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Cross Country Trip vs Range Anxiety

Cross Country Trip vs Range Anxiety

I’m making a move from the West Coast to the East, and contemplating the options: drive a u-haul and tow the car, or hire movers and drive my car.
Aside from putting 3000mi on the car, I’m feeling the tingly anxiety over range.
I’ve got the Mid-Range Model 3. Calculating the route in the car (Tesla’s web router doesn’t offer mid-range), it looks like each Supercharger stop is pushing it so that I’d be on the last few electrons when I arrive.
Has anyone here done this kind of trip? Is it as stressful as it looks?

acasano | 07/03/2019

Once you have the route displayed with the charging stops automatically set up, you can also look for extra Superr Chargers on the route. Have you tapped the map on the screen's left side (your right)? You will see several symbols pop up, one is a lightning bolt. Tap the lighting bolt and you can see the additional chargers in route. You can tap the one you think is less of a stretch for the SOC. You can then make that a closer stop for charging.

gene | 07/03/2019

Thanks @acasano - I'll give that a try!

IHaveArrived | 07/03/2019

Superchargers are the best game in town, but they are not the only game in town. Have you looked at non-SC options like on PlugShare?

adamwilt | 07/03/2019

You can try using abetterrouteplanner.com; it has the mid-range Model 3 as an option.

gene | 07/03/2019

More great suggestions, thanks. I haven’t yet factored regular chargers into my plans simply because they can’t charge as fast; but good for nightly stops!

Bighorn | 07/03/2019

I think you’d have to flat bed it. I’ve never seen a Tesla towed with wheels on the ground.
I drive cross country practically in my sleep anymore. SamO went both ways in a Model S 60 before most of the current chargers were built back around 2014 I think.

rob.kibler | 07/03/2019

+1 for abetterrouteplanner.com. You can customize you requirements. It's got lots of knobs to turn. For example, you can say you want to arrive at every supercharger with not less than 15 %, and it will attempt to route you based on your constraints. And remember that you will typically stop to eat and you can charge for a longer time that any of the planning tools estimate.

Sparky | 07/03/2019

And once you load a navigation route select the energy graph and then "trip" on the right side of the top. It will show you predicted state of charge all the way, based on the rated consumption, and your actual use in real time. If you get tight on range you can start selecting optional loads off and reduce speed as required. The key to reducing range anxiety is accurate information and it's all there.

Marbix | 07/03/2019

I just returned from my first overnight road trip, about 500 miles, for a business conference. I was initially a little nervous about the car and abetterrouteplanner.com estimating my arrival to Superchargers with about 15% remaining, but both tools were accurate. I also kept glancing at the trip energy display to assess predicted and actual energy use over the nav route, and there were no big surprises there either.

You always have the discretion of charging longer than the tools recommend in order to give you a bigger cushion to the next charging stop. My hotel city did not have any nearby Superchargers, so at the final Supercharger on my outbound route, I charged to 95% to arrive at my destination with 78% left and not having to worry about local charging.

Sasquatch2001 | 08/03/2019

if you plan on charging at a hotel with destination charging, call in advance to make sure they're accessible. I cancelled reservations recently because they had placed a construction trailer to block the chargers...

stevehendler | 08/03/2019

yeah the Tesla Trip Planner tries to get you to each charger with a dead battery. I've only looked at the East coast, but for example NJ to Boston, I can easily skip chargers along the way. I find I have much less range anxiety on the open highway too. There are chargers constantly, and the car can cover a lot of ground before stopping.

SteveWin1 | 08/03/2019

I'll also add my +1 for abetterrouteplanner.com. I took a trip half-way across the country using it and it was very accurate (more accurate than the on-board estimates of arrival charge).

Just make sure to give yourself a little wiggle room. After the first few supercharger stops, you'll learn how accurate whatever tool you're using is and can adjust accordingly. For the first few, plan to arrive with 15-20% charge to to be sure you'll get there. If you actually do get there with 15-20%, as planned, you can charge a little bit less for the next one and plan for 10-15%. I don't think I'd plan to arrive with less than 5% in case there's a detour or it starts raining or something. 10% is usually my target, although I generally have to wait until the car reports that I'll get there with 15-28% before I'll actually get there with 10%.

You definitely shouldn't be nervous. You're not going to get stuck anywhere. It will tell you if you're not going to make it and will recommend that you slow down in order to improve efficiency and get to your destination. It can be annoying to slow down, but if you listen to the car, it will get you there...maybe a little later than planned, but not stuck on the side of the road.

SteveWin1 | 08/03/2019

15-28% was supposed to read 15-18%

terminator9 | 08/03/2019

Also, remember that lower the battery % is, the faster it charges initially. On my first trip I wanted to just test out the supercharger so pulled in at 70%. Charging from 70% to 90% took a relative long time as charging from 10%-70%.

