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Best way to plan a trip?

Best way to plan a trip?

About to take my first "more than one tankful" trip (San Francisco to Palm Springs). I once saw some long threads on trip planning here, but can't find them anymore. Anyway, is it as simple as this? Just get in the car, set the Nav for my final destination, and then check the map for Supercharger locations when we're getting a little low (maybe under 40%) or when we need a restroom or lunch break? Then stop and charge as long as we feel like it, get back on the road, and keep doing the same until we arrive? Also, we hear there's a place we have to get through in the mountains somewhere near LA called the "Grapevine" which is often snowed in around now. If that's looking bad, will the Nav warn us and take us onto an alternate route? TIA!!

lilbean | 5 décembre 2019

I did that drive in a Model S and didn’t plan anything. I just looked at the supercharger map. It’s a good idea to carry chains. Have fun!

Bighorn | 5 décembre 2019

Pack appropriately. Plug in destination. Before you pull out of your driveway, you’ll know what your supercharger stops will be, when you’ll arrive at each and how long you’ll charge at each. Go out and try it—you don’t actually have to follow through. Then you can get an idea where you’ll be at mealtimes and you can Yelp a nearby restaurant. Routes will be remapped if there are traffic issues and supercharger durations can be impacted by busy stations. If there’s a route you’re on that you wish to avoid, you’d need to change to a different intermediate charger and later revert to your original destination, once you’ve passed the undesirable stretch. The car can’t do waypoints still, in order to alter the entire route.

bjrosen | 5 décembre 2019

Use Abettetrouteplanner to plan your trip, much much better than Tesla's route planner. For long trips you want to pick your Supercharger stops, not just for charging convenience but also for amenities like bathrooms and food. Use the reviews on Google maps to find out what's available at each Supercharger stop. Also when picking your hotel you will want to choose one that has charging, Tesla EVSEs preferred but J1772 will work fine also. The Tesla route planner shows which hotels at your destination have EVSEs, use that to narrow down your choice of hotels then use your usual hotel tools like Priceline or Google Maps to make the final choice. Plugshare also shows were all sorts of chargers are, that's another way to figure out which hotels offer charging.

Bighorn | 5 décembre 2019

Implicit in my answer is that trip planning is unnecessary. Nobody has traveled more than I, so I speak from experience. If your post were at all suggestive of a neurotic need to overplan, there are plenty of resources. But no, they are entirely superfluous in the context of your query.
Tesla’s routing is based on how you set it up. You can choose re-routing based on how much time a reroute would save you, starting at 5 minutes. It has rerouted me around massive accidents a couple times in the last six months where I was maybe part of a 2% cohort that realized they needed to exit and detour a multi hour accident scene. Waze will show you the extent of the slow down, though I’ve not seen it suggest a different route. I rarely use Waze anymore because it is a data suck and the police speedtrap notification became almost worthless. It’s good for pothole and object on the road notifications, though.

brian4 | 5 décembre 2019

I've heard good things about ABetterRoutePlanner. I thought it was an app, but couldn't find it in Apple's App store, but I did find it as a website. However, I couldn't really figure out how to use it, as there didn't seem to be any explanations or tutorials. Am I missing something? Also, specific to "the Grapevine" issue, is there a way to find out in advance what the road conditions there are? The rest of the drive will be pretty routine, but I've heard that that small segment can be a nightmare in winter.

gmr6415 | 5 décembre 2019

@Bighorn, "It has rerouted me around massive accidents a couple times in the last six months where I was maybe part of a 2% cohort that realized they needed to exit and detour a multi hour accident scene."

I completely concur. The first time the on-screen nav tried to reroute me I ignored it and ended up in a 45 minute back up. I learned real fast to trust it. It does pay to take a quick look at the map to confirm though...look for the red lines on your lane. I've had a few times when it tried to reroute me around construction zones that were unnecessary.

vmulla | 5 décembre 2019

Bighorn | December 5, 2019
Implicit in my answer is that trip planning is unnecessary.
-----
+1

I tried abetterrouteplanner, but that planned route didn't last the first 2 Superchargers. All you need to know is if you can make it to the next Supercharger. You adjust to changing circumstances and maintain a reserve. That's basic common sense too.

