Lessons Learned.

 

The trip was about 850 miles. We paid 95 dollars to charge, including 2 overnights where we paid full price for the RV spot. Typically you need their most expensive site to get the 50 amp breaker and its 60-80 feet long and you need less than a quarter of it. I think we used about 225 kWh of energy, worth about 25$.  The parks made 70 dollars off of us, hopefully in the future they will give better rates, but I am happy for them to make money rather than it going where the money for gasoline goes. If we had been in a 30 mpg car, we would have used about 28 gallons of gas, and that would have cost 144 dollars at 4 dollars a gallon.

At the end of the trip I have learned a bunch of lessons.

Questions to ask of the RV park:

Do you have 50 amp service? Do all of your sites have 50 amp service? How long have you had 50 amp service? ( sneaky way to find out if the breakers are really old )  How much will you charge for a 2 or 3 or 4 hour charging stop?

If the breaker looks really old, stick around a few minutes and make sure it will be ok… go back and re-read EV Noob Lesson #1.

Is there a restaurant within walking distance? A hotel/motel within walking distance? If you ask if one is close by, they might assume you are an RV and are towing a vehicle and you want to drive to it.

Is there something you want to spend time at within walking distance?

I think that driving cross country in an EV is the civilized way to drive. Get up early and drive a couple of hours, then stop for a relaxing breakfast while you charge for 1-2 hours. Drive another 2-3 hours and then stop for lunch and an afternoon seeing something you want to see, while you charge for another 3-4 hours. Drive a couple more hours then stop for dinner and charge again. Then after dinner you drive a little more to a final stop for the day where you charge overnight.

If you start with a nearly full battery and your total driving time is about 6-8 hours, your time for charging stops will be about 6-8 hours. I did almost no research on what to do while at the charging stops. Unfortunately at 100 degrees plus outside, it wasn’t compelling to do much of anything outside. The next time I do a long trip like this, I plan to do it up the coast. Roads with lower speed limits that make you ( let you! ) cruise at 50 mph or a little less will actually improve your total mph when you include the charging stops.

We recorded data by taking pictures of the data screens in the car with a digital camera, we forgot a couple of key data points and an unfortunate number of the pictures were impossible to read because of glare. Yes I know I should have planned a better way to take data but I only took a minute to pack and did almost no trip planning…

Driving and charging summary:
Menlo Park to Davis CA: 103.8 miles. Battery 250 to 141 kWhr used: 26.88
Charging in Davis: HPC70A for 1:10 hours. Charge: 141 to 211
Davis to Redding, CA: 155 miles. Battery 211 to 40 kWhr used: 39.93
Charging in Redding: 32A for 6.5 hours. Charge: 40 to 214
Redding to Yreka, CA: 98 miles. Battery 214 to 88
Charging in Yreka: 40A for 2.5 hours. Charge 88 to 168
Yreka to Grant’s Pass OR: 80.3 miles. Battery 168 to 42 kWhr used: 22.65
Charging in Grant’s Pass OR: 32A/24A overnight ~9hours 42 to 250
Grant’s Pass OR to Eugene ( Coburg ) OR: 141.7 miles. Battery 250 to 90 kWhr used: 38.37
Charging in Eugene: 40A for 3:40, Charge: 90 to 214
Eugene to Wilsonville: 88.1 miles Battery 214 to 98
Charging in Wilsonville: 40A for 2 hours Charge 98 to 155
Wilsonville to Portland: 25 miles Battery 155 to 127
Portland charging: 40A for ~3.5 hours. Charge: 127 to 245
Portland to Lacey: 118 miles. Battery 245 to 73
Lacey charging: 40A for 1.5 hours. Charge: 73 to 123
Lacey to Redmond: 70 miles. Battery 123 to 42 kWhr used: 19.11

Average miles / kWhr from available data: 3.78
Calculated kWhr for 850 mile trip: 225
( Charging overhead is unknown because I didnt gather any data )

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