12,000 Mile Road Trip

12,000 Mile Road Trip

Just got home from a bucket list road trip in my P100D. Spent 1 month circumnavigating the lower 48 visiting friends, family and interesting places. Car performed flawlessly, driver and road conditions less so. General comments: Never any range anxiety, often bladder anxiety. Only waited once for a supercharger, 5 minutes in Rapid City due to Custer Rally traffic. 80% of the dozens I used were occupied by me alone. Big battery made it easy to run on the first 60% of capacity, greatly reducing charging time. Left the car dirty for camouflage and got no negative attention and very little attention at all. Some superchargers didn't want to release the plug, holding down the trunk release on the fob came in handy. Autopilot was wonderful on open freeways, suicidal on curvy two lanes. Chronological comments: Stuck in traffic downtown San Francisco, 3 Model S in a row. Eureka, CA 3 brothers, 5-10 years old, drag their parents and grandparents across the Walmart parking lot because they had never seen a Tesla before. They knew more about the car than I did! Seattle heavy traffic and pouring rain at night. I can't see the lane lines but the autopilot can, so I gingerly gave it control and it did a better job than I could. Eastern Washington at a remote supercharger. Chevy Tahoe pulls up and the driver introduces himself as the GM northwestern US regional manager. He's gotten a lot of blowback from Bolt buyers about long distance travel and wonders if it's possible to make a deal with Tesla. I suggest that they might be open to a well funded buy in. Montana 80 mph speed limit means I can set autopilot on 85 with impunity. Sheridan WY I've gotten complacent with autopilot and when a construction zone barrel straddles the lane line my drivers mirror takes a hit. Fortunately, the mechanism is OK, just the glass is shattered, and Denver can fix it as I pass through. Custer, SD I get to meet Bighorn and NKYTA in person! On an absolutely empty straight highway between Custer and Denver I discover that the speedometer turns red at 145 and the computer shuts off the fun at 155 with the car dead stable and still pulling hard. Dayton, OH the USAF museum is the equivalent of the Smithsonian, without enduring DC. Don't miss it. Toronto has paved every inch of the city, there is a ton of traffic but the splendid roads and skilled and polite Canadian drivers made it a non event. Quebec we're French, stuck in Canada, hate it and we'll take it out on you! Western Maine some thoughtful soul trenched a utility across the highway and didn't backfill it all the way. I hit hard and immediately checked the tire pressure on my 21s. It was OK, so I proceeded to Bangor, ME at speed where I discovered both front tires had big blisters in the sidewalls. This is Memorial Day weekend and everything is closed until Tuesday. Roadside assistance finds 2 tires at the Boston service center and they are open until 5. I rent a Buick and drive the 200 miles along with every guy from Boston with a boat that went Maine for the holiday. I'm at the Bangor tire store when it opens Tuesday with the tires. They are leery, never having worked on a Tesla before, but displaying the jacking instructions on the big screen stiffens their upper lip and I'm quickly on my way. Savannah GA supercharger is in the long term parking garage at the airport and you can validate by showing your fob to the info desk. TSA prevented me from getting breakfast as all the restaurants are past security and thou shall not go there without a boarding pass. FL turnpike superchargers are in the service plazas, very convenient. Hardest downpours I've ever witnessed between Baton Rouge and Houston, car handled it better than I did. TX rural 2 lanes have a 75mph limit and no traffic. AZ heat is no problem for the Tesla AC. Barstow, CA supercharger has 16 stations and solar! Wrap up: I enjoyed the last day of my trip as much as the first and couldn't have been more comfortable, even after a month in the seat.

NKYTA | 11 giugno 2017

Excellent bishoppeak!!

Solarfan | 11 giugno 2017


What a great writeup! Thank you and may the wind be at your back.

Mike83 | 11 giugno 2017

Well done. 150+ and stable is cool. I wonder what the real top speed could be. The battery doesn't like fast acceleration to those higher speeds so slower acceleration might be safe. Of course I don't do this on highways.

rxlawdude | 11 giugno 2017

Thanks for the writeup. Got me thinking about this after I semi-retire.

barrykmd | 11 giugno 2017

Nice writeup. For your next one, paragraphs are helpful.

tes-s | 11 giugno 2017

Very nice! 125 in my S85 and it wanted to go faster but computer wouldn't let it; I'm not sure I could handle 155 at my age!

Solarfan | 11 giugno 2017


I'll bet the limit was because the tire speed rating for P models is higher than for non-P.

