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Camping With Model X

This thread is about taking Model X camping. What are your needs?

I have no idea how many people are planning to take a premium crossover vehicle camping--but I certainly am! Here are a few items from my wishlist that I hope end up on Model X.

1) Leveling. I imagine instant-torque AWD will make leveling the traditional way pretty easy. But air suspension should allow for even easier leveling! When the terrain is only slightly uneven, it would be great if the suspension could auto-level: Pull in. Hit a button. You're done. In those rare instances when level is beyond the range of "Very High"/"low" then it should be easy to switch the low-side tires to "Jack" one at a time and put the required number of legos underneath. Then you could auto-level again for the perfect level. Presumably, after the initial adjustments are made, there would be no additional energy usage while the vehicle remained stationary.

2) Sleeping in the back. Hopefully the seats will fold flat for maximum cargo space, which will make it no problem to throw down a queen-sized air mattress in the back after you unload. Room for two, even tall people should fit fine. And if the seats don't take up all the space when flat, then you could have additional storage underneath.

3) No Auto-Lock. You should be able to leave doors unlocked indefinitely. No auto-locking, and it should be possible to leave the key in the car without it complaining and without any energy drain.

3) No flashy lights or noises. So many premium cars have non-camping-friendly behaviors, it would be nice to be able to turn these off manually when needed. For example: at 3am when someone I don't know's tent is right in front of my Model X, I would like to be able to open the door/back and get in without interior lights coming on, DRL/headlights turning on, any kind of flashing, beeping, alarming, etc. Dark and silent!

4) Low Energy Usage. I know several vehicles that keep the dashboard electronics running whenever any door/sunroof is open. This has resulted in many drained batteries while camping. It would be nice to be able to leave doors open indefinitely without any energy usage. It would also be nice to be able to turn off some of the background energy drains. When I'm outside of cell service, for example, I don't want Model X to keep trying to connect to TESLA, etc. Something along the lines of airplane mode. It should stay in that mode until you turn it off, so that even if you do need to turn the car on to roll up a window or something, you're still in low energy mode.

5) Jump Starts. It would be nice to be able to give a jump start if that were ever necessary when out in the woods. As mentioned above, sometimes those ICEs need a little help from their friends. Could be an optional adapter that could plug into a 12v outlet. Rather than have to remove a fuse (I'm guessing 12v ports are limited to a lower amperage than a starter needs?), it'd be nice to be able to temporarily override via software. Perhaps the adapter has both a DC plug and a USB connection so that Model X knows what's going on.

6) Towing. The combination of aerodynamics, curb weight, power, and low center of gravity would seem to make Model X an ideal towing vehicle for small trailers. Everything should still work properly when a trailer is attached (electrically). I know of vehicles that won't lock, or won't unlock, etc. when they're connected to a trailer. Also, regenerative braking (on 4 wheels!?!) makes choosing the correct threshold for electric trailer brakes a little more interesting. :-)

What are your camping needs? Please chime in!

Assuming 'jack' mode is the same as the misnamed mode on the model S, all it does is disable the auto leveling.

Yeah, I saw that. While not as cool as the suspension doing it, a well-engineered jack stand that easily slides under Model X will make jack mode (as is)useful enough.

After reading the Owner's Guide for Model S, it seems auto-leveling (#1) is standard behavior and there may be a 12v auxiliary battery (#5) for jump starts!?! And, based on how many options are already in the menus, it seems likely you will be able to disable unwanted behaviors (#3).

So my needs are nearly met already (with free supercharging to boot)! Life is good.

Probably wildly impractical . . .
Sitting in a tent while it's raining isn't much fun.
Sitting in a car while it's raining, even with friends facing the same direction, isn't much fun.
However, if the middle row of seats could spin around to face the back row, or if the outer seats in the middle row could spin to face outside with the falcon door open, then maybe things are a little more fun.

Also, a rack on top for a canoe. If a rack on one side of the roof electronically disables the falcon door on that side, you can still get out on the other.

BarryInBoulder -- Probably wildly impractical

I dunno. There are a number of folks who camp in their Prius.

I'm looking to do some camping and road tripping in the X. I'd have had a hard time coming up with such a comprehensive list as you assembled Steve.

That said - the ability to get the back folded flat and stick an air mattress in the back is also important for me. If I also had the ability to fold the front passenger seat flat to further expand the interior cargo area, that would be ideal.

Those are all good suggestions and would be concerns of mine as well.

Jerry3,
No, no, no. I meant having seats that rotate is probably impractical. I absolutely intend to take my X camping! And with the SuperChargers going up, I won't have to stick to a 100 mile radius from my house. I'm actually kinda happy it will be another year and a half before delivery, as the vehicle will be unlimited from the get-go (not to mention financial concerns).

BIB;
Yes, the SC stations each establish a circle around themselves for camping, don't they? And if one is downhill from a desireable area, the circle oval gets very large!

BIB;
And you allude to a point which will be a major plus for X sales: the network will be substantial (90+ stations) and still growing fast (~20+ per year) when the X débuts.

By the same token, there will be about 160 stns. when the GenIII hits the roads!

Life is (will be, shortly,) good.

How about a small high quality travel trailer (something like a single axle Airstream) with a 40 Kvh battery in its floor which connects directly to the X model drive train in order to extend range while towing? A trailer like that with a solar panel roof and a stowable wind generator for charging would make an ideal camping system and would add EV buzz to the campground!

