Round-trip STL-Chicago in Cold & Snow

Round-trip STL-Chicago in Cold & Snow

300+ miles each way, no problem! I make this trip frequently, so I decided to do some recon on all charging locations I might need in the future, and since I was arriving into Chicago traffic, I wanted plenty of margin. To be perfectly clear, I did not need to charge three times, just once, but that was my recon for future trips. It was 17F when I departed, range charge, heading north from STL (263mi rated). There are no winter charging opportunities north of Bloomington-Normal until arriving Chicago, so I needed to front-load. 1st stop was Honey Bend Resort & Campground, Litchfield, IL. $3/hr and very nice, but too cold to enjoy the outdoors (arrived w/ 188, departed w/ 229). Next stop was Camp-a-While in Lincoln, IL (arrived w/ 140, departed w/ 200). Although I had enough range & margin to make my Chicago hotel, I was hungry and didn’t want to deal with rush hour, so I also stopped in Bloomington-Normal Beaufort Parking Deck (free 'trons & $1/hr parking) where there are lots of good places to eat within a short walk. Arrived Normal w/ 159, departed w/ 186 & arrived w/ 45 margin at my NW 'burb hotel, ChargePoint ~1/3mi walk away. Awoke fully charged (standard) 25F & 3”-5” of snow. Car drove great.

Did my business & headed back to Normal after a few show-&-tell joyrides w/ my fellow geeks. Arrived w/ 25mi. Overnighted at the Marriot & same charging station (free w/ stay). Awoke fully (standard) charged & headed to STL. Arrived w/ 55mi.

Until there is a Supercharger in Normal, it’s a little bit tedious (emphasis on the "little") to make the drive in one day. It would be fine if the weather were good enough to walk/hike. Overnighting in Normal is a bit goofy for a 300mi trip, but is certainly relaxing!

I’ve also done the STL to Nashville run (also ~300mi), and find the Marion, IL Campground & RV park an excellent location to bump up the charge so as to arrive w/ no anxiety.

For the life of me, I don’t know why the energy monitor defaults to instant. The only time you really need the monitor is if you’re going for range, and then the only thing you’re interested in is the average to help train your right foot/CC. Tesla should remove the default & just have it revert to last-used.

3,000+ miles & still grinning!

Brian H | February 24, 2013

Lining up your options. Gude stoff!

Liz G | February 24, 2013

Thanks for the info. We are planning on taking our S all the way to upper Michigan this summer. Hoping for the Superchargers by then, but good to know thete are options if they aren't ready.

BTW are you aware of the St. Louis Tesla group?

Lectric_Ride | February 25, 2013

Yep! Hope to meet you all at the new STL service center 16 Mar. In summer you will have many more RV parks to choose from -- most are seasonal up that way. lets you easily filter for those w/ 50A service, it's faster than more urban J1772s, just need to find a way to entertain yourself, hence the recon.


-Jim P

bluefuego | February 25, 2013

Cost info on RV charging is great! SC's around Bloomington/Normal will make this trip a breeze. I'm also anxious for an SC between STL and Memphis. Makes the possibility of visiting the in-laws in Little Rock, AR a very real possibility.