Great Lakes Trip

Great Lakes Trip

On the horizon for next year’s driving trip:

“Great Lakes in a Model 3!”

Of course, a lot of water needs to flow under the bridge before that trip can even be planned. Specifically: Sit in a Model 3 and evaluate it (thanks to @stannous, accomplished in October, 2017!). Test drive a Model 3 (Rode in @SamO's one-day old Black B3auty December 30, 2017. Thanks @SamO!). Note: it actually took until October 18, 2018 for us to test drive the RWD and the P3D. Very satisfying, and confirming that we would have been extremely happy with the RWD, LR, EAP, red version of the Model 3 that we configured April 22, 2018.

Configure and order the largest battery and the autodrive features.

Arrange delivery to Minneapolis , or more likely to son DJ's pole barn, as he lives more than 160 miles from the nearest service center.

Follow up with Michigan Tech (Houghton) re HPWC install we have been working on with folks from Steve’s alma mater. Plan out charging stops, which are scarce along the south rim of Lake Superior. Check out the Sun Country Highway charging route in Canada, then…


(this thread is, we know, premature and preliminary…)

Update: December 22, 2017 Tesla invited us to configure...we replied by e-mail that we are waiting for LR without luxury upgrade package, if possible. And delivery to son DJ's pole barn in upper Michigan

We also learned that a new Supercharger is planned for Escanaba, Steve's home town. Yay!

Plans are coming together for this summer in the Great Lakes area.

We think we will fly into Escanaba, MI around Jun 2 and stay until Sept 9.

First month getting to know the Model 3 and visiting friends and family in the area. Fourth of July, the entire extended family arrives, so we'll relocate to a motel, followed by our first extended trip. Heading east to Mackinac Bridge and staying in Lower Michigan, first in Petoskey, then Frankfort, and Ludington. Superchargers in Traverse City and Ludington and Cadillac.

Back up to the bridge, a tour of Mackinac Island, Saint Ignace, and Sault Sainte Marie, the location of stories of Steve's youth.

Returning to the cottage by late July, then up to Houghton, MI, Steve's alma mater, Michigan Tech. for a reunion in early August.

A visit to Green Bay stadium and the Wisconsin Dells.

Who knows what else we may find? (Note: ship 5 cases of wine before departing San Diego). Acquire WeatherTech mats, TT-30 connector, LED flashlight

Update: April 22, 2018 Configured, Red, Aero wheels, Enhanced Autopilot

Desired delivery: approximately June 10

VIN: none as of June 11

Current air reservations: SAN - ORD - MQT (Marquette, MI) June 9. Frequent flyer tickets, so we can adjust the dates.

June 7, 2018, phoned Tesla Fremont, agent Saum informed us we had been pushed to July. When queried, when in July, he could not state when, before the end of July. He revealed a change in Tesla policy regarding cancellation of configured orders, due to the large number of customers whose orders were being pushed out far beyond the 3-6 week window. Upon receipt of an e-mail containing our street address to mail a check to, $2,500 would be refunded to same credit card used when configuring. $1,000 mailed within 30-60 days. We phoned Friday am, June 8, to ask for the agent, Liz, who had predicted we would have a VIN by June 10 and who said Chicago would be our delivery point, after shipping of 5 days, to send us that in writing. She never did. So, by close of business June 8, we sent the cancellation request. One week later, Liz phoned with a VIN, but could not guarantee delivery at any particular date in July. No problem if the delivery was to take place near our home in San Diego, but sitting in Chicago for weeks at a time was not a good option for us.

We proposed to our family to rent either of their Volts, but this was declined. We can't envision renting ICE cars for the summer. So, June 11, I canceled all hotels for a six week period. We may consider trying again for 2019.

Hmmm, there is a carrot at the end of the rainbow....5 cases of good wines await for next year....

Red Sage ca us | 22. toukokuu 2017

sbeggs: You might try to reach IslandBayy (AKA Kman Auto on YouTube) at TMC. He should be able to offer opinions for you about the Service Center locations. Just send him a private message, through either TMC or YouTube. com/user/KmanAuto

PhillyGal | 22. toukokuu 2017

My advice is small but worth noting that the Chicago service center (the one in town) is very small, with barely a little alley way to hold cars. There are 2 superchargers if I recall correctly, and a handful of HPWCs.

PhillyGal | 22. toukokuu 2017

*comment, not advice. Sounds like an awesome trip though!

SamO | 22. toukokuu 2017


I drove from SoCal to MN, IL, IN, OH, PA and think you'll have a blast. I'd take the CO, WY, SD route as it is far more interesting than KS, NE, IA. Plus you may run into a Bighorn ;-)

sbeggs | 06. elokuu 2017

Thanks, guys!

