How to Go Cross Country - Your Advice, Summarized

How to Go Cross Country - Your Advice, Summarized

Pretty soon we'll get into the detailed planning stage for our Utah Parks trip.
But, as you all know, owning a Model S can give you wild ideas!
Everyday we stray off topic and let our minds rove all over the U.S.

A friend making a film on the Lewis and Clark expedition invited us to his cabin in Helena, Montana next summer. So we got the idea to go north and west (from Denver) and visit him. That's on top of our idea of going to Steve's birthplace in Upper Michigan. Note: this idea has morphed into the Great Lakes in a new Model 3 trip!

My parents and sister live in Northern Virginia, and so we started talking about shipping the T to Virginia and then spending months roving all around the East Coast, which we have only partially seen.

But, some of you, like @SamO, have actually driven the whole cross country route (and back).

My main concern about doing that would be driver fatigue (and all the foreign objects in the middle of high speed highway lanes).

Is it necessary or better to have multiple drivers to maintain alertness? If so, how many hours of driving per each, or per day total do you think is prudent? Break up the trip and not drive too many miles per day? Don't drive at night? Only drive at night?

What were the techniques that you used or learned in "going the distance"?

I see those red dots on the Supercharger map and they are like beacons. Egging me on.
I need help!

OK, here's the wisdom of long-distance drivers on our forum, condensed:

1) drive in the daytime (SamO)
2) 8 hours is ideal (SamO)
3) slow on climbs, coast/fast on downhills (SamO)
4) smell the roses along the way (Goehring9, SamO)
5) stop every 2-3 hours for 45 minutes (John Glenney)
6) remember: outside Cali, there's weather (John Glenney)
7) rest at night unless you have more than 2 drivers (SeattleSid)
8) avoid sugar/coffee (Pungoteague_Dave)
9) avoid forest rats at night/other animals (P_D)
10) stay alert by taking 20 minute naps (P_D)
11) nail in tire - inside patch, not plug (TeslaOwnerBlog)
12) 3.5" REI self-inflatable mattress for rest (TeslaOwnerBlog)
13) drink coffee!/eat tortilla chips (Bighorn)
14) drive at night/early a.m. around major cities (Bighorn)
15) use cruise control (centralvalley)
16) time SC so that you are not on road when bars close (Captain_Zap)
17) avoid being on road for sunrise going East and sunset going West (KevinR)
18) when off Supercharger grid, limit to 180-240 miles (CraigW)
19) find a hotel chain and use their reservation system (CraigW)
20) get $50 Tesla tire repair kit for piece of mind (CraigW)
21) bring tire plug kit (Tesla slime doesn't work on large punctures) (Bighorn)
22) avoid colliding with road debris by avoiding traveling in caravans, tailgating (TeslaOwnerBlog)
23) give bottle of wine to new charging friends (darrelw)
24) use range mode
25) preheat car, charge until you're ready to leave with a warm battery to enable regen (JenAlJill13)
26) call ahead and ask hotel to block charging unit for you so you don't get ICE'd (rodrussel).
27) make sure you can see daylight between dual tires on trucks if following (Captain_Zap)
28) avoid following heavily laden trucks (Captain_Zap)
29) cold weather, Supercharge with warm battery before turning in as speed will be higher (sperrysburg)
30) best to bring two drivers (Anthony J Parisio)
31) Drive defensively, leave plenty of room for defensive maneuvers, both on the road and at traffic lights. Always have an escape route (Newampster)
32) Walk the parking lot at SC's (Newampster)
33) Enjoy the people and the sites. They will build the memories from the trip (Newampster)
34) use WAZE (Search and Rescue)
35 trust Tesla Nav system's charging times for each Supercharger (Search and Rescue)
36 Drive so that you arrive at Supercharger with 2-8% state of charge (Search and Rescue)
37 Watch for motorcycles splitting lanes (CA)(AEdennis)
38 Note emergency numbers changing at state borders - NV is NHP and CA is 911 (AEdennis)
39 At overnight stays at hotels with Superchargers, charge in am just before leaving (AEdennis)
40 Bring coins for toll plazas that still take them (Garden State Parkway, NJ) (AEdennis)
41 Consider bringing spare tire on long trip (robert, AEdennis)
42 Chew gum when you feel fatigue coming on, better than caffeine (tim)
43 Research EZPass before travel to intended states (tes s, barrykmd}
44 Account for local driving range lost when planning onward route (bnc)
45 Make sure you have cell phone, charged, for emergencies (akikiki)
46 buy adapter plug kits for every possible situation (sklancha)

adding what we learned on West Coast/Canada trip:
- put heavy wine/water bottles up frunk to balance load (sbeggs)
- slightly deflate tire pressure to reduce noise, increase comfort (sbeggs) - note: decreased life of Primacies to 25,000 miles
- bring along parcel shelf-table and chairs and minor cooking gear (sbeggs)
- circumnavigate major cities on Sunday morning (sbeggs)
- plan!
- note to self - acquire one orange cone.