KP in NPT | 11 giugno 2017

Great recap, bishoppeak! Sad we weren't' able to meet up due to the tire fiasco but I'm glad you had a great road trip! Gotta say though, brave to do a cross country on 21's - to me anyway, :)

Bighorn | 11 giugno 2017

Great to meet you in Custer! Bummer about the tires, but a small bump in the road overall, sounds like. I hope you've forgiven Sheridan for the less insult:)

SamO | 11 giugno 2017


Excellent travelogue. You made my day with this:

"Eastern Washington at a remote supercharger. Chevy Tahoe pulls up and the driver introduces himself as the GM northwestern US regional manager. He's gotten a lot of blowback from Bolt buyers about long distance travel and wonders if it's possible to make a deal with Tesla. I suggest that they might be open to a well funded buy in."

+1000 Maybe the best (helpful) suggestion that a GM employee ever receives. They may survive if they take your advice.

Bighorn | 11 giugno 2017


Shesmyne2 | 11 giugno 2017

Thanks for sharing bishoppeak!
Good humor mixed in to a great ride.
How many Superchargers did you add?

Still Grinning ;-)

Bighorn | 11 giugno 2017

It takes a certain immaturity to care about those things:)

healy | 11 giugno 2017

Thanks for the story! I'd love to see a map of where you went. Also, how many super chargers? One more question - 12K miles all on superchargers - were you throttled at all?

Bighorn | 11 giugno 2017

No reason to be throttled.

rxlawdude | 11 giugno 2017

@Big, how about totally gassed?

Bluesday Afternoon | 11 giugno 2017

I'd love to know the route after Houston. Did you go North to Oklahoma City as the I-!0 Superchargers are not complete or did you charge at Destination Charging locations or RV parks?

Thanks for sharing a great trip.

SarahsDad | 11 giugno 2017

I've been to the Savannah airport Supercharger a few times, never had a problem getting to the food court…

sbeggs | 11 giugno 2017

What a great report! I was on the edge of my bucket seat reading it. Glad you and your machine returned safely with good memories.
What advice would you offer other cross country adventurers? I'll bump the How to Go Cross Country thread in case anything comes to mind.
Now, have a nice glass of Bishops Peak wine. You deserve it!

bishoppeak | 11 giugno 2017

Probably got the wrong TSA weenie. San Luis Obispo(home)-Petaluma CA-Coos Bay OR-Lummi Island WA-Superior MT-Sheridan-Custer-Colorado Springs-Topeka-Des Moines-Chicago-Dayton-Detroit-Toronto-Montreal-Bangor-Harrisburg PA-Columbia SC-Palm Beach-Ft Walton Beach FL-Lake Charles LA-Houston-San Antonio-Childress TX-Albuquerque-Flagstaff-Phoenix-Kingman-Barstow-Buttonwillow CA-San Luis Obispo

bishoppeak | 11 giugno 2017

I used most of that info you supplied, all I can add is avoid Quebec!

SbMD | 11 giugno 2017

What a great trip, aside from the fire episode. Sounds like you may be ready for your next one ;)

SbMD | 11 giugno 2017


NKYTA | 11 giugno 2017

SbMD, bite your typo!!

Silver2K | 11 giugno 2017

Awesome writeup!

I actually read the whole thing!

We almost crossed paths at Bangor. We were vacationing at bar harbor the weekend before memorial day weekend. We stopped off at Bangor on the way back to log it as one i hit.

Chunky Jr. | 11 giugno 2017

Wow, great trip! It took me 2 years to get 12,000 miles in my P85.

TesMD | 11 giugno 2017

Great write up. I can't believe you pushed the max speed in the highway. I would have been nervous about going to jail. Haha

SUSTEKI.TOKYO.JP | 11 giugno 2017

Awesome! Enjoy reading stories about road trips.

SbMD | 12 giugno 2017

@nkyta - :-)

Tropopause | 12 giugno 2017

Wow! That's an average of 400 miles a day! Well done!

Anthony J. Parisio | 12 giugno 2017

Wow! Great writer. Sounds like a very wonderful trip. I hope you have many more to come. | 12 giugno 2017

@bishopspeak: oh yeah? What's your VIN?😉

Seriously, wow, what a sojourn! I'd have to retire from retirement to do something like that. That you are so unshakable, relentless and resourceful is impressive. Well done! | 12 giugno 2017

or @bishoppeak....:-((

txakoli | 12 giugno 2017


Great trip story. It was great to meet you at Custer. I'll buy you a beer the next time I'm visiting SLO, assuming of course you're not on another 12K mile trip.

