Randy3
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:02 am
Location: Fresno, CA

Trip Report - Tuolumne Meadows/Yosemite Overnight

Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:23 pm

I know a lot of the discussion right now is on our batteries degrading. But the news that a L2 power supply (can we call them chargers, even thought they're not?) has been installed in the Yosemite Valley got my wandering side active again. So, with some help from MyNissanLEAF member GRA, I made an overnight round trip from Fresno to Tuolumne Meadows Campground in the high Sierra.

It's been about 30 years since I've spent a night in a tent and I've forgotten some basic things, like it's dark at night (so, bring a flashlight in order to go to the restroom at 2am). I'd also forgotten how hard the ground is to sleep on in a sleeping bag. So, it may be awhile before I do this again, but here's some LEAF trip information. (I do not have a GID meter, so I'm only giving the information I can. I think that my LEAF has lost about 7 miles battery degration. It still as 12 bars, but only charges to 9/12 on an 80% charge.)

Total trip: 314 miles
Average miles/kwh (total trip): 5.4 miles/kwh
Elevation gain: 8,250 feet

Charging stops:
1. Oakhurst, CA (VA Clinic), 40597 Westlake Drive, Oakhurst, CA 93644
ChargePoint L2 in VA Clinic parking lot, available 24/7, noted that this is NOT listed on the ChargePoint website map. I've added it to Recargo.com and Plugshare.com.
Distance traveled: 50.3 miles
Battery bars used: 11
Miles/kwh (Fresno/Oakhurst): 3.9
Elevation: gain 2,250 feet
Temp: 6 bars
outside temp: 74f
ChargePoint shows 14.4 kw added
Time to charge (to 12/12 bars/100%): 4 hours

2. Yosemite Village (in Yosemite Valley)
Clipper Creek L2 in Yosemite Store parking lot, available 24/7, contact the Yosemite Village Garage to use it. The garage is across the street. They don't need to do anything to make it work, but they want to know that it is being used.
Distance traveled: 47.8 miles
Battery bars used: 8
Miles/kwh (Oakhurst/Yosemite Valley): 4.4
Elevation: gain 1,500 feet (you gain 3,500 feet then drop 2,000 feet into the valley)
Temp: 6 bars
outside temp: 88f
Time to charge (to 12/12 bars/100%): 3.5 hours

3. Tuolumne Meadows Campground (Thanks, GRA for helping me set this up.)
L1 provided by Campground Host at their RV site next to kiosk. The campground host was't going to help until I brought up campground manager's name. Then, she let me park next to her car (a Nissan Versa, by the way) and plug in my 120v into the RV electrical outlet.
Distance traveled: 56.5 miles
Battery bars used: 11 (received Low Battery Warning at the 51.5 mile mark, still had one battery bar left, GOM showed 9 miles remaining)
Miles/kwh (Yosemite Valley/Tuolumne Meadows): 3.8
Elevation: gain 4,500 feet
Temp: 6 bars at arrival, 5 bars at departure next am
outside temp: 84f at arrival, 38f at departure next am
Time to charge (to 11/12 bars at L1): 12 hours (camped overnight)
Note: I drove this section slow, trying to keep 10 mph below the speed limit, meaning I stayed below 35 mph. I monitored the kw used by the motor and kept it below 20 kw (or at 3 bubbles or lower)

4. Yosemite Village (in Yosemite Valley)
Clipper Creek L2 in Yosemite Store parking lot, available 24/7
Distance traveled: 56.5 miles
Battery bars used: 3 (started with 11 bars, arrived with 8 bars)
Miles/kwh (Oakhurst/Yosemite Valley): 8
Elevation: drop 4,500 feet
Temp: 5 bars
outside temp: 65f
Time to charge (to 12/12 bars/100%): 2 hours

5. Oakhurst, CA (VA Clinic), 40597 Westlake Drive, Oakhurst, CA 93644
Distance traveled: 49 miles
Battery bars used: 5
Miles/kwh (Yosemite Valley/Oakhurst): 7.1
Elevation: drop 1,500 feet (after 2,000 foot gain, then drop 3,500 feet)
Temp: 6 bars
outside temp: 88f
ChargePoint shows 6.3 kw added
Time to charge (to 12/12 bars/100%): 1.75 hours

6. Arrived home,
Distance (Oakhurst/home): 54 miles
Miles/kwh (Oakhurst/home): 5.7
Elevation: drop 2,250 feet
Temp 6 bars
Outside temp: 95f
7 bars battery used, will go back to charging to 80%

