On my cross country trip last spring, I camped one night in the Tesla while charging at an RV park. Last month I met up with some friends who were camping for several nights. I was on my way to an event and joined them for one evening with the Tesla.
On this trip, I was not in an RV park and had no need to charge so I decided to try the unofficial Tesla “camping mode”. The camping mode allows you to keep the cabin air at your preferred temperature. However you cannot charge while in camping mode.
Camping mode is quite simple:
- Do not plug your car in
- Place the car in Neutral
- Manually set the parking brake in the control screen
- Dim your lights as much as possible
Northern California has been very warm this fall. The Pacific Ocean for a reason that is likely unrelated to global warming is 5 degrees warmer than usual. Our nights have been reasonably warm and this evening in the car was no exception.
I found the light of the touchscreen to be a bit distracting to sleep as I had not dimmed the setting completely before trying to sleep. Since the night was quite warm and the Tesla cabin is small enough to stay warm, I ended up turning off the climate control completely.
Perhaps I will test this feature out someday when climate control could be useful and see how much energy I would use, but I doubt I will be sleeping very many nights in the Model S. Even with a very thick pad and some extra clothing near the change in seat height, the trunk is not particularly comfortable and motels are more appealing.