Detailed post on my first towing experience
It was time for me to test my 2023 Lariat ER to haul a loaded trailer from Austin, TX to downtown Houston for disaster relief trip.
Being unsure of my expected mileage, I headed to Columbus TX, which had the only CCS fast charger between Austin and Houston, 100 miles away. I started off at 90% charge but after plugging in my trailer details and starting down the road, the expected range (guess o meter) dropped to 19% of battery left at my destination. This surprised me, so I kept my speed to 65, but the longer I drove, the higher the range got. When I pulled into the charger in Columbus I had 39% of battery left.
Here at Snappy’s on I10 I found Electrify America 350Kw chargers working just fine, and plenty of turnaround room for me where I didn’t block other chargers. After a 20 min charge to 80% I headed to Houston on I 10. Destination was a Walmart super center with more EA chargers 80 miles away. Up to this point I was seeing 1.4 mi/Kw efficiency. However, doing 65-70 on I10 my efficiency dropped to 1.2. I attributed this drop to some headwinds.
Arrived at the Walmart downtown Houston, and found room to pull up to the end charger, but both plugs gave me a charging error. I called EA and he said he’d reboot it, but I didn’t want to wait and was able to slide over to another charger that worked fine.
With only 15 miles left to the work site I unplugged at 80% and left.
Here’s where heavy Houston traffic worked in my favor. It was 22 miles from the worksite to where we were staying for the night, and I only used the mobile charger on 110V outlets all week. The truck was telling me I was getting about one mile per hour of charge, but 9 hours of charging at the worksite and 13 hours at the AirBnB was all I needed every day to travel the 44 mile round trip back and forth. Rarely did I go over 50MPH and normally it was heavy stop and go most of the way. Amazing how my attitude changed about heavy traffic. This truck worked perfectly for that.
I retraced my charging steps on the Friday afternoon return to Austin. The chargers were busy, but I was able to get in and out without an issue.
Here is my towing trip summary:
All in all I am delighted with the truck pulling this 5,000lb trailer to a work site. It takes a bit of planning using Plug Share, and total charging stops cost me 45 min extra, but without the trailer it’d be more like 20 min. And it cost me nothing to tow these 551 miles. The 4 CCS chargers were free due to my free 240Kwhr from EA. And the 110v power was on the house.(literally).
The only issue I had was with the weird Guess-O-meter. One example to illustrate. I’d charge up and it would show 150 miles of range (knowing I had a trailer connected) As soon as I’d start driving, it reset to 109 miles. As I approached my destination 100 miles away, the range estimate would climb until I converged to the trip efficiency of 1.5 which would have been 150 miles of range.
Why it assumed the worst case and scare the heck out of the driver instead of using the typical efficiency of the past 400 miles of towing I don’t know. The lesson I learned is to rely on the current trip efficiency and not the mileage estimate while being aware of changing conditions. ie, trip efficiency times KWhr remaining was a much more accurate mileage estimate for me.
The one thing I might buy is a 220V extension cord for these work trips. There were several instances I could have reached a 220v outlet with something like that.
I hope this is useful info.