Hope this isn't too detailed. It shows that you can use a LEAF for longer trips, with some planning.
Randy
Fresno, CA
2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

DaveinOlyWA
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Re: Trip Report - Tuolumne Meadows/Yosemite Overnight

Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:20 pm

your miles/Kw was probably higher than 8. the dash meter does not go higher than that. either way, sounds like a fun trip and my advice; air mattress!! cheap, light very easy to pack and well worth the $50!
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 3500.3 mi, 96.95% SOH
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GRA
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Re: Trip Report - Tuolumne Meadows/Yosemite Overnight

Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:34 pm

DaveinOlyWA wrote:your miles/Kw was probably higher than 8. the dash meter does not go higher than that. either way, sounds like a fun trip and my advice; air mattress!! cheap, light very easy to pack and well worth the $50!
You don't want a pure air mattress at Tuolumne's elevation (8,600'), as the air inside drops down to ambient and it's often below freezing at night, so you feel like you're sleeping in an ice bath. If a closed-cell foam pad is too uncomfortable (they provide good insulation but minimal padding), then the way to go is with an open-cell foam-filled air mattress, Thermarest being the original but there are many imitators now that the patent has expired. Also known as self-inflating pads (they aren't except when new, or if you last rolled them at high-altitude and have dropped much lower), these provide both insulation and cushioning. I've been using my 1 1/2" thick, 20" x 72" Thermarest for 20 years or more without yet having a leak, for all winter trips, car camping trips and any backpacking/climbing trip where I'm not frenetically trying to eliminate every unnecessary ounce by using a hip-length closed-cell pad instead.

They're available in a variety of thicknesses, widths and lengths - for car camping trips you might as well spring for the full length widest version, ca. 28" x 77" IIRR, or you'll be likely to slide/roll off at night if you don't spend a lot of nights in a sleeping bag. Available at any REI:

http://www.rei.com/category/4500026" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

and any mountaineering shop, or (usually) direct from the manufacturers, where you'll have the widest choice. Semi-expensive, and worth every penny if you're going to use it a lot. I find the 1 1/2 inch thickness plenty for winter camping, and would probably opt for a thinner one for 3-season use unless I knew I'd never have to carry it.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
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Re: Trip Report - Tuolumne Meadows/Yosemite Overnight

Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:45 pm

Randy, glad you made it. I guess it was lucky I was able to talk to the campground manager instead of one of her subordinates when I was up there, and could pass her name along so you could invoke it ;) . One question - did you happen to try the other hookup I described in the campground, or one at the Crane Flat Gas Station?

Your info does provide the evidence I want for the Park/DNC proposal, to confirm the absolute need for an EVSE at Crane Flat at least with current <$40k BEVs. Once we get BEVs with 50% more range, it should be possible to make the trip up from the valley at the 45 mph speed limit non-stop while using accessories, even with say 20% degradation - I expect the RAV4 could do it now, but that depends on how much its weight sucks electrons on the climb.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

Randy3
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Location: Fresno, CA

Re: Trip Report - Tuolumne Meadows/Yosemite Overnight

Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:36 pm

GRA wrote:Randy, glad you made it. I guess it was lucky I was able to talk to the campground manager instead of one of her subordinates when I was up there, and could pass her name along so you could invoke it ;) . One question - did you happen to try the other hookup I described in the campground, or one at the Crane Flat Gas Station?

Your info does provide the evidence I want for the Park/DNC proposal, to confirm the absolute need for an EVSE at Crane Flat at least with current <$40k BEVs. Once we get BEVs with 50% more range, it should be possible to make the trip up from the valley at the 45 mph speed limit non-stop while using accessories, even with say 20% degradation - I expect the RAV4 could do it now, but that depends on how much its weight sucks electrons on the climb.
Sorry, I didn't try the other places to charge. Crane Flat Gas station was crowded with road construction equipment (parked on Sunday). At the campground, once the host okay'ed my using their electricity, I immediately jumped on it. You described another one behind a building. I looked for that on the way out, but I didn't see it. I was impressed by the amount of charge I received from the 12 hours on L1. I had 11 bars leaving the campground. I estimated that I could get back on 3 bars.

