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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this trip started out innocent enough a simple trip to austin from phoenix to deliver and install some solar panels. But ended up turning into a full blown cross country trek towing a trailer. And it did not go the way these popular videos tell you such a trip will go in a EV it has honestly been a wonderful experience as far as the EV and towing goes.

I am starting this thread kinda late in the adventure but will try to catch up with a few replies of the adventure so far. As of writing this I am in spitting distance of canada up in vermont the total opposite side of the country, literally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The first leg of the trip was pretty uneventful and all fast chargers. I only ended up spending about 25$ phx to austin because I found a bunch of free chargers.

I got to austin and spent a few days working on a solar setup for which the guy ended up stiffing me for :,( jerk. But this thread isn’t about that. Part of the job was to dispose of his old panels, which were 20 years old and old tech not producing nearly what the new tech does. These panels were still making some power though, so not totally useless. so the next leg of the trip was to Mississippi where a buddy of mine was mumbling about wanting to look into solar. So I figured I’d help him out! :)

the old panels were a little shorter than the newer ones and also a little heavier.

this resulted in a little bit more range.

all in all my range has been around 200 miles with this setup. And hasn’t wavered much really the whole trip. Even up in the great white north. (Again, as of writing this I am in vermont)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I’ve made up a bed in the back of the car for this trip. It is a little short but with enough pads and pillows it is cumfy, (just hard to stretch out straight which is fine.) And have been using truck stops for showers. This has cut down expenses considerably.

anyway, by this point in the story I have made it to Mississippi and unloaded the panels, my buddy and I shoot the shat some, beers got involved, and at some point I teach him what to do with the panels about a day or so goes by and I hit the road. But not before getting a good free agm 12v battery to add to the trip spoils. (More weight lol)

I’m now essentially deadhead with not much load. Spare a spare tire, a heavy ass inverter and a heavy battery. And of course the trailer.

from here my plan is to head up to tennesee and see a guy that has something of mine that he keeps saying he is going to put in the mail for a year but never does lol (I keep getting ripped off lol)

anyway, to get there I had to take a route that had no fast chargers. (A rarity these days) so to make it through, I hit up 2 or 3 level 2 free chargers. This was very slow and time consuming, but didn’t last long, once through pace picked back up:)

I met up with the guy in Tennessee and thankfully he turned out to be just a nice guy who is over worked and forgetful. I got my control boards back from him without issue and even nerded out with him about EVs and solar stuff.

next it was on to South Carolina to see a guy about buying the inverter I had with me and to let him take a look at my car to see if he could program a new control board for my inverters that didn’t trigger errors while I try to charge (whole other story, I have a thread about it)

anyway, really smart nice guy doing some great work for old solar setups like mine. But before I could head his way, on a group online someone up in vermont posted they were giving away like 6 or so of these inverters.

Well, sharts…

here I am so far from home and half way there, may as well drive up to vermont… 😂

so I hung a left at knoxville and headed north dodging toll roads in new england on the way and bouncing from fast charger to the next.

honestly, totally uneventful. I did hit up a free level 2 once because I was going to sleep anyway but there were fast chargers in the area.

here is a pic around that time in next reply>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Wheel Tire Land vehicle Car Vehicle

As you can see, snow!

How well does it do in the snow? About as well as any other front wheel drive compact. (Dont get too brave with what you drive into or rather onto 😂) no, I didn’t slide or get stuck.

