so, bring your mobile charger and perhaps a 12 AWG extension cord to trickle charge). While in route, either turn off climate control or reduce its energy usage by manually setting the fan speed to a slower speed. If hot, try cracking the windows although the AC uses less power than the heater does in winter. Consider adding air to the tires. I go from 42 PSI normally to 45 PSI for trips. This adds up to 5% range. Watch your speed as going fast costs range. I don't recommend drafting trucks but I know some do to extend range. If you do draft trucks, keep it 5 car lengths back and be aware that trucks do throw up rocks and is a chipped windshield worth it? If you have aero covers, make sure they are on for the trip. I recently converted to the Rimetrix covers and really like the looks and they are as efficient or more so than the stock aero covers. Route to your destination and use the Energy graph -> Trip tab for a real-time graph of the car predicted vs actual energy usage during the trip. This gives you good feedback on how you are doing energy wise. Make sure when you get to your destination you have sentry mode turned off as this chews up energy when you are parked. Good luck and this gets a lot easier and stress free once you have done it a few times. Also, if you use the plugshare phone app (or website in advance) you can locate any local level 2 chargers on the route you might need as backup on the way back home. If so, you can stop and get just enough charge to get to the supercharger. Might only be 30 min but if you need it, it is worth it.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,775
12,478
Riverside Co. CA
So back and forth 100+100 miles and climate controller for a night and who knows I might take some wrong turns and get lost for while using more juice.

in my short (2 weeks) experience with the M3SR+

I would not plan on doing 200 miles of range, elevation changes AND camping in the car (thus keeping it awake all night), if it were me.

/shrug..... If you have another car, I would take that. I wouldnt do this in an SR+ with those constraints.
 
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