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Old 06-15-2017, 04:31 PM   #141
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:36 AM   #142
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Wow! Is that last shot a Tesla commercial or what?

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Old 06-24-2017, 06:47 AM   #143
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FYI we took the test drive of the X model (without towing a trailer). This is a pretty amazing vehicle, so if you are near one of the Tesla Explores promotional areas this summer (see link below), it is definitely worth looking at. With very few moving parts, AWD, good crash-worthiness safety ratings, and technological advances too numerous to list, it is probably a glimpse into the future. As a second family vehicle which can also tow the FC20 when needed, it is an attractive possibility for an upgrade to the daily driver.

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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
FYI we looked at a Tesla X SUV today, towing their new AS demo trailer which is making the rounds all over the US. The recent thread here about an accident near a Tesla demo trailer in Detroit led us to research the new vehicle and the AS combo.

Here is the Tesla Explores page:

https://www.tesla.com/teslaexplores

where the interactive map shows upcoming demonstration events.

We are going to take a test drive and get more info this week. An impressive vehicle.

Cheers,

Peter
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:31 PM   #144
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Peter,
Note that the Tesla provided hitch has a tongue weight limitation of 500 lbs, so you'll have to upgrade the hitch to safely tow a FC20. I am planning to upgrade mine immediately upon my return as the removable hitch has developed some play. Tesla looked at it and thinks it is fine but I'm uncomfortable with any play in that piece. A fixed receiver gives me more peace of mind.

I promise more updates soon. We are just busy enjoying this fabulous trip...
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:59 PM   #145
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Thanks for the hitch weight caveat. Have fun, no worries about updates!

Peter
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:18 PM   #146
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Thanks ohmman!

Too bad about having to unhitch at Tesla charging stations. That certainly seems counter-productive to their advertising campaign to promote towing with the new X SUV !!!

Memo to Tesla . . . how about some pull-through charging stations? [ Doh . . . ]

Peter
Tessa could , would or should put the charge port at the front of the model X and other models this would make home and other locations charging easier.
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:40 PM   #147
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Peter,
Note that the Tesla provided hitch has a tongue weight limitation of 500 lbs, so you'll have to upgrade the hitch to safely tow a FC20. I am planning to upgrade mine immediately upon my return as the removable hitch has developed some play. Tesla looked at it and thinks it is fine but I'm uncomfortable with any play in that piece. A fixed receiver gives me more peace of mind.

I promise more updates soon. We are just busy enjoying this fabulous trip...
Just wondering how it is going? There is a new thread you might find interesting:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...le-169483.html

Cheers,

Peter
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:45 AM   #148
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So the first big trip is complete. Approximately 3500 miles towing, 500 miles destination driving untethered. We used somewhere just under 600Wh/mi average while towing, which equates to about a 140 mile range on an effective 85kWh of usable pack.

In practice, we only approached that distance a couple of times. Most times we stuck to 125 miles or less between stops. The benefit to stopping more often was that I didn't have to watch my speed as closely. Going 125 miles really required staying at or under 55 mph. In some areas of Canada, the Supercharger spacing is such that I could go 100 kph (62 mph) without concern.

We charged at Superchargers, campsites, public EV chargers, and even a friend's house. Superchargers required that I unhitched in about 40% of the cases, and if Teslas were more common throughout Idaho, Montana, and Canada, it would have been more often. It wasn't as big an ordeal as I'd initially worried. Once my wife and I got a rhythm going, we found we could do each end of the transaction in less than 5 minutes. I never had to do it in inclement weather, but I could definitely see that being a little less pleasant.

Charging stops at the Superchargers were our intraday stops. They took anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, depending. There are a few variables that affect charging, mainly distance and energy delivery at the charger. If you are sharing a charger with another car, you can receive a reduced rate of charge early on. And charging a battery that last bit from 90-100% can take the vast majority of the time - up to 30 minutes. For that reason, it was best to have a stop within range so that we could charge to 90% or less and move on.

Campgrounds allowed us to charge overnight. For pedestals with 50/30/15 connections, I just dialed the car's draw down to 20 amps and plugged it into the 14-50. The camper then could be plugged into the 30 amp outlet safely.

There were some legs where we found ourselves driving quite slowly to ensure we had enough range. I took the cautious approach that I learned from my early days of driving an EV - start slowly and speed up as you get closer to your destination. I found that a good rule of thumb was just to ensure my car's range displayed at least double the distance to my next charger.

Pulling a trailer was effortless for the high torque of the automobile. The joy I got when driving my first EV up mountain passes showed up again when doing the same with the AS behind us. No downshifting, no engine noise, and loads of extra power. So long as I managed range, I didn't have to worry about cresting the hill. In one case, we climbed all the way up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park quite easily. 23.7 miles, 5000' elevation gain. While I consumed 1500Wh/mi on the way up, I added range on the way back down and got my average consumption down to 630Wh/mi on the roundtrip.

Planning was paramount, though. I'd revisit my plan for a driving day the night prior, and would always have a backup if something didn't work out. The worst-case scenario I came up with was if my range depleted enough, I could always unhitch the camper and drive to the charger to get an adequate charge to return and pick it back up. I didn't have to do that at all.