I thought about what would happen if I had to come back down without recharging at the campground. I don't think it would work because, after getting past the Low Battery Warning before getting to the campground, there wouldn't be enough left to get from the campground to the beginning of the downhill stretch. I thought about what it would be like to call 1-800-NO-GAS from 5-10 miles short of Tuolumne :oops:

(added/edit): I think Crane Flat gas station would be a good place for a charger.
Randy
Fresno, CA
2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Randy3
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:02 am
Location: Fresno, CA

Re: Trip Report - Tuolumne Meadows/Yosemite Overnight

Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:58 pm

As an aside, while I was telling the garage manager that I was starting to charge my electric car, a customer came in asking about the closest place he could get gas (Crane Flat - about 15 miles). Yosemite Valley is special now. It's one of the few tourist destinations that can fill up an electric car, but can't fill up an ICE! :D
Randy
Fresno, CA
2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

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planet4ever
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Re: Trip Report - Tuolumne Meadows/Yosemite Overnight

Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:22 pm

Thanks for the report, Randy! I've been thinking about trying it from the Bay Area with the assistance of the Yosemite Lakes RV park (Hwy 120, 14 miles before you get to Crane Flat).

Ray
End of April 2013: Traded my 2011 SL for a 2013 S with charge pkg.

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abasile
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Re: Trip Report - Tuolumne Meadows/Yosemite Overnight

Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:43 pm

Totally awesome, Randy! We were at Tuolumne Meadows earlier this summer, by Prius however. The best part of the story is getting permission to charge at a National Park campground - I suspect our federal laws haven't caught up to that yet. Perhaps we need to conspire to plant cooperative campground hosts at key campgrounds! :lol:
2011 LEAF at 71K miles, pre-owned 2012 Tesla S 85 at 98K miles
LEAF battery: 9/12 bars and < 49 Ah (-28% vs. new)
Tesla battery: 250+ miles of range (-5% vs. new)

GRA
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Re: Trip Report - Tuolumne Meadows/Yosemite Overnight

Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:46 pm

planet4ever wrote:Thanks for the report, Randy! I've been thinking about trying it from the Bay Area with the assistance of the Yosemite Lakes RV park (Hwy 120, 14 miles before you get to Crane Flat).

Ray
Ray, Yosemite Pines RV Park just east of Groveland on Old Highway 120* has 50A( 240V), but IIRR Yosemite Lakes doesn't. I stopped at Yosemite Pines on the way up to check things out, and drove Hardin Flat road past Yosemite Lakes, although I didn't stop. Yosemite Pines also has 30A and 15A service right outside at a couple of Yurts they rent out. Both Old Hwy 120 and Hardin Lakes roads get you off 120 and allow you to drive slowly, as do Orange Blossom road east of Oakdale (very nice) and La Grange Road that is a short cut from west of Yosemite Junction to Chinese Camp. I wouldn't try the latter if it's been raining much, as the road crosses several low spots that look like stream drainages.

If you're going for the Valley you should be able to make it from Yosemite Pines, but Tuolumne is too far, and that may be the case from Yosemite Lakes as well, although you might make it depending on what shape your battery's in. It looks like it's about 3 miles shorter, but 500 feet more climb than coming up from the Valley.

I located several possible L1 opportunities at locations in Tuolumne and at Crane Flat when I was up there the week before Randy, but using any of them is sort of a Blanche duBois situation - you're dependent on the kindness of strangers, who may or may not be willing to let you charge. The situation with the head campground ranger was the only official OK I was able to get in advance for Randy, and I think that was kind of a 'go ahead, but if anyone asks I've never heard of you' situation. And several of them won't be available much longer, once Tuolumne Lodge and many of the other visitor facilities shut down for the season in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, if you're thinking of trying it anytime soon I can fill you in on where they are. Hopefully, the proposal I'm writing for the Park Service and the concessionaire will eliminate the need for this next year, and we will have official charging stations at Crane Flat and/or Big Oak Flat, Tuolumne and Wawona too. That assumes the Park bureaucracy will move a lot faster than they have in my past dealings with them, but I can hope.


*I guess they thought it sounded better than First and Second Garrote roads, which is what they were named up until 10 or 15 years ago, sort of like Placerville changed its name from Hangtown. Edit: See http://www.google.com/search?q=first+ga ... =firefox-a" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GregH
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Re: Trip Report - Tuolumne Meadows/Yosemite Overnight

Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:04 pm

Years ago I made a similar trip from SoCal up to Yosemite and Tuolumne Meadows in the EV1. I recall talking to the park electrician and he had installed 240V sockets in various places to make the trip possible. I know there was one in the valley at the maintenance yard, one part way up Tioga rd (Crane Flat perhaps?) and another in the campground at Tuolumne meadows. Not sure if any of these sockets still exist.
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