Day 3 Recap: More Trip Prep

Hello everyone, thanks for following!

We spent much of day 3 testing out more real world charging stations and stocking up on supplies for the trip.  A quick stop at Walgreens in Daly City revealed another public station not providing full claimed amps but a really nice, wide spot with plenty room for EV owners to park and go about hooking up their cars without being crammed between other cars.

The Model S seems to be handshaking with the chargers just fine, the illumination rings on the charge port always glow flashing green when charging.  Thanks to everyone for your in depth research into why we’d be getting less than ideal amounts of charge.

We also stopped the Menlo Park Tesla Showroom to pick up some swag for the trip and take a higher amp charge.  The employees here are super friendly and knowledgeable and set us up with a 40A NEMA 14-50 plug.  They also gave the car a quick detail to get rid of some of the errant hand smudges on the car.  Chrome trim is a magnet for hand prints.

At Menlo Park, they also have the first Model S prototype which looks like it’s had a hard, hard life.  It’s worth stopping to check out if you’re ever in the area.

Overall, spending time in the car has been fantastic.  The human-car interface though the 17″ touchscreen is different enough from other cars out there that it does take some adjustment to become accustomed to how to operate the car.  Years of conditioning on a car with push button controls have to be unlearned or relearned with the Model S’ touchscreen.  However, what’s not to say that this isn’t the way of the future?

We also spent some time trying to fashion “key rings” that fit into the Model S keys.  Most standard key rings don’t fit into the holes on the key, so we fashioned our own out of kevlar shoe laces.  Results are questionable but a bit more to the key allows you to more easily find it in your pocket or bag.

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10 thoughts on “Day 3 Recap: More Trip Prep

  1. I’m curious – is the lower current due to a malfunctioning J1772 adaptor from Tesla, or due to charging stations not having the proper capacity? Also, does the lower charging current put you behind schedule?

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

    • Todd – we do not think the lower current is due to a malfunctioning J1772 adaptor from Tesla for 2 reasons: 1) the car always charges with blinking green LEDs in the charge ring that surrounds the plug. Others have said that the charge ring blinks yellow when the adapter is malfunctioning and 2) we have successfully charged for the full 30A on this Tesla adapter with a Blink Network charger.

      While not ideal, I don’t think it puts us behind schedule all that much. It just deflects us to use more RV parks with 40-50A service than public charging stations.

      • I think these types of amp issues are going to be prevalent all over the country–early adopters like you are doing a great service by reporting them so they either get A) fixed or B) relabelled so we know not to stop there if there is a higher amp option nearby. Thanks!

      • Based on another customer’s story about that adapter, it may very well be the adapter. They said it would only draw 16A … they got a replacement and it’s now drawing 30 like it’s supposed to from most J1772 stations. Something to do with a sensor or signalling (I forget exactly what). I’d contact Tesla about it …

  2. The key! Yeah, it looks like Tesla needs to make a key ring to work with it. It’s a bit ironic that Tesla’s own keyring won’t work with their own key (if I read you right, anyway). 😉

    Great blog–keep it up!

  3. It is great that you’re doing this.I eagerly wait for each update. I am in Canada and waiting for basically the same car as yours but with Silver wheels. (Nov/Dec) Couldn’t tell what color your interior is?
    Please keep us advised about the seat comfort on the longer portions of your trip. There was a report of concerns there.
    Thanks

  4. Hey great site. FYI there was another model s owner that had the same charging issues. It was due to a faulty adapter. They got a new one and it worked fine. Seems like the issue was the adapter didn’t lock properly so the charger station would thus only give lower power. Since you guys are near tesla I would get a new one to atleast try. It would save you lots of time down the road

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