Road Trip and car camping in our Kona Electric

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by BenignShrug, Aug 15, 2021.

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  1. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    After a few trial runs and a jaunt down south to grab an appropriate awning... It's time for a car camping road trip in our new Kona Electric. After hitting this site and YouTube, we've borrowed from here and there and made some non permanent mods that should make this doable. It helps that we're rather short... Else it's pretty much a non starter.

    Starting from just outside Ottawa, Ontario, we'll be taking advantage of the break in restrictions to tour the Maritimes... Stay tuned... And I'll go over the mods, what works, what didn't... And post a bunch of pics. Thus far just crashing somewhere outside Quebec City. signal-2021-08-15-005524.jpg
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  3. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    So the major key to all of this are the Petro Canada CCS charging stations laid out all along the Trans Canada and the 401/400 added to the fact that right now RBC has their free Petro Canada charging offer available if you bank with them and have one of a few of their products.

    Yes, there have been a lot of other charging stations on the route so far, but you can't beat free. But just in case we want to go off the "Free Path" so to speak, we've got the standard complement of Flo, Chargepoint, Electric Circuit, etc tokens and apps if required.

    Thus far, we've done two trip trips looping around Quebec City and Toronto; ensured that the statement credits do eventually get applied; and reviewing the *h** out if the charging stations on Google Maps. By and large they've been pretty good. Haven't yet not been able to charge. However have had to fight a dodgy charger or an app misfire a time or two. Absolute worst experience was one a bit north of Montreal that decided his Lordship's bathrooms were to good for the common scum. It's a social contract, I feel, you sell me fuel and have a public bathroom... It's a public bathroom. But Petro Canada took an interest and I think they are actually dealing with it.

    Stopped last night to make some coffee with one of my mods, and it worked out very nicely indeed signal-2021-08-14-220904.jpg
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  4. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    I guess I'll start from the beginning... So the first stop, part of this trip is to ensure I've hit every charger along the way, was about 150 km or so after departure.

    On the previous trips one of the concerns I wanted to slay was just how much range loss we were going to face with an awning and a roof box. So far it seems around 10%, but it's been difficult to find the time to do hwy travel of the same route twice, once with roof box and once without. Needless to say, there is loss, and there is wind noise. Add to that 12v accessories, wind, elevation... Hard to give an absolute figure so as always YMMV.

    First Charging station was Less Cedres, Quebec, and it was probably the most borked charging station I've yet encountered in Ontario or Quebec. The App mixed up or simply misrepresented the chargers status, one charger wouldn't connect via app or card reader for payment, moving to the second 'just vacated' charger (status still not right in the app) it took some jiggery pokery in order to get it to finally charge. Now we didn't really need to, but until I trust the GOM so to speak, I usually top up to about 80%. Unless we actually need to go a long way, there is no efficient / cost effective way to use a per minute charger to go beyond 80%. Honestly, once over 75% it really gets old fast. Less than 1/2KWh per minute at $0.20/ minute. ($0.33 in Ontario).

    Yuck. signal-2021-08-14-203449.jpg signal-2021-08-14-204140.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
  5. Yes, a roof rack will cost you a lot of range. My son with his Tesla Model 3 has a Thule box on top for trips, and reports that it is in excess of 30% range loss at 110 kph. The Tesla has less drag normally, so % wise your loss may be slightly less. But it is a big hit nonetheless. A rear hitch cargo carrier has less drag, but even that has a hit.
  6. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    I can't say that it's close to 30% on the Kona. But then a lot has to do with placement, and ensuring you've not gone so large as to essentially dam all the air coming up off the hood and front windshield. Additionally, when so encumbered, I usually keep closer to 100km/hr which will mitigate losses as well. Although limited by the bar spread the Kona allows, we made sure to push it back so that it wasn't forward of the windshield roof line vertex. As well, the Aero bars help a bit so the air can flow under the box very nicely.

