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Driving Model S into Mexico

Driving Model S into Mexico

I am planning to make a trip to Mexico wine country (Ensenada). Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences with driving their Model S into Mexico? Looking to understand what potential downsides might be.

Thanks

sbeggs | 21. November 2017

Waiting at the border to get back in, 3 hours. Unless you register SENTRI pass beforehand.

sentabo | 21. November 2017

Don't put their water in the radiator. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Mike83 | 21. November 2017

Baja is probably okay with the toll roads. Mexico itself has superchargers and is getting more. I would also like to travel there. They have organic farms, great food, dancing, etc and is not like the movies. Many north Americans live by the coast but you can't own land, only lease for 100 years I believe.

stereoshopper | 21. November 2017

I've never driven there in spite of living 15 minutes from the border. But there do appear to be plenty of destination chargers at hotels and resorts, so some Tesla drivers are obviously making the trek. Let the Tesla website and/or the navigation system point you to those locations.

kwen197 | 21. November 2017

I would also check insurance liability.

Kitchenchem | 21. November 2017

Went to Puerto Peñasco stayed at a hotel with a destination charger. Got insurance from AAA. You'll lose connectivity, and navigation doesn't work. No problem coming back over the border.

Kitchenchem | 21. November 2017

You'll love the wines of Ensenada.

rxlawdude | 21. November 2017

Actually, if you have T-Mobile, you can set your phone as a hotspot for the MS to connect to via WiFi. Should have full nav functionality.

riblanco | 21. November 2017

Right now you can go to Baja's Wine Country - Valle de Guadalupe, with no trouble. You can even drive from there to the San Felipe Marina Resort which has 2 Tesla destination chargers of up to 18kWh. Tijuana has 3 destination Charging locations, Rosarito one, more than 10 in Valle de Guadalupe and around 5 in Ensenada and its surroundings. Sonoran Sun Resort in Puerto Penazco also has destination Charging by Tesla. Cellphone lines should be good enough for you to give a call in case you need roadside assistance: 01 800 228 8145.

riblanco | 21. November 2017

Right now you can go to Baja's Wine Country - Valle de Guadalupe, with no trouble. You can even drive from there to the San Felipe Marina Resort which has 2 Tesla destination chargers of up to 18kWh. Tijuana has 3 destination Charging locations, Rosarito one, more than 10 in Valle de Guadalupe and around 5 in Ensenada and its surroundings. Sonoran Sun Resort in Puerto Penazco also has destination Charging by Tesla. Cellphone lines should be good enough for you to give a call in case you need roadside assistance: 01 800 228 8145.

trixiew | 21. November 2017

@Kitchenchem-delicious wines being produced there. Quite a pleasant surprise.

Mike83 | 21. November 2017

Thanks riblanco. I did Scuba diving near Ensenada and had some lobster tacos. That was a long time ago. Another trip to add to our Bucket list.

Mike83 | 22. November 2017

Just saw on the Telsa.com map there are more than 25 Destination charges in the Baja peninsula all the way down to Cabo.
For example
https://loscabos.grandvelas.com/#gref

maybe a good trip during winter?

Bighorn | 22. November 2017

I contemplated trying to reach the six Mexican SCs from McAllen—have the passport along for later.

bob | 22. November 2017

I admit it: I'm baffled. Looking at the destination chargers map on the Tesla site -- there are lots of 'em up near Ensenada and even one in San Filipe (San Filipe is not a good route to continue south). But then nothing till La Paz (1,300 miles to the south). Only way to get a Tesla to La Paz would be truck it in, ferry from the mainland or beg for plug-ins along the way. I gotta believe there are brand new HPWC units at the La Paz and Cabo locations that see little if any use.

