Camco PowerGrip cord uses the same 6 gauge wire wrapped in an impressively rugged covering. Same wire, same plugs, same performance. Your Tesla won't even know the difference from home cooking.
Let's talk numbers (with apologies to vegan electrical engineers for my pedestrian approach-- though admittedly they are a small demographic). If you're looking to buy a nice steak you can shop by the pound or by the cut. Different prices apply to different cuts, obviously, but the hunk of meat you need remains the same. The Camco cord costs about $100 for 30' which is about $3.35/foot (accounting for some loss due to the plug ends). Current prices in my area for similar gauge, by-the-roll 6-gauge electrical cable (same stuff I use to juice my garage 50 amp plug) works out to $1.78/foot. A handy fellow could probably make a similar cord for about a third less cost... but it won't have the same rugged construction and won't be as durable and safe. Copious amounts of electrical and duct tape might approach the durability but by then you've emptied your 401k on tape. That's not nearly as much fun as a trip to Paris in your 90s. The premium cost to have Camco do it for you is only about 20% without accounting for your own labor. That's a pretty modest upcharge for such a well built product. A different cut of steak that's worth spending a few bucks more to get.
Camco makes this same extension cord in several lengths and in smaller gauges (like for a 30 amp run). There's also a host of adapters and you can craft a very impressive knot of connections if you really want to freak out the spectators or impress your girlfriend. My wife frowns on both approaches so we'll be keeping this review to the cord itself.
Reality bites a little bit in this case. I'm not a huge guy and the PowerGrip couldn't fit my 4 fingers in it without visions of the fire department being summoned to pry me free with their Hurst tool. You certainly could not wrestle the cord with any degree of comfort using it this way.
Take a moment to sit cross-legged on the floor and summon up your inner Californian (you've surely done this already if you're a Tesla owner in a snow state): "Ommm.....Surf's up, dude!" -- and there, you've got it, the proper grip for the PowerGrip. If you want to show off your sophistication, keep the pinky extended like it's high afternoon tea.
Thirty feet of power cord weighs in at about 23 1/2 pounds, but since the Model S is over 16' long it doesn't make much sense to bother with a shorter cord. After all, if the problem can be solved by simply turning the car around you're not really gaining a lot of capability. The shorter cords are still bulky to travel with but do have a weight advantage... but if you're running off to Grandma's house you're going to weigh more coming home anyway. Potentially a lot more if your family can cook like mine. If not, then a too short extension cord would be the least of your life's disappointments and I want you to instead picture me enjoying my gravy and pie... which I will ship to you for a generous donation towards a P85D.
Speaking of bulk (and NOT speaking of my unspeakably dirty Tesla), check out the size differential between the two cords. Even from Sasquatch height the circumference is massively bigger comparatively.
Grab a tape measure and you'll find your eyes don't deceive you-- the Camco is at least double the thickness of the Tesla cord. That should put to rest any concerns of the wire overheating under prolonged charging but it does come at a cost: flexibility.
Stretching the cord out leaves lots of stubborn coils that will have you twisting the night away to take advantage of the full length. I also have grave concerns about trying to jam a cold-frozen cord back into the car after a night's charge-- but again, both of these issues are not the fault of Camco. Any extension cord of this size will have similar drawbacks. This is a quality piece of kit and you'll have peace-of-mind dragging and scraping over all sorts of unimaginable obstacles that would shred the Tesla cord.
All plugged in you can see the 90 degree angle that works so well on the wall outlet end becomes a confused electrical interchange when connected to the UMC adapter. They're both angled the opposite way from each other-- not a huge issue unless the resulting loss of nearly a foot of potential length is the difference between driving away or being marooned with a pouty face.
With the PowerGrip linked in between wall power and the UMC there's a price to be paid in energy loss on such a long run. The car continues to pull 40 amps continuously and there are no overheating concerns but the amount of power getting to the battery is down to 28 mph charge rate.
Just to verify I wasn't "mis-remembering" I redid the charge with the PowerGrip removed and at the same benchmark I was back to pulling 30 mph as a charge rate. The 2 mph power loss doesn't seem like a deal-breaker to me. From completely empty to completely full that would be a difference of 40 minutes, but as a destination charging solution I would expect to be sleeping anyway. 40 extra minutes? Bring it! I'd still be sleeping off the prior night's meal anyway.
Indeed, the only major downside is the possibility of repacking a cold cord. Temperatures were in the 40s the day I tested this particular setup and even after a few minutes it was noticeably stiffening. I predict jamming it back into a compact coil could require more than one helper as you both wrestle this "anacorda" snake back into its tie-strap. Cord handling problems would also be true for any other cord, of course. For more details on this product, watch my video review:
Ratings (1-5, 5 = best):
Quality = 5
Versatility = 4
Ergonomics = 4
Value = 5
When it comes to getting power where you need it, this is a high quality product that should last at least as long as the car. It doesn't overheat and it doesn't disappoint. A few ergonomic miscalculations are a small price to pay for a product that otherwise performs very well.
A little overheating would help in the stiff cold!ReplyDelete