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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So this evening I've been doing a little test of something I'll call camping mode, an idea I got from Bjorn Hyland on YouTube with his Tesla Model S, and the procedure is identical to his early videos. Tesla recently added a user selectable 8 hour duration mode that has this functionality. perhaps inspired by Bjorn's use case. There have been several requests in regard to the Bolt for things like long term WiFi hotspot use, climate control, and also active 12V converter power to make use of various 12V accessories from the car without draining the low voltage battery - all features one might want to make use of while camping.

I've run the test for about 6 hours, and can report that the car ran this test with no indication of shutdown or other undesirable behavior. The one possible exception is the pedestrian warning alert is active and emitting its low volume noise, of course there are work-arounds for this if deemed necessary. The coolant pumps can also be heard circulating lightly in this state, even with cabin climate control turned off.

To initiate a untethered, long duration parking situation with 12V power, climate control, and WiFi available, place the vehicle in neutral, apply the parking brake, and do not exit the vehicle via the driver's door. If you will be taking a rest break in the rear of the vehicle while in uncomfortable hot or cold weather, this will keep you in a nice comfort range inside the vehicle while you rest. Of course, the Bolt only has approximately 68" of space from the back of the front seats (in the extreme forward position) to the rear hatch, so taller customers might not obtain optimal comfort results if reclined in the rear of the vehicle. A solution to bridge the gap between the front seats and the folded rear seat backs might be desirable, and could potentially be supported in part by the center console lid.

The 12V auxiliary system varies between 12.7V and 14.6V, and appears to be quite conservative with its voltage output, staying in the lower voltage area for longer periods of time than you might expect. This is probably to conserve energy losses that would normally occur in the 12V battery. It handled a moderate intermittent test load of 200 to 700 watts with ease.

Enjoy your Stay aboard the USS Bolt, and be sure to appreciate its many fine accommodations! Always be sure to account for expected energy use while planning your next road trip in the all new Chevy Bolt!
 

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Would this work with the car plugged in?
I wonder if this is the same as the car wash mode except you can get out.

EDIT: just tried and car refused to get out of park if it's plugged in.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If the car is plugged in, will it stay on or does the shutdown timer still activate after a time? I thought perhaps it might just keep running if it's plugged in and turned on, but I haven't tested that yet. If it stays on, no need to fiddle with the neutral/parking brake thing if you have a power source handy, it might just keep plugging away while in park.
 

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So for WiFi hotspot mode, is this the procedure?


  1. Shift into neutral
  2. Shut off climate control
  3. Shut off infotainment
  4. Exit through a passenger door
Should you take the key fob with you our leave it in the car?
This gives 8 hours of internet service?

I'd love to have this feature. It would have been a life saver when tropical storm Irma came through Atlanta. I had power but no internet for two days.
 

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Check out ProfessorBolta's adventure, with the California fires.
Yeah knowing this trick would have helped when I was powering my house.

I just tried it and it appears to work well. Getting out the passengers door isn't as hard as I thought either. Some observations ...

  • The engine compartment is making more noise than just the pumps, it sounds like a compressor. Interestingly when I eventually opened the driver door it stopped. I had the climate control and radio turned off.
  • I checked the drivers door for a 'closed' button (in the old days they had these) but now it appears to be integrated with the lock, so you can't fool it that way
  • Leaving the car with the remote seems to work fine, and the controls on the FOB still work, however you can't walk up and have the car auto-unlock anymore, you have to explicitly unlock the doors.
  • Make sure to turn off any running lights before you exit, maybe because it's morning the daylight running lights were on
  • If the weather is good and no bugs I'd probably leave the driver window open so I can access the controls
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just tried it in Park with the trickle charger cord plugged in, and it shut off at 2 hours on the nose. I even fiddled the dash controls occasionally to see if that impacts the timer, and it appears that it does not - still two hours from shifting into park to shutdown. I think someone else might have already tested this with the car on charge, but I couldn't find it so I just figured I'd give it a shot today and see what happened.