The show stopper for me purchasing the X is the inability to put a roof rack for bikes, kayaks, cargo and ski's. The access of the falcon wing makes this a mini van, not a crossover. I agree on the ability of the X to tow as well. I want to use the vehicle, not just show it off. If there were these functional options I would slam down a a deposit in milliseconds.

We're also planning on using our X for tent camping. Since there are just 2 of us, I'm not worried about roof racks, etc. Just so the seats fold down completely flat so we can use it all for storage.

My main concern is charging in the boonies since we like to go to smaller state, county, and provincial parks. Some do have RV hookups, but a lot don't. A really good, frequently updated, map of charging points that worked even when not connected, would be the first thing I'd ask for.

I suspect that in a lot of such parks, the manager's attitude will be a big deal, so having the ability to post comments to the map would be quite useful. It would also be a good way to add spots not yet listed on the map.

Yeah, I'm sure by the time the X hits the road several apps (with user comments--good point!) will be available and it will be easy to find charging points even in remote areas.

I don't plan to use one much but I can't imagine the X not having a roof rack. There are rumors of dual hinges so the door could open straight out with a rack on top. I think Kayak would be the only thing I'd put on top though, everything else would probably be better off (aerodynamically/range-wise) in the back on the trailer hitch. Unless, of course, you're already towing something. We may get an update today because I think a new X is at the Garden State store. If not, I bet we'll get another X update before the end of the year at least.

The biggest problem I have with the model X for camping is it restricts where I can go. The place I usually go camping is unlikely to get a charging station anywhere nearby (too low of a population density). To get there I take Sonora pass (9600 feet, 26% grade in places) and it's several miles over dirt roads from the highway. I'd consider it if they added a rapid charging station in Bridgeport, CA or Lee Vining. Lee Vining might be a possibility since it's at the base of Tioga Pass which leads into Yosemite.

One other problem with taking a family camping is that you're limited on what can be placed on top of the model X due to the falcon wing doors.

Hi,

I know it has been publicly announced that the Model X will have around 10% less range than the Model S. How do reservation holders feel about that? Personally, I would expect that people who buy a Model X want to drive even further than someone with a Model S (think of it this way: I think an Audi Allroad Quattro owner takes longer trips than someone owning a plain A6 sedan. The Allroad is made for road trips).

So here is my ultimate question: Any chance that we will see Tesla surprise us with a 100kwh option to keep the 300 miles? After all, the battery tech is already here.... with the same supplier as they are currently using.

(For the record: I have reserved a Model X and I will be taking it on road trips. I don't drive down-town, I take public transportation.... or my bike. The AWD feature and the good feedback from Model S is what sold me this car).

@sims | OCTOBER 17, 2012: So here is my ultimate question: Any chance that we will see Tesla surprise us with a 100kwh option to keep the 300 miles? After all, the battery tech is already here.... with the same supplier as they are currently using.

That is what I'm hoping for. I would think that since the Model X will not be released until 2014, the higher battery capacity will be more mainstream.

Agreed. I want 100kW. 300 miles is the minimum. I don't care about the roof rack being missing. It's a large vehicle.

Look at the "v" cut in the lower bumper on the x page pictures... Could this be where a potential hitch might be placed?

Provided the Model X gets a hitch this trailer would make the Model X very camping friendly:
http://www.sylvansport.com/

I guess the issue will be whether a trailer will reduce range so much you can't get far enough away to need a tent!

It would probably effect range less than putting two bikes on top of a Model S which I am sure many owners plan to do. Scroll down to the bottom of this review and read the bonus section:
http://www.gearinstitute.com/vehicles/item/sylvansport-go-camper

@mvbf: It would probably effect range less than putting two bikes on top of a Model S which I am sure many owners plan to do.

I'm not at all sure about that. Bikes do increase air resistance, but they incorporate only their own pretty insignificant weight to the car and bikes are actually quite aerodynamic (very small frontal area), trailer is much much heavier (840lbs for empty sylvansport go which is advertised as light trailer) and it too increases air resistance (a lot in most cases). I would say that probably even empty trailer would cause bigger drop in range than those two bikes.

OTOH I don't think range reduction (in either case) is very significant (meaning 20+% of max range) if the trailer tries to be aerodynamic. Unfortunately I haven't seen many (or should I say any) aerodynamic (car) trailers out there, and that sylvansport trailer definitely is not one of them.

I was somewhat going off the reviewer experience who actually used the the trailer and said,

"Beyond the utility of the Go, I was blown away by how little its svelte 840-pound aluminum frame affected the mpg of my ’95 Toyota 4Runner when towing it up and over 11,306’ Berthoud Pass. I experienced nothing more than a 1-mpg penalty. In terms of fuel economy, that beats what I experience when throwing two bikes up on a roof rack."

No he did not go back the way he came, take off the trailer and strap two bikes to the roof. So this is still guess work. The point is losing only 1mpg up a serious mountain pass sounds pretty good to me. Still just in case this author is not being so precise, it would be helpful to get a couple of links to the aerodynamic (car) trailers you allude to Timo. I do not want to win an argument; I just want to offer good solutions to everyone.

Ability to sleep comfortably in the Model X when camping or in a pinch is a do-or-die feature for me. Seats that fold into a perfectly flat and uniform sleeping platform would be positively ideal.


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