I haven't traveled into the fly over zones of USA in winter, so won't talk too much about all possible circumstances - but for any east/west coast area there's no planning necessary.

brian4 | 5 décembre 2019

I like the concept of less planning, and just stopping at superchargers when we feel like stopping. Glad to hear it's as simple as that. I've also been re-routed around major traffic jams by the on-board nav system, so I'm just going to hope that if that one bad section has a snow closing, it'll send me somewhere around it. Thanks all.

brian4 | 5 décembre 2019

I like the concept of less planning, and just stopping at superchargers when we feel like stopping. Glad to hear it's as simple as that. I've also been re-routed around major traffic jams by the on-board nav system, so I'm just going to hope that if that one bad section has a snow closing, it'll send me somewhere around it. Thanks all.

brian4 | 5 décembre 2019

Oops, sorry for the double post. Oops, sorry for the double post.

Bighorn | 5 décembre 2019

One piece of advice especially pertinent to winter and novice road-tripping is to charge to a slightly larger arrival buffer than the car recommends. I’ve done about 100k miles of Tesla winter travel and have yet to be anything more than white-knuckled over bad conditions
You can judge the pace of traffic with the mapping traffic overlay. Grapevine is just a big climb that uses a lot of energy, in my experience. Nothing I’ve been led to fear. Appropriate tires are my main concern when traversing passes that may be slick.

Shesmyne2 | 5 décembre 2019

Grapevine is 1500’ elevation.
Sometimes in winter it gets snow, and sometimes so bad they close the Grapevine.
In that case there are 2 go ‘rounds- one is 2hrs, the other about 4hrs.
The good news is if you’re nervous or ‘things change’ Tejon Ranch has a Supercharger just before the elevation.

Trust the NAV.

Still Grinning ;-)

brian4 | 5 décembre 2019

@Shesmyne2 So--the Nav will route me around the Grapevine if it senses disaster ahead?

brian4 | 5 décembre 2019

@Shesmyne2 So--the Nav will route me around the Grapevine if it senses disaster ahead?

Shesmyne2 | 5 décembre 2019

Yes, if the timing is right...
Just always look ahead...weather, wind snow reports. Be aware.

Still Grinning ;-)

ADinM3 | 6 décembre 2019

"Nobody has traveled more than I, so I speak..."

@BH, just for context, are most of you miles driven by you alone in the car or with family members. Either way, I'm sure you drive more than most of either, but the reason I ask is that I definitely find my planning and charging approach is definitely different when I know the family is with me.

I may be unique in that any Tesla SC delays on longer drives are amplified by the fact that the wife usually wants to take the ICE SUV due to additional room but I have convinced them to take the Tesla. Any grief or delays with the Tesla is an opportunity to say "I told you so..." and will be used against me on a later travel.
Lol

hokiegir1 | 6 décembre 2019

Like some others, I like to look at ABRP just to have an idea of which way we're going so we can decide which stop to do a meal break based on what's around them and expected charge times -- and to have an idea of any intermediate chargers that might be skipped, but we may need to use. The one downside of the on-board nav (other than lack of waypoints, so I guess 2 downsides) is that once your route calculates, it doesn't show you unused superchargers unless you select to view them, and I find the routing to prefer "drive slower" to "adding a stop" -- which is not my personal preference. If I know of an intermediate stop, I'll just change my destination to that one, then remap things while I'm charging -- but if I'm strictly relying on the nav, I might not be aware of an available stop.

DAlexModel3 | 6 décembre 2019

I agree with others that for most trips you don't need to do much planning, since the car will do so and tell you to charge when necessary. However, there is one caveat: the car will not make sure you have enough electrons to get to your next destination after the one programmed in to the nav. This is where abetterrouteplanner can help out, since you can set multiple waypoints.

