Cybergirl

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Last weekend I took my new CT AWD on an off-road trip to the Swansea, AZ mining ghost town 30 miles west of Parker, AZ. The total mileage round trip from Lake Havasu City was 140 miles, 40 miles was rocky dirt roads/trails. I left with a 90% charge and returned home with 34% for a trip average of 492 Wh/mile driving between 50 - 65 mph on paved roads.

Screenshot 2024-03-25 at 9.33.18 AM.png


My takeaways from the trip were valuable. I'm new to off-road adventuring, but plan to do a lot more now that I have a Cybertruck.
  1. It took 3 hr to dive 30 miles to the site. I drove slowly getting to the town site because the road was very rocky and rough. I drove quite a bit faster driving back having gained confidence from the experience, and talking to other off-roaders. I found that driving faster makes the ride less rough as long as I slowed down for large bumps and dips.
  2. I attracted quite crowd of other off-road enthusiasts curious about the Cybertruck. The reactions were all positive.
  3. Driving faster creates a lot of dust which gets into everything. The inside of the closed vault was blanketed with dust when I returned home, indicating that the vault is not well sealed. It was winding late in the day as well which probably contributed to the dust infiltration.
  4. It’s easy to get lost on the trails. A reliable navigation system and a set of paper maps as a backup is very important, especially in an EV where every mile traveled is eating into the truck's range.
  5. The Carlinkit T2C+ Samsung Note 9 combination didn’t work out well for getting GaiaGPS navigation maps to display on the CT display. It kept disconnecting from the Tesla display, and the battery drain on the Note 9 was excessive. I’m going to switch to an iPad Mini 5 for off-road navigation.
  6. If I travel in a group, I will need a two-way radio. I was advised to get a GMRS radio (MXT 275 from Midland).
  7. Removing the mud flaps is necessary to prevent from breaking them (I didn't take them off, but luckily didn't break them)
  8. As rugged as the CT is, the plastic mirrors and wheel flares will get permanently scratched by stiff brush and branches protruding into a narrow trail. They left their mark on my side mirrors.
Pinstriped Mirror.jpg
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Last weekend I took my new CT AWD on an off-road trip to the Swansea, AZ mining ghost town 30 miles west of Parker, AZ. The total mileage round trip from Lake Havasu City was 140 miles, 40 miles was rocky dirt roads/trails. I left with a 90% charge and returned home with 34% for a trip average of 492 Wh/mile driving between 50 - 65 mph on paved roads.

Screenshot 2024-03-25 at 9.33.18 AM.png


My takeaways from the trip were valuable. I'm new to off-road adventuring, but plan to do a lot more now that I have a Cybertruck.
  1. It took 3 hr to dive 30 miles to the site. I drove slowly getting to the town site because the road was very rocky and rough. I drove quite a bit faster driving back having gained confidence from the experience, and talking to other off-roaders. I found that driving faster makes the ride less rough as long as I slowed down for large bumps and dips.
  2. I attracted quite crowd of other off-road enthusiasts curious about the Cybertruck. The reactions were all positive.
  3. Driving faster creates a lot of dust which gets into everything. The inside of the closed vault was blanketed with dust when I returned home, indicating that the vault is not well sealed. It was winding late in the day as well which probably contributed to the dust infiltration.
  4. It’s easy to get lost on the trails. A reliable navigation system and a set of paper maps as a backup is very important, especially in an EV where every mile traveled is eating into the truck's range.
  5. The Carlinkit T2C+ Samsung Note 9 combination didn’t work out well for getting GaiaGPS navigation maps to display on the CT display. It kept disconnecting from the Tesla display, and the battery drain on the Note 9 was excessive. I’m going to switch to an iPad Mini 5 for off-road navigation.
  6. If I travel in a group, I will need a two-way radio. I was advised to get a GMRS radio (MXT 275 from Midland).
  7. Removing the mud flaps is necessary to prevent from breaking them (I didn't take them off, but luckily didn't break them)
  8. As rugged as the CT is, the plastic mirrors and wheel flares will get permanently scratched by stiff brush and branches protruding into a narrow trail. They left their mark on my side mirrors.
Pinstriped Mirror.jpg
Looks like you had fun. Any scratches to the stainless steel? Even superficial ones that buff out with BKF? Wondering how sensitive this HFS really is.
 
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Cybergirl

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Looks like you had fun. Any scratches to the stainless steel? Even superficial ones that buff out with BKF? Wondering how sensitive this HFS really is.
There were no scratch marks on the stainless steel. I thought there might be because I heard the harsh sound of a branch striking metal in one instance.
 

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#3 a tail gate gasket might help with this.
what you experienced would also be true for any pickup truck with a bed tonneau/cover. The gasket would limit dust intrusion.
 

