Northern CA Hiway 101

Northern CA Hiway 101

Looking at previous threads, most of which are somewhat elderly, and checking out Plugshare, I infer there's not a lot of good charging options for those who might venture off I-5 in Northern CA. I note the Benbow Inn has a picture of a Tesla charging; I've emailed them to find if it's possible to reserve a spot along with a room. And there are various Walmart-type places along the way, too. I'm wondering, though, if anyone has done the trip more recently and has any updated suggestions for anxiety-free travel along the scenic route.

I realize there are RV park options, and that's reassuring in a pinch. But, being old-ish folks, I'm not too sanguine about tenting our way down the coast. Anyone just stop and charge at RV parks? I guess it'd take four hours or so to get a decent load of electrons, and I can only play cards for about a half hour.

SCCRENDO | 8 juli 2014

I have done the Oregon coast which also lacks chargers. Many towns have 1 paired J1772/Chademo. I just took it slow. Left the supercharger network with a full charge.Tried to top up charge during lunch, a visit to a museum or a local hike for a few hours. In one place (Cannon Beach) found an RV park 1/2 mile from my hotel. I would try plan my trip with that philosophy in mind always realizing that you could find a Leaf, Volt or other Tesla using the single charger. I went just before the season in early May. Although We don't have Chademo adapters if there is a chademo charger the Leaf will most likely charge there. Do you have the ap for RV parks

Bighorn | 8 juli 2014

No direct experience here, but my understanding is that the KOA type places rent cabins that have beds, though I think you may need provide your own linens. Probably varies by property.

SCCRENDO | 8 juli 2014

Get the ap and contact the RV parks to find out about facilities. However you don't need to overnight. Just hang out a few hours to top up. As I said I use the time to hike but you could always just relax a few hours and have a picnic or something to that effect.

Rocky_H | 8 juli 2014

The RV thing is reasonable for about one stop during the middle of the day if you want to make your overnight location a little farther than a full charge range, and then it's great for the overnight. The RV outlet will give you about 30 miles of range per hour, so "a few hours" gives you about 90 miles. You're probably not going to want to take another 3 or 4 hour break later during the day or evening and drive even more into the late night.

DannyM | 8 juli 2014

The Stanford Inn in Mendocino has two J1772 chargers. Nice hotel with tasty vegan food. Dog friendly too. The road from 101 to Mendocino makes a great drive in a Tesla! My girlfriend had to take over driving because she gets car sick on windy roads.

SUN 2 DRV | 8 juli 2014

I took a trip up to Sea Ranch from the Bay Area last weekend, and used the HPWCs at Tesla's San Rafael service center. They have three HPWCs publicly available 24/7 delivering 50 MPH to dual charger equipped cars. (25 to single charger cars)

It was 230 miles from San Rafael to Sea Ranch and back. Nice dive up along the coast using Hwy 1 and inland along 101 on the way back.

Gen3Joe | 8 juli 2014

I am amazed that Tesla doesn't have 101 north of SF up to the Oregon border covered on the supercharger map. This is some of the most beautiful scenic driving in California.

negarholger | 8 juli 2014

@Gen3Joe - yes, two big holes in the CA SC map... highway 99 and 101 north of SF.

SeattleSid | 9 juli 2014

All of these comments are much appreciated! I think I'm gonna brave it, probably sticking to I-5 through WA and OR.

Sniper | 9 juli 2014

The owner of the Victorian Inn B&B in Ferndale, CA ( a good friend of ours ), just installed a free Tesla HPWC charger for guests. He will let non guest charge for a nominal fee if available. The Inn is an amazing place to stay with great food and greater hosts. The whole town is worth at least one days stay.

SeattleSid | 9 juli 2014

Thanks, Sniper. Looks great!

ThorensP | 9 juli 2014

I've driven up 101 several times. I typically start in San Rafael, (which is in Marin County about 17 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge), and stay the night in the Benbow Inn. If I range charge I typically arrive at the Benbow with between 45-60 miles of range left. The Benbow has 1 NEMA 14-50 (40 amp) in a parking space just next to the entrance. If you tell them you are driving an EV they will put a cone out to reserve the space for you. By morning I have a full charge.

I typically charge next in Arcata because I have family there. There's a similar 14-50 NEMA at the Bank of America parking lot in downtown Arcata. Be sure to check out Abruzzi, an Italian restaurant run by my wife's cousin. Best restaurant in Arcata.

Next stop for us is typically Grants Pass where you get back on the Super Charger map.

I love Sniper's suggestion of the Ferndale B&B. That's a bit close to Benbow for us, so we probably wouldn't use it, but if you are coming from Vacaville or someplace north of San Rafael and can make it to Ferndale that sounds like a nice place to stay.

If you are staying the night in Marin, there are lots of J1772's especially in San Rafael.

Good luck.

d_kaufman | 9 juli 2014

There is a red dot in the 2014 supercharger map that seems to be somewhere between Healdsburg and Ukiah on 101 (the scale of the map doesn't allow for any greater accuracy). But 2015 doesn't show any other dots in Northern California after the 2014 additions in Truckee and Manteca.

JPPTM | 10 juli 2014

FWIW the Corte Madera Tesla Store (also Marin county) has a bunch of HPWCs on the back side of the Village mall (closer to the 101 freeway). Some are of course occupied by the test drive cars, but some might be empty. You can call the store to inquire as appropriate. Note that these deliver about 72A and not 80A.

mark_g | 10 juli 2014

Bay Area to Sea Ranch:

I was planning on heading up to Sea Ranch from the Bay Area and was wondering if anyone had any suggested routes that are more EV friendly than others. Plugshare indicates that EV charging in SR/Gualala is almost non-existent so the return trip may be problematic. I was thinking of stopping at the TM SC in San Rafael since I hear there are HPWC available or trying a winery (DeLoach) outside of Santa Rosa that has a charger. Any suggestions or feedback welcome. (P85).

NKYTA | 10 juli 2014

No suggestions as we've not headed that way yet.

I did have some DeLoach Pinot Noir last night though - nice.

Gen3Joe | 10 juli 2014


Have you ever thought of going up I5 to supercharge in Corning then go over highway 36 or 299 to Arcata?

It would be a longer drive but you could get to Arcata in one day.

aaronw2 | 10 juli 2014

I would love to see superchargers along 101 and 99 as well. I also think they should complete 395 between Bishop and Reno.

djm12 | 26 juli 2014

I agree. Tesla does need to add SCs up the 101 from San Francisco to Portland - and along the 99 and 395.

laurimoss | 26 juli 2014

mferrazano: Though there aren't a lot of options for charging on the way to/from Sea Ranch, we have a rental house there and put a NEMA 14-50 outlet in for renters who drive EVs. We have the house on Plugshare's map in case you ever need an emergency charge, even if you aren't renting the house.