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Which charging accessories do you recommend

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by ICE FREE, May 24, 2016.

  1. ICE FREE

    ICE FREE How we used to roll

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    Good afternoon,
    I am about a month away from taking delivery on a new MS70D and I have been thinking about which charging accessories I should buy.

    I plan to connect the included charging cable to my nema14-50 outlet at home in my garage for nightly charging. My daily commute is 90 miles round trip and thus won't need to charge at work at all. However, occasionally we will take longer trips and may need to charge at a destination that may or may/not have charging stations or 240v outlets.

    From what I've read in the forum, it's probably best to leave that cable plugged in at home as frequent unplugging may damage the plug and limit its life.

    What have you all done in regards to buying charging accessories to take on the road with you and do you use these items regularly? I'm thinking, extra cable and /or a Chademo adapter. Is the Chademo useful in spite of Teslas supercharger network, or is it a waste of money? I'm trying to be judicious about all of the accessories that I buy because I also want to spend a little money on a clear bra, detailing, floor mats and maybe an aftermarket audio system upgrade... To name a few
     
  2. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Since you mentioned a "clear bra," I thought that maybe you were inquiring about fashion accessories, but then I reconsidered. :eek:

    A number of folks have purchased a second UMC to keep in the car with them when they travel. Personally, I did not, and I have unplugged at home and packed my UMC to take with me more than a dozen times. I think that the newer 14-50 adapters are sturdier than the original ones that came with the cars in 2012-13. But I will defer to more knowledgeable folks in this particular area.

    You live in Portland, and I believe that there are many locations that have CHAdeMO adapters available through a subscription service. Other parts of the country are spotty for CHAdeMO. Much depends upon where you wish to go in your car. Oregon is well covered with Superchargers along both interstates. There is one under construction in Bend. US101 does not have any Superchargers yet, although there are plans for Eureka and Crescent City. So, maybe within 18 months or so we will see them in Coos Bay and Newport and Astoria. No way to know at this point.

    Two important things to do: (1) download PlugShare onto your smartphone. This is an application that is user-driven. It lists all sorts of charging locations with their power structures--from 110V wall plugs to CHAdeMO and Superchargers. Campgrounds with 30A and 50A plugs are listed. Public facilities with the generic J1772 plug are listed. Many locations in the Pacific Northwest have 70+ ampere plugs so that if your car has more than a 40A charger onboard (new ones come with 48 and an upgrade to 72) you can plug in at those higher-amped locations to receive a slightly faster charge. K-Falls and Burns have 70A plugs in town--check PlugShare. (2) Sign up for the popular third-party charging companies like ChargePoint and EVgo. Many commercial establishments have contracted with companies like these to install, maintain and collect the fees for usage. It is cheaper to activate the charging session with their swipe cards rather than calling the toll free number and have the operator turn the plug on after you recite your credit card information.

    If you anticipate using AC charging at places with dryer plugs or the like, then you should purchase the appropriate adapter for the type of plug. Some folks do this when visiting friends or family and can utilize a plug different from the 14-50.

    Cheers!
     
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I carry the UMC. Depending upon where you travel, the CHAdeMO adapter may be useful. If you are going somewhere that is off the Supercharger network, then you need to see what's available PlugShare and RV Parking. If there is just a gap in the network, then try to arrange your travel so that you charge at your night stop to bridge the gap.
     
  4. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Consider getting a HPWC for your garage. You can put it on the same 50 A circuit that feeds your 14-50 (allows 40 A charging). Better yet, if your panel can handle more the HPWC can be set up to work with just about any circuit up to 100 A (80 A charging). This will allow your car, and visiting Teslas, to charge at a faster rate if you ever need it. An example would be to charge up to 100% just before taking an unexpected longer trip.

    You can then keep your UMC in the car, so that you don't have to unplug and pack the one in your garage, and you will always have it if you need it.

    GSP
     
  5. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    get a heavy duty (12) guage or better 110 cord for emergency charging and consider a 14-50 cord as well.
     
  6. ICE FREE

    ICE FREE How we used to roll

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    CPA, thank you for your thorough response and everybody else as well.
    I think what I'll do I get a HPWC for the house and keep the UMC in the car for charging away from home. Also, the heavy duty, large gauge extension for 110 and 14-50 sound like a good ideas as well.
    Since the NW seems to have good access to camping outlets, superchargers, and j1772 chargers, I might skip the Chademo adapter for now.
     
