A modified Tesla Model 3 (with roof tent) to cross the Mojave Desert (Death Valley)

A team of American YouTubers had the good idea to travel the Mojave Road aboard their Tesla Model 3. The purpose of this original getaway? Discover the limits of this car and see what it was capable of (or not!). The Mojave Road is a 236 kilometer off-trail route that begins at the Colorado River in Nevada, and ends near Cajon Pass in California. This route was taken during the westward expansion, and crosses one of the hottest deserts in the world. Remember that this desert is home to Death Valley, a valley so dangerous and steep that car rental companies refuse rental to customers who come to this place. The engines heat up and overheat as the road is difficult! The two youtubers Ethan Schlusler and Edwin Olding have a popular YouTube channel where they showcase their wacky mechanical projects, and the off-road Tesla is one of them…

The transformation of the Tesla Model 3 for the desert

Their car is therefore a 2020 Tesla Model 3 with long-range dual motor, damaged at the front. After taking care to document their racing machine, they cut the damaged parts, replaced the plastic bumpers with steel tubes, then mounted a winch with a capacity of 5440 kilos. They then moved the heat exchangers to the trunk, increased the ride height, cut out a section of the hood, removed the front anti-roll bar, installed aftermarket lighting, added front wheel spacers and mounted of the Falken Wildpeak A / T3W tire.

Photo credit: Grind Hard Plumbing Co (YouTube screenshot)

For this transformation, they had also put a life-size statue ofElon Musk who watched over the grain. Finally, they added sliders for extra protection, removed the rear bumpers and part of the floor. They also hooked under the car an old road sign, to protect it from chance encounters with the many pebbles that line this Mojave Road!

Imminent departure !

The National Park Service recommends about three days to cover the 236 kilometers, but the two friends did not intend to cover the entire route; they were only planning to spend a day or two there. They therefore, in addition, fashioned a gallery that allowed them to sleep on the glass roof of the Tesla, then provided a (roof) tent made by Go Fast Campers! Before the modifications, the range of the car was 146 kilometers, but they did not know how many kilometers that would correspond to in the desert. So they have planned a Jeep Gladiator AEV trailer so you can recharge it just in case. But apparently they didn’t need it.

A tesla model 3 in the desert
Photo credit: Grind Hard Plumbing Co (YouTube screenshot)

Did they succeed in their challenge?

On day one, the route took them from Afton Canyon to Barstow, California. Bumpy straights, rocky obstacles, etc. A course carried out at 70 km/h with 500 horsepower under the hood. No problems encountered, the transformed Tesla managed well, after having deflated the tires to pass the sand. YouTubers were impressed with the performance of their mount. They were also able to pass very wet places without difficulty for the first crossing, which was carried out on crossing boards. So they decided to push the experiment a little further. During the second crossing, the wave caused by the passing of the car rose above the hood. And then what had to happen happened: more power, more juice, more Tesla. Apart from a dripping, smoking car! Conclusion of the experiment: Even the transformed Tesla Model 3 is not intended for the Mojave Road! Pity ! More info: YouTube channel: Grind Hard Plumbing Co and Rich Rebuilds

Leave a Comment