Things go pretty uneventful all the way. On the last push to the guys house in vermont I hit up a fast charger in new york and drove over 3.5 hours straight to the guys house arriving with 25% it’s way up in the hills and 0 cell service. On the way up the bolt did very good with some VERY steep and snowy gravel roads this is pretty deep in the country. Eventually I arive, I go up to the door and……. no answer…. Knock Again, no answer At this point I’m like, crap, I just drove across the country and got punked…

so I hit up the neighbors, and try to call the guy, nothing. No cell signal, he won’t answer for neighbors,

eventually after trying to reach him for a hour, beeping the horn, knocking on the door, talking to neighbors. I finally decide to drive back to the main town near by and find a charger for the night and try again in morning.

but about a mile down the road I got cell signal and called him. He picked right up and was like, um, I’m here. Come on over.

so I did and he was.🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️

I greeted him and we chattted a bit before i plugged in for the night since it was too late to load stuff and too cold and dark. I set it up for 8a 120v which isn’t much but just wanted a little bump to be sure I could make it to a fast charger the next day. I had enough but was playing it safe.

anyway, this dude ended up being super cool. He has a cabin he built himself, suuuper nice guy and cooks and heats with wood. He offered me to stay in his loft (think like a shelf near the peak of the roof.) at this point many of you I’m sure are thinking my next update is going to be that I got murdered, but no. The guy to worry about lives in austin texas in a fancy house. This guy was the real deal super nice honest guy. If you are in vermont look him up if you need solar. Foxfire energy. He is very knowledgeable. And has done some cool off grid system work he was sharing with me.

the stay over was great. I loved the whole cabin atmosphere Wood heating, wood cooking, cool cabin, and he even played some banjo. Definitely made a new friend if I ever am in the area again haha.

So morning came and we went searching through his barn for those inverters and found a bunch of them as expected. We spent a few hours loading and securing them. And now the story is caught up to real time. I am in the near by town at a nissan dealer grabbing a charge and ready to head south to DC, south carolina, alabama, texas, and new mexico to the next planned stops :p

a buddy of mine is in DC, I’m gonna sell a inverter in SC and let that guy look at the car for the new control boards for my inverters and then possibly pick up a chevy volt battery in alabama. There is a guy in texas that needs help with an inverter and another sick inverter over in new mexico.

i’m busy… lol

oh btw, i’ve spent about 40$ so far charging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle

Here I am now as I type.

oh I forgot to mention, there was one thing of note for the drive from TN to VT near the middle of that trip there was rain, hard rain like for a whole day. It got the car really clean. Washed off the arizona mud lol but then I got into salty road country, as you can see above.

the bolt did very well towing in the rain. A few times I felt a tire hydroplane, so I slowed down. (My tires are nearly bald I’m sure this is mainly why, anyone have some they wanna donate? haha) Wasn’t loaded at that point but man was that hard rain. It reduced range a little but not much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They are EV01+ wheels.

btw, I run 44psi, Michelin energy saver A/S with self sealing

normally I have a hitch mounted trunk box and with that setup I get about 300 miles range normally without trailer.

It seems you lost the load... :D
Well, I’ve picked up and dropped off the load a few times now haha.

now I got a trailer full of inverters!
 

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Wow, you are very brave. In the three years with my Bolt, I have only taken two trips out of round trip range of my Bolt and will never do so ever again. It was very interesting to hear about the trip so thanks for sharing.
 

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I find towing is fine if the trailer has small tires (narrow) and is flatbed.
Any air drag is a range killer.
Weight - not so much though. I would haul wood, heavy logs, centered on the trailer and range would barely move.
I had 25% of the load as a 6 feet tall load of branches - and I could feel the drag.

Water is about 20% range drop. Only from the fact tires stick to the asphalt.
And new tires also contribute in the negative way.
I could no problem reach 6 miles to kWh on old Michelin (OEM) vs max 5.2, maybe 5.5 with the Conti.
But then better grip and no more squeaks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks!