  7. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Member

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    Hmm, I was going to recommend the opposite. I would get the CHAdeMO adapter and nothing else. I see you are in Oregon. Washington and Oregon have that great network called the West Coast Electric highway, from Aerovironment. Here is the site map for it.
    EV Solutions | Subscribe To The West Coast Electric Highway

    Their stations are generally very reliable, and their prices are pretty great, too. You can activate a single session for $4 for J1772 or $7.50 for CHAdeMO. Or, if you are going to be using them frequently, there is the unlimited monthly charging plan for $20. I live in Boise, and I just got back from a trip in Oregon, where I was along the 101 highway on the coast. I bought the $20 plan for that week and then cancelled it. It was well worth it to have CHAdeMO fast charging around there in Astoria, Newport, Yachats, Sisters, etc.

    I don’t think it’s worth buying a wall connector or second UMC. I keep my mobile charging cable hanging on my garage wall and never take it with me unless I’m going out of town on a trip. I put it in the car a few times a year, so it’s not that big a deal. But if you do always want to keep the UMC in the car, then yes, a wall connector is a good idea.

    I do have one of the real RV type 14-50 30 foot extension cords and several adapter types for the end for dryer outlets, etc. That system is very versatile, but… If I had it to do again, I would build my own. A real RV cable has three big fat wires and one thinner one for ground. That makes the cord pretty stiff and heavy. The Tesla charging system only uses two of the big wires and the ground, so by eliminating one of the big wires, you can have a more manageable cable.
     
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  8. Beryl

    Beryl Member

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    If you were not going to build your own, is there another cable you'd recommend? I'd like to travel with one extension cord that would handle most situations.
     
  9. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Member

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    Well yeah, good question. The system of 14-50 to “other” works well; I was just saying that I would use a thinner cord to make it, because 30 or 50 feet of that extra unneeded wire is several extra pounds you could save.


    So the system is that you have a 14-50 Tesla adapter on your UMC. Then that plugs into a receptacle on one end of the extension cord. You end with a 14-50 plug on the other end, 30 feet away. From that, this site:

    For Tesla Model S

    Sells several adapters that can switch that 14-50 end to several other types of plugs. You will need to turn down the current level in the car if you are adapting from that 50 amps to something less—80% of whatever the breaker rating is.


    The ones I think are most common that EVSEadapters sells are these:

    10-30 This is the old style dryer outlet. They were used up until about 1996, I think, so a lot of older houses have them, and if you go to visit someone, they may have this dryer outlet in the garage or laundry room that you can reach with the extension.


    14-30 The site carries one that is a multi-adapter that fits in 14-30, 14-50, or 14-60 outlets. The 14-30 is the newer type of dryer outlet.


    TT-30 This is the other kind of outlet at campsites for travel trailers in case they don’t have any of the 14-50 outlets available. It’s 120V 30A. The car doesn’t care about the voltage level, but of course you still need to turn it down to 24A.


    Those are the three I got, since they are mostly likely to find and use. The one other that is a maybe is a 10-50. They are a little rare, but they are used for electric welder machines, so some industrial shops might have them.


    I have heard of a slightly different take on this from some people, which also makes some sense. They figure you can almost always be close enough to a 14-50 spot at an RV park or campsite to plug in directly without an extension, so a dryer outlet is about the only place you would really need to extend to reach. With that assumption, you would not need the cord to handle 40A, only 24A for the dryer outlets, and you can then make your extension from even smaller, lighter cable.

    *EDIT* Oh, I just realized you said, "if you were not going to build one". For a 14-50 to buy, this is by far the most popular that Tesla owners get from Amazon. It comes in 15, 30, or 50 foot lengths.
    Amazon.com: Camco 55195 50 AMP 30' Extension Cord with PowerGrip Handle: Automotive
     
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  10. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    it's not a one cord thing it's about building adapters for your cord. there are a few old threads about people who have made adapters for many different outlets.
     
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  11. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    When I first purchased the car (3 years/70K miles ago) I bought an extension cord. Never used it and finally gave it away to the club. If you are going to be plugging into someone's dryer then an extension cord is likely necessary.
     
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  12. Gremlin

    Gremlin Member

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    #12 Gremlin, May 28, 2016
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
    I have the ChadeMo adapter for those locations not serviced by a Supercharger that I've used several times that saved my bacon for the return trip. (Route 3 in VA as an example). Glad I have it for when the model 3 comes on line :- p. I also have a 10-30 (RV parks for off beaten path road trips, 5-20 adapters for those hotels that don't EV chargers (5-6 miles per hour charge but I don't book at those locations anymore). The latter I used the adapter at Chantilly (no nearby chargers) to charge the car while at work during the winter from the building (battery maintenance).
     
  13. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Member

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    [QUOTE="Gremlin, post: 1555587, member: 25595"I also have a 10-30 (RV parks for off beaten path road trips,[/QUOTE]
    10-30 is the old electric dryer outlet, not RV parks. You may be thinking of the TT-30?
     

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