    The hit from driving hwy and the added roof box and awning combine to drop the range... But maybe both factors together might bring it close to 30% vs city driving with no ecoutrements. We'll find out in NB when I have a 260km gap between Petro Canada chargers. It'll be roof box, hwy speed, awning, A/C, DC fridge... Etc. I might even let RBC pay to top me up to 90% for that leg. ;)
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  8. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    Second stop...

    Ste-Helene-de-Bagot, Quebec: Nice charging station we've used on our warm up trips. With the Petro Stations they almost always hit your car's max for charging.. which is very nice. 75+ KW is always good to see.

    We didn't quite need to stop here, but I knew we were going to camp up the road, and with car camping... Sometimes you just gotta jump on a good spot if you are unfamiliar with the area. So distance plus over night in utility mode meant best to charge. Especially as a lot of people would be driving on Sunday and the chargers may be busy.

    As it was we found a great spot for our coffee as posted above. The frunk and Inverter work wonders.

    Attached Files:

  9. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    Holding for future post..
  10. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    Holding for future post
  11. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    Just stopping in Beautiful Grand Falls, New Brunswick for supper. Half the time the biggest problem is finding a place where you can setup an awning... And a kitchen... And a dinning room... Without attracting the ire of the locals.

    Found one here at a really nice Visitor stop / Info center next to a gorge and falls... When they turn them on.

    So in the pics below, you'll see a 1.6m awning from we picked that one up down in Mississauga, Ontario. Had to make sure we could get a sane mount and still open the rear hatch. It comes with a wind break and a full room which if we go to a campsite will come in handy.

    The Kitchen setup you see folds up and slides under the rear deck lid when you pull our the foam spacer. The table and chairs go up in the roof box. The stove, pots, etc all go up in the roof box as well. When I have time I'll post pics of the pantry under the deck lid. It's right... But it all fits in the Kona... With enough room left to sleep 2.

    One caveat... You'll notice there is only 1 pseudo good chair... I can't yet get 2 to stack in the roof box with everything else. A work in progress I suppose. Oh yeah... Not pictured is the DC fridge. :)
    signal-2021-08-15-193644.jpg signal-2021-08-15-193606.jpg signal-2021-08-15-193020 (2).jpg
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  13. Look like a great set up, can hardly wait for additional info (after your vacation of course) on the inverter setup, fridge, awning etc. Thanks for posting.
    The awning looks like it would be a welcome addition with something like this :
    ( "Dome to Go" available from Hyundai as an accessory)
    There is a thread we tend to share them in:
    Also great to hear Petro Can works at full potential, especially considering the reduced (free) cost:)
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
    mho likes this.
  14. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    That looks pretty nice. The biggest issue we've found with having a tent setup like that is actually deploying it somewhere that isn't a fully booked $50 a night campground. With COVID it's been ridiculous. $40 plus a booking fee and oh you have people fee and the tent fee and the... It's ridiculous. So we decided to do the find a day site where you can cook / make coffee, oatmeal, noodles, etc. Then stealth at truck stops or rest spots, etc.

    I really miss crossing over into New York State and setting up in the primitive camp sites that were a stone's throw away. But then I had a roof top tent with solar and a Tacoma. This is more for road tripping and less for outright camping in the bush.

    Plus, everything we picked up for the Kona can swap to our older Jeep WK diesel that we are fixing up. Except for her I still have my LiFe4 battery box and solar... But Diesel is $1.22 a litre and she's thirsty.
  15. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    In regards to range at hwy speeds (100km/hr) at 80% the GOM has assigned me 299km twice in a row. However, the last run, we went all over side roads, back roads and we were in very hilly terrain and then ran utility mode for an hour plus... Yet still beat the GOM. So as configured, I can live with a conservative 299km for 80%.

