Hi fellow S-10E owners, I've been sort of quiet on the list lately busy with many things. One of them relates to the S-10E though and I figured you all would like to hear about the epic journey my two friends and I are making right now from Seattle to Southern California and back with my S-10E and without using a drop of gasoline!
Last Thursday my friends Ron and Chad and I hooked what we call the Range Trailer up to a 1997 GM S-10E. The Range Trailer is a mobile power source containing approximately 70 kWh of lithium iron phosphate batteries. We designed the trailer to be light and efficient and built it from the ground up using aerospace construction materials such as aluminum and composite honeycomb board. It is intended that any electric vehicle with a tow hitch and our appropriate interface controls can make use of the Range Trailer. The trailer's battery pack spends most of its time between 350 and 400 volts DC. This power is then regulated using a specially modified battery charger from Manzanita Micro and we have controls in the cab. The trailer is able to provide about 30 kW of power to our S-10E towing vehicle which is enough to keep the towing vehicle's own battery pack full under nearly all driving circumstances. This means that unless your destination is at the top of a very extreme mountain pass or the trailer's battery is depleted, you will arrive at your destination with a full charge in the tow vehicle so you can then leave the trailer charging while you go and drive around town.
Using the Range Trailer has been an exhilarating and exciting experience with little challenges such as overcoming the S-10E's “Unintended Charging Without Paddle Connected” DTC!
Anyway, last Thursday we left Seattle at 4:00pm and arrived in Yreka, California on Friday evening. We stopped a few times to charge at over
70 amps from public Tesla Charging stations using an adapter that I made. One of the highlights of the trip was getting into Woodland California and pulling up to a charging area at a shopping mall where we used every electron we could get. Knowing that there was a Small Paddle Inductive charger at the location, we had purposely turned off the assistance from the trailer to deplete the S-10's own on-board pack so then we placed the truck on the SPI when we arrived. We then used my Tesla adapter to charge the Range Trailer from the 70A Tesla station and we used my J1772 adapter and extra Manzanita Micro PFC-40 charger run through a home-made isolation box cooled by a spare Comair Rotron “Tarzan” 240Volt fans from an old Gen 1 Magnecharge unit. With this we were able to pull 42A from the J1772 Clipper Creek CS40 going into the PFC-40 which then had it's DC output paralleled with the Range Trailer's 80A on-board charger. Adding all the chargers up allowed us to charge at the public level 2 stations in record time while pulling around 30,000 watts of power! Many thanks to Tom Dowling for all his work on these Woodland stations and others throughout California.
You can follow our journey by finding us on Facebook (search for The Range Trailer), on Twitter (search for @RangeTrailer) or any of you can see a live GPS update from my friend Chad's I-phone app which plots our location every 10 minutes. For that simply go to:
Then, the login is: roadtrip
The password is: roadtrip1234
Once you are in, go to the “Map” screen and then click on “Chademo Ipad” and you should be taken to a google map view of our current location. There is also a “last 24 hours” option so that you can see the path that we've been on.
We left Salinas, California early in the morning on Tuesday November 15, headed North back to Washington State. We went through San Francisco and stopped again in Woodland and then made just one more stop at an RV park in Redding, CA where the friendly lady at the front desk let us pull from 3 RV stalls (with 50A outlets) and wouldn't even accept payment for the electricity. From Redding, we made the most grueling single leg of the trip up I-5 around Mt. Shasta then over the Siskiyous and up and down over the many passes around Grants Pass in Oregon. We battled rain and slick roads where we saw a full size Ford pickup completely slide across the road in front of us and into the median. The trusty S-10E and Range Trailer with its trailer brakes stayed firmly planted and after a brutal 209 miles without a charge we pulled into Canyonville, Oregon to grab some dinner and watts.
You can check out the Range Trailer facebook page for more photos of it. Oh, and the truck has been performing absolutely wonderfully except that we lost the PSCM on the way down so steering is a pain at lower speeds.
Vice President Seattle Electric Vehicle Association Founder HPEV LLC P.O. Box 302 Maple Valley, WA 98038
High Performance EV