Long distant trip planned from TX to FL. Help a newbie.

ummgood

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#1
I am so excited that I am planning a trip from Texas to Orlando to the mouse with my family in August. My parents will also be driving and will be taking 2 of our 3 kids with them so it dawned on me that I could drive my new Model 3 on a long trip to see what it is actually like. I am completely new to this and would like some input from people that have driven a Tesla long distances. Hopefully I get my car in time. My window is Dec to Feb.

I have already tried to make some reservations at hotels along the way that have destination chargers. It has been complicated because my parents want to use all Marriott points while I care mostly about destination chargers. My parents will be driving our van and want to stop in the same places we are but probably will make the trip as fast or faster than we will. So all my hotel bookings I started with the destination charger maps from Tesla and then tried to find my parents a Marriott near by. Plus there was some complication that the weekend we'll be in transit all the hotels in Tallahassee are booked up so we had to divert to Panama City. Anyway here is the itinerary and I have a bunch of questions I'll ask at the end of the post hopefully someone can answer. I used the EV trip planner to find out where I'll be charging.

Day 1 - Thursday: SW Austin - Seguin (drop off dog at in-laws) - Beaumont. Stopping to supercharge at Flatonia and Channelview. Staying at Homewood Suites
Day 2 - Friday: Beaumont - Panama City. Stopping to supercharge at Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, Slidell, Mobile, and DeFuniak Springs. Staying at Hilton Garden Inn
Day 3 - Saturday: Panama City. Stopping to supercharge at Tallahassee, Lake City, Ocala, and Orlando. Staying at a resort without charging.

On the way back we are staying in Gulfport, MS and I have no plans to stay at a hotel with a destination charger because the hotel is right off the freeway and it was too difficult to figure out the destination charger/Marriott requirement.

Anyway I have a bunch of questions that came up while I was planning this...
1. How reliable are these destination chargers? Should I assume they'll work at all or not? What are the chances of them being iced?
2. When it says a destination charger is 8kW or 16kW how many miles can I expect to get per hour? Also does it slow down when you go over 90% charge? Should I even try to charge to 100% if that is even possible on one of these chargers?
3. I have noticed sites like Tesla and EV trip planner assumes you can drain the car completely before arriving at your destination. I am assuming I'll have to charge enough to make it to my next destination just for a buffer in case the destination charger isn't working. Any thoughts on how people deal with this? Is there a way to or another website that is better at dealing with this? I added the Orlando and DeFuniak Springs chargers myself just to make sure the car is topped up before I stop for the night.
4. How much drain should I expect from my car while it sits? It will probably be sitting for awhile in Orlando because we will park the Van at Disney to only have to pay to park 1 car a day and we'll have 7 people.

Any other thoughts you guys have about this trip? I am new to this and planned it out as a green newbie to EV trip planning. Any other considerations I should make?
 

garsh

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#2
How reliable are these destination chargers? Should I assume they'll work at all or not? What are the chances of them being iced?
It can vary a lot.
If you're going to require the use of one, try to investigate it. Look it up on plugshare.com and see what comments people have left. If it's on a business property (like a hotel), it might be useful to call the company and inquire if they do anything to keep other cars from using those spots.
 

TesLou

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#3
How reliable? You might want to download the PlugShare app and see what others are saying about those particular destination chargers. For instance, there are 2 Tesla DCs right next door to where I frequently travel for work in Pittsburgh. I hope to use those once I get my M3 and drive up there but one of them doesn’t work well and the other just plain sucks; according to reviews.
 

Impatient

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I have driven from Dallas to Tampa with no problems whatsoever. This was before the Tallahassee supercharger existed, so I had to bridge the Tallahassee gap in both directions. And this was in a P 85.

Plug share is a great source of information about the superchargers themselves. For example, the mobile supercharger has a reputation for being a bit dodgy. DeFuniak springs is a little bit removed from the highway and amenities might be a bit lacking. Researching each supercharger will help avoid surprises.
 

ölbrenner

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3. I have noticed sites like Tesla and EV trip planner assumes you can drain the car completely before arriving at your destination.
If you want a planner that allows you to set the minimum arrival SOC for each supercharger stop, and also allows you to set a minimum final destination SOC, try abetterrouteplanner.com.

