Ears and men with sticks - My first epic road trip

ummgood

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#1
Here we go! This Thursday after work I start my first long EV road trip. I did a brief road trip to Ft Worth at the beginning of summer but this one will be a doozy. In addition we will have an ICE van that will also be caravaning with us. I am not over planning this (or maybe I am). I am not new to road trips. We have a ton of miles on our minivan. We have driven it across country at least 3 times. It is no big deal. Get in and go. Pray the battery doesn't die because a kid left a light on overnight. Anyway I am hoping maybe me being anal and charting this long trip (as long as I don't lose patience with all this typing) might help someone.

So we are going to Disney and Universal Studios in FL. We have 7 people going! My parents are driving our van with two of our kids and my wife and I are going in the Tesla with my teen. We'll be staying two nights on the way there and one night on the way back. My parents are staying in Marriott chains and my wife and I are staying in Hilton chains. They want to use points for the hotels and I need destination chargers and it seems like Hilton is easier with the destination chargers.

Here are the trip details so far.

Day 1: Drive from Austin to Beaumont, TX. We'll be leaving in the late afternoon. We will be staying at homewood suites (destination charger) with stops at Columbus and Channel View superchargers. The first day is a brief 254 miles.
Day 2: Drive from Beaumont, TX to Panama City, FL. You might ask why we are staying there well turns out every hotel in Tallahassee is booked the night we'll be driving through and need a room. So I am booked at a Hilton Garden Inn in Panama City that has a destination charger. We'll be stopping at Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, Slidel, Mobile, and Defuniak Springs. This leg is a more lively near 600 mile section.
Day 3: Drive from Panama City, FL to Orlando. Here is where we don't know what we'll be doing. We might drive down the eastern coast of FL to get there just for fun. If we are done by the end of the 2nd day we might decide to drive straight through. Anyway if we go the east coast through Daytona we'll be charging at Tallahassee, Lake City, St. Augustine, and Altamonte Springs. That would be a 440 mile day. If we drive straight we'll be charging at Ocala and Turkey Lake instead of St. Augustine and Altamonte springs and that would reduce the drive down to 367 miles.
Day 4 and 5 we'll be at Disney
Day 6 and 7 we'll be at Universal
Day 8 and 9 we'll be back at Disney
Day 10 We'll be driving and staying the night in Gulfport (I haven't figured out the superchargers yet)
Day 11 We'll be driving all the way home to Austin.

Anyway I'll be posting more updates as we go along. I bought a gopro but I have no clue how to use it or any of that fun stuff. You might get videos and you might not. You might get video my teen shoots or you might not. You might get video with kids screaming at parents or videos with parents screaming at kids. You might not.

Anyway my first question for everyone in FL. How the heck do I use the turnpike? From what I gather I need access if we don't go down the east coast and I think the Turkey Lake supercharger is on the turnpike right? @SoFlaModel3

Today my trip prep today was to change the brakes on the van because it had some bad vibration when stopping. It is a common issue with these vans.
 

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Sounds like a great trip! We went to Disney World last year and drove out to the Space Coast and visited Kennedy Space Center. It was actually fun and the kids enjoyed it. The drive from Disney World to KSC was easy (about an hour) and we made it a day trip - left in the morning and came back early evening. Check out the two-story slide if you go to KSC. Have fun!
 

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@ummgood, looks like a great road trip! Did you get the rock damage on your Model 3 repaired? I haven't forgotten I owe you a ride in my 3 when it arrives, but I still haven't ordered it. ;) Happy trails! Looking forward to video screaming, if any.
 

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Yes, what happened to the rock chips? I am thinking they are not fixed yet...
 

SoFlaModel3

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Here we go! This Thursday after work I start my first long EV road trip. I did a brief road trip to Ft Worth at the beginning of summer but this one will be a doozy. In addition we will have an ICE van that will also be caravaning with us. I am not over planning this (or maybe I am). I am not new to road trips. We have a ton of miles on our minivan. We have driven it across country at least 3 times. It is no big deal. Get in and go. Pray the battery doesn't die because a kid left a light on overnight. Anyway I am hoping maybe me being anal and charting this long trip (as long as I don't lose patience with all this typing) might help someone.

