Discussion Starter · #1 ·
|Had my first long-haul trip with the truck. Trip was a success, but there were annoyances that will sour me on taking the truck on another long haul trip. To: Wilmington Vermont. 79 miles from my house.|
This was Columbus day weekend. We left Saturday evening after dinner for Wilmington VT. Wilmington is almost exactly in the middle between Bennington and Brattleboro. Both Bennington and Brattleboro have fast chargers (a single in Bennington, and two in Brattleboro). Wilmington only has a single Level 2 (read: slooooow) charger. And it was miles away from our inn. And therefore useless. And the wife forgot something after we were 12 miles out, so I had to turn around and head back. Started the real trip down 24 miles.
Our inn had an RV hookup, but I did not know that before we left, and so I had no adapter for the portable charger in the truck. If i'd known they had one, I could have picked one up and we could have had a free charge overnight and been able to not think at all about charging on the return trips. Se-la-vie.
Stopped in Bennington on the way out. Didn't need to, could have easily made it to Wilmington with not recharge. But prudence led me to top off there on the trip out. It was the right call. Because.....
We drove through Brattleboro on Sunday, and I naively thought I could just use the single charger in the city. Nope. There were three cars waiting to charge when we arrived. I said "nope. Pass." and we drove to the other charger, at a Chevy dealer. That one was completely offline. Broken. What a crock. So we drove back to Wilmington. We had enough range to make it all the way back to Bennington if need be, but not back to the Albany area. I rolled the dice and hoped the Bennington charger would be less busy & not broken on Monday morning for the trip back. Left Wilmington with 60 miles on the car.
No luck. Bennington charger was busy. This time we had to wait.
Two cars ahead of us when we arrived. There was a woman who had a brand new Ford Mustang Mach-e, with 60% charge. (I could see the charge level on the station's screen). Greedy .... not nice. Me and this other guy in a tesla were down to 30%. (about 40+ miles for me). Her charge stopped and she had to spend like 10 minutes on the phone with the company to get it re-started. Sheesh. The guy in the tesla got sick of waiting and took off. (Hooray!). after waiting about an hour we were able to plug in. Another lady came by while I was charging, we had a nice conversation, and I waited until I had 80 miles on the truck and said "I don't wanna be greedy. There's a bunch of chargers in Albany. This one's all yours" .... Because I'm a goddamn gentleman. All in all we lost about an hour in Bennington waiting in line to charge.
Made it to the fast-chargers at Stewarts off Exit 6 on the Northway with like 60 miles to spare. Didn't need to charge to make it home, but felt like topping off anyways.
Fast chargers there gave me another 15 miles before..... they all just shut off. There were five of them and all at the same time they just gave up the ghost. A nice old lesbian couple from up north was trying to get to New-Paltz with a week old Nissan Leaf. Told them about it before I left. They were understandably miffed. Luckily the chargers came back online as I was pulling away, so I hope they got the charge they needed.
Made it home. Had errands to run later in the day. Stopped at Walmart and holy heck, they have 6 dc fast charge stations: and they were all full, with two cars waiting in line. I spoke to some of them, and they said it's always like this on holidays. People travel, and there's only so many functional fast chargers around the area. And in spite of each charger at Walmart having two plugs.... you can only use one plug at a time to charge. So it LOOKS like you can charge 12 cars at once.... but nope. Only 6. Why have a second plug at all then?!?!?!? Went shopping, afterwards there was a single spot open. Had a nice conversation about the sorry state of chargers with a guy in a Mustang Mach-e from Connecticut. He lived in an apartment complex down there, and he had no charging where he parked, so he has to subsist entirely on fast chargers nearby. Crazy, because those fast chargers really really over-charge.
Long story short: Charging infrastructure for long haul trips is abysmal. My lesson is to pack adapters for the portable charger, and assume 1/2 of all chargers will be inaccessible/broken.