Be aware that currently, it appears to be VERY conservative in its M(odel)3 LR range algorithms (and it also assumes a 71kWh battery). I found I have to set consumption to 224 Wh/m to match the real world range numbers people are getting on M(odel)3 cross county road trips (270-280 Wh/m, 75'ish mph, aero wheels).
 
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Twiglett

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#6
How reliable are these destination chargers? Should I assume they'll work at all or not? What are the chances of them being iced?
Definitely use the plug share app and call ahead. Had to do this a lot when driving a Leaf!
Calling ahead is the biggest thing so the hotel knows you are relying on getting a charge there, some of the larger hotels keep the chargers in the valet area so they can move cars around once its charged.
I've had more issues with inconsiderate EV drivers treating the charging bay like a parking spot. Hotel reception can help.
 

ummgood

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It can vary a lot.
If you're going to require the use of one, try to investigate it. Look it up on plugshare.com and see what comments people have left. If it's on a business property (like a hotel), it might be useful to call the company and inquire if they do anything to keep other cars from using those spots.
Ok thanks I'll definitely give them a call. I'll plan on calling in the morning of the drive or should I call sooner? What I can do is if they are ho hum about it then I'll just make sure I charge more to make sure I have enough charge to get to the next supercharger. If I can get by without the supercharger than that saves me some money and time if I can skip the last one in each leg.

How reliable? You might want to download the PlugShare app and see what others are saying about those particular destination chargers. For instance, there are 2 Tesla DCs right next door to where I frequently travel for work in Pittsburgh. I hope to use those once I get my M3 and drive up there but one of them doesn’t work well and the other just plain sucks; according to reviews.
Thanks for the plugshare recommendation. I hadn't heard about it so I just got it and it looks great. I'll make sure to participate as much as I can without my wife starting to roll her eyes.

I have driven from Dallas to Tampa with no problems whatsoever. This was before the Tallahassee supercharger existed, so I had to bridge the Tallahassee gap in both directions. And this was in a P 85.

Plug share is a great source of information about the superchargers themselves. For example, the mobile supercharger has a reputation for being a bit dodgy. DeFuniak springs is a little bit removed from the highway and amenities might be a bit lacking. Researching each supercharger will help avoid surprises.
Thanks I started reading reviews and looking at what is around each one. You are right some seem like pretty distant from things and it will probably be melting hot in August so I'll have to keep all this in mind. I think the hardest part will be setting my wife's expectations. I think if a supercharger stop is near lunch time and there isn't enough stuff around we might stop/buy the food/and eat it at the supercharger. Oh and my teen will be with so there might be some setting of expectations for her too.

If you want a planner that allows you to set the minimum arrival SOC for each supercharger stop, and also allows you to set a minimum final destination SOC, try abetterrouteplanner.com.

Be aware that currently, it appears to be VERY conservative in its M(odel)3 LR range algorithms (and it also assumes a 71kWh battery). I found I have to set consumption to 224 Wh/m to match the real world range numbers people are getting on M(odel)3 cross county road trips (270-280 Wh/m, 75'ish mph, aero wheels).
Thanks I'll check that out! I'll have the sport wheels so I'll expect even worse efficiency.

Definitely use the plug share app and call ahead. Had to do this a lot when driving a Leaf!
Calling ahead is the biggest thing so the hotel knows you are relying on getting a charge there, some of the larger hotels keep the chargers in the valet area so they can move cars around once its charged.
I've had more issues with inconsiderate EV drivers treating the charging bay like a parking spot. Hotel reception can help.
Thanks! I am staying in roadside type hotels so I don't expect them to valet. I never stay in fancy places with my kids. It just never ends well. As long as my kids have free breakfast with a waffle iron they feel like they are staying at a four seasons.
 

ummgood

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#8
Oh and we might change our itinerary to drive down the east coast of FL before Orlando through Daytona. That shouldn't be much more out of the way and it seems like there are several superchargers available. My dad wanted to drive down the west coast side but that would be a bit scary for me being a first time EV driver. I want to make sure I have supercharger availability for my first road trip until I get the hang of it.
 

ummgood

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#10
do you have your car yet or just hoping you get it before August?
Nope I am in the Dec-Feb non-owner pool. I am hoping I get it before August. I am guessing if it takes Tesla until August to get me my car they'll have bigger problems and I possibly won't want it then. There is only so long they can delay without needing more cash.

I am planning on getting first production and was in the first 100 in line in Austin and based on Troy's estimator I should be around car 16,000 or so.