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It’s easy to get lost on the trails.
when we set a route in a CT, Tesla needs to download base map advance. we shouldn't need google maps. 🙄

Anyway, I'm in AZ and this is exactly the type of trip I'm hoping to get back to doing. Thanks for the post @Cybergirl !
 


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Last weekend I took my new CT AWD on an off-road trip to the Swansea, AZ mining ghost town 30 miles west of Parker, AZ. The total mileage round trip from Lake Havasu City was 140 miles, 40 miles was rocky dirt roads/trails. I left with a 90% charge and returned home with 34% for a trip average of 492 Wh/mile driving between 50 - 65 mph on paved roads.

Screenshot 2024-03-25 at 9.33.18 AM.png


My takeaways from the trip were valuable. I'm new to off-road adventuring, but plan to do a lot more now that I have a Cybertruck.
  1. It took 3 hr to dive 30 miles to the site. I drove slowly getting to the town site because the road was very rocky and rough. I drove quite a bit faster driving back having gained confidence from the experience, and talking to other off-roaders. I found that driving faster makes the ride less rough as long as I slowed down for large bumps and dips.
  2. I attracted quite crowd of other off-road enthusiasts curious about the Cybertruck. The reactions were all positive.
  3. Driving faster creates a lot of dust which gets into everything. The inside of the closed vault was blanketed with dust when I returned home, indicating that the vault is not well sealed. It was winding late in the day as well which probably contributed to the dust infiltration.
  4. It’s easy to get lost on the trails. A reliable navigation system and a set of paper maps as a backup is very important, especially in an EV where every mile traveled is eating into the truck's range.
  5. The Carlinkit T2C+ Samsung Note 9 combination didn’t work out well for getting GaiaGPS navigation maps to display on the CT display. It kept disconnecting from the Tesla display, and the battery drain on the Note 9 was excessive. I’m going to switch to an iPad Mini 5 for off-road navigation.
  6. If I travel in a group, I will need a two-way radio. I was advised to get a GMRS radio (MXT 275 from Midland).
  7. Removing the mud flaps is necessary to prevent from breaking them (I didn't take them off, but luckily didn't break them)
  8. As rugged as the CT is, the plastic mirrors and wheel flares will get permanently scratched by stiff brush and branches protruding into a narrow trail. They left their mark on my side mirrors.
Pinstriped Mirror.jpg
Very cool, did you camp in it at all on your trip?
Bummer about the dust in the vault, the cover on my Tundra is all but water and dustproof and other mfgs have them along with aftermarket that keep them sealed.
Would be kinda a big deal if you got to your campsite and your bedding in the back was wet and or dusty.

Any reason you left at 90% charge, would think offroading you might want that extra 10% buffer?

GREAT REPORT!
 

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It’s easy to get lost on the trails. A reliable navigation system and a set of paper maps as a backup is very important, especially in an EV where every mile traveled is eating into the truck's range.
It is unclear what your experience was here. Did you have your Tesla (AT&T?) cellular connectity for your maps at all times?

I've been in SE Montana and left a small town but within 5 miles I lost my Tesla navigation. I was going to make a 1-2 hour loop that I had setup in my Nav. I was several turns in when I lost my Tesla navigation. Took me longer than that 1-2 hours to get back :)

I think they fixed phone BT connectivity tech now (diff BT tech??) because at some point I thought your phone needed cellular connectivity to unlock your car using your phone. Not great if you are on an adventure.

Not a great adventure vehicle if this happens in the Cybertruck. They should have thought of this. Things like Android phones and Google maps allow you to download a section of the map that you know that you will be at in case you don't have cellular. Seems like an oversight if Tesla does not have that.
 
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Cybergirl

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when we set a route in a CT, Tesla needs to download base map advance. we shouldn't need google maps. 🙄

Anyway, I'm in AZ and this is exactly the type of trip I'm hoping to get back to doing. Thanks for the post @Cybergirl !
In other words, do what GaiaGPS, OnX, and other navigation apps that run on iOS and Android to, or have those apps run on TeslaOS.
 

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In other words, do what GaiaGPS, OnX, and other navigation apps that run on iOS and Android to, or have those apps run on TeslaOS.
Carplay and Android Auto support in Teslas would fix that instantly

...which we will never get because Tesla is either petty, lazy, overprotective of the vertical intregration, or wants to hoard all the usage data for themselves. Same reasons as Rivian and GM I guess.
 
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Cybergirl

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It is unclear what your experience was here. Did you have your Tesla (AT&T?) cellular connectity for your maps at all times?

I've been in SE Montana and left a small town but within 5 miles I lost my Tesla navigation. I was going to make a 1-2 hour loop that I had setup in my Nav. I was several turns in when I lost my Tesla navigation. Took me longer than that 1-2 hours to get back :)

I think they fixed phone BT connectivity tech now (diff BT tech??) because at some point I thought your phone needed cellular connectivity to unlock your car using your phone. Not great if you are on an adventure.