So we are going to Disney and Universal Studios in FL. We have 7 people going! My parents are driving our van with two of our kids and my wife and I are going in the Tesla with my teen. We'll be staying two nights on the way there and one night on the way back. My parents are staying in Marriott chains and my wife and I are staying in Hilton chains. They want to use points for the hotels and I need destination chargers and it seems like Hilton is easier with the destination chargers.

Here are the trip details so far.

Day 1: Drive from Austin to Beaumont, TX. We'll be leaving in the late afternoon. We will be staying at homewood suites (destination charger) with stops at Columbus and Channel View superchargers. The first day is a brief 254 miles.
Day 2: Drive from Beaumont, TX to Panama City, FL. You might ask why we are staying there well turns out every hotel in Tallahassee is booked the night we'll be driving through and need a room. So I am booked at a Hilton Garden Inn in Panama City that has a destination charger. We'll be stopping at Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, Slidel, Mobile, and Defuniak Springs. This leg is a more lively near 600 mile section.
Day 3: Drive from Panama City, FL to Orlando. Here is where we don't know what we'll be doing. We might drive down the eastern coast of FL to get there just for fun. If we are done by the end of the 2nd day we might decide to drive straight through. Anyway if we go the east coast through Daytona we'll be charging at Tallahassee, Lake City, St. Augustine, and Altamonte Springs. That would be a 440 mile day. If we drive straight we'll be charging at Ocala and Turkey Lake instead of St. Augustine and Altamonte springs and that would reduce the drive down to 367 miles.
Day 4 and 5 we'll be at Disney
Day 6 and 7 we'll be at Universal
Day 8 and 9 we'll be back at Disney
Day 10 We'll be driving and staying the night in Gulfport (I haven't figured out the superchargers yet)
Day 11 We'll be driving all the way home to Austin.

Anyway I'll be posting more updates as we go along. I bought a gopro but I have no clue how to use it or any of that fun stuff. You might get videos and you might not. You might get video my teen shoots or you might not. You might get video with kids screaming at parents or videos with parents screaming at kids. You might not.

Anyway my first question for everyone in FL. How the heck do I use the turnpike? From what I gather I need access if we don't go down the east coast and I think the Turkey Lake supercharger is on the turnpike right? @SoFlaModel3

Today my trip prep today was to change the brakes on the van because it had some bad vibration when stopping. It is a common issue with these vans.
Sounds like a fun trip! Florida’s Turnpike is a toll road. We have Sunpass which mounts in your windshield and pays the tolls. A lot of the toll booths are now unmanned and I believe you can drive right through and they’ll bill by plate for a small administrative fee. We may want to check on the details some more to confirm for sure on that one.

I haven’t charged at Turkey Lake, but you should be good there.

We live South of Orlando so Turkey Lake is a pinch out of the way for us on the return drive home. Assuming we top off on our last day at one of the parks we can make it home without a stop, but as a fall back we have Fort Drum and would only need a few minutes of supercharging to provide a safety net.
 

LUXMAN

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Here we go! This Thursday after work I start my first long EV road trip. I did a brief road trip to Ft Worth at the beginning of summer but this one will be a doozy. In addition we will have an ICE van that will also be caravaning with us. I am not over planning this (or maybe I am). I am not new to road trips. We have a ton of miles on our minivan. We have driven it across country at least 3 times. It is no big deal. Get in and go. Pray the battery doesn't die because a kid left a light on overnight. Anyway I am hoping maybe me being anal and charting this long trip (as long as I don't lose patience with all this typing) might help someone.

So we are going to Disney and Universal Studios in FL. We have 7 people going! My parents are driving our van with two of our kids and my wife and I are going in the Tesla with my teen. We'll be staying two nights on the way there and one night on the way back. My parents are staying in Marriott chains and my wife and I are staying in Hilton chains. They want to use points for the hotels and I need destination chargers and it seems like Hilton is easier with the destination chargers.

Here are the trip details so far.

