Model 3

Official Camping Mode

edited November -1 in Model 3
Musk suggested that the Model 3 would be "great for camping".

I'm a tad over 6 feet tall so I don't know how realistic it might be to make this work in a 3 with the rear seats folded back, but I'm hoping it is possible.

However, it's necessary to kind of trick the Model S via a series of settings to get it to keep the climate control going with the car parked. While this works, it's kind of a kludge from what I've seen in Bjorn's video. I'm hoping the firmware is updated to support an official camping mode that does everything in one press. Anyone know why they wouldn't make this an official feature?


  • edited April 2016
    Priorities I'd say... No matter how small the feature is, or how 'easy' it looks, it always takes time and resource(s) to implement, test and deploy one. This is not official - just my guess :) I'd love to see this option. Tesla cars (and BEVs in general) are good candidates for camping :) since there's no dangerous fumes while the car is running. Plus one can rent an RV spot and plug the car in - this way AC or heater won't tax the batteries.
  • edited April 2016
    Honda makes a OEM Tent accessory for the Honda Pilot. Rear lift gate stays open, Tent is made to overhang the car. I would post a picture but I'm not that computer savvy .
  • edited November -1
    Tesla tent option would be nice, add a Camping "mode" and that would be the icing on the cake. With the ability to plug in at a Campground so battery gets charged while still having the ability to heat or cool, while surfing the web. I think because the Model S and X have more interior room, those models might make sense. But then again if you have the ability to purchase one of those Models then chances are they would choose a Hotel over sleeping In the car.
  • edited November -1
    I'd like to see camp mode have a reverse bioweapon defense mode-- filters the inside air of all the stinky people here who haven't showered and just slept in the car smell.
  • edited November -1
    Are we talking about actually sleeping in the car here, or using the car to heat/cool a tent extension to the car, or both?
  • edited November -1
    @David N
    <em>...having the ability to heat or cool, while surfing the web</em>
    What sort of camping is that? :)
  • edited April 2016
    Need a bear defense mode. The sensors detect an approaching bear and electrify the body panels. Strong as a bear is quite descriptive. Once they found out Teslas were aluminum, they would seek them out for luncheons.

    Just came back from a remote park, refreshing to see nobody on their phone as there was no service!

    And there should be a Kid Mode that disables all devices in the car. Look out the $%^&#@ window! Would also work with teenagers who might get to drive it.

    At a big car auction there was an old VW camper with a big side tent, VW camping furniture, VW silverware and dishes, etc. Quite nice.

    Our landlord had a gigantic Greyhound bus RV that he would take "campin'" which involved parking on 10 square miles of asphalt and hooking up the septic drain.

    It seems better to have a detached tent so you can drive off for a bit without packing up.
  • edited April 2016
    Bump. To clarify, I love tents too, but we’re talking about sleeping in the car, while running the climate control, without tricks (e.g. heavy bag on the driver’s seat.) We expect to do this often while traveling, paying RV campsites to plug-in, sleep, shower and continue road trips. We want this.
  • edited November -1
    Yes, it would be great if the climate control were available without any gimmicks. I'd love for it to be completely controllable by the phone app or at least done in a way so that once it's set, it goes dark. That way you could have no lights, no screen, no indication from the vehicle at all that the climate control is even on, just blissful warm/cold coming from the registers throughout the night.

    Many years ago I made a list of all the things I hoped for from a camping mode. You can see that old thread here:

    Funny to see how far we've come since then and yet a lot of those items are still big concerns of mine.
    The highlights:

    1) No Auto-Lock. You should be able to leave doors unlocked indefinitely. No auto-locking, and it should be possible to leave the key fob in the car without it complaining and without any energy drain

    2) No flashy lights/noises. For example: at 3am when someone I don't know's tent is right in front of my Model 3, I would like to be able to open the door/back and get in without interior lights coming on, DRL/headlights turning on, any kind of flashing, beeping, alarming, etc. Dark and silent!

    3) Low Energy Usage. I know several vehicles that keep the dashboard electronics running whenever any door/sunroof is open. This has resulted in many drained batteries while camping. It would be nice to be able to leave doors open indefinitely without any energy usage. It would also be nice to be able to turn off some of the background energy drains. When I'm outside of cell service, for example, I don't want Model 3 to keep trying to connect to TESLA, etc. Something along the lines of airplane mode. It should stay in that mode until you turn it off, so that even if you do need to turn the car on to roll up a window or something, you're still in low energy mode.