Excellent and helpful suggestions from you all, thank you!

NKYTA | 2017年6月2日

Running out of battery capacity in the middle of nowhere when it is 7F.


Bighorn | 2017年6月2日

Getting carjacked.

PBEndo | 2017年6月2日

running out of juice when the only place to charge is a 120V outlet at Eagles' garage

JAD | 2017年6月2日

bill, the car basically does that by giving you all sorts of warnings if you are getting out of range of the Supercharger network, whether you are navigating there or not. That was added around V 8.0

tes-s | 2017年6月2日

Do people from the western half of the country have e-zpass for when they come east? I live here so I have one, but I cannot imagine driving around this area without one. My toll bill is about $75 a month - that's with the e-zpass discount.

sbeggs | 2017年6月11日

Bump for the 12,000 mile @ bishoppeak adventure!

barrykmd | 2017年6月11日

tes-s - I had an EZpass back in the early days when it was only NY/NJ, for the Hudson River crossings (I lived in PA at the time.) When I moved west (2009), I returned it. As far as I know, the westernmost state that uses it is IL, and I don't expect to drive east any time in the foreseeable future. NKYTA and BH can rest easy :-) Not a bad idea to get one prior to a trip east.

NKYTA | 2017年6月11日

Bridges were the worst in the East.

Bighorn | 2017年6月11日

Kosciuszko Bridge

sbeggs | 2017年10月21日

Add @bns advice from Canada trip 2017,

Take into account range used in local driving in planning to head out on the road again

sbeggs | 2017年12月9日

I really need to update the original post. Or, just give out @Bighorn's, @NKYTA's and a few other e-mail addresses (just kidding).

sbeggs | 2017年12月25日

OK, guys, cross country in the snow?

sklancha | 2017年12月25日

It doesn't matter how much I travel, there is always something new to learn...

If anybody is looking for the opportunity to showoff some serious Tesla travel knowlege... I'm looking for some advice and hopefully get a few questions answered.

I'm a cold averse traveler road tripping for 11 or 13 days from Tampa Bay to (?) Capitol Reef National Park with detours to Big Bend NP in Texas and Kasha Katwe Tent Rocks in NM.

Have any of you taken I-10W beyond Houston? The Nav seems not to trust that stretch of road. Problematic?

Is Big Bend a worthwhile detour? Places to charge there?

I'd like to hit as many of the Utah parks as possible, but want to set up the base camp at only one. Thinking of weather, charging ability and travel time to the other parks... where would you recommend? Advice from experience or stellar research is welcome.

That's enough questions for now :)


Bighorn | 2017年12月25日

I’m traveling in neg 2 right now. And I’ve travelled
I-10 all the way though I detoured up to I-20 for one charger pick up. Tucson to Deming was hit or miss depending on weather, but with Willcox open is a cinch. I’m about to nap here in Gillette so I’d have to look at a map to see the other crux in TX.

sklancha | 2017年12月25日

The @Bighorn. Just can't figure out why the nav consistently tries to drag me up to I-20, even when I give destinations that are south of I-10.

Traveling below zero? Yuck. Gets even tougher when we are camping. I probably would've picked Key West if I didn't have such a Tesla-traveling-junky-itch (been staying in state for MONTHS while waiting for a fender bender repair).

NKYTA | 2017年12月25日

Angel, I10 is doable now, or at least I hope so, because S. TX would be a unique SC goldmine for me. ;-)

NKYTA | 2017年12月25日

Might have to take the wife to Key West again to hit a few new SCs. :-)

sklancha | 2017年12月25日

There are so many new superchargers, even going to previously visited destinations [like Key West] can provides some new uniques...
unless you are a 1%er that does all your travel on the i-95 corridor (shout out to Mr.98 ;).

sklancha | 2017年12月25日

P.s. south Texas should help me get a few new uniques under my belt

Bighorn | 2017年12月25日

Ozona to Van Horn was the stretch I didn’t trust, plus I needed Midland, but my range is down to ~239 full.

sklancha | 2017年12月27日

I still need to know if leaving i-10 to go to the Big Bend NP, and getting back up to the next supercharger is doable...

p.c.mcavoy | 2017年12月27日

@sklancha - Have you plugged in the Big Bend NP route into evtripplanner to see if it shows it to be doable for you??

sbeggs | 2017年12月27日

safe and non snowy travels !

p.c.mcavoy | 2017年12月27日

@sklancha - Take a look at plugshare for your Big Bend NP trip if you've not already done so. It shows destination chargers in Marfa plus a few NEMA 14-50 options around that actual NP area.

