Glacier National Park or bust!

Glacier National Park or bust!

Leaving in a week for Glacier and the Canadian side of the park as well. Routing through Reno on Hwy 80 and then north on Hwy 93. Any experience with RV Park charging along the way?

mvannah | 30 agosto 2013

Good luck. Make sure you call the RV Parks ahead of time. I just got back from a trip to Whistler from Las Vegas, but only dared the adventure because of a network of well-known Roadster chargers between Sacramento and Portland. You will definitely be off the beaten path.

Pungoteague_Dave | 31 agosto 2013

I tried to work out this exact trip and found we could not do it - too much distance between RV parks. Where's a lot of wide open out there and many hills and passes to account for. Remember that it takes about 8-9 hours at most RV chargers for a full charge. We took the motorcycle instead.

robkal007 | 31 agosto 2013

Warnings appreciated. Have called many RV Parks on route and get either "you will have to pay for a full day hookup." or "give us a call on the day of and if we have an available hookup, we will charge you for the electricity." So far my expectation is 450 miles or less a day and will take some good books for the 4-6 hour mid day charge sessions.

skymaster | 31 agosto 2013

Relax and enjoy!! I am sooo jealous. Glacier National Park is my favorite place in the whole wide world. There are over 600 miles of maintained hiking trails in Glacier.

DouglasR | 31 agosto 2013

If you had more time, I would advise you to make or buy a collection of adapters and a good extension cord in order to take advantage of any opportunities to charge at welder outlets, dryer outlets, distant 110 outlets, etc. If you have twin chargers, you might try to borrow a Roadster adapter. Although I don't see any high amperage stations near Glacier, there is one in Reno, and you might run into others. See

Good luck! This is an ambitious adventure.

robkal007 | 5 settembre 2013

Enough planning, time to shove off. Have 43 RV parks identified and reservations for the over night stops made. The final destination has been extended to Lethbridge, Alberta making the total distance for this leg 1830 miles.

Have put together collection of 8 Nema plug connector options and have tire repair kit.

The adventure begins.

Brian H | 5 settembre 2013

Spend part of your stop-time making lengthy posts here! Include every little anecdote that crosses your mind. They add 3D to the imagination of your readers.

robkal007 | 14 settembre 2013

Day number 8.
Sorry for the lack of posting. It has been a challenging trip so far, but still on schedule. The stats:
Travelled from Long Beach,CA>Big Sur(2 nights)>Winnemucca,NV>Arco,ID>West Glacier,MT>Waterton Lakes, Alberta Canada>Lethbridge,Alberta Canada>Osborne,ID>Ellensburg,WA (current location on charge).

2503 miles, 691.5 kWh, 276 Wh/mi average. 11 RV Parks in 4 states and 2 countries (always on a Nema 14-50 hookup-extra plugs not used). Best leg so far: 249.7 miles averaging 212 Wh/mi at cruise control setting of 45 miles per hour-took 6 hours with two short stops. There was a 1040 foot elevation decrease.

Greatest elevation gain in one segment was 3400 feet going over Logan Pass in Glacier Nat'l Park.

Number of issues in RV parks not many, but often charging was interupted due to the park circuitry and I dropped charge draw to 35 amps on three occasions all on overnight charges which had no effect on trip.

Number of issues with Model S: Only call to Tesla was this morning when I awoke at 2:40 AM and saw charging had stopped and there was an alert to have the car serviced. The touch screen was off and unresponsive. This was in the boonies of Idaho and after calming the slight panic attack I called Andrew at Tesla and he checked the car and said that the new verson of the software was being downloaded. I had never witnessed that before because I had never been in the car at 0200 when they are always done. After chatting for a few minutes with Andrew - he was quite calm - and download completed wiith all working BETTER than before, but I can't talk about that.

To summarize, the trip so far (still a week to go taking in Vancouber and running back home to Long Beach) has been essentially flawless with hicoughs that created more angst than was really necessary. This is not an easy way to travel because a typical day has covered around 400 miles and with very efficient driving that still means six additional hours of charging each day are necessary. That makes a very long travel day and stopping for things other than charging is not all that doable. Doing it again I would slow the pace to 300-350 mile days.

Spending time in RV Parks has been beautiful at times with great sunsets, lunch and a good book along the Salmon River and also an opportunity to connect to another part of the American culture that Model S drivers wouldn't normally meet. Hard rock miners in Nevada and Idaho, highway construction workers and travelers from the East Coast and also Europe. Of course everyone wanted to know more about the Model S and it was helpful to have a handout to help them visualize how it can perform as it does when filled with food, clothing, lounge chair and picnic umbrella, airmattress and sleeping bag. After leaving California is was interesting how unaware of this technology people were.