Steve just came up with the idea of ordering Weather Tech floor mats. Wonder how long it'll be until they are producing them for Model 3?

Alvin27 | 06. elokuu 2017

Michigan is beautiful in the fall. I just noticed there are zero super chargers in the Upper Peninsula. Pick your route carefully.

sbeggs | 27. elokuu 2017

If the state of California ups the incentives, we may find ourselves shipping the Model S to Michigan (not by Plycar) and taking advantage of registering the 3 here in San Diego.

mntlvr23 | 28. elokuu 2017

@sbeggs - sounds like a fun trip. I am still slowly making it through your last travelogue (good stuff)

KP in NPT | 28. elokuu 2017

Why Chicago? How bout picking up in MA and making it a true cross country, plus you can stop by Newport. :)

hmgolds | 28. elokuu 2017

The Minneapolis service center is in Edina, MN; about 20 minutes from the airport. It can handle quite a few cars.(30-40) Some hotels nearby (if needed).

I've thought about some drives from MN to MA when my M3 arrives. The "direct" route is no issue. But the route I'd like to take - along the north and south shores of Lake Superior - will be problematic. No superchargers between Duluth and Sudbury ON. And limited destination charging. I think it's doable, but not simple.

dsvick | 29. elokuu 2017

If you are driving along the South shore of Lake Erie I'll provide coffee and charging if you need a break. Or, leave it charging at my house and we can get a real lunch somewhere. I'm West of Cleveland 10 minutes South of I-90. | 29. elokuu 2017

@PG: you are right about the dreadful Grand St. service Center location and 2 SC stalls. Moreover, they won't let you use them during business hours and at night you have to fight off the local cheapskates. But they have some new SCs in the metro area.

@Claudia: we aren't getting any younger down here in Sarasota. What's up?

mkbs94 | 29. elokuu 2017

@sbeggs. Check your locale on crediting sales tax paid in California on your new car. Only 5 states had reciprocity as of last year. You could end up paying again when re-registering in your home state.

sbeggs | 29. elokuu 2017

Ha ha! Well, you have until next May to finish reading all the reports, going back to West Coast/Canada, Utah Parks, Desert Southwest, California Wine/ Mountain...!!!

mntlvr23 | 29. elokuu 2017

Very nice - nothing beats the west.

We once did a 4 week trip out there with three kids 5 through 11 and it was the best. Something new and different everyday. Been back for three other trips since to fill in some gaps (but only a week or two each)

Garyeop | 29. elokuu 2017

If you love to drive, might I suggest Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi. Over 300 miles of history, blues, and fried anything. I got on it once before there were cell phones and the term "blue highways" meant something to map readers. Odd what experiences make your life seem richer. :)

ReD eXiLe ms us | 30. elokuu 2017

sbeggs: Considering the apparent popularity of the Model 3, I wouldn't expect it to take long for WeatherTech floormats to appear. Certainly before the end of this coming Winter. You should probably keep an eye on this page...

Garyeop: I should probably make that trek some day... I learned how to read maps when I was eight... But the only routes I learned in Mississippi were the ways OUT of the State... I don't really know my way around within its borders otherwise. ;-)

sbeggs | 30. elokuu 2017

Thanks! Still considering taking delivery at the Minneapolis Service Center.

sbeggs | 31. elokuu 2017

So nice of you! Thanks for the invite!

Garyeop | 31. elokuu 2017

@ReD eXiLe ms us
Go find the end of the Natchez Trace furthest from home. Drive toward your home and put on The Eagles singing "The Seven Bridges Road". Watch the Mongolias pass by and drop the windows to take in a breath of life. It will make you want to kiss yo Mama. :)

ReD eXiLe ms us | 31. elokuu 2017

Garyeop: That brings up another thing... One of these days I have to seriously learn the difference between The EAGLES and WINGS... Y'know, beyond the fact one of them had Glenn Frey and the other had Paul McCartney. :-D

Garyeop | 01. syyskuu 2017

The AI's attacked. Changed Magnolias to Mongolias above. I think they are hinting about the AI horde coming once they control the Tesla Robots.

sbeggs | 01. syyskuu 2017

Good point. No plans gelling yet for Sarasota. The childhood friend who met us in Nashville has a mother in Sunnyside Village, do you know of it? Gail is retiring from EPA next April so doesn't want to take any more vacation days. Stay tuned!

sbeggs | 03. syyskuu 2017


Would red or silver look more beautiful when photographed next to one of the Great Lakes?

Mike83 | 03. syyskuu 2017

Red like the M3 my wife has chosen.

sbeggs | 03. syyskuu 2017

Oh, my...I believe you are right. I will definitely check into this when making the decision on where to receive and title the car.

