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Bmw i3 Adventure

I recently flew out to Los Angeles to take delivery of a nice used 2015 i3 REx, and now I start the adventure of driving it back nearly 2000 miles to Iowa.

First, buying from Center BMW in Sherman Oaks was a very pleasant experience. I dealt with Anita Lee and she did a great job of having the car ready and making sure it was up to my expectations when I arrived. She always responded to texts even off hours. The finance guy was great, not being at all pushy when I declined extra coverage. I would buy from them again.

I digress, back to the car.  Before hitting the road I stopped at Walmart and picked up 2 cases of water and a 5 Gallon gas tank to keep in the rear.  I also picked up some other emergency items in case the car broke down in the desert when it was hot.  After that I hit the road.

The first mountain pass to Barstow went without a hitch. I had to follow the trucks in the slow lane, speeds dropped to 40 mph or so. I was expecting this so no issue. Besides going up the pass.

The car had no issue holding 70 mph on relatively level ground, and the range extender is much quieter than I imagined. It is barely audible in lights loads, and makes a continuous, but not overwhelming drone climbing the pass. I didn’t even realize it had started until several miles after.

I stayed overnight in Barstow as it was getting late.  It had been a long day beginning with a flight from Iowa and ending with a new (to me) car in Barstow.  I spent the evening looking over the owners manual to make sure I wasn’t missing any features.

5 thoughts on “Bmw i3 Adventure Leave a comment

  1. I am about to embark on a similar trip, collecting a 2014 REX from South Australia and driving it to Perth in Western Australia, about 2700km. So I am grateful to read your post. Thank you

  2. Thanks for the posts. Fascinating indeed. A few stupid questions: Is the 5 gallon gas can you used a specialized one that didn’t let out fumes? How would I know if the i3 gas tank is full when I am dispensing from the 5-gal can or is there some indicator on the 5-gal can? Does the can already have a spout attached and if so would it start smelling in the cabin once I have used the spout once. Did you consider placing the can in the frunk? If you can post a photo of the specific can used, I will look for a similar one at walmart/homedepot. Thanks in advance.

    • I used the 5 gal as it is what was available. The tank fills really slow from it, so overfilling wasn’t an issue, generally only got 3/4 full. Unfortunately, I don’t have it anymore so can’t take a photo, now I just have 2.5 gallon tank that fits in frunk. The cans have spouts attached, and buying in CA for emissions reasons they will be well sealed to prevent evaporation. Mine had no smell in car, but obviously want to be careful with it.

  3. Thank you for your travel journal with the i3. One key point that I did not see was whether you plugged in! As a proud owner of a 2017 94ah BMW i3 I was wondering if you needed to do this while staying at the hotel.

    • I didn’t plug in much, but doing so in future I would find hotels I could charge at overnight to reduce gas. Problem was the 60 ah drained battery too quickly, so it was only like 60 mile rage at highway speeds. However, with REx and coding hold mode, that would probably last me the day. At the time I was driving without it coded.

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