A 4000 mile road trip was fun and easy for me.

A 4000 mile road trip was fun and easy for me.

I am back from my first long road trip with my new Tesla 3. I did 4000 miles from Woodbury, MN to Phoenix, AZ and back in nine days.

I went out via Badlands National Park, the Black Hills, then south to Trinidad, CO, and west across New Mexico and Arizona to Flagstaff, finally south to Phoenix to visit my sister.

There were plenty of Tesla Superchargers along the way and I was the only Tesla charging at almost all of them. I drove at 85 MPH on most of the freeways, easy with the Tesla and range was fine even with AC on. The auto steering function made driving feel secure and even gave me time to look around at the scenery without having to stay totally focused at staying in my lane 100 percent of the time. The car did that for me unfailingly. You just have to keep a hand on the steering wheel all the time. The car is quick, quiet, stable, and fun and easy to drive all the time.

The sound system is great for a car system. There are 14 speakers and all I had to do is say "play bluegrass" or what ever kind of music I wanted and the Tesla immediately found it.

From Phoenix back home I cut northeast from Flagstaff through Hopi Indian country to see Monument Valley and Arches National Park. The interval from Flagstaff to the next closest Supercharger on this route was at Blanding, Utah and the Tesla GPS system said I would arrive with only 5% remaining charge so I stopped at Tube City, AZ as a hotel there had a level 2 Tesla charger. I charged there for an hour. There was no fee as long as I showed my receipt for lunch at their restaurant to the hotel desk when leaving. This got me to the Blanding Supercharger with no range issues. The Blanding, UT Supercharger was the nicest one I stopped at. It was right at the town's welcome center and museum. The lady at the welcome desk inside even offered free ice water. There were three Tesla 3s charging there at the same time, a red one, a white one, and my blue one. Very patriotic. All American made! :D

From there I drove to the Grand Junction, Colorado Supercharger and north to the Rock Springs, WY Supercharger to visit the Dinosaur excavation site at Vernal, UT and drive across the mountains and through the Flaming Gorge area. This was another push the limits stretch. Thus I stayed overnight in Vernal and topped up at a 240V charger at a near by RV Park.

I note that I never had to use the brakes at all on long mountain downhill stretches. The built in regeneration capacity of the electric motor just used all that excess gravity to recharge the battery a lot for free. I see now why they claim the break pads should last over 100,000 miles. I really never needed to use the brakes hard at all during the trip.

Then it was across the freeway in Wyoming for a ways and angling NE on two lane roads back to Spearfish in the northern Black Hills. I stopped overnight there using the Supercharger in Rapid City and finally home across South Dakota with Supercharger stops in Murdo and Mitchell SD, and finally Worthington, MN and home.

I had absolutely no issues at all with the new Tesla. It ran perfectly and its automation kept me from ever getting tired. The AC was great even in the 105 degree SW heat. Sun overhead with its glass roof was no issue at all, the built in sun block in the glass kept the interior cool just fine.

This was the first long road trip for pleasure only I have made in 20 years and was the easiest one of all thanks to my new Tesla. Its a wonderful road car.


sbeggs | 05. september 2019

What a beautiful write up, good break in run!

Earl and Nagin ... | 05. september 2019

Glad to hear. Thanks for the testimony.

vmulla | 05. september 2019

Nice! You'll start taking a lot more road trips :)
I've made dozens of road trips since I've got my first Tesla, and am always looking forward to the next - that was never the case before Autopilot.

CharleyBC | 05. september 2019

Nice travel log!

rsingh05 | 05. september 2019

Awesome! You covered a lot of ground.

I did a 4K mile road trip from Bay Area to Vancouver to Banff a couple of months ago. Best road trip ever and I barely used EAP.

Slightly off topic but let’s see the Taycan compete with the 3 on road trips ;-).

derotam | 05. september 2019


sounds like a great trip! Curious though, did you do any kind of route planning before hand? Specifically since there were a few areas where you had to stretch, and find a non Supercharger, had you looked at those parts of the route ahead of time to make a game plan?

Cree12 | 05. september 2019

What a great road trip! I've done one like this before but not in a Tesla. I sure look forward to taking some road trips with my family. Thank you for sharing!

bjrosen | 05. september 2019

I'm heading to Montreal tomorrow from MA, doesn't look like there will be any problems at all. The Lincoln NH Supercharger is midway between home and Sherbrooke where we plan to stay for the first night. The hotel has a couple of Tesla chargers and a couple of J1772s so hopefully we wlll be able to charge overnight, if not there is a Supercharger at Magog which is near Sherbrooke and on the way to Montreal. Our hotel in Montreal also has Tesla destination chargers. What I'm curious to find out is if we will be able to use the hotel chargers or if they will be fully occupied with other Tesla's or if they will be ICEd. Last year we went to PEI in my Volt but because I was thinking about getting a Model 3 I kept an eye out for chargers. Last year there were zero Superchargers in the Maritime, this year there are a couple in NB, none in PEI. The hotel we stayed in the first night in New Brunswick had two Tesla destination chargers but both were ICEd with a pair of Dodge Chargers.

F.vanalstine | 05. september 2019

Yes, I did research my planned route using Abetterrouteplanner so I knew about the iffy range between Superchargers in Utah and from Grand Junction, CO to Rock Springs, WY. I did not know for sure in advance just how much mountain climbing across these parts would involve, thus the 240V electron top ups just to make sure. Actually I would have made both segments with 5% to spare straight through but was not sure of that in advance.

It appears ABRP is much more conservative as it said “don’t try it” to both segments while the built in Tesla guide said “there with 5% to spare” in both cases.

I forgot to mention the great motel at the Supercharger in Lusk,WY. I stopped at the motel (Covered Wagon as I remember) about 9 in the morning for a full charge as Tesla warned that the next charger at Wheatland, WY was out of service.

I asked if I could use their restroom and buy a bottle of water. They told me they were just finishing up with their free breakfast for their guests and had a lot left over so help myself. Full charge, great kauphy,* bacon and eggs, and more. Great way to head across the awesome high Wyoming plains where you can see for 100 miles in all directions and no people or habitations at all. Just an occasional miles long coal train going by and a couple of stray coyotes.

* Kauphy = how to spell “coffee” getting every single letter wrong (good thing to know).

jim0266 | 06. september 2019

Nice recount of the trip. Is your M3 a LR RWD or AWD and what tires are you running? Did you sleep in the car or even consider it as an option?

NateM3 | 06. september 2019

Nice write up Frank. What trim car is yours?

casun | 06. september 2019

i need to take a road trip.

Mike83 | 06. september 2019

Nice write up. We are taking many more trips since we bought our 1st Tesla over 5 years ago. For us, ICE free travel is so much better and less stressful. Also we are safer in a Tesla with EAP and enjoy ourselves more. My wife is always planning a new place to visit but I prefer areas that have Superchargers which is not a problem these days.

F.vanalstine | 17. september 2019

Bluebot is a long range rear wheel drive version with the standard aero wheels and hubcaps,

5700 miles on it now with no issues at all.

F.vanalstine | 17. september 2019

Bluebot is a long range rear wheel drive version with the standard aero wheels and hubcaps,

5700 miles on it now with no issues at all.