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Thread: Texas Road Trip

  1. #1
    Member Cattledog's Avatar
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    Texas Road Trip

    Or more accurately, business trip. I had to go from San Antonio to Houston for a presentation on Monday, so I decided to see if my blue heeler could make a go of it. YES!


    It's pretty much spot on 200 miles from San Antonio to Houston, so this was a good leg stretcher for the car. I left on Sunday afternoon, great weather, mid 70's and only a slight breeze out of the south. I-10 from San Antonio to Houston is pretty much E-W, so negligible effect from the wind. There is about a 700' elevation drop traveling from San Antonio to Houston. I ran the AC on low, had just a suitcase with me, listened to the radio, and drove during the day. I charged up on a Max Range charge and left San Antonio with 266 miles in the batteries.


    After clearing the San Antonio metro area, I set the cruise control to 72MPH, slumped into a tuck position, and let 'er roll. It's fascinating to watch the energy graphs change as you go up and down hills, tuck behind trucks, accelerate and decelerate, etc. A quick observation - I think you save 10%-20% energy consumption drafting 2 seconds behind a big truck.


    The Important Numbers:
    San Antonio-Houston - 200 miles, approx. 321 Wh/mile, 42 miles rated range remaining.
    I arranged to stay at Embassy Suites downtown as they had 2 Blink chargers there. They hadn't had someone use them in months, so it took a minute to figure out, but we got the car juicing at about 6:30. It's 208v/30A charger, so it only provided 18-19 miles/hour, but I was topped off again by 7:30 AM. And best of all, they comped me the charge (about 68 KWh)!




    The return trip was similar, except it's 700' uphill and today, Monday, I had a 5 MPH headwind. Still the numbers were better than I expected, especially because I probably did a bit less truck drafting on the way back - maybe 10% of miles vs. 20% on the way down.


    Houston-San Antonio - 200 miles, approx. 341 WH/mile, 22 miles rated range remaining


    Final thoughts:
    It's a really comfortable car to drive in for extended periods, definitely more comfortable than my 5-series BMW. We gotta get a supercharger halfway between San Antonio and Houston - it's not as fun to drive conservatively as when you are spewing an electron wake all over the highway. Even a 15-minute supercharge to get 50-75 miles of range would allow you to drive any way you wanted - cruise controlling 75-80, punching it when needed, etc. Also, tire pressure light came on, and went off, about 4 times. Gotta get it reviewed, tires look fine.


    Some guy flagged me down in downtown Houston and shouted, "I love Tesla, my mom just ordered one!" Go mama!
    Definitely an 'A' for the first extended trip. Loving the Frunk!

  2. #2
    Member aaron.s's Avatar
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    Thanks for this story! I love hearing about more real-world long distance trips in the S.

    Will be shortly starting to take my own and this gives me more knowledge on how things will go...

    Thanks again!
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for sharing! I make a few trips from Dallas to Austin each year (the same 200-mile distance as SA-Houston) and was curious how much range would realistically be left after the drive. I can't wait for the future superchargers for the same reason you described. I'm also looking forward to more hotels offering charging stations to eliminate as much inconvenience as possible for a recharge on the other end. I'm sure it feels a lot better leaving your car in an Embassy Suites garage overnight than 6 blocks away from a hotel in a grocery store parking lot.
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  4. #4
    The Wyndham Garden in south Austin has a charging station outside the front lobby. I plan to use that the next time I make the Houston-Austin trip. There was a Volt parked there during the day when I was there - but no one using the charging station overnight during my last trip.

    Still trying to figure out how to make the Houston-Dallas trip, which would be about 280 miles from my house to my destination in Dallas. Without the supercharger, not clear if I could practically make the trip.

  5. #5
    Roadster #1144 + Sig 114 dsm363's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_p View Post
    The Wyndham Garden in south Austin has a charging station outside the front lobby. I plan to use that the next time I make the Houston-Austin trip. There was a Volt parked there during the day when I was there - but no one using the charging station overnight during my last trip.

