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Las Vegas Road Trip in a
2016 Tesla Model X P90DL

Day 1 - Saturday, August 31, 2019
The Drive From Southern California
And The First Day In Las Vegas

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Charging near the Monorail & High Roller Ride at The Linkq Hotel in Las Vegas

Click here for a slideshow of the below photos.

Click on each photo below for a larger image.

The route we took from Southern California to Las Vegas.

Our starting battery charge level.

Current trip readings before starting our trip.

Battery level as the Tesla began to charge in Baker, California.

I have charged my Tesla vehicles at Baker, California, during prior road trips but I don't think I've been here since they expanded it to so many Tesla Superchargers. I think there are now 40 Tesla Supercharging Bays here now. Most of them were empty but I can see why they may need so many. This is one of the few Tesla Supercharging locations between Southern California and Las Vegas. Most Tesla trips between Southern California and Las Vegas in either direction will use this charging location. During busy holiday travel I can image that a lot of Tesla vehicles might be here all at the same time.

It appears they are installing additional charging
stations for EVs other than Tesla Vehicles.

The Baker, California, Tesla Supercharging location is also a Shell Gas Station and features a DQ Grill & Chill / Orange Julius as well as a Jersey Mikes. There is also a convenience store and rest rooms. We used the restrooms and then purchased and ate a sub sandwich at Jersey Mikes while we were waiting for our Tesla to charge. The DQ has indoor seating but there are only outside tables at Jersey Mikes. We ate quickly and headed back to our Tesla as the temperature was over 100 degrees and it was even super warm at the outdoor tables that were in the shade!

By the time we got back to our Tesla, it was just about finished charging to the level we wanted to continue our drive to Las Vegas. A lot of non-Tesla owners thing that having a Tesla means spending a lot of time in the car just waiting for it to charge. This is not true at all. I find owning a Tesla wastes a lot less time than a gasoline car waiting to "fill the tank". Most of the use of my Tesla is just short trips multiple times each day. I rarely drive more than 100 miles in a single day. Every time I get to my house I plug in the Tesla. Every time I return to the car to make another trip, I have a fully charged battery! How many gasoline car owners can claim that every time they get in their car they have a full tank of gas? Gasoline car owners have to stop at gas stations quite frequently and wait while they are filling up their tank, even when not going on a long trip. I ONLY have to stop and wait while the Tesla charges when I go on long trips of more than 200 miles. Even then, there really is very little time wasted waiting for the Tesla to charge. Take this trip for example. By the time we got to Baker, California, it was a perfect time to take a lunch break and use the restrooms. By the time we took care of those items, the Tesla was all charged up and ready to go! So where is the wasted time? On long road trips we usually like to take a break after every 3 to 4 hours of driving. By then it usually is time for another meal break and restroom stop. Since my Tesla can go more than 230 miles on a single charge, that is enough for 3 to 4 hours of non-stop driving between charges. It only takes 30 to 40 minutes to charge up which is barely enough time for a meal break. The new Tesla vehicles with bigger battery capacities can go even further between needing to charge.

Nice scenery along the drive on the I-15 north of Baker, California.

I think Tesla moved the Supercharging location that used to be at the south end of Las Vegas. I used to stop at a Tesla Supercharger location at the south end of city that was probably one of the worst charging locations. It was inside a garage at had no services, no WiFi, no restaurants, and not even any restrooms anywhere around. That Supercharger location seems to have vanished from the Tesla Map. Instead they have this new place at Town Square Las Vegas which has plenty of restaurants and stores nearby to visit while you are charging. This is a much nicer location.

Tesla used to have only one Supercharging location in Las Vegas. Now there are 3 Tesla Supercharging locations on or very close to the Las Vegas Strip and two more that are not too far from the core area of Las Vegas. Plenty of places to recharge! I decided to go to the one that was at the south end of Las Vegas as the others were beyond our hotel and I'd have to back track. While parked and charging in a Tesla Supercharger spot I could actually see my hotel, the Delano. I could also see the Mandalay Bay hotel which is part of the same hotel complex. It was nice to know that there is a Tesla Supercharger so close to the hotel where we would be staying for a week.

This is a very busy Tesla Supercharging location. There are about 10 Supercharging spots at this location. I was able to get one of the two empty spots right away when I arrive. But a few other Tesla vehicles arrived shortly and soon all of the charging spots were full. Two more arriving Tesla vehicles decided to park and wait for a charging spot to open up. More Tesla vehicles arrived while we were charging but they left without waiting. I assume they would probably go to one of the other 3 Tesla Supercharging locations on the strip that were just a little drive up the road. Some of those other locations had as many as 24 Tesla Supercharging bays or more. I think I forgot to mention that a lot of the Las Vegas hotels also have Tesla Destination Chargers for their hotel guests. These do not charge as fast as the Tesla Superchargers, but if you are a hotel guest, you can just leave your car plugged in until it is charged while you are at your hotel.