    Pushed to 110 to try it out on the long leg... Started with an initial safety gap of 70km, then about 2/3 of the way through dropped back to 100km/hr for a bit as that gap was closing fast. So for the Tesla with the roof box, drop 5 or 10km/hr and I bet that 30% will dive to something reasonable. The difference for 10km/hr was eye opening. (Note roads were very hilly in NB and I was not tracking winds, but Angle of attack was changing drastically up and down the hill. YMMV)
  16. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    Now off the beaten path... Leaving the Petro-Canada circuit as they don't go to Cape Breton... And we want to see the Louisburg fortress ... This means FLO stations until we get back to the Trans Canada. First Flo charge.. only a 50KW station... Slow. But far better than the L2 alternative. It's Black and white the difference between the two stations, even tho PetroCan is a Johnny come lately... Hopefully more fuel companies follow suite.

    As an aside, it wasn't really any slower than the last Petro Canada station we hit in Moncton, that one seemed stuck below 50KW, even though it's listed and labelled at 350KW max.

    Hopefully the FLOs are all working... Seems to be the only game in town going North.

    Attached Files:

  17. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    After 3 Flo chargers, and a nice gentle charge to full at an L2 in North Sydney, NS... (1.50 an hour to charge and sleep - not too bad)... We made it out to the Fortress at Louisburg.

    Seems that Parks Canada and Tesla have a deal... I just hope that they are J1772 Level 2 chargers, and not Tesla only... But looky here, brand new in bags with a bunch of spaces dedicated to (hopefully) all our EVs.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2021
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  18. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    So far so good. Frunk is still holding strong, inverter powered coffee A-OK, and we've slept in the Kona each night... Checkout the progress below. The biggest change has been meandering or slow travel vs our TDI ways of pounding through the KM for the "destination"... With this trip we just had to change to a let's go smell the flowers type of drive. A far cry from a 48 hour diesel burn across Canada from Ontario to Vancouver Island... That's for sure.
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  19. hobbit

    hobbit Well-Known Member

    If you're managing to sleep more than one person *in* the Kona, what's the setup for that?

  20. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    Seats up all the way, or until it jams on migrated kit, extend a bed with a cut and shaped piece of plywood, mattress on top and voila. Only works if shortish. 5'5" to 5'7" max I'd say. The Kona is a compromise in absolutely everything to get range for a price point. But it is what it is, and it was available at that price point. Will add pics when I have time and better signal.
  21. hobbit

    hobbit Well-Known Member

    Ah. Short would help. But I'm 5'7 and still can't stretch out without being diagonal onto my extender..
    Awaiting pix!

  22. BenignShrug

    BenignShrug New Member

    Well, our DC fridge is just a bit too long for me to put the pax seat as far forward as I would like... But once I solve that, it will be more comfortable. Without it, it is easier. If we wanted to mod more, I'd just take the rear seats out completely and build a platform with storage. But not having flat folding rear seats is one of the many pet peeves I have with the Kona. I come from a line of Golfs and other cars that get it.... Sadly Hyundai hasn't gotten the memo.

    We've started cutting on the memory foam mattress to fit better, but doing it as we go to make sure we don't take too much. I think I'd rather have high density foam or something... The memory foam compresses too easily.

    But here are two when in sleep mode (and a gratuitous Kona sea/sky shot), I have some more I have to dig up and push as we get signal back. Out on the Cabot Trail and all the donated Tesla marked chargers are making it awesome.

    So was regen-ing 10km of range on a down hill section. signal-2021-08-18-200545 (1).jpg signal-2021-08-18-200545.jpg signal-2021-08-18-174831.jpg
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  23. hobbit

    hobbit Well-Known Member

    I get the rear seatbacks to fold flat-ish relative to the rear deck by removing the rear seat cushion
    and bracing up the seatbacks with a length of 4x4 which is the perfect height, when laid across
    the metal hump over the thicker part of the battery. I have thin padding over the metal, and the
    resulting void under the seatbacks forms a storage area that can be reached into without
    disturbing the arrangement. I'm still prototyping this and haven't decided on overall gear
    layout yet. I also haven't documented the newer setup yet but it'll be a little more elegant
    than the old one.


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