    Still trying to figure out how to make the Houston-Dallas trip, which would be about 280 miles from my house to my destination in Dallas. Without the supercharger, not clear if I could practically make the trip.
    Stopping at an RV park for 2 hours probably only way to make that trip happen and drive 65 mph.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_p View Post
    The Wyndham Garden in south Austin has a charging station outside the front lobby. I plan to use that the next time I make the Houston-Austin trip. There was a Volt parked there during the day when I was there - but no one using the charging station overnight during my last trip.

    Still trying to figure out how to make the Houston-Dallas trip, which would be about 280 miles from my house to my destination in Dallas. Without the supercharger, not clear if I could practically make the trip.
    I made the trip from Houston to DFW a couple weeks ago. I set cruise control to 65mph which sucks since the speed limit is 75.

    On the way to DFW I stopped at Home On The Range RV Park in Madisonville for about an hour. The location is convenient because it's on the north bound access road. It's also just a few miles from Bucees, where the proposed supercharger will be installed.

    The folks at Home On The Range were very friendly. The owner (Robert) even offered to install a 14-50 plug in front of the restaurant. The only issue with location is it wasn't paved, so I had to navigate over rocky dirt roads.

    On the way back to Houston I stopped for an hour at Woodland Lakes RV Park. They were very nice as well. This park was nicely paved and very clean. Easy to pull in with the car and charge.

    At both places I offered to pay $10 which they were both satisfied with.
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  7. #7
    S Sig #371, X Prod #1143
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    I did a trip from Austin to Corpus Christi and back for Thanksgiving. About 220+ miles each way, and even at a even highway speed still had about 15 miles left. Gunned it a few times coming back to Austin, so stopped at Central Market in SA for an hour for a little charge which in the turned out to be unnecessary, but did help my psyche.

  8. #8
    RoadsterS753 ModelS P1449 garry753's Avatar
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    On the Austin to Corpus trip, where did you charge in Corpus? We're looking to do a similar trip from Austin to Corpus and back...

    Thank you!

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    I'm toying with the idea of a trip from Houston to canyon lake this weekend. 180mi. I have a 60kw model. Not sure how feasible that would be. My normal route is I-10 to Luling, then over to San Marcos, and on to Wemberly. So there are several sections where I would definitely be going under 50mph.....but still nervous about it. My friend there is equipted with a NEMA 14-50 so once I got there it would be fine, but not sure if I am brave enough to attempt it yet. I suppose there are campgrounds R/V hookups in the area if absolutely needed....cattledog do you have a 60kw, or why when Max Charged did you only have 266m? Sounds low for a 85kw, but high for a 60kw. Thanks

  10. #10
    Roadster #1144 + Sig 114 dsm363's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyrodr View Post
    I'm toying with the idea of a trip from Houston to canyon lake this weekend. 180mi. I have a 60kw model. Not sure how feasible that would be. My normal route is I-10 to Luling, then over to San Marcos, and on to Wemberly. So there are several sections where I would definitely be going under 50mph.....but still nervous about it. My friend there is equipted with a NEMA 14-50 so once I got there it would be fine, but not sure if I am brave enough to attempt it yet. I suppose there are campgrounds R/V hookups in the area if absolutely needed....cattledog do you have a 60kw, or why when Max Charged did you only have 266m? Sounds low for a 85kw, but high for a 60kw. Thanks
    That should be possible especially if your average speed is under 60mph but won't leave you much buffer. You'd want to closely watch your energy app and your projected range over 30 miles. Try and keep your Wh/mile under 320 or so (think this is right). If you want to make the trip a little less stressful, plan a 1 hour to 90 min charge at an RV park (50A hookup is advertised). I'd call them first and arrange it, let them know you'll be there for only an hour or two and are happy to give them a few dollars or ask them how much they'd charge at first. If they can take a picture of the outlet and e-mail it to you, even better. They sometimes think they have one kind of connection but actually have another. Cattledog has an 85kWh Model S.
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