I just plugged in a route from Ozone Supercharger to Persimmon Gap Visitor Center, on to the Santa Elena Canyon Overlook, and then back up to Van Horn Supercharger. Depending upon what I put in for ambient temp it shows as 450-520 rated miles. Says you definitely need to be planning on some charging option in the vicinity of Big Bend.

sklancha | 2017年12月28日

im at the San Marco SC right now. the nav says i will only have 3% charge left if i try tto get from Ozona to the Rio Grande Campgrounf in BIG Bend NP- The only location in the park that i potentially will be able to charge, I DID SEE ON PLUGSHARE that two [$$$expensive] public charger in surrounding towns- but the Plugshare is now apparently out of commission, so i cant use the app. getting a bit more anxious.


sklancha | 2017年12月28日

havent used EVTripper for years. always seemed to require way more effort and didnt realy help much. might just be my own incapacities. just to make this more challenging- i lost my phone!

in short-
no phone
no plugshare
Nav estimates destination will suck 97% of my battery
Florida appears to be the only state on this trip that is not being hit by the huge cold front

are we having fun yet? ;)

loc_nguyen | 2017年12月28日

I’m traveling right now California>Arizona>New Mexico>Denver>Utah>Nevada>California. I have the fortune to not run into a sub 30F yet. I haven’t used EV planner apps at all. Tesla expanded network of SC and hotel level 2 chargers really made my life with S 75D comfortable so far (with the exception of Denver area).

akikiki | 2017年12月28日

sklancha, only state not being hit by the huge cold front? Me. Me. Me not.

sklancha | 2017年12月29日

@akikikikik- stuttering in the cold ;)
winter weather is like a jaded ex- you might have some fond old memories, but the minute they invade your personal space again- you quickly remember why you left...

my lapses in judgment continue to accumulate. planned on picking up a new phone while in San Antonio, but everything was closed by the time i got there, so decided to continue driving a bit longer. figured i would pick one up in the next day during one of the next charge stops..... dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb move.

akikiki | 2018年1月1日

sklancha, Please don't misunderstand me. And I am sorry for your situation. I feel ya.
But I would have found a Walgreens or CVS and picked up a Tracfone. I feel like I left home without my American Express if I don't have some type of cell phone when I leave home these days. Cell phones are a lifeline now. Its always good later just for 911 access even if it does not have regular cell service. So it would not be a wasted effort or purchase regardless.

And you are right about the weather. We see snow on TV and we don't feel the cold. Can't even relate to those in the snow because its b-e-e-n t-o-o l-o-n-g to remember. (Thank goodness).

sbeggs | 2018年3月5日

Bump for @OldMick's trip!

sbeggs | 2018年6月2日


sbeggs | 2018年6月3日

Bump for @jongoldblatt

SamO | 2018年6月3日

All this advice is good but hardly necessary for much longer. It’s getting so easy, even a caveman could do it. :-)

NKYTA | 2018年6月3日

I see what you did there @SamO. :-)

SamO | 2019年11月13日

Great thread. Spam flagged.

SamO | 2019年11月28日

Since Electrify America is such a steaming pile of feces, just stick with Supercharging.

sbeggs | 2019年11月29日

Steve and I discussed driving cross country last night, but he said he couldn't take it!

Bighorn | 2019年11月29日

Funny to remember Grinnin’ VA accusing me of lying because I couldn’t possibly cover 600 miles, let along almost twice that, in a day.

SamO | 2019年11月29日

ah grinnin' you old so and so

Bighorn | 2019年11月29日

I think I probably killed him, stroking out to my provocations. Oopsie.

SamO | 2019年11月29日

He died doing what he loved: telling people to get off his lawn.

Bighorn | 2019年11月29日

He was a shoe in for the least appropriate moniker trophy.

sbeggs | 2019年11月29日

Youse guys crack me up!

sbeggs | 2019年12月6日

Bumping for @fred siemon cross country trip!

sklancha | 2019年12月9日

This the big season for cross country travel in a Tesla... second only to the Sound of Silence annual pilgrimage. Great flashback, and a nice reminder of past stupid mistakes... it takes my mind off more recent travel faux past :0


sklancha | 2019年12月9日

This the big season for cross country travel in a Tesla... second only to the Sound of Silence annual pilgrimage. Great flashback, and a nice reminder of past stupid mistakes... it takes my mind off more recent travel faux past :0