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2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,006
edited November 2014 in Tesla
image2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Our 2013 Tesla Model S can charge quickly at most RV parks and campgrounds with the basic charge cord that comes in the trunk.

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Comments

  • That's pretty neat! I didn't know you could do that.
  • Although not endorsed by Tesla, I've read a bunch of Model S owners have purchased 50A RV-targeted extension cords along with a couple of other EVSE adapters to take advantage of 240V outlets like dryer plugs in friend's/family's homes. Although usually limited to 30A continuous like Level 2 chargers, it beats finding a nearby RV park.
  • so do you just pay a one night fee to hook up for awhile or what do they charge? --- billinflorida, that is kind of funny. I guess electric cars are considered to be so 'good' that nobody thinks twice about asking their friends or family to pay for the electricity to charge them. I guess I could try asking "Hey, is it okay if I siphon some gas from your car because I don't have enough in mine to make it home?"
  • ^That's funny. In my experience, people are much more receptive of me siphoning gas from their vehicles if they aren't aware that I'm doing it. I just assume that they would say yes, and they just assume that I'm a nice guy who doesn't steal gas from his neighbors. Everybody wins. Anyway, now that I'm done with my lame humor, I think this is actually kind of cool. I like visiting state parks, and many have cabins and RV spots, so you could go visit and let the car charge overnight. I just though of something, is the Tesla towable behind an RV?!
  • banhughbanhugh Posts: 315
    It would be even better if the Tesla could tow a small cabin!
  • banhughbanhugh Posts: 315
    I mean if the Tesla could tow a small camper
  • hybrishybris Posts: 365
    http://www.trailmasterinc.com/sentry/sentryindex.html from the pictures here if you get a hitch for the Tesla you could probably tow this with minimal drops in range. Plus side is when you find yourself on the side of the road waiting for the flatbed tow truck to get there you have some options for shelter.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    I get your point, and that is some resourceful thinking, but I'm looking at the photos shot from the front of the car and shot from the rear of the car...and I don't see anything there that I would want to stay and explore for 5 hours and 26 minutes. The RV people there have a place to hang out, to sleep, to cook and eat...but you're there in a 4-door luxury sedan, and there is no spot in any of those photos that I would want to pitch a tent and sleep...looks like you're parked on the moon. I just Googled for the hell of it and found an average RV hookup cost of about $27/night - ? So for $27 you can over 10 hours get 250 miles in range...in my ICE car for $27 I can get about 225 miles in range (7.2 gallons)...but I can do it in about 45 seconds. Using your hybrid hotel idea, you have a place to stay overnight while the car charges...but then you are paying for the site/hookup AND for the room.
  • vvkvvk Posts: 193
    Wow! How is this not advertised by Tesla? First time I hear about it.
  • Oh it's much nicer than that Fordson. There are thousands of sites to camp at and a huge number of them have 50A outlets. There are picnic benches, beaches, forests, parks, etc. We took our Model S and went up to the mountains in Central California and stayed at a beautiful campsite for $24 a night. We pitched our tent for the night, ate hot dogs cooked on our camp stove and woke up in the morning with a full range charge (262 miles). So we camped, stayed the night AND filled our tank for $24. Not too shabby. My wife is now convinced that the Model S has opened up a whole new world to us of camping for one night on a weekend for cheaper than a meal at Chili's.
  • kyolmlkyolml Posts: 37
    Tesla owner probably will just install the Tesla's High power wall connector instead of level 2 charger anyway, which is still much faster than NEMA 14-50
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    Well, I think if you are an owner, you'd be nuts not to explore this option - the strength of the car is that it's cheap to refuel, but the weakness is the inflexibility of refueling - it takes a long time and there are not that many places, comparatively, to do it. Now, this is a there-and-back option, for if you want to go to places a little further from home for say a weekend. Or if you are really not in a hurry and want to travel only in small, 250-mile bites per day. Interesting.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    Well, I think if you are an owner, you'd be nuts not to explore this option - the strength of the car is that it's cheap to refuel, but the weakness is the inflexibility of refueling - it takes a long time and there are not that many places, comparatively, to do it. Now, this is a there-and-back option, for if you want to go to places a little further from home for say a weekend. Or if you are really not in a hurry and want to travel only in small, 250-mile bites per day. Interesting.
  • Many of the RV parks only charge a nominal fee to plug in, not the full overnight-stay cost. On plugshare, I randomly found Seven Feathers RV Park in Canyonville OR. "$10 for unlimited day use. Very clean & modern RV park. Charged Tesla Model S for 4 hrs at 40 amps and 230 volts (about 28 mph). Can use shower, pool and jacuzzi while waiting." That doesn't seems like the worst deal ever. That said: it's an option and it was smart of Tesla to size the on-board chargers to utilize it to its max (9.6kw) rather than the 3.3kw or 6.6 you find in other EVs.
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 513
    As a camper who also admires the S, I'm intrigued. This would make traveling a whole lot more fun.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    So, is Tesla's next venture going to be competition with Airstream?
  • zimtheinvader - Neither my family nor I ever ask each other to pay for showers during our visits, despite using both electricity and water. It's a courtesy we extend without limit. Despite that, I doubt seriously an EV owner, which I'm not, would use someone else's electricity without approval.

    You might also not know there are web sites, e.g., PlugShare, where total strangers offer to share their EVSE with each other. I've read it's a unwritten rule there should be an offer to pay, and if declined, a bottle of wine or something similar should be offered as a gesture of thanks.
  • Over six months with the car and you guys are just figuring this out? It was one of the first things I discovered that attracted me to the Model S; the smart way they implemented charging. Basically, if there's power at a given location, you can charge there (or get an adapter to do so). Everything from a 120V wall outlet to a 120KW supercharger. The only thing that varies is the speed of charge. They've even got a CHAdeMO adapter coming out so you can fast charge on those Nissan units.
  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaPosts: 451
    The boring-looking campsite in this photo is at Willow Springs Raceway, where there's plenty to do and watch while the car charges. Buttonwillow Raceway has 14-50 outlets and campsites, as do other tracks.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaPosts: 451
    @kyolml Yes, the HPWC is faster, but it also costs over a grand to buy, let alone install. And then there's the matter of having a spare 100 amp breaker in your panel, which is a tall order. My entire house only has 150-amp service--I couldn't do it witho

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • If you don't offer to compensate your friends and family for use of their dryer plugs, you are a cretin. The RV parks will make an appropriate charge...
  • Wish I could find an adapter to charge my Model S at an RV park. The Camco 30 amp to 50 amp I bought doesn't work. It's a 3 prong to a 4 prong adapter but it doesn't work.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 63,427
    I'm sure an electric RV is waiting in the wings! Hey, don't laugh. Just think of the number of batteries it could carry.

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