In any Tesla road-tripper’s stories of 2015, the state of Arkansas ranks as one of those big challenges, since it is one of the few black holes left in Tesla’s supercharger network. Fortunately, with knowledge gained from the Alaska run, Arkansas was easy.
My route took us down from Wisconsin, through Illinois, and then to the St. Charles supercharger in Missouri. To my great delight, the distinctly autumn temperatures of the northern states gave way to the lazy warmth of summer by the time I reached Missouri. Best yet, we had lightning bugs in the air that evening!
Illinois ranks right up there with my home state of Hawaii as a place to be careful for speeding tickets while en route. It seems both these states like the revenue and work hard to maximize it. In contrast, Missouri’s low speed limit of 60 mph was largely ignored by the end-of-work commuters, and they zipped along at about 80 with little care.
This high-speed traffic was a bit problematic because I had another 200 mile run, this time southbound to camp in the RV park of the Lady Luck Casino in the far southeastern tip of Missouri and partake of that good 50 amp electricity so that I began the next day with a full 243 mile charge. Whenever you check into an RV park, it’s important to establish a positive rapport with the person on the other side of the desk. Otherwise, it is way too easy for them to say, “No, we don’t have a policy for letting electric cars into the RV park.” In this case, the lady was a delight, we chatted amiably, but she needed to fit my vehicle into one of three categories: motor home, trailer, or camper. Clearly, with its folding seats and the added refrigerator-freezer, I was driving a camper, so I gave her the answer she was looking for and all was good.
The next morning Iceman and awoke early in southeastern Missouri. We broke camp then headed south for the 25 mile run into Arkansas. With goal reached, we zoomed back to the RV park and topped off our battery again before checkout time so that we had the range to make the long run to the Nashville supercharger. Morale of the story: sometimes it’s nice to work from a basecamp when you’re trying to claim another state.
Papafox…I am really enjoying your blog. I appreciate the how-to comments you are leaving on the daily challenges you face.
I recently joined the Minnesota Facebook group and someone met you at a charging station in Minnesota. He posted a link to your blog. I am weighing the pros and cons of purchasing a 70D next spring. I am curious about the ride comfort and which seats you purchased.
Also, where does Iceman ride?
I was torn between buying a 70D and and 85D. I’ve discovered that with some creativity I can go anywhere in American in the 70D. On the other hand, the extra 15kwh of the 85 would make the job easier and give me flexibility to cruise at normal speeds even on the longer legs. Further, the 85D has noticeably quicker acceleration. I’m happy with my choice, but if I had paid the extra for an 85D I would be happy with that choice too.
As for seats, I have driven 40,000 miles in another Tesla Model S with the regular seats and over 10,000 miles in this 70D with the 2nd Gen seats. I can tell you without hesitation that the 2nd gen seats are a really important option to get. On the day I drove 725 miles, I had absolutely no discomfort from sitting in the seat all day, and I don’t think I could say that about any other seat in any other car I have driven. Simply put, they are wonderful and if you pay this much to get a premium vehicle you really owe it to yourself to get a seat of the same quality.
Glad you’re enjoying the blog! I’m making some fascinating discoveries about how other traffic affects range and I think you’ll find it interesting. Coming soon.
If you decide to pull the trigger between now and October 31, be sure to work with a current Tesla owner so that you can get the $1000 discount. You would be most welcome to use the discount link I have placed under the “Save $1000” tab, and I’m sure your friend would be happy to let you use his link too. Either way, it’s a nice way for you to save $1000 while doing a favor for the owner, too.