A year after picking up my LEAF and driving it home from the Bay area, I finally made the trip back.
530 miles over 3 days, all on L2. I took my previous Route south, charging at public J 1772s, with charges in Chico (I made it to the Chico EAA meeting, and the while-you-recharge Sierra Nevada brewery tour and free tasting, is worth the trip in itself), Woodland, Vacaville, and San Rafael, my overnight destination, 251 miles in total. Sunday I made my way to Lafayette, where I added a few bars, then returned to Vacaville for the night, about 93 miles. To my regret, I didn’t have the time to risk a side trip to the San Ramon DC.
From Vacaville, it’s about 185 miles to my home, along the I-5 corridor, (driving mostly on what is left of old highway 99) with stops at Williams and Corning, using my 16 amp upgraded EVSE at RV parks.
At the end of the first day I was dreading the return trip, but old 99 turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Much lower level of traffic than on the eastern route, with far less obnoxious drivers. Apparently it’s driven mostly by locals, who manage to simply pass slower vehicles, rather than forming ICEV-tailgating-caterpillars, which made the two lane “new” 99 and 113 route a nightmare.
If you want to drive at or below the speed limit, to add range per kWh, take “old” 99.
I also think that well-run RV parks are often superior to public J1772s for required BEV charging, as opposed to opportunity PHEV charging, where L2 opportunities are few and far between.
I had back-up charge points for the entire trip lined up, and needed them twice at public J1772s, one being ICED, and one out of order.
The two RV parks both wanted my business, and I was happy to pay their modest fees. (will post details at Recargo soon).
Both said I would be welcome to check in before closing hours, and come and go as I pleased, or just take a nap (in fairly secure and quiet locations) till my charge was complete.
Next trip I will probably leave in the afternoon and recharge overnight on L1 at a motel (I checked out the charge opportunities at several in Williams), requiring only a few hours of L2 to make it to the plethora of J1772s at Vacaville.
No real drama. I turned over 9,000 miles during the trip, with no detectable range loss. LEAF NAV, unfortunately, does not contain many of the roads used, and old 99 has been rerouted and renamed in so many places, I’d suggest you try it during daylight, at least the first time.
I never even saw the LBW, as my longest leg between charges was the 89 miles from home to Chico.
Edit: I actually did see, LBW, and drove a few miles past VLBW, as planned, when I made the familiar 51+ mile last leg from Vacaville to San Rafael Saturday night, having started with only 7 bars.
I kept written logs, which along with CW, will allow me the confidence to reduce recharge times, by charging to between 70% and 90%, at both Williams and Corning, rather than charging to 100%, next trip.
Yes, you will need patience headed into North California in a LEAF, but if you have the time, there is no need to wait for DC, IMO.
I hope to make a trip to Oregon, and link up with the DC (I-5 Green Highway) corridor soon.
no condition is permanent