I'm in the process of trying to figure out how much longer it took me than it would have taken another family with an ICE TV. My guess is about 50% longer on travel/fueling time. It's not for everyone yet, but I'm very bullish on EVs for towing because of the torque and regenerative benefits.

One other thing that pleased me was that we could move through the campground silently. Many fellow campers came over and commented on that. Others mentioned the benefit of having no exhaust in the campground. I think those are both well aligned with the goals of any camper.

As a first long trip, I found it to be very manageable and likely the best family vacation we've ever taken. We only wish we had more time. Next time I'll shoot for 6-8 weeks instead of 4.

I'm happy to answer any questions that anyone might have.
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:14 AM   #149
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Thanks for the great details.

Welcome home!

Peter
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:20 AM   #150
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For everyone's information the following thread on electric vehicles is quite active:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...le-169483.html

The future is here . . .

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Old 07-10-2017, 09:41 AM   #151
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Thanks for the detailed trip report.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:16 AM   #152
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This is the same question I was asked often when I got my first Tesla three years ago. In three years, we've never run out of charge. We've taken road trips all over the Western United States, and would have done more if we could have had the kids out of school longer and more time off/available.

I recognize that EVs are new technology, and a lot of people have zero or near zero experience with them. There is a lot of FUD being spread around about them, so it's easy to make the mistake in thinking that your proposed scenario is a big risk. That's why I'm here, I hope to share some of the challenges of towing with an electric vehicle, and hopefully some of the benefits as well.

My Model X shows the estimated range in real time. It has a trip planner, which will tell me whether I'm going to make it to my destination. As I consume electricity on the trip, the large display shows me a graph that compares the car's original estimate to my actual consumption. From that, I can always decide to slow down if necessary, or keep going. As it turns out, Tesla thought ahead and adjusted their trip planner as soon as the 7-pin is connected and the car goes into trailer-mode. Over time, it learns the consumption of the vehicle with the trailer and gets even more accurate.

Electricity is more ubiquitous than gas stations. It's slower to fuel up and less convenient at the current stage of the technology. I don't deny that. However, it's commonly available, and in a pinch, even a standard household 15A outlet will suffice. A dryer plug is even faster, and a 50A RV plug faster still. Then there are the fast charging stations.

The reality of towing with an X is probably stopping every 110-150 miles, depending on terrain and conditions. Again, it's not currently as convenient as an ICE TV, but there are different externalities associated with it. I would be happy to go into the numbers but don't want to bore people too much. One important facet is air pollution from vehicle exhaust, which has a very high public health cost. It is true that some EVs are charged with fossil fuel fired power plants, but the efficiency rate is much higher (less fuel burned per mile) and the exhaust is concentrated away from major cities. Additionally, the grid continually gets cleaner, so an EV can get cleaner without replacement. That is generally not the case with an ICE, in fact it's often the inverse.

Regardless, I appreciate your interest and I hope this explains some of how (and a little of why) I feel safe towing with my Tesla.
All the while technology is also advancing on the ICE. They are getting cleaner and cleaner all the while retaining all the advantages EV can never overcome.
Without subsidies sales would diminish to unsustainable levels. Not only is the EV sales subsidized but so is the entire manufacturing chain. Should all those subsidies also be eliminated there would be no market.
Just like the solar panel charging issue. I can recharge my batteries in 1 hour with my convenient generator. It takes 7 hours with the solar panel and than I better hope its not overcast for days on end and better have the right angle to the sun. I see people all the time with solar panels on their roofs running their generators. Whats the point having them in the first place.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:35 AM   #153
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Repeating something over and over doesn't make it true. If you're going to keep saying it, please provide the data to support your argument. Otherwise it's nothing but bluster.

Regarding solar, how about the times you don't see people running a generator? They are charging with solar the entire time. Only seeing the times that they are running the generator is confirmation bias. I suggest you consider challenging your own biases.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:52 PM   #154
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All the while technology is also advancing on the ICE. They are getting cleaner and cleaner all the while retaining all the advantages EV can never overcome.
Without subsidies sales would diminish to unsustainable levels. Not only is the EV sales subsidized but so is the entire manufacturing chain. Should all those subsidies also be eliminated there would be no market.
Just like the solar panel charging issue. I can recharge my batteries in 1 hour with my convenient generator. It takes 7 hours with the solar panel and than I better hope its not overcast for days on end and better have the right angle to the sun. I see people all the time with solar panels on their roofs running their generators. Whats the point having them in the first place.
Simply BS.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:35 PM   #155
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So the first big trip is complete. Approximately 3500 miles towing, 500 miles destination driving untethered. We used somewhere just under 600Wh/mi average while towing, which equates to about a 140 mile range on an effective 85kWh of usable pack.

In practice, we only approached that distance a couple of times. Most times we stuck to 125 miles or less between stops. The benefit to stopping more often was that I didn't have to watch my speed as closely. Going 125 miles really required staying at or under 55 mph. In some areas of Canada, the Supercharger spacing is such that I could go 100 kph (62 mph) without concern.