Nexxus | 05. syyskuu 2017


At first I thought you talking about China there...:-)

Nexxus | 05. syyskuu 2017

Driving on the Great Wall!! What an experience!

Gen11 | 05. syyskuu 2017

The Minneapolis team is great, as I am sure is true in Chicago too, people in Chicago have always been nice on my short visits... But. As noted plenty of space in msp and perhaps somewhat lower density of orders due to the smaller metro. I would guess the 8 hour drive would be more of an issue depending on route but have to say I would take Minneapolis any day.

sbeggs | 05. syyskuu 2017

Wow! Now your mentions of the Natchez Trace has us dreaming of extending the Great Lakes trip southward.

We'd have to call it Great Lakes/Beyond.

William9 | 05. syyskuu 2017

Have you considered the effect taking delivery out-of-state will have on the Calif $2,500 incentive?

Garyeop | 05. syyskuu 2017

Maybe you can get a cable show taking scenic rides with only electric power. Call it "Shock Treatmemt", "Electric Glide" or "Solar Rover". Maybe have something new and cool each week in the frunk (like a winch).

sbeggs | 06. syyskuu 2017


Red it is!

sbeggs | 07. syyskuu 2017

May build pole barn at daughter's lake cottage for Model 3!

SamO | 07. syyskuu 2017

Solar pole barns.

sbeggs | 07. syyskuu 2017

Polar sole barns!

Bighorn | 07. syyskuu 2017

Climate change is destroying the polar barns

sbeggs | 25. syyskuu 2017

Preliminary analysis of sales and other taxes from California vs. Michigan shows that, if the $2,500 rebate from California is still in place next year, the net tax cost would be $1,000 less if we licensed Model 3 in our home state of California vs. in the vacation home state of Michigan.

Carl Thompson | 25. syyskuu 2017


Remember there are now income limitations for the $2,500 rebate in CA which will make many Model 3 buyers (including me) ineligible.


SamO | 25. syyskuu 2017


Aside from solar polar bears, that's not much of a financial difference. Enjoy the midwest pickup :-)

sbeggs | 10. lokakuu 2017

Decided not to proceed with pole building or garage at cottage. Son DJ has installed a nice 14-50 with outdoor metal cover/ housing!

Mike83 | 11. lokakuu 2017

Maybe put up a Solar array connected to a PowerWall and charge for nothing.

sbeggs | 29. lokakuu 2017

Steve just came up with a new name for next year's Great Lakes trip.

Little T in the U.P.!

I'll change the thread title when we embark on the trip.

sbeggs | 31. lokakuu 2017

Hoping for Long Range battery, EAP but no premium package.

Steve recommended we pick First Production even though it carries with it the premium package. So I changed it.

No email yet!

sbeggs | 06. marraskuu 2017

Just learned Steve's son just bought a 2018 Volt,so no wonder he's been installing 14-50 and J1772 equipment in his garage, pole building and the cottage in Rapid River and Stonington, MI lately!

sbeggs | 28. marraskuu 2017

Well, we were 115,000th person to reserve on line after the reveal March 31, 2016, so this could take some time before we are asked to configure.

sbeggs | 01. joulukuu 2017

Steve has the map up of Lake Michigan, wondering if one could drive down the west side of the lake and take a ferry eastbound to the other side of the lake. Then continue exploring and returning over the bridge over the strait of Mackinac (sic).

Are these ferries still operating, and what are seasonal limitations?

Milwaukee to Muskegon?

sbeggs | 09. joulukuu 2017

Research into the ferries reveal that one definitely operates in both directions, several times a day during the summer season between Milwaukee and Muskegon. Cost to take 2.5 hour crossing for car is around $100 and each senior passenger $83. So with taxes and fees about $300 for the transit.

Driving around the south part of the lake would represent about 300 miles, 6 hours of driving, plus an hour or so of charging. Even paying for supercharging, this would be cheaper.

But the ferry might be more fun!

giskard | 09. joulukuu 2017

Agreed, the ferry sounds more fun. I took one across Puget Sound 2 decades ago and it was a lot of fun. Also keep in mind your 6 hour path takes you through Chicago which can be challenging depending on time of day. I prefer passing through in the dead of night - a lot less traffic then :)

Not that I'm an expert as I've probably been to Chicago about a half dozen times. I will confirm what a couple others have said - the Eden Prairie delivery center has plenty of room and is very easy to get to. They took over the rest of the building they're in at the beginning of the year. Hopefully they're ready for the coming increase in volume.

mntlvr23 | 09. joulukuu 2017

Do the ferry, charge people $10/each to take turns sitting in your car - ferry is paid for.