Tuesday, January 14, 2014

(Un)lucky Number Thirteen

We left Farmington with the plan to stop for a partial charge at Gallup and then get to Flagstaff before the night's end.  The Flagstaff Supercharger is at a Courtyard Marriott.  Originally I was kind of annoyed at having so many Superchargers in hotel parking lots.  Though usually only a block or two, it means walking to the surrounding restaurants while you charge.  As I realized what staying at the hotel would mean, my whole attitude changed.  We could plug in and leave -- just park and go straight into the hotel without waiting for our charge beforehand.  Likely we'd set our charge limit to 90% and restart charging for the last bit (via the app on our phone) while we get ready in the morning so as not to sit with an overly full battery all night.  We were getting tired of driving at this point, so I was really looking forward to that.  The scenery was no longer sparking interest and it was past dark.

We pulled into the Gallup Supercharger with about 40 miles of rated range.  The Hampton Inn sign proudly displayed "Welcome Tesla".  We parked, plugged in to what was fittingly our thirteenth supercharger of the trip aaand... nothing.  The all too familiar alert chime binged and the screen indicated "Unable to Charge - Software Incompatible".  Errgh.  Gallup had four supercharger posts so we proceeded to repark and try each individually -- except one, at which a Mercedes was parked.  Grrr.  This also happened to be the first time I've seen another car parked in one of the Tesla spots.  As we hit the last one and received the same error, E was already on the phone with tech support - the number is listed on the superchargers.  It was just about midnight by this time and I was reconciling the fact that we would be staying in Gallup.  Tech support went through a few things, but was unable to fix the problem within the couple minutes we were on the phone, so they said they would contact engineering and get back to us.

We headed inside the Marriott, grumpy and overly ready for a good night's sleep, but we didn't make it very far.  Plastered on the front door was a sign indicating they were all full for the night - no rooms.  Just our luck.  I decided since we were staying the night, we might as well get some charge while we're at it.  So instead of looking for the next hotel, I looked to see if there was a charge site nearby.  Luckily there was an RV park less than a mile down the street.  We headed that way to check it out.

After passing the RV park twice (all the lights were off), we finally found it and pulled in.  The owner came out, she was familiar with EV's charging at her site, took $10 and led us to a 50-amp site.  We plugged in, confirmed we were receiving a strong current and then moseyed over to a hotel around the corner.  I had toyed with the idea of popping a tent for the night (we brought one as part of our just-in-case supplies), but E wasn't having it.  Even though it was a short walk to the hotel, it was quite miserable as the temperature outside dropped to 10 degrees that night.  Wasn't this supposed to be the south?  I had left warmer temperatures in Chicago.  Also, the hotel was a little run-down and seemed sketchy.  I was miffed about what should have been my perfectly convenient plug-in and comfortable stay in Flagstaff.  To make matters worse, my app was having difficulty connecting with the car and I was sure we were going to pop the breaker and stop charging overnight, seeing as how our luck was running.

In my foul mood and with the charging issues, I forgot to take down our stats.

Brewtus with his RV buddies in the morning.

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