We charged at Superchargers, campsites, public EV chargers, and even a friend's house. Superchargers required that I unhitched in about 40% of the cases, and if Teslas were more common throughout Idaho, Montana, and Canada, it would have been more often. It wasn't as big an ordeal as I'd initially worried. Once my wife and I got a rhythm going, we found we could do each end of the transaction in less than 5 minutes. I never had to do it in inclement weather, but I could definitely see that being a little less pleasant.

Charging stops at the Superchargers were our intraday stops. They took anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, depending. There are a few variables that affect charging, mainly distance and energy delivery at the charger. If you are sharing a charger with another car, you can receive a reduced rate of charge early on. And charging a battery that last bit from 90-100% can take the vast majority of the time - up to 30 minutes. For that reason, it was best to have a stop within range so that we could charge to 90% or less and move on.

Campgrounds allowed us to charge overnight. For pedestals with 50/30/15 connections, I just dialed the car's draw down to 20 amps and plugged it into the 14-50. The camper then could be plugged into the 30 amp outlet safely.

There were some legs where we found ourselves driving quite slowly to ensure we had enough range. I took the cautious approach that I learned from my early days of driving an EV - start slowly and speed up as you get closer to your destination. I found that a good rule of thumb was just to ensure my car's range displayed at least double the distance to my next charger.

Pulling a trailer was effortless for the high torque of the automobile. The joy I got when driving my first EV up mountain passes showed up again when doing the same with the AS behind us. No downshifting, no engine noise, and loads of extra power. So long as I managed range, I didn't have to worry about cresting the hill. In one case, we climbed all the way up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park quite easily. 23.7 miles, 5000' elevation gain. While I consumed 1500Wh/mi on the way up, I added range on the way back down and got my average consumption down to 630Wh/mi on the roundtrip.

Planning was paramount, though. I'd revisit my plan for a driving day the night prior, and would always have a backup if something didn't work out. The worst-case scenario I came up with was if my range depleted enough, I could always unhitch the camper and drive to the charger to get an adequate charge to return and pick it back up. I didn't have to do that at all.

I'm in the process of trying to figure out how much longer it took me than it would have taken another family with an ICE TV. My guess is about 50% longer on travel/fueling time. It's not for everyone yet, but I'm very bullish on EVs for towing because of the torque and regenerative benefits.

One other thing that pleased me was that we could move through the campground silently. Many fellow campers came over and commented on that. Others mentioned the benefit of having no exhaust in the campground. I think those are both well aligned with the goals of any camper.

As a first long trip, I found it to be very manageable and likely the best family vacation we've ever taken. We only wish we had more time. Next time I'll shoot for 6-8 weeks instead of 4.

I'm happy to answer any questions that anyone might have.
This would be way too much stress for me. Take all the fun out of traveling .
Your trip sounds like the entire fun part was playing with your subsidized EV.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:38 PM   #156
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I'm happy to answer any questions that anyone might have.
Can you charge from a generator? Such as a Honda 2000? Just in case you failed to find a charging station.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:46 PM   #157
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Can you charge from a generator? Such as a Honda 2000? Just in case you failed to find a charging station.
Either that or you would be walking...
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:50 PM   #158
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This would be way too much stress for me. Take all the fun out of traveling .
Your trip sounds like the entire fun part was playing with your subsidized EV.
Sounds like an awesome trip. And if he can afford an Airstream and a Tesla he probably pays his fair share of taxes even WITH the one-time tax break for buying an EV 😁

Looking forward to more reports!
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Old 07-11-2017, 02:07 PM   #159
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All the while technology is also advancing on the ICE. They are getting cleaner and cleaner all the while retaining all the advantages EV can never overcome.
You are focusing on tailpipe emissions and ignoring well to wheel emissions. Amusing given the focus in this thread on upstream impacts of electrical power generation. And we haven't even gotten to GHG emissions.

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Without subsidies sales would diminish to unsustainable levels. Not only is the EV sales subsidized but so is the entire manufacturing chain. Should all those subsidies also be eliminated there would be no market.
Suggest you do some research on global subsidy levels for fossil fuels, and get back to us.
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:04 PM   #160
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Can you charge from a generator? Such as a Honda 2000? Just in case you failed to find a charging station.
The amount of range you'd get off of a Honda 2000 would be about 1.5 towing miles for each hour that you're plugged in. It's really not worth the weight. Remember that 15A electrical outlets are ubiquitous. Any electrical outlet is a "charging station," it just depends on how much of a hurry you're in. I found it easy to plan around higher powered charging stations/RV camps/etc. and could rely on a wall outlet as a long shot backup. A tiny bit of planning and one shouldn't ever run out of range, especially given that the camper can always be left behind for a short time if absolutely necessary.

We traveled through quite a few places that had no cell phone coverage, but there was always an RV park around. Many will charge $10 for a boost if you need it.

Regarding the other commenter, we did enjoy the trip itself thoroughly. We hiked over 50 miles. My young kids and I hiked 10 miles in the rain in one day. I was proud of them. We saw amazing sights, rafted, enjoyed the hot springs, etc. This thread is about towing with electricity, which is why I focused on the logistics and not the camping/outdoors aspect.
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