Let’s talk about charging your electric car and how that relates to Tesla camping.
After writing my review of the Dreamcase and TESMAT, I left out discussions about charging and what to expect when using the HVAC with Tesla camping.
The best option is to have a Tesla Wall Connector or a standard J-1772 plug at your disposal, but if you are camping at a campsite that offers electric service, you’ll likely have access to 30 or 50 amps.
A common 50 AMP plug is the NEMA 14-50 plug shown below.
A 50 AMP plug can charge a Tesla Model S by 23 miles (37 kph) per hour*, Tesla Model 3 up to 30 miles (48 kph) per hour*, Tesla Model X by 20 miles (32 km) per hour* and Model Y by up to 29 miles (46.5 kph) per hour*. The NEMA 6-50 is also found in the wild, although less frequently.
If you use these outlets and adapters, you should set the Tesla charging limit to 24 amps.
Plan ahead to reserve a spot if you need to charge in an RV park or electric campsite. Be sure that the spot has a spare 50 AMP outlet and that their outlets will work with your adapter before you camp.
A 30 AMP plug can charge a Tesla Model S by 17 miles per hour*, Tesla Model 3 up to 22 miles per hour*, Tesla Model X by 14 miles per hour* and Model Y by up to 21 miles per hour*.
*According to Tesla Motors, these numbers are taken when not using the HVAC system. Keep in mind that these numbers will be greatly reduced if you are trying to keep the cabin cool (less reduced) or warm (more reduced) while you are sleeping on the TESMAT.
Where to Camp and Charge Your Tesla
IOverlander is a nonprofit project run almost entirely by volunteers.
A mapping project created by overlanders Sam Christiansen and Jessica Mans, iOverlander aims to aggregate many of the current online overlander accommodation listings in one place.
With a summer update from Airbnb, customers can now search for accommodations with EV chargers included in the rate. The service was added after EV drivers requested it for years.
EV charger can be found under Facilities when filtering results.
If it is only a 110 outlet, at least it is something!
You can always email the host and check to see if they have an outlet you can use before booking your stay.
HVAC + 12 AMP Charging
This shows what happens when you connect a Tesla Model 3 with 12 amps of charging power while running the heat to the 70s and listening to Bluetooth music over the stereo. The outside temperature was 50F / 10C and saw a range loss: 67.57 to 64.15 (3.42 mi / 5.50 km loss) over this 1-hour test.
This would equate to losing 27.36 miles (44 kilometers) of range over 8 hours, so although charging your battery through a regular outlet wouldn’t work overnight when you are using the heating system, it is a good solution if you want to reduce battery usage overnight while Tesla car camping.
If you’re interested in learning more about the best Tesla car camping mattresses, then you should check out my review of the Dreamcase vs TESMAT.
How many amps do I need to stay at a comfortable temperature overnight with the HVAC ON?
5-12 amps: I have tested using just a standard wall outlet and while this may help reduce the overall range loss overnight, you likely won’t gain any range during your car camping night. You very well will lose range if you’re running the HVAC system. I attached a graph to illustrate using 12 amps above.
You’re in luck if you want to charge your electric vehicle at an RV park! These parks often provide access to either 30 or 50 amp outlets for EV charging. You won’t be able to hold a charge as well in the winter when using frequent heating or running the AC on a hot summer night, but if the need of heating/cooling is little, then this shouldn’t cause any range issues. Same goes for a hot summer night and running the AC.
Alternately, you can charge your Model 3 up to 90% before bedtime, while remaining near a Tesla Supercharger if you’re attempting this in the cooler months.
How long does it take to charge my Tesla?
50 amps (via NEMA 14-50 or NEMA 6-50):
Model S: 23mi per hour
Model 3: 30mi per hour
Model X: 20mi per hour
Model Y: 29mi per hour
30 amps (via NEMA 10-30 or NEMA 14-30):
Model S: 17mi per hour
Model 3: 22mi per hour
Model X: 14mi per hour
Model Y: 21mi per hour
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