Bighorn | 6 décembre 2019

@AD
Most of my miles are solo, with the dog, but my wife has joined me for several trips to either coast. She’s a trooper and will do a 56 hour drive, but her tolerance for detours to visit new superchargers only allows about a 50% hit rate.

And I agree about the shortcomings mentioned by hokiegirl. It’s good to look at the unchosen superchargers along your route by touching the lightning bolt on the map. I’ll often override the car’s choices by stopping at intervening superchargers.

And DAlex, the Nav should re-route you to a reachable supercharger if the initially plotted one is out of reach. Years ago, it used to just start by telling you to slow down and eventually that you don’t have enough juice, even if another option existed en route. I’ve long since seen where it replots to the reachable charger if you ignore all the warnings. It takes longer than it should to do so, though. Better to be aware of options ahead of time by looking at the route as noted above.

Anne.chaka | 6 décembre 2019

I've had my Model 3 SR plus For 3 weeks now, and am concerned about trip planner saying I'll have 8% charge left when I arrive at the destination or supercharger. Was almost stranded last weekend on an 84 mi round trip for which the battery said I had 180 mi of range. Temperature was in the low 30s. Low battery warning came on and barely made it home. I had about 40% loss of range. I live in eastern Washington State, so supercharges are more widely spaced. I'd like to take it to Glacier National Park next summer, for example, for which trip planner says I can make it, but without much charge left. How reliable is it? What if I need AC or have the window open?

hokiegir1 | 6 décembre 2019

@Anne - summer losses are much less significant than winter. Cold weather and heater use are 2 of the more significant impacts to EV range in general (not Tesla specific). If you swap to use the seat warmer instead of the cabin heater or even toggle the heater on and off for 20 minutes at a time, it can help mitigate some of the cold weather losses, though some aren't willing to compromise comfort (personal choice).

SalisburySam | 6 décembre 2019

Early on:

When I first got the Model 3 trip planning was all-encompassing, and by that I mean at a computer with at least two martinis, to view the trip on ABetterRoutePlanner, Tesla’s GoAnywhere, EV Trip Planner, AAA’s website, etc. I compared routes, determined precise battery charge amounts and times, food locations, additional rest stops if needed for the pooch, made selections, yadda yadda, humma humma, possibly the third martini.

Now:

Get in car, set destination, drive.

hokiegir1 | 6 décembre 2019

@SalisburySam - I do agree. My early trips ended up on spreadsheets that I printed out to have in the car with us -- and we watched the wh/m usage like a hawk, starting to replan if we were off by more than 10 of what the spreadsheet listed for that particular leg. Granted -- one of those early trips included a bike rack, and with that one, I'd probably still go toward heavy planning ahead of time, but other trips where it's just us in the car -- much more laid back now.

hokiegir1 | 6 décembre 2019

We also used to panic if we had less than 20% estimated on arrival. Now -- as long as we're over 5%, we're good.

Bighorn | 6 décembre 2019

Anne
New drivers probably shouldn't depart on a trip with an 8% arrival because other factors will come into play that are unaccounted for in the initial estimate--primarily, heating or cooling and weather related impediments like wind, rain or snow and the attendant increased rolling resistance of anything accumulated on the road. GNP has never had good supercharger coverage, though there are stations currently being built in the area. You've needed to rely on destination chargers at various hotels or 50 amp charging at campgrounds to navigate up until now. AC draws around 2 kW whereas heat draws up to 6 kW, figure about a 4 mile loss per kW per hour, so up to 48 miles on a two hour trip with maximal heating. Winter travel into unknown areas would be best served by having a 30% buffer as well as an awareness of the weather's impact as well as strategies to deal with impending shortfalls such as opting to use seat heat over the climate heat as well as slowing down. Generally, the arrival prediction will continue to update the SOC figure for the first 30 miles, at which point it has become rather accurate having factored in draws related to speeds different than assumed, weather, etc.

Kathy Applebaum | 6 décembre 2019

I've also relaxed on my trip planning, although I do look up unfamiliar superchargers to see what the food situation is (usually we have the dog with us and are dealing with food allergies, so advanced prep is nice). Other than that, we just go.