Not a great adventure vehicle if this happens in the Cybertruck. They should have thought of this. Things like Android phones and Google maps allow you to download a section of the map that you know that you will be at in case you don't have cellular. Seems like an oversight if Tesla does not have that.
When I drove off the AZ HWY 95 several miles, I lost my LTE connection. At the edge of the previously downloaded Google map, I had no map information downloaded to help with navigation.

Losing cellphone connectivity did not affect my ability to use many functions on the Tesla app. For example, I could still unlock the truck, open the tonneau cover and gate, and so on. I could not do things like watch a Netfix movie that require an internet connection via wifi or cell tower connection. A Starlink mobile account and Starlink antenna over comes this limitation.

The solution is using a navigation app like GaiaGPS running on an iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, or android phone or tablet on which maps having been previously downloaded. I tried using GaiaGPS app on my Samsung phone connected to the CT's display via Bluetooth from a Carlinkit T2C box, but it didn't work well. I'm planning to use an iPad Mini and mount for my off road navigation.

The GaiaGPS maps are very extensive and provide overlays for all kinds of good information including topography, closed trails, weather, snow depth, forest fires, historic sites, etc. GaiaGPS is available as an annual subscription.
 


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When I drove off the AZ HWY 95 several miles, I lost my LTE connection.
a) Thanks. Just to be clear you lost all your Tesla navigation within the CT display screen, correct?

At the edge of the previously downloaded Google map, I had no map information downloaded to help with navigation.
b) Is this reference to Google map on your phone or the cache in your CT display?

c) I do understand that the references to GaiaGPS are for your non-Tesla devices.

d) Re: bluetooth connectivity changed over time
"Using the phone key like this uses Bluetooth (also known as BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy mode) and means neither the car or the phone are dependant on a cellular internet connection."​
I think this changed a few years back and it was using some other method that required connectivity to unlock your car. Certainly not an issue any longer and we know there are BT hardware embedded in each wheel fender. Service manual entry - Remote and Passive Entry - Wheel Well Endpoint, BLE
 
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Cybergirl

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Very cool, did you camp in it at all on your trip?
Bummer about the dust in the vault, the cover on my Tundra is all but water and dustproof and other mfgs have them along with aftermarket that keep them sealed.
Would be kinda a big deal if you got to your campsite and your bedding in the back was wet and or dusty.

Any reason you left at 90% charge, would think offroading you might want that extra 10% buffer?

GREAT REPORT!
No, I didn't sleep overnight on this trip.

What's interesting about the dust infiltration is that when I arrived at the historic site, there was no dust in the vault at all, unlike when I returned home. The only difference that could explain it is the higher driving speed and gusty winds on the trip back.

I plan to load the vault/subvault with things that won't be damaged by water or dust:
  • Spare tire/jack/shovel/tools
  • Air compressor/hose
  • Generator and propane
  • 10' x 10' Canopy
  • Camp kitchen, propane stove, utensils
  • Two chairs
  • Collapsible toilet/privacy tent
  • Portable A/C unit (summer time)
  • Starlink antenna
  • Fire wood
All this stuff is unloaded when I set up the campsite to make room in the vault to sleep.

The cab will be used to store:
  • Refrigerator
  • Air mattresses/ bedding
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Rain gear/boots
  • First aid kit
  • Camera gear
  • Etc
 
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Cybergirl

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a) Thanks. Just to be clear you lost all your Tesla navigation within the CT display screen, correct?

Yes. The GPS still showed my position, but without a map display, it's not useful.


b) Is this reference to Google map on your phone or the cache in your CT display?

On the CT display. Tesla uses Google maps for navigation display (says on the bottom right of the display.
 

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scottf200 said:
a) Thanks. Just to be clear you lost all your Tesla navigation within the CT display screen, correct?
CG - Yes. The GPS still showed my position, but without a map display, it's not useful.

b) Is this reference to Google map on your phone or the cache in your CT display?
CG - On the CT display. Tesla uses Google maps for navigation display (says on the bottom right of the display.
I'm very very familiar with the map vs navigation display features. It was unclear if you were talking about your phone. It is really too bad that Tesla cannot cache the Google maps section of your route since you have a route entered. They would have to account for some level of detail (zoom ability) of course.

This whole aspect really goes against it being usable for adventures and is essentially their city/highway tech from cars to their truck.
 

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  1. As rugged as the CT is, the plastic mirrors and wheel flares will get permanently scratched by stiff brush and branches protruding into a narrow trail. They left their mark on my side mirrors.
Pinstriped Mirror.jpg
Thanks for the trip report.

The mirrors won't really look good until you get a lot more scratches on them for a more uniform, natural appearance.
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