Day 1: Drive from Austin to Beaumont, TX. We'll be leaving in the late afternoon. We will be staying at homewood suites (destination charger) with stops at Columbus and Channel View superchargers. The first day is a brief 254 miles.
Day 2: Drive from Beaumont, TX to Panama City, FL. You might ask why we are staying there well turns out every hotel in Tallahassee is booked the night we'll be driving through and need a room. So I am booked at a Hilton Garden Inn in Panama City that has a destination charger. We'll be stopping at Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, Slidel, Mobile, and Defuniak Springs. This leg is a more lively near 600 mile section.
Day 3: Drive from Panama City, FL to Orlando. Here is where we don't know what we'll be doing. We might drive down the eastern coast of FL to get there just for fun. If we are done by the end of the 2nd day we might decide to drive straight through. Anyway if we go the east coast through Daytona we'll be charging at Tallahassee, Lake City, St. Augustine, and Altamonte Springs. That would be a 440 mile day. If we drive straight we'll be charging at Ocala and Turkey Lake instead of St. Augustine and Altamonte springs and that would reduce the drive down to 367 miles.
Day 4 and 5 we'll be at Disney
Day 6 and 7 we'll be at Universal
Day 8 and 9 we'll be back at Disney
Day 10 We'll be driving and staying the night in Gulfport (I haven't figured out the superchargers yet)
Day 11 We'll be driving all the way home to Austin.

Anyway I'll be posting more updates as we go along. I bought a gopro but I have no clue how to use it or any of that fun stuff. You might get videos and you might not. You might get video my teen shoots or you might not. You might get video with kids screaming at parents or videos with parents screaming at kids. You might not.

Anyway my first question for everyone in FL. How the heck do I use the turnpike? From what I gather I need access if we don't go down the east coast and I think the Turkey Lake supercharger is on the turnpike right? @SoFlaModel3

Today my trip prep today was to change the brakes on the van because it had some bad vibration when stopping. It is a common issue with these vans.
I am sure the city of Austin hasn't paid you for the rock damage yet, but 11 days would be good to get the 3 fixed and you could all pile in the Minivan have more close time together :eek:

BTW, why would you travel with the teenager? I ask as I have one :confused:, then again it would be quieter then with the smaller kids as the teenager may stare at their phone the whole time. LOL!
 

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I am sure the city of Austin hasn't paid you for the rock damage yet, but 11 days would be good to get the 3 fixed and you could all pile in the Minivan have more close time together :eek:

BTW, why would you travel with the teenager? I ask as I have one :confused:, then again it would be quieter then with the smaller kids as the teenager may stare at their phone the whole time. LOL!
Well, my son is 9 and he regularly stares at his iPad on road trips then goes to sleep until he needs a potty break. We’ve had several peaceful road trips so far... he’s been asking for an iPhone and we said not until he is in middle school at the earliest.
 

LUXMAN

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Well, my son is 9 and he regularly stares at his iPad on road trips then goes to sleep until he needs a potty break. We’ve had several peaceful road trips so far... he’s been asking for an iPhone and we said not until he is in middle school at the earliest.
Yeah. We learned a lesson on the iPhone front. I would recommend to others to keep an iPhone out of the hands of young ones unless it is always monitored. We ended up switching him back to a cheapo non internet phone that could be used with our plan. Not til he was going into the 10th grade did he get another iPhone.
The only reason that he was supposed to have one in the first place in the younger years was so that he could call as he would ride his bike home. But the other adult in the house wanted him to have an iPhone o_O. Lesson learned,
 

Lovesword

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Safe travels! Looking forward to updates! /watchthread:)
 

ummgood

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#10
Sounds like a great trip! We went to Disney World last year and drove out to the Space Coast and visited Kennedy Space Center. It was actually fun and the kids enjoyed it. The drive from Disney World to KSC was easy (about an hour) and we made it a day trip - left in the morning and came back early evening. Check out the two-story slide if you go to KSC. Have fun!
We probably won't make it to KSC. (why does that remind me of KFC?) We have 6 days in parks then we are on our way home. I am already nervous about all that is planned. I do want to go to KSC sometime because I went to the one near Houston and it was actually pretty amazing. I was totally prepared to be bored but it turned out to be one of the best things I have visited. Even my wife liked it and she isn't nerdy at all.

@ummgood, looks like a great road trip! Did you get the rock damage on your Model 3 repaired? I haven't forgotten I owe you a ride in my 3 when it arrives, but I still haven't ordered it. ;) Happy trails! Looking forward to video screaming, if any.
You better order it soon! You might as well pull the trigger on the performance model ;)

The rock chips are still in process. I sent the letter to the city attorney last week. Still waiting to hear back from them. I'm kinda relieved that it won't be fixed until I return in case I get 1 or 2 more.

Yes, what happened to the rock chips? I am thinking they are not fixed yet...
Nope car is blemished. Honestly I am over it whatever the outcome is. If they don't fix it (I won't give up without a fight though) I'll get the touch up kit from Tesla and go to town on the ones that are glaring or might rust.