A new learning experience for me! After I plugged in my Tesla I noticed that the level that it was configured to charge to was not where I had set it. I don't usually set my Tesla to charge all the way as that reduces the life of the battery and it takes a very long time trying to "top off" the battery rather than just charging it to something less, such as 80%. But, I wanted to charge my battery enough to last the whole week that we'd be in Las Vegas. I moved the setting back up to maximum so that the battery would charge all the way up. Within a few minutes the battery stopped charging and I got a warning I had never seen before. It said something like: "Can not charge. This is a high usage charging location and you can only charge your battery to 80% at this location." I had to get out of the car and plug it back in. The configured charging level was again automatically set lower. This time I didn't try to change the setting and the car charged up just fine. This is something that I have never before seen.

Our hotel suite at The Delano Hotel

Our hotel room was located on the 26th floor of The Delano Hotel overlooking the airport and the Luxor Hotel. Before you start thinking this looks like an awfully big luxurious suite, don't forget that there are 5 of us sharing this room!

The Separate Living Room Area

The Bedroom Area.

The Bathroom Connected To The Bedroom.

Separate Bathroom For The Living Room Area.

The View From Hotel Suite.

Trying To Park At Mandalay Bay / Delano

There was some event going on at the hotels and they were letting hundreds of cars into the garage. When I got to the hotel I first wanted to drop everyone off, especially those who I had just picked up at the airport and had luggage to bring to our room. Going into the garage it is not obvious how to get to the drop off area. I asked one of the parking attendants. He told me to follow the signs for "Taxis and Uber". Who knew I was allowed to go in the "Taxis and Uber" lane? That took me right to the front door of the hotel where I dropped everyone off with their luggage. However, the only place I could see to drive from there was completely out of the hotel garage and get back on the end of the huge line of cars going back into the hotel parking garage. I think it must have taken me 15 to 20 minutes just to get back into the "Self-Parking" section of the garage.

The Mandalay Bay / Delano Hotel Garage has a green light above every parking space and a red light above every occupied parking space. They also have signs directing you to rows that have available spaces and how many spaces are available in those rows. Since they were letting in hundreds of cars for some event, there were almost no available parking spots at all! Every row in the garage showed nothing but red parking spot lights! Most of the overhead signs indicated that there were no parking places available in any row. Sometimes one would indicate there were 1 or 2 spots available as 5 or 6 cars rushed down that row. It took me over 20 minutes of just wandering around the garage before I finally landed an open spot!

Diner At The Burger Bar

Fantastic burgers at this place! They also have great milkshakes, including some made with alcohol, and also a great selection of beer on tap and beer flights.

My sister Vikki with her milkshake.

What an amazing Bloody Mary!

Shelli blowing out the candle on her first birthday surprise treat.

Tesla Supercharges At The Linq

Tesla Superchargers are practically right under the Linq High Roller Ride!

We wandered all the way to the end of the Linq Plaza and had Margaritas at a bar in the hotel. Some gal in costume, I'm sure a Linq staff member, started dancing on the stage at the bar. I'm not sure who she was dancing for other than us as all the nearby gambling tables had the patrons facing away from the stage.

Some photos along the Linq Plaza.

The Linq has a flat $20 per day parking fee, including for where these Tesla Superchargers are located. If you stay for less than one hour, they don't charge anything. That is reasonable as you should be there for less than an hour if all you are doing is charging your Tesla. But, if you stay over one hour, even for 5 minutes more, they will charge you the full $20 parking fee. We did not see this documented anywhere. We wandered off to explore the Linq Plaza and were for just over an hour and had to pay the $20 parking fee to get out of the parking lot. The Tesla wasn't even fully charged yet though it was about 99% charged with only 10 minutes left to go to top it off. Normally I don't charge to 100% as I know that last little bit takes forever to charge and it is not good for battery life, but we would be spending the next week in Las Vegas and I figured if I just topped it off this one time I would not need to charge again for the entire week until we were ready to drive home. There are 24 Supercharging Stations here and 10 of them were in use when we arrived. There is also a huge number of Destination Chargers in this parking lot. About a third of them also had Tesla vehicles parked at them. Now why would a Tesla park at a Destination Charger when there were so many empty Supercharger bays available? I figured it was because the owners of these vehicles were either staying at the Linq Hotel or planned to explore the Linq Plaza attractions for a number of hours and did not want to block other Tesla vehicles from charging at the Superchargers and did not want the $1 per hour penalty for leaving a Tesla at the Supercharger after it has been fully charged. They weren't blocking anyone from charging as there were plenty of empty Destination Chargers as well as 10 empty Supercharging bays when we were there.

Click on each photo above for a larger image.

Click here for a slideshow of the above photos.

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