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SpiceWare's Blog - Trip to Fort Benning


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As you may or may not be aware, I purchased a Tesla Model 3 about 8 months ago.

Back in October my nephew Brandin graduated from Basic Training at Fort Benning in Georgia. My folks and I took a road trip to attend. It's the furthest I've taken my Model 3 so far and from the experience it's a great road trip vehicle (autopilot is awesome). One nice feature is the car plans the charging stops needed on a trip - Tesla has an online trip planner so you can see how that works out. These are the stops we made:

And this is how long was needed at each stop:

Due to how batteries charge it takes 30-40 minutes to go from near empty to 80% full, and another 30-40 minutes to go from 80% to 100% (rather like filling a glass of water, you slow down as it nears the top). So most of the time you only charge long enough to make it to the next charger (some buffer space is included in the planning). The range of the Model 3 is enough that stops coincide with meal breaks, and the car is normally ready to go before you've paid the bill. Any extra time spent charging means less time at the next stop - for instance we met family friends for lunch in Baton Rouge and ended up staying an hour rather than 30 minutes - that extra time meant we could skip the stop in Slidell, though we ended up stopping for a bio-break (too much tea at lunch!) and "opportunity charged" - you can easily gain 100 miles of range during the stop.

We also spent the night in Mobile, which eliminated that 40 minute charge stop as we plugged at the hotel (at no extra cost) and were full when we left in the morning. This is known as Destination Charging. Since we left Mobile with a full charge, rather than with just enough to make it to Greenville, our stop in Greenville didn't need to be as long as projected.

Charging costs to get from Houston to Fort Benning was $17.00 for ~730 miles.

That was a little less than I expected as the charging was free in Alabama, even on the return trip:

This turned out to be due to Hurricane Michael as Tesla is in the habit of enabling free charging before & after evacuation events:

Tesla is also enabling free Supercharging in areas that are on Michael’s path. Superchargers in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and selected chargers in Alabama – such as Auburn, Greenville, and Mobile – and Florida – DeFuniak Springs, Lake City, Live Oak, and Tallahassee – are free of charge, even for owners whose vehicles do not have free unlimited Supercharging.

Once we arrived we stayed in a chalet at Uchee Creek Campground. You can only stay there if you're in the military or if you are attending a family day or graduation.

They said we could use an unused RV site to charge the car. We tested it to confirm it worked, but found it more convenient to use the dryer outlet at the chalet - it's nice to wake up every morning with a "full tank"!

My folks with Brandin after graduation

My brother & sister-in-law with Brandin at dinner the night before

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