@ Duncanator
You are missing out. :) does your bolt not have dcfc? If so,I get it. Lol

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive lighting

I spent the afternoon getting this spare tire mount made/modified from a mount I bought at harbor freight.

the guy who welded it up did a pretty good job.

that took a while though. So a bit of a delay. At some point I am going to spend some time at a auto parts store fixing the trailer lights. See I borrowed this trailer and I want to return the favor.:) My usual trailer is less aerodynamic, so this one made more sense to bring along is why

Anyway, I am about a hour down the road from where I got that done at a rest stop that has free fast chargers I’m sitting here playing on my phone minding my own business, and I shart you not, amish dude in full (tactical) amish gear runs up to the charger and my car looking at it all in a total panic! Naturally, I am curious what the heck he is all excited about so I roll down the window and ask him what’s up? and he asks if the pumps can give him gas for his car. I explain it is electric only, gotta go elsewhere for gas. He says thanks, and runs off. Nice guy :) hope he finds some gas. 😂
Horse Grey Working animal Hat Pack animal



okay, so I might get a blizzard tonight driving. Will see what happens, apparently one is coming in. For the sake of the thread and your information it will be good, but you’ll forgive me for hoping it stays away lol
 

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Thanks!

@ Duncanator
You are missing out. :) does your bolt not have dcfc? If so,I get it. Lol

View attachment 49730
I spent the afternoon getting this spare tire mount made/modified from a mount I bought at harbor freight.

the guy who welded it up did a pretty good job.

that took a while though. So a bit of a delay. At some point I am going to spend some time at a auto parts store fixing the trailer lights. See I borrowed this trailer and I want to return the favor.:) My usual trailer is less aerodynamic, so this one made more sense to bring along is why

Anyway, I am about a hour down the road from where I got that done at a rest stop that has free fast chargers I’m sitting here playing on my phone minding my own business, and I shart you not, amish dude in full (tactical) amish gear runs up to the charger and my car looking at it all in a total panic! Naturally, I am curious what the heck he is all excited about so I roll down the window and ask him what’s up? and he asks if the pumps can give him gas for his car. I explain it is electric only, gotta go elsewhere for gas. He says thanks, and runs off. Nice guy :) hope he finds some gas. 😂
View attachment 49748


okay, so I might get a blizzard tonight driving. Will see what happens, apparently one is coming in. For the sake of the thread and your information it will be good, but you’ll forgive me for hoping it stays away lol
It does have a DC fast charge port but perhaps I have been just unlucky in picking my charging stops. I cannot rely on the chargers so I just drive the Land Rover which is way more comfortable anyway. There are lots of chargers here in northern California but the ones I happen to pick are terrible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Okay so I was pretty tired by end of day and only got a few hours of driving in, stopped and got a pizza, found a free L2 and passed out from carb coma.

a tip for road trippers, if you plan on getting a full nights sleep, find a free l2 to crash at. You have a nice parking spot and an excuse to be there. Usually people will leave you alone.

anyway, morning came to a full charge. Started heading south again got a few hours more driving in. Planned a stop at the south tier welcome center in southern new york where they have free l3 chargers.

that’s when this morning got interesting.

chargers were down.

no biggie, I was still like 3/4 full by that point if I recall. So I looked for the next, with my plugshare settings It wasn’t looking good for l3 (I’m on a different route than way up)

darn. Oh well. So I headed down to moosic and hit up the first l2 I saw. Was at about 1/4 by time I got there. Tesla destination chargers. Used my adapter. No biggie, but I hooked up and only 3-4kw. Ugh, stayed a while then decided to scout out some others. But struck out on like 4 in a row. Two blocked, one was also dead, the other I didn’t even look cause it didn’t look public, so moved on, next two were bars and they had them shut off during the day.

still nowhere near crisis, but getting a bit annoying. So I go into plug share again, and here is a trick I figured out. If you can’t find a charger, look for new ones. As in physically drive around and look. When you find them ask them if they are public. If they are or aren’t make a entry on plug share. Car dealers, parks, convention centers, etc put new ones in all the time. Plug share has a way to list non public chargers so people know not to use them if they find them btw.

anyway, none of that was needed, I just changed the settings on plug share and right there in the middle of town was a L3 with 1.00$ charging fee. So here I go at 32kw 🙄
 
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