Christofersen2012 | 08/03/2019

another +1 for abetterrouteplanner.com I just checked it out and it justified the (amazing amount) of time I spent browsing these forums.

kcheng | 08/03/2019

Do people use abetterrouteplanner in the car's browser, "live", or do they run it on their smartphone in parallel with the car's own range guesstimator?

vmulla | 08/03/2019

I did over 20K highway miles on my S60 (210 mile range) and this was 3 yrs ago when there weren't as many Superchargers. There's no reason for range anxiety in your mid range 3, even if you consider the temperatures you're going to fine.

It's a great way to transition to a new place and 3k miles on the odo is nothing if you consider the savings.

Autom≡lon | 08/03/2019

It will be as stressful as you imagine it to be or not to be. The car and network of chargers will do just fine.

Bighorn | 08/03/2019

One of the few things that can bust a plan is a headwind or heavy weather. Not a bad idea to keep an eye on a weather app that gives prevailing winds if you're on a dodgy leg. It just means slowing down commensurately if you want to match your predicted arrival SOC.

Autom≡lon | 08/03/2019

I should caveat; unless there's something wrong with the car, or the chargers, or the road and traffic conditions, or the weather, or idiotic drivers, suicidal animals, food poisoning from a rest stop meal, annoying passengers...

Autom≡lon | 08/03/2019

...speed traps, loss of cellular signals, solar flare knocking out gps signals, natural disaster, construction detours,

and then again, you'd be able to see and experience some of America's wonderful towns, cities, natural wonders, give folks who've never seen a MRM3 a chance to learn about it, evaluate for yourself the readiness of EV adoption across a large swath of the country, experience L2 autonomous driving as Tesla has optimized it for (if you have that option), be one of the first to chance upon a V3 supercharger in a real-world use case.

M3BlueGeorgia | 08/03/2019

1) Do some initial route planning with abetterrouteplanner.com That'll allow you to plan where to stop overnight

2) Stay in hotels nearby a SuperCharger : within a few miles, doesn't have to be the same freeway exit, but should be close.

3) Charge for the next day when you arrive, so you are always charging with a warm battery. Also nice to wake up to a full battery

4) When driving across the most of the country you'll find the Superchargers are positioned well for you.

5) It is still winter, so you may have to cater for cold weather driving. If possible, take the most southerly route (ex: intersect with I-20)

6) If the weather is frigid, try to park so the morning sun hits the driver's door.

TorstenTheTesla | 08/03/2019

I just had this whole reply written down, now I can't post, probs because it's too long. I'll post in chunks.

Just drove from LA to New Orleans and back in 12 days (4800 miles), mid-range Model 3 with TONS of sightseeing in between (3+ national parks, 7+ big cities).

All those talking points can be abstracted and applied towards your route/situation.

I wish we had EAP during the trip - didn’t, cause trial had expired, but car was in the shop when it expired so we couldn’t purchase at discount, kinda happen know after the price drop.

TorstenTheTesla | 08/03/2019

We were going East mainly on the I-10, on the way back we went form NoLa to Dallas, then mainly I-40. Since it's a long ass drive, you might not always adhere to the speed limit, especially some stretches in f.e. Western Texas are boring as hell. Faster driving will obvs affect range. We always added 50% more than what the distance to the next charger was, f.e. trip to next supercharger 120miles, you charge to roughly 180miles. We averaged 300Wh/mile, which is not necessarily, but we were also always in the top 5% when it came to highway speeds without driving like a lunatic. Also, if you have aero wheels, put the caps on. In the city we take them off, cause I personally think they like hideous, but we sacrificed style over function during the road trip ;)

If you don't take any stuff in your car and you're feeling a bit adventurous, I highly recommend sleeping in your car (see below), most conveniently at superchargers cause you'll be able to charge. Before anybody bitches about taking up spaces at SCs, there is NOBODY there overnight anyway, so can stay plugged in, no idle fees. All assuming you still have the free SC for 6months like we did. Don't have to worry about AC/heating eating your battery. Just set to 90% and it will start charging again (or set to 80% if you think 90% will degrade the battery).

Get a good mattress (https://www.amazon.com/Milliard-Tri-fold-Mattress-Removable-Non-Slip/dp/...), earplugs and GOOD! sleeping mask (it's always bright at the SC locations). I'm 6-3, my GF is 5-3 so it was doable. Get the camper app or one of the others. We didn’t have dog mode back then, don’t know that would have been better. Sleeping in the car by yourself should be a dream (space obvs). It's more flexible than staying at hotels and cheaper. Obviously, you’d wanna shower in between and stay in hotels. for the occasional night.

