Rivian’s All-Electric Truck is Made for Campers, Here’s Why
Great towing capacity, hidden cargo space, and a camp kitchen unlike any other
After years of development, and multiple production delays, the Rivian R1T electric pick-up truck is finally shipping to customers. The truck’s unique styling, high-tech gadgetry, and powerful motors make it a joy to drive, both on and off-road, setting the bar high for other electric trucks that will soon follow.
From the beginning, Rivian has described the R1T—and its SUV counterpart the R1S—as “electric adventure vehicles.” Both have been built from the ground up for use in the outdoors, with some unique features designed to appeal to those with an active lifestyle. That includes campers, who will find a lot to love in Rivian’s pick-up truck.
Here are a few of the features that make it especially well suited for camping.
By pick-up truck standards, the R1T is relatively small, with a bed that measures just 54 inches in length. Despite its diminutive stature, the vehicle offers big-truck performance, both in terms of acceleration and towing capacity. Thanks to its four electric motors—one on each wheel—the truck can tow as much as 11,000 pounds. That’s enough to pull a wide range of campers with plenty of power to spare.
For reference sake, when not towing a trailer the R1T can move like a rocket ship. The truck’s quad-motor design allows it to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat. That can come in handy when racing back to the campsite come dinner time.
The Camp Kitchen
The most obvious proof that that the R1T was designed with campers in mind comes in the form of the Camp Kitchen, an optional add-on that will transform meal prep at the campsite. The kitchen features a 1440-watt two-burner induction stove that draws power directly from the truck’s battery pack. The energy-efficient burners are powered on with the push of a button and heat up very quickly, allowing outdoor chefs to produce four-star cuisine in record time.
In addition to the stove, the Camp Kitchen includes a collapsible kitchen sink, complete with a four-gallon water tank and spray faucet to make cleanup a breeze. Cork-lined drawers hold the included cookware set from Snow Peak, along with prep tools, a water kettle, coffee grinder, insulated mugs, and flatware set with four place settings. A towel bar and bag holder for trash and recyclables round out the features.
The Camp Kitchen is a $5000 option that can be added to the R1T’s “Gear Tunnel”, a hidden, lockable storage space that runs the width of the vehicle between the cab and bed. When ready for use, the kitchen slides out of the tunnel and supports itself on a built-in leg. The entire unit is made to be operated by a single person, bringing new levels of convenience and versatility to outdoor cooking.
Optional Three-Person Tent
There aren’t many truck manufacturers that give buyers the option to add a rooftop tent to their new vehicle straight from the factory. But Rivian offers a $2650 upgrade that includes a custom version of the Yakima Skyrise HD tent and a set of crossbars specially built to fit the R1T.
Once installed, the Skyrise HD rests on the crossbars which span the bed of the truck rather than the roof itself. The three-person shelter can be deployed in a matter of minutes, creating a comfortable sleeping space in no time at all. The tent comes with a rainfly to keep the elements at bay and is equipped with oversized doors and windows that provide good access and ventilation.
Plenty of Storage
Despite its relatively small bed, the R1T pick-up comes with a surprising amount of storage space. The bed itself provides plenty of utilitarian space, with room for mountain bikes, camping gear, and other cargo. It even comes with two 120-volt power outlets, a built-in air compressor, and a powered, lockable cover. Additionally, the bed floor lifts to reveal a hidden space designed to hold a full-size spare tire.
When not occupied by the Camp Kitchen, the aforementioned Gear Tunnel is another great place to store additional equipment. The tunnel features fold-out, lockable doors, and offers 11 cubic feet of storage space, which is enough room to hold larger items like a surfboard, fishing poles, or a tent. The doors seamlessly blend into the truck’s design, masking the compartment’s location and when opened they serve as steps that provide access to the truck’s roof and bed.
As with most electric vehicles, the R1T comes with a spacious front trunk that is accessed under the hood of the truck. Additional cargo space can be found in a rear storage bin, the center console, and drawers placed under the seats. All told, this adds an extra 62 cubic feet of storage for whatever you need to bring on your camping adventures.
Rivian has designed the R1T to perform exceptionally well while driving off-road. The four-motor design provides independent power to each wheel, allowing it to roll over rough terrain as well as any production vehicle on the market. An adjustable air suspension gives the truck as much as 15 inches of ground clearance, while its electric drivetrain provides a perfectly flat underbelly, keeping everything well protected from rocks and other debris. The truck even has a mode that applies power and brakes to the wheels in such a way that maneuvering through tight turns and narrow trails is a simple experience.
This amazing off-road performance makes reaching remote campsites easier and safer. It also makes the R1T a great option for boondocking, as the truck can go places that few other vehicles can’t reach. If you’re looking for an off-roader that can truly help you get away from it all, Rivian has what you’re looking for.
Other Nice Touches
As mentioned, Rivian has designed the R1T to be the ultimate adventure vehicle. That focus shows up in numerous ways throughout the truck that help it stand out from the competition. For instance, the driver’s side door comes with a built-in rechargeable flashlight that can be pulled out when a light source is needed at the campsite. The cabin also includes a removable Bluetooth speaker—complete with lights of its own— for listening to music around the campfire and the truck’s navigation system is just as focused on off-road navigation as it is on paved streets and highways.
Other thoughtful features include cables for securing cargo in the bed and the Gear Guard camera system that can alert R1T owners if someone attempts to mess with their stuff. The onboard air compressor is handy for inflating bike tires or altering the tire pressure on the truck itself while off-roading too. The key fob is even shaped like a carabiner, allowing it to be clipped securely to a backpack strap or the gear loop in a tent.
With over 48,000 preorders for the R1T to fulfill, Rivian will be playing catchup on production into 2022. New customers can place an order for a truck of their own with delivery currently scheduled for January. Prices start at $67,500.