20 years ago (when I lived in San Diego) I'd drive into Baja all the time. I made it more than half way down on multiple trips, but never drove all the way to Cabo. The trips I did make I'd love to do again someday. It's a really beautiful place to visit. Definitely not a place to get caught without a spare tire or a way to fix something broken. I'd be reluctant to take a Tesla any further south than Ensenada for spare tire issues alone.

plugzin | 22. November 2017

That trip south from McAllen might work, but for Baja, I suspect there are long stretches with no electric distribution, let alone charging opportunities of any sort. Too far even for a 100D, I'd expect. Just bring your own solar panels on a trailer and camp out, a la "The Martian"! Make sure you have an inverter capable of "islanded, black start" ops.

raijin | 22. November 2017

If you don’t mind driving on unpaved, rocky roads getting into the vineyards. Then go right ahead.

But I would suggest calling them first just to make sure that their chargers are up and running. Don’t want to drive all the way down there and find out their chargers are not working.

Be also careful of the many potholes in Mexico.

Since there are not a lot of Teslas there, you will get a lot of attention.

rdr1rx | 23. November 2017

And not the good kind of attention, either. You may end up (not kidding) walking if you come across the wrong sort. Best to drive a rental Ford, not some i-paid-big-money-Tesla. The love their Lobos (F-150s) down there and wouldn't mess with you if you drove one (or any full size pickup).

Mike83 | 23. November 2017

Looking at highway 1 and the toll roads look OK to me. Check Google maps for yourself. They have 5 star hotels as well. Fear of the unknown?

raijin | 23. November 2017

Also, if you have tinted windows the crooked cops will pull you over and ask for a bribe.

sbeggs | 09. Dezember 2017

@Turbo25,
When do you plan to make the trip? Interested in your feedback.

Mike83 | 13. Juli 2019
johncrab | 14. Juli 2019

A Supercharger just opened in Enseñada. I have not been there yet but lots of the wineries, inns, etc., have HPWCs. Baja is a wondrous place with great wines, food and views. Many of the restaurants rival anything in the US and quite a few in Europe. People are friendly and the US Consulate in TJ is known to be very helpful. The current consul is one heck of a good guy.

There are a few things to know which have nothing at all to do with Tesla but apply in all cases. 1) Take your passport. A passport card is fine for car entry to the US. If you have SENTRI, your life will be a lot easier and passage A LOT quicker. 2) Get Mexican insurance. What this means is you are leasing a slot on a fleet policy. AAA and Sanborn's dealers can set you up on the US side of the border with this temporary insurance. I have my car plated in both countries with two insurance policies, but I go back and forth a lot. 3) The legal system is different. It's Napoleonic Law, so thank the French. This uses a timeline of events to determine fault so if you drive there without insurance and are stopped at a light and are rear-ended, you were breaking the law before the accident and that means it's all your fault and you will have to fix the car that hit you. Again, thank the French. 4) Do NOT take any kind of weapon across the border. A knife larger than a folding pocket knife can land you in trouble. A gun will get you jail time and perhaps prison. The US leans on both México and Canada hard to deal with what is essentially US crime so they love to throw the book at Americans so they will go home, call their senators and complain. This lets the US know both countries are doing their bit on the "war on terror". 5) Do NOT take any kind of illegal drug across the border (see #4). If you have prescription drugs, the same rules apply as in Singapore. You need a copy of your prescription, especially if you take anything like Valium which is considered a "narcotic". 6) Federal Police are good guys (and gals) but that is like the FBI and RCMP rolled into one with helicopter gunships. Be very polite and they will do the same. 7) There will be a checkpoint at the 25km limit. This is to ask if you have a tourist card and insurance. If not, they will turn you around to prevent you from getting into trouble on down the road. You can get a tourist card from the consulate in San Diego's Little Italy, across from the British pub (No, you can't make this up). It's designed to gather personal information about you on a form to make movement easier and to allow police to contact friends and family if you are hurt or injured. It's kind of a visa but really easy to get and valid for 6 months. While this isn't strictly essential in BCN, it's a very good idea and shows any authority that asks that you're trying to follow the rules.

Bighorn | 14. Juli 2019

Insurance was $42/day to cover my Model 3.

barrykmd | 14. Juli 2019

Does that include the corrupt cop bribe rider?

Bighorn | 14. Juli 2019

Less than the deductible.