TorstenTheTesla | 08/03/2019

We were going East mainly on the I-10, on the way back we went form NoLa to Dallas, then mainly I-40. Since it's a long ass drive, you might not always adhere to the speed limit, especially some stretches in f.e. Western Texas are boring as hell. Faster driving will obvs affect range. We always added 50% more than what the distance to the next charger was, f.e. trip to next supercharger 120miles, you charge to roughly 180miles. We averaged 300Wh/mile, which is not necessarily, but we were also always in the top 5% when it came to highway speeds without driving like a lunatic. Also, if you have aero wheels, put the caps on. In the city we take them off, cause I personally think they like hideous, but we sacrificed style over function during the road trip ;)

If you don't take any stuff in your car and you're feeling a bit adventurous, I highly recommend sleeping in your car (see below), most conveniently at superchargers cause you'll be able to charge. Before anybody bitches about taking up spaces at SCs, there is NOBODY there overnight anyway, so can stay plugged in, no idle fees. All assuming you still have the free SC for 6months like we did. Don't have to worry about AC/heating eating your battery. Just set to 90% and it will start charging again (or set to 80% if you think 90% will degrade the battery).

Get a good mattress (https://www.amazon.com/Milliard-Tri-fold-Mattress-Removable-Non-Slip/dp/...), earplugs and GOOD! sleeping mask (it's always bright at the SC locations). I'm 6-3, my GF is 5-3 so it was doable. Get the camper app or one of the others. We didn’t have dog mode back then, don’t know that would have been better. Sleeping in the car by yourself should be a dream (space obvs). It's more flexible than staying at hotels and cheaper. Obviously, you’d wanna shower in between and stay in hotels. for the occasional night.

TorstenTheTesla | 08/03/2019

Put extra food/drinks in the frunk., essentials you don’t need all the time in the compartment below the trunk. Suitcase behind the passenger seat.

Also, 'over'inflate the tires for added range, we had them at about 46psi when cold, sensors went up to 50psi when warm.

We also moved from NY to LA 3 years, but in a biiig Chevy 1500 with all of our stuff, so we have a bit of experience. Regardless of car etc., I'd say stop in a bunch of places and plan your route accordingly. There's tons of stuff to see in between.

Important: If you wanna see stuff on the way, plan to drive when it's dark outside (early evening and till midnight/1am) to a place that you wanna check out. This way, after 8hours of sleep, you wake up fresh at a place, and museums, parks etc. will be open.

Also gonna post this as a guideline for other people, especially for the summer.

Just saw some errors, can't edit, but you get the idea ;)

Effopec | 08/03/2019

One suggestion - check Plugshare for hotels that have chargers. It's great to get to a hotel on E and wake up with a full charge. Especially since most of them are complimentary.

vmulla | 08/03/2019
Flanmansd | 08/03/2019

I've heard of more unfortunate stories about flat tires than I have range issues on long trips. Just make sure you have an emergency kit for your tires (portable tire inflator and a can of fix-a-flat).

Bighorn | 08/03/2019

Inflator and plug kit, speaking from many experiences.

Flanmansd | 08/03/2019

What Bighorn said. Bighorn is always right! :^)

billlake2000 | 08/03/2019

Do abetterrouteplanner on your computer at home before you leave. Print it out and take with. Have backup plans, which you can also do at home. Can't do any of that on the model 3 screen.

Teslanene | 08/03/2019

Is a plug kit better than a can of fix-a-flat?

gene | 08/03/2019

This is all fantastic advice, thanks! I’ve been playing with both PlugShare and abetterrouteplanner and feeling much better about this adventure!

Carl Thompson | 08/03/2019

@Teslanene:
"Is a plug kit better than a can of fix-a-flat?"

Absolutely. Never use fix-a-flat if you can help it. A plug does a better job at stopping leaks, are permanent and don't gunk up the inside of your tire. Plug kits are not easy easy to use but they're the way to go.

Bighorn | 08/03/2019

Probably 90% of the time a screw or nail in place will hold air such that the compressor gets you to a safe spot. Then pull the offender and plug. Fix a flat is rarely of use and creates bigger problems—can ruin TPM sensor, put the wheel out of balance and piss off the tire guy who needs to clean up the mess, all the while achieving nothing in the process.

Resist | 08/03/2019

Fix a flat type goop DOES ruin tire pressure sensors, so unless you want to add that to the price of the repair of your tire, I would use a plug kit. Tesla sells a goop type kit only because they have to appeal to the masses and some people want the easiest way to get back on the road and not get as dirty (if they can't contact mobile service).

Bighorn | 08/03/2019

They advertise products like Slime as TPMS safe but it’s debatable.

sbeggs | 18/06/2019

Flagged from DTW