NKYTA | 12 giugno 2017

@txakoli, nice meeting you at Custer as well!

txakoli | 12 giugno 2017


Likewise, my friend. I think I've now met all of the ruling members of the Tesla Owners Jedi Council. ;)

DLebryk | 12 giugno 2017

Best trip write up ever on this forum.

Economy of words, and still got the feeling across. Thank you.

Disagree with Quebec, but that's OK. If by some wild chance you have a French accent when you speak French, the Quebecois will hate you. Speak English - and just understand what they are saying in French.

PhillyGal | 12 giugno 2017

Great recap!

You're a brave soul. I can't imagine letting myself go over 100.

garywillson | 12 giugno 2017

What a fun read. Thanks !

garywillson | 12 giugno 2017

What a fun read. Thanks !

Eddie Cheddar | 12 giugno 2017

Hello bishoppeak,

Thanks for the great write-up. I too am thinking (dreaming) of doing such a trip. Not to get too personal, but I have a few questions that might help others on cross-country trips as well.

1) I have a Model 75 (240 miles max). Would you have had range anxiety in this car? Would you have done the same route that you did? Or would you wait until you can do the trip in a 100D?

2) Did you stay at hotels with car chargers at night? Did you try to? Were any of your hotel choices based on car-chargers, and if so, how did you go about finding them? Did you book your hotels a week before, a few days before, or just wing-it and pull into town?

3) I assume you may have stayed with friends and family on some nights, but most other nights you were probably in a motel or hotel. Again, not getting too personal, but what should someone roughly be budgeting for hotels and food, if they were to do a similar, 30 day trip? $150 a day? $200 a day? ($200 a day x 30 days = $6k for hotel and food.). Any tips?

Thanks in advance!


NKYTA | 12 giugno 2017

Since I recently returned from my 14,852 mile trip, I can take a stab at these. My route was basically SuperCharger Pokemon, so bear that in mind. 2012 P85

1 - There were probably 3-4 legs which I wouldn't have attempted in a 75
2 - I always tried to use Destination Chargers. I would book hotels at what I thought might be the penultimate SC stop of the day. That probably worked 40% of the time. The rest of the time I often stayed at hotels by SCs.
3 - I spent about $7k on hotels and food in 38 days. One night I drove straight thru, and stayed at family and friends five nights.

bishoppeak | 12 giugno 2017

There were several legs that I would have routed differently in a 75 and also many where a 100% charge instead of my 70% would have been necessary. I am a plan ahead kind of guy, so I made reservations months in advance. This was actually a disadvantage when I had my tire trouble, as most were non refundable. If I did it over, I'd probably make them a day or two before arrival as many discount their rates as the time approaches. I stayed in $60-$70 Super 8s for the most part that include breakfast and ate very light dinners to cancel out how sedentary I was, so expenses were pretty low. I didn't bother with destination chargers as the SCs were plentiful for the most part along my route.

Bighorn | 12 giugno 2017

I spent zero dollars on lodging on my 12,000 mile trip. No destination chargers, though I'd consider it at the ultimate stop were I to pay for lodging. Typically did one nice meal a day based on what I could find on Yelp. Unlike NKYTA, there's no Grey Poupon in my glovebox:) | 12 giugno 2017

@bishoppeak: you live in SLO-ville? We pass through there every year in the spring. My cousin lives there. If we repeat next May, we will have to look you up.

tes-s | 12 giugno 2017

When I drove cross country, and back with my wife, we would make reservations in the afternoon for our overnight stop. Used AAA app, Priceline, and Hotwire. Never had a problem finding a place.

NKYTA | 12 giugno 2017

Wrong job in a backwater town? ;-p

barrykmd | 12 giugno 2017

Bighorn | June 12, 2017
I spent zero dollars on lodging on my 12,000 mile trip.

Can't tell - are you bragging?

NKYTA | 12 giugno 2017

He is. Rightfully so. The one night I drove straight thru, my next day ended at 3pm. I was exhausted. No idea how he accomplishes such a journey. I needed the hotel hot tub every 4-5 days, but otherwise the tennis balls did a pretty good job.

Bighorn | 12 giugno 2017

No--just reporting on the range of approaches.