    4) Leveling. It would be great if the air suspension could auto level or be easily adjusted (each wheel independently) when parked. On most terrain there would be no need for legos (leveling blocks) at all. Quick and easy, the touch of a button.
  • edited April 2016
    I do not have a tesla yet but on the delivery video there is a mode that places it in park, allows heat or air to work without the fob if needed the mode is for leaving your wife or Lassie in the car without cooking or freeze drying them. and in settings you can set the dome lights to off on door opening.
  • edited November -1
    Sorry to resurrect the post. I'm a model 3 reservation holder and I want to make sure I understand. As of today, there isn't a way to sleep inside a Model S, with the AC on, while also charging?

    As a Chevy Volt owner, I camp in the car quite frequently. Power on, AC on, seats down, doors locked, lights off and charging as I sleep (Google Volt-ebago: Car camping made easy). I was really looking forward to continuing that with the Model 3.
  • edited June 2016

    Put the car in neutral. Put the parking brake on. Lock the doors from the center screen. Keep your a/c on. Go to sleep. . com /watch?v=33jmU-vY058
  • edited June 2016
    @tsquared. Sorry, it's not possible to shift into neutral while charging.

    If you read the comment for the video you posted "Tutorial for setting the car in Camper Mode which runs the HVAC (heater/AC/air circulation) constantly on while you're sleeping in the car or doing something else. This mode can't be used while charging."
  • edited June 2016
    I think a camping mode would also be helpful if you wanted to charge and hang out in the car and surf the Internet or something. Like if your on a road trip and it's in the middle of the night and nothing is open
  • edited June 2016
    ... Another reason for a hatchback M3 ...
  • edited June 2016
    Yes, please! Our Toyota Matix spends many nights at the trailhead so we can get an early start. With a thermarest pad and seats down my wife (5'5") and I (6'4") can sleep. Steven.H's suggestions are good ones, I've resorted to pulling bulbs and disconnecting chimes so I don't disturb the princess when I step outside at 3am.
  • edited June 2016
    Note that the reason the thread was created was to try to get an official camping mode button added to the Tesla firmware. I know it's possible to execute a bunch of settings to do what's necessary, sacrificing the ability to charge while doing it, but it would be much more convenient to have a single button that does it all (and maybe also allows charging while doing it, since it wouldn't be a hack with the car in neutral anymore). So I'm hoping that do that.
  • edited November -1
    I'm with mos6507. Park the car at an RV powered hookup, plug in, and camp. I'm not adverse to putting up a tent outside the car, but if it were a long car trip taken by necessity as opposed to something recreational and planned, camping mode would be great.
  • edited June 2016

    Pssh. Who reads the fine print?
  • edited June 2016
    mos6507: +1! As a person who is gifted with the <em>'uncanny ability to fall asleep anywhere' (per my Dad)</em>, I agree with your position. It would be really nice to be able to just choose <em>'CAMPER MODE'</em>. Even if it was something as simple as clicking <em>'PARK'</em> three times in succession to engage, then holding the button for two seconds to turn it off.
  • edited June 2016
    This is a "feature" I can get behind as well.

    I've done a lot of road driving when going home to visit mom 24-27 hour drives (going from the snow to the toasty sun).

    I usually crash for a couple hours on the road/rest stop, etc. since the trip takes over 1 day, (and at latest check when I test drove a Model S, it would add 5 more hours for charging time to get there). I've enjoyed leaving the car running so I can keep the internal temperature, and locking the doors so I'm a little safer, with the lights off (my dog used to love it as well).

    It would be great if the M3 could "emulate" that mode with a "camping mode".
  • edited June 2016
    U 2 red?

    My coworkers were amazed that I fell asleep during a discussion while standing in the parking lot.
    Man I hated graveyard shift.
  • edited June 2016
    How about just keeping the car cool when it's hot outside and you want to surf the Internet in your car instead of shopping at what ever is around. Sometimes you just don't need to shop for anything
  • edited June 2016
    No charging while in camping mode is a big disappointment.

    Like @Damntruckers, we spend a good number of nights at trailheads and campgrounds.

    The benefit if the campground is most come equipped with a 240V NEMA 14-50. You could add some serious miles of range and stay cool while sleeping instead of taking them off.

    BTW... A old sports drink bottle solves the 3am disturbance issues :)
  • edited November -1
    You won't give up charging while in camping mode. Our Tesla S85D will charge and keep you cool too as long as someone is sitting in the drivers seat. I have not tied the car-in-neutral parking-brake option yet.
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