Sounds like a fun trip! Florida’s Turnpike is a toll road. We have Sunpass which mounts in your windshield and pays the tolls. A lot of the toll booths are now unmanned and I believe you can drive right through and they’ll bill by plate for a small administrative fee. We may want to check on the details some more to confirm for sure on that one.

I haven’t charged at Turkey Lake, but you should be good there.

We live South of Orlando so Turkey Lake is a pinch out of the way for us on the return drive home. Assuming we top off on our last day at one of the parks we can make it home without a stop, but as a fall back we have Fort Drum and would only need a few minutes of supercharging to provide a safety net.
Can I get a sunpass somewhere quick on the way? We'll have two cars or do you think it is not needed? I know nothing and don't remember the last time we drove through what we did in 2011. I think we paid toll booths but I wasn't sure if they were still running because TX has gone mostly digital now.

I am sure the city of Austin hasn't paid you for the rock damage yet, but 11 days would be good to get the 3 fixed and you could all pile in the Minivan have more close time together :eek:

BTW, why would you travel with the teenager? I ask as I have one :confused:, then again it would be quieter then with the smaller kids as the teenager may stare at their phone the whole time. LOL!
OMG why do I want to drive the van??? My wife is already annoyed that I complain constantly about how I have to touch the break, close the garage door by pressing the button, I have to turn on the wipers manually, geeze it is so difficult! Plus the steering wheel feels like a bowl full of jello and I have to press the accelerator and wait before something happens. I am just kidding well not really. I drove it to schlitterbahn last week and it was borderline torture. My parents don't know any better and to them it is nicer than their Ford Escape. haha!

My teen isn't bad actually. She'll get sucked into her phone or talk my ear off but it could be worse. The only downside is she will take control of the music for the entire trip but the good news is 80's music is pretty popular at her school so she listens to a lot of stuff I liked as a teen. The smaller kids will be sucked into the rear entertainment the entire time. We have figured that out. You buy a couple movies they haven't seen and then let them pick a couple from redbox on the trip. Then each hotel stop we swap the redbox movies out for different ones. I love that you can return them at any location.

Well, my son is 9 and he regularly stares at his iPad on road trips then goes to sleep until he needs a potty break. We’ve had several peaceful road trips so far... he’s been asking for an iPhone and we said not until he is in middle school at the earliest.
Yeah. We learned a lesson on the iPhone front. I would recommend to others to keep an iPhone out of the hands of young ones unless it is always monitored. We ended up switching him back to a cheapo non internet phone that could be used with our plan. Not til he was going into the 10th grade did he get another iPhone.
The only reason that he was supposed to have one in the first place in the younger years was so that he could call as he would ride his bike home. But the other adult in the house wanted him to have an iPhone o_O. Lesson learned,
We always said that our kids can't have phones until we need to get ahold of them. My teen didn't have a phone until last year which was 8th grade. It got to the point where she would have practice or games and we would need to send her with other parents and find her later. That is when she got a phone. We pass down our old iPhones to her when we upgrade. She has a iPhone 6. She is super careful and pretty trustworthy so no issues so far. I can spy on her messages on my laptop and she has no social media. We also have the restrictions on her phone set to pretty harsh and she cannot download apps without me or my wife approving. My middle child will be more difficult I think because she is already pushing boundaries more than my oldest ever did and she likes to walk a fine line between what is breaking a rule and what isn't. She likes to find loopholes.

Safe travels! Looking forward to updates! /watchthread:)
Ok hopefully I don't disappoint!!!
 

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We probably won't make it to KSC. (why does that remind me of KFC?) We have 6 days in parks then we are on our way home. I am already nervous about all that is planned. I do want to go to KSC sometime because I went to the one near Houston and it was actually pretty amazing. I was totally prepared to be bored but it turned out to be one of the best things I have visited. Even my wife liked it and she isn't nerdy at all.
The shuttle Atlantis presentation at KSC was actually pretty darn good. Our whole family enjoyed that. The kids had a good time with some the activities for them - especially the big slide.

Ohh! forgot to mention...check out the Avatar at Disney, it's pretty cool!
 

ummgood

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#12
Next update...

