How To Use Camp Mode In Your Tesla

There are plenty of things such as Camp Mode that you probably expected when you invested in a Tesla electric car.

Cruising around a high-tech city, bragging to your friends about how energy efficient you are, but I bet one thing you may not have planned for was camping in it.

How To Use Camp Mode In Your Tesla

But if you fancy a day or two out in the wilderness, then you can do a lot worse than putting the seats down in your Tesla and adding a mattress.

With a couple of fancy pillows added for good measure, the back of your Tesla can feel like you’re glamping.

You may not have imagined it, but Tesla has, and they even included a “camping” mode in the car’s systems that will allow you to camp out without getting stranded when your battery dies.

This guide will walk you through how to use the camping mode on your Tesla and the benefits that you’ll see from it.

Whether you’re taking the car across the country or just camping out in your backyard, Tesla (and this guide) has you covered.

What Is Camp Mode?

Camp mode is a system setting that will make your car more comfortable and livable so that you can sleep and entertain yourself inside with ease.

The way that it does this is by making it so that the cabin will maintain its interior lighting, temperature, and airflow once the mode has been enabled.

This makes sleeping or hanging out on the back seats way more comfortable. The car will even play your music at a pleasant, ambient level – no difference between this and a small RV or minivan.

Before You Set-Off

This might sound like a no-brainer, but before you set off on a road trip, make sure that you charge your car overnight.

It will also be helpful to follow a path that’s going to give you plenty of places to recharge the Tesla as you go. Luckily, there are a lot of places that will let you charge up an electric car for free, including a lot of RV parks.

There are online guides that will help you find the best places to charge along your journey.

Just in case, and especially if you’re planning on going off the beaten track, you should keep some kind of portable generator or charger with you for emergencies.

You also want to ensure that you have a model of Tesla that actually includes camp mode, as it was only introduced as a feature in December 2019, so if your car is older than that, it might not actually have the capabilities that we’re going to discuss.

Enabling Camp Mode

How To Use Camp Mode In Your Tesla

It really couldn’t be simpler to activate the camp mode, which makes it even more fun to stop somewhere for the night on a long journey.

All you have to do is touch the fan icon at the bottom of the Tesla’s touch screen and then press on the icon marked with “camp”.

Although do keep in mind that the Tesla has to be in Park mode already, you can’t set this mode off just whilst you’re driving.

But if you’re already parked, then there’s nothing easier than setting the car to Camp Mode and chilling out for the rest of the night.

Also keep in mind that officially, you will need to have more than 15% left of your charge remaining, otherwise, it won’t work.

That said, recently there was a Twitter thread that suggested that you could use camp more with as little as 5% battery left, but this hasn’t been verified, and it’s probably best not to risk it, otherwise, you might wake up in the middle of the night to find that your car has died, and that lovely warm temperature that it was maintaining has suddenly dropped below 0.

Energy Consumption

One of the top reasons that your car needs at least 15% of its battery is because running your car in camp mode will eat up about 10% of your battery in a regular 8 hour time frame.

However, if you’re sitting in extremely cold temperatures or other kinds of inclement weather, the battery will drain more quickly as it will take more energy for the car to maintain the temperature.

That said, even in this kind of bad weather the battery should only drain about 15%. Do bear in mind that this is only on average and an estimate, so be sure that you don’t leave yourself without enough battery life left to get to the next charging station.

Emergency Camping

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been stuck out on a road in the middle of a snowstorm or other kind of bad weather?

If you have, you probably know how scary and cold it can be to have to spend a long time stuck in your car – even if it’s just really bad traffic.

With a Tesla, instead of just hanging out, you can pop the car in camp mode and keep yourself warm with a nice airflow.

It’s good to know that even in emergencies you’ll still be able to take comfort in your Tesla and ride out the storm.

People have tested out how the camp mode performs in frigid temperatures like in Norway and found that camping out for 24 hours only drained the charge in his Tesla Model 3 about 50% – which is fantastic when you really think about it.

Is It Necessary?

If your Tesla doesn’t have this feature or you don’t want to use the camp mode for some reason, then there are other ways to replicate the mode.

Some people have noted that you’d be able to do this as an alternative:

  • Turn off the vehicle’s lights
  • Set the desired temperature to “Keep Climate On”
  • Turn on the rear vents (these won’t turn on automatically so you have to do it manually)
  • Disable the Walkaway Door Locks option
  • Turn off the vehicle’s dome light and Sentry
  • Turn off the alarm.

Now, in my opinion, although all of this will make your car feel as though it’s in camp mode if you have the capability to put camp mode on with the touch of a single button, then I can’t imagine why you’d want to go through the trouble of messing with all those different settings individually.

Bottom Line

Teslas have a lot of very cool different options, and this one might be one of my favorites, considering how pleasant it makes camping out in your car feel.

If you’ve got a trip planned soon, you might want to consider giving this mode a try.

Michael Schuck

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