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Lockdown Escape: Work & Travel From A Tesla Model Y

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

During lockdown we all started becoming more aware of how special it is to move around and work from anywhere. Now we are used to work remotely why not take it a step further an go camping while we work, The Model Y makes this very doable.

In my travels, I’ve seen Subaru Foresters, Toyota 4Runners, and other internal combustion engine (ICE) cars converted for car camping, and they pull it off just fine. But when I crawl into the back of my Tesla Model Y, I see how electric vehicles are changing the car camping game and solving many of the problems traditional car campers might experience. There’s still no onboard bathroom—but we are camping, after all." - Tony Huang

1. There’s a camp mode so use it

You’ll find a “Camp” mode in your car’s climate control settings. It was released as a software update and does the following:

  • maintains the optimum temperature and airflow inside the cabin (which you can adjust to your convenience).

  • your lighting setup will also be maintained, and even the music if you want to listen to some chill tunes while you relax inside your car

  • keeps your low voltage outlet and USB ports powered so that you can charge or use your electronic devices. It only uses about 10 percent (or up to 15 percent if it’s cold outside) of your battery for about 9 hours of continuous running.

  • While Camp Mode is active, Sentry Mode and the vehicle alarm system are disabled, as well as auto lock (so you don’t have to constantly lock and unlock the car as you come and go). Because of this it might be a good idea to manually lock the car when you go to sleep. You can also re-enable Sentry Mode after Camp Mode has been activated if you choose to.

2. Charge before getting to your campsite

You cannot use Camp Mode if the battery percentage goes below 15%, in order to save the battery from depletion and allow you to reach the nearest charging station, I recommend charging the vehicle before arriving at your campsite, in case of emergencies. Unlike with ICE cars, EV owners can’t just carry a tank of electricity for a quick refuel, so we have to spend a little more time on logistics. But Tesla’s Supercharger network is massive and there are plenty of ways to find charging stations nearby. Also, thanks to regenerative braking, you’d be surprised at how much of a charge you can gain going downhill.

3. Charging at powered sites

If you’re at a campground, you should be able to plug into a caravan plug on a powered site. The caravan adapter is in the charging bag in your boot. This will allow you to charge the cart overnight and keep you topped up.

4. Mattress - an essential

This is still camping so don’t expect to bring a luxury mattress—but you can fit a twin-sized, 6-inch memory foam mattress that sleeps two people relatively comfortably. A tri-fold mattress allows you to flip one portion up to use as a platform and to give access to the trunk well. Before you call it a night, select a seat configuration profile I labeled “Bed.” This setting shifts the seat up almost all the way to the front of the vehicle to better accommodate the bed. That way you don’t have to move the seats up every time you want to set up the bed.

5. Storage

Without an internal combustion engine, Teslas and other EVs reclaim a lot of the space that houses the moving parts of a traditional car. With this added space for storage—notably the frunk (front trunk) and trunk—you can utilize the interior car space for sleeping. I like to use the frunk to store my water source as well as my first-aid kit, along with some car cleaning supplies. Meanwhile in the trunk, Teslas

have deep wells that are large enough to fit a refrigerator, camp stove, cooking supplies, and charger.

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