I didn't do much yesterday. My son is sick (of course we get some garbage running through our house before a trip) so the goal is to keep him quarantined until the trip hoping the others don't get it. I am tempted to have them all drink after him just to get it to run its course. What I don't want happening is one getting sick then a couple days later the next one getting it and so on.

Anyway I did some planning on the Disney side for what we will do in what order. I find that the planning helps minimize the wait times. I booked fastpasses 2 months ago so all the good stuff we have fastpasses for. I printed out maps and started making a pile in the house of stuff that needs to make it in the vehicles for the trip.

Later I washed my car so it will be somewhat clean. I have to make up a bottle of rinse less car wash to take with in case I cannot take the dirt. I have never tried that so it will be interesting. My wife took the van to San Antonio today to pick up my teen from cheer camp so I'll clean her van tonight or tomorrow. It was pointless to do it yesterday because it within minutes my kids can make it look like a nuke hit a goldfish factory. Then last night I went to a church thing and on the way home I had some fun in the car. I got out and looked at the fenders and there is already rubber all over the fender wells. I am preparing for tires soon haha!! I wonder how long they'll last. I mean come on I only broke the rear end free making a left turn. My kids love it but my wife is slightly annoyed because she thinks I am going to kill the kids or something. I keep telling her how safe the car is and it averages out but she isn't buying it.

Funny story we went to Marble Falls to pick up the two younger kids in the Tesla on Saturday and my wife already is worried about riding all the way to FL in it. The AP is too jerky for her supposedly. Plus she doesn't like the instant torque for some reason. If it is too bad I might turn on chill mode for the trip (am I even saying this??). Anyway on the way home I floored it and my wife got annoyed but my 6yo boy actually said "thanks dad! I love that!" unprovoked so then I just tried to tell my wife that I was doing it for our son. I'll have to update when I have more info of if my wife can make it all the way to FL without ralphing in the car.
 

ummgood

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#13
The shuttle Atlantis presentation at KSC was actually pretty darn good. Our whole family enjoyed that. The kids had a good time with some the activities for them - especially the big slide.
Have you been to the one in Houston? I am wondering how they compare.
 

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Nope car is blemished. Honestly I am over it whatever the outcome is. If they don't fix it (I won't give up without a fight though) I'll get the touch up kit from Tesla and go to town on the ones that are glaring or might rust.
I am sure they will pony up the money to get you squared away. I would be surprised if they didn't. Good luck on this one!
 

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#15
I'll never understand why people would go to Florida in the summer.
 

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Have you been to the one in Houston? I am wondering how they compare.
Not yet. As a matter of fact, we will be down there next week and I'll have to compare it with Atlantis.

As for chill mode...do it for your wife...a happy wife is a happy life...as they say! :p
 

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#17
I'll never understand why people would go to Florida in the summer.
<devil's advocate>
  • It's the only time you'll find short lines at Disney World.
  • Everything is air conditioned anyhow.
  • That's when the kids aren't in school.
</devil's advocate>
 

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#18
I'll never understand why people would go to Florida in the summer.
Well, mainly because kids are out of school; otherwise, I would love to go to Disney and Miami in January or something like that. Secondly, it's because its a rites of passage...you don't know what suffering is until you sweat buckets in 100% humidity and then later get drenched in afternoon downpours and feeling sticky all afternoon and night. On top of that you keep a smile on your face and tell yourself that this is fun and then rinse and repeat the next five consecutive days. What a deal! :D
:eek:
 

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#19
I'll never understand why people would go to Florida in the summer.
You don't realize that I already live in Texas. It is 100+F here right now. Yes FL is more humid but we are used to dealing with it. If it was completely up to me I would go in December right before the crowds build but now that we have a teen we really cannot vacation unless she is out of school. It is just too stressful for her to miss and get caught up. I took her to Paris and London 1.5 years ago and it was a real struggle so we decided never again. We did FL once before in August and we survived. You just go to the parks early, ride a bunch of rides, eat lunch, see some stuff indoors when it is hot and go back to the room for a break. Then you go back in the evening and watch fireworks (if you feel like it). Add in swimming time at the hotel and I keep an ice chest full of cold water in the car so when we get back to the car on we can cool off.
 

ummgood

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#20
Not yet. As a matter of fact, we will be down there next week and I'll have to compare it with Atlantis.

As for chill mode...do it for your wife...a happy wife is a happy life...as they say! :p
I'll resist chill mode as long as I can!!! :) Anyway let me know about the differences.