So a "RV park camping mode" still eludes us. I thought one option might be to take a programmable EVSE or a heavy duty wall timer with you that won't start up until 2 hours before you want to get up/leave/etc - but the car detects the insertion of the cord, not just the power and pilot signal from the EVSE. Once that cord goes in the port, it shifts to park and the countdown begins. :(
 

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I just tried it in Park with the trickle charger cord plugged in, and it shut off at 2 hours on the nose. I even fiddled the dash controls occasionally to see if that impacts the timer, and it appears that it does not - still two hours from shifting into park to shutdown. I think someone else might have already tested this with the car on charge, but I couldn't find it so I just figured I'd give it a shot today and see what happened.
No the key is you have to put it into Neutral and you're using WIFI and accessory port in a non charge mode. Why would you need the accessory port when charging? You already have a plug, in that case maybe you'd want WIFI I guess, but a couple hours should be sufficient. So I'd say camping mode is available by this trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I figured the camping mode in my first post is the "most useful" use-case, but if you are say, doing an overnight at an RV park on a leg of your journey, my thought was you have it plugged into the NEMA 14-50 with your EVSE, hop in, set up camp, you get a good nights rest with WiFi, climate control, and a full charge in the morning! If GM would just extend the shut-down timer to 8 hours, we'd basically have a camp mode available with no fuss, no matter if we were on-tether or not!
 

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Need Camping Mode

Bought my Bolt to use as a Towd vehicle behind my Motorhome (front wheels on the dolly, of course). Would like to make use of the hotspot with ipad/iPhone devices inside the rig while the MH is plugged in to the 14-50 and the charger is plugged in to the 30A TT-30 socket. Discussions on this page will be very useful in finding a way to remain connected in parks with no service or $/line fees.

Mr Chevy: chime in with a software fix if you can!
 

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Bought my Bolt to use as a Towed vehicle behind my Motorhome (front wheels on the dolly, of course).
Sounds like you know you need to pull the 12 volt battery cable to keep the parking brake from coming on. Anybody know if you can just pull a fuse to keep the parking brake off?
 

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Service mode

I just tried it in Park with the trickle charger cord plugged in, and it shut off at 2 hours on the nose(
I once put it in service mode, and it ran for about 5 hours before the 12 volt battery went dead. The car did not shut off. In fact, I ran my whole houseful of WiFi off the car during that power outage. It might be possible to keep a trickle charger on the 12 volt battery to keep the car alive in service mode, but during a power outage this is not necessarily possible. It might be possible at a campsite with utilities.
 

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I recall that Volt owners could set the EPB, shift to park, and rubberband the shifter button to keep the Volt on indefinitely.

I wonder if there's an equivalent Bolt owners can do. Maybe a combo of rubber bands to depress the thumb button and another bungee cord to pull the shifter knob towards Neutral or something so it appears a weightless driver is attempting to shift. Of course, have the EPB set.
 
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The wifi is nice....but I want those kWh in a multi-day power outage in 120V pure-sine form.

I will try and overnight test in 'N' with no load, and then a 300W load to see that the DC-DC inverter remains active indefinitely.

If all I have to do it use N instead of P and climb out the passenger door, I'll be a happy 'camper'.

I wonder if the car will mind having the hood open in N?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The wifi is nice....but I want those kWh in a multi-day power outage in 120V pure-sine form.

I will try and overnight test in 'N' with no load, and then a 300W load to see that the DC-DC inverter remains active indefinitely.

If all I have to do it use N instead of P and climb out the passenger door, I'll be a happy 'camper'.

I wonder if the car will mind having the hood open in N?
I kept the hood open when I did my long term test in 'N'. On a side note, I used a broom stick through the window instead of trying to jump out the wrong side. The pedestrian warning is mildly annoying when it's parked in N, but as long as you're not in ear shot it seemed fine; you could always pull the fuse for that.
 

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Did a quick standby consumption test tonight, running the car in 'N' with all accessories off, and the display on minimum brightness. The car reports using 0.4 kWh (±0.1 obviously) in 2.2 hours. This works out to 180W with a 25% uncertainty. I will do a longer run soon.

This is in a garage at 45°F. The car reports all this usage as 'climate settings' BTW and none as battery conditioning.

This is workable for my backup power application....costing about 5 kWh per day in vehicle standby use, acceptable for a few days of backup, but reducing overall efficiency when powering a 300W average house load....to probably about 50% or so.
 

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Make sure you follow this info when towing the car behind an RV.
Yeah, I don't own an RV and will never need to tow my Bolt. Nonetheless, I've thrown a 10mm wrench into the lower cargo compartment so that if I ever need to have the vehicle hauled away by a tow truck I can remove the negative terminal from the battery to avoid this very issue.
 

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Yeah, I don't own an RV and will never need to tow my Bolt. Nonetheless, I've thrown a 10mm wrench into the lower cargo compartment so that if I ever need to have the vehicle hauled away by a tow truck I can remove the negative terminal from the battery to avoid this very issue.
It was a general reference, but mostly for BlackBolt :x
 
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