Finally, being on a solo trip in the Model S offered a special treat: fold the seat down, inflate the air mattress, roll out the sleeping bag, put one window half way down and cover the opening with a sun screen for pest control and crawl in. Nothing like listening to Canada Guess in the night, watching the constellation Orion out the rear window and falling asleep to the hum of the S's charger. And then there is the realization at 0300 that the S is even taking care of you in the night off the highway: the charge keeps is warmer in the cabin even with the window down in 43 degree weather... until the charge completes at 0400 and then at 0500 you move behind the wheel and drive for the next charge and breakfast.

Bighorn | 14 settembre 2013

Sounds like an epic and memorable adventure. I love Glacier and Waterton Lakes. I've done the sleeping bag in the Prius before and I can only imagine how much nicer it is in the Tesla. You need a remote so you can manage TuneIn, etc from your cocoon! What sort of problems are you seeing without 3G in Canada? I assume you need to use a separate GPS unit for mapping and don't have internet access.

diegoPasadena | 14 settembre 2013

That sounds like a great way to enjoy this car! Something I would have never considered with my past cars, but something that I will definitely do with this one.

robkal007 | 15 settembre 2013

Thanks for explaining why the Nav was really iffy in Canada - no 3G!? But apparently there is an embedded GPS map program that would give me directions and the driver panel map, but the big touch screen was without a map. Big screen would have a car position and direction a blue line and a destination flag with all gray background. It was functional and got me out of the country and I had the mileage data I needed to keep track of the progress to guarantee enough just to make the next plug.

Yesterday was a monumental day and not to be repeated. Very long drive - 500 miles - and it took 18 hours, but I learned a lot. Left very early in the morning- 3:00 - and drove across Idaho to Spokane at 45 mph. Wanted to see the extended range possibilities and wasn't much of a hazard at the time of day. Left with 252 miles and arrived at my RV Park 6 hours and two short stops later with 71 Rated Range miles remaining. Model S can be a 310 mile car (came down in elevation 1000 feet). Charging for 5 hours made my run to the Burlington, WA supercharger an easy 3 hour run at 60 mph. Ahhhh...Superchargers once again!! 90 minute charge nice dinner and off to Vancouver for the night with a 40 minute border crossing - adding to a very long day.

I am really happy to know the performance at 45 mph because there are times when I cut it a little too close and dropping the speed is the quickest way to gain comfort with a larger reserve on any given leg.

Only one day left without supercharging in this trip and it should be a piece of cake. Will be at the factory early Wednesday afternoon to charge and meet some folks there that have been following me along the way.

robkal007 | 16 settembre 2013

If 3G doesn't work in Canada, does Tesla have access to my Model S? I'll check that out in a few minutes before I leave Canada.

Brian H | 16 settembre 2013

I guess you meant Canada Geese? Not exactly musical up close, but OK far away.

Elevation change costs about 7 mi/1000' climbing, and returns 5-6 of that descending, by some calcs. Does that fit with your experience?

slipdrive | 16 settembre 2013

Here in Colorado, I have found a couple of RV parks high in the mountains. The slow charging (like slow food) experience is great. It forces the time to exhale and relax. I have found the people to be great, if you are sensitive to their curiousity and patient if it is their first encounter with these cars.

One was at the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. The three hours got me 100 miles range in a 50A and very private space, and a nice hike down and back to the village for a coffee. Three dollars for kwH and a walk around the car for the owners teenage son, and I was off to the top of the Park and 12,000ft. A little dirt on the hiking shoes is so much better than oil on the shoes and gasoline on the hands ...

Brian H | 17 settembre 2013

Nice post. +1

robkal007 | 24 settembre 2013

BrianH my experience on elevation gain is more like 10 miles per 1000 feet of ascent and 9 miles back on the descent. I really don't worry about ups and downs, just the net gain or loss in any single run. This was so clear going from Grants Pass to Redding with three passes over 3000 feet.

slipdrive thanks for the comment and I agree about taking some time while slow charging to breathe and enjoy - or take a shower, catch up on email or read a good book. It would be great to make a list of the really nice parks who appreciate us, don't try to charge a full overnight's fee for a few hours of charging and are located like your example where a nice hike or walk would make the waiting worthwhile. My favorite stop was in West Glacier at Suz-San-Ed RV and B&B. Nice folks, $10 for the overnight charge and a very nice B&B to get a good nights rest.

Brian H | 24 settembre 2013

I'm sure it varies with speed. Racing uphill has to be e-costly!