In a couple of weeks we'll do a multi-state drive. I did plan that one a bit, only because we'll be doing some rural AirBNB stays where I don't know if we'll have 120V charging overnight and nearby Level 2 is limited, so I want to arrive with enough juice to get to the next SC when it's cold. I noted the min charge % I want to leave the last SC of each day with, and beyond that I'll let the car do its thing.

TranzNDance | 6 décembre 2019

Check out the Tejon CHP to get updates on Grapevine:
https://twitter.com/chpforttejon

whtrbbt | 6 décembre 2019

We did a round trip from New England to FL this Fall. I was at the spreadsheet end of the planning spectrum on the way south since it was our first real trip. The return was way more mellow just routing from SC to SC based on needs for food and pit stops.

The one piece that did carry over was using the EV charger filter on Hotels.com to find places to stay (other sites probably have similar). It was great to pull in and plug in knowing I could top up in the AM and leave with a full pack of electrons.

Tronguy | 6 décembre 2019

About the only complaint I've got about the Tesla route planner is that it sometimes leaves one at a destination with, say, 15% charge remaining. That's vaguely OK if there's a destination charger. (This has mainly been seen going into Boston). Easy solution, though: Pull into the SC closest to the destination and charge to 90% or something.
I _think_ I've heard reports that the Tesla planner is getting better in this regard but haven't run into any such solution as of yet.

kevin_rf | 7 décembre 2019

Geeze, Boston is super charger dense. I have three within fifteen miles of me, five within twenty five miles. Plenty of options, especially if coming from NJ. Me, I would stop at Shoppers World in Natick and just crank it up to 70. That's more than enough for a Boston visit.

Back on topic, if you know your destination and where the superchargers are. Just drive and once down to 25-30% pull in. While California is different than Mass. I just drive and go, do I need to stop, yes, no.

Bighorn | 7 décembre 2019

Boston isn’t bad, though some of those garages are pricy. $16 just to get into the Pru and their card reader sucks.

Maxxer | 7 décembre 2019

Get in your car

Write the address

Press on the pedal

Anne.chaka | 11 décembre 2019

Thanks to everyone who responds to my new owner cold weather range anxiety post. I've almost stopped kicking myself for not getting the extended range, and I think it will be ok. When the weather is decent, it will be "get in car and drive"! There are a few places out here in the Pacific Northwest east of the Cascades where I like to go hiking and camping that I'll have to be creative to get there, but that will only get better as the density of super chargers increases. In the winter it'll be more limited, maybe 100-150 miles. Found a good website ronharrisonjr.com about cold weather range. Model 3 doesn't have battery heaters, but uses the motors. So if you can pre warm the car for 30-60 min when it's plugged.in at home, the batteries will warm up from the cabin heat and range will be better.

Bighorn | 11 décembre 2019

@anne
The battery won’t heat from cabin heat, but will by the act of charging. Also you might be able to fool the battery heater into preconditioning if you plot Nav to go to a nearby supercharger. WA owners were also proactive about setting up a fairly comprehensive Level 2 charging network ahead of supercharger arrival that you might look into.

jfaubl | 11 décembre 2019

I'm planning a road trip next spring break. Is there ever a huge problem with chargers at hotels being used by other evs and you can't charge at the hotel? I'll be close to superchargers so if that happened it is not the end of the world.

jfaubl | 11 décembre 2019

I'm planning a road trip next spring break. Is there ever a huge problem with chargers at hotels being used by other evs and you can't charge at the hotel? I'll be close to superchargers so if that happened it is not the end of the world.

Anne.chaka | 11 décembre 2019

The website is tomharrisonjr.com, not Ron.

So now it's become a good story. When my battery warning came on, the only structure within 20 miles was a guardhouse with armed swat guards for the Hanford site (Manhattan Project). Freezing temperature and a 102 year old in the car. Lowered my speed and cabin temp and made it back. All is well!

Bighorn | 11 décembre 2019

Hanford site was mentioned on Final Jeopardy tonight