If you proudly claim the title of Tesla Bro, the new 2023 Rivian truck is the adventure vehicle for you. In development since 2009, the R1T is the first fully electric, mass-market pickup officially on the market.
For regular pickup drivers, the R1T may take some time to get used to. And for RVers, the essential questions are likely related to towing capacity.
So, how much can the Rivian truck tow?
Let’s hop on board and find out!
What Is the Rivian Truck?
Conceived by tech startup Rivian in 2009, the Rivian Truck (R1T) was the first production model from the California-based company. More than anything, the team seeks to win over traditional pickup owners. This is a significant challenge because most drivers are fiercely loyal to their brand. But for outdoorsy types trying to preserve the planet, the lure of a zero-emissions vehicle is appealing.
Manufactured in Illinois, the R1T challenges electric vehicle stereotypes. All-wheel drive from four eclectic motors makes for unbelievable handling and acceleration. In tests, it goes from 0 to 60 in a blazing three seconds due to 835 electric horsepower.
The R1T also features a hydraulic system that balances the 7,125-pound vehicle in turns and limits body roll. It’ll also jack up the Rivian to over 15 inches of lift, more than any pickup in its class. For bouldering and off-road adventures, the R1T can’t be beaten.
A 314-mile range comes standard, but for $10,000, you can add a battery package that takes up to 400 miles per charge.
Packed with features for outdoor adventures, the R1T will make your glamping dreams a reality. A generous bed in the back compliments the “frunk” up front. The Rivian truck also includes a “gear tunnel” that runs the length of the vehicle. It’ll handle skis and snowboards easily, and for $5000, you can add a camp kitchen in that space.
Pro Tip: We compared SUVs versus trucks to determine which is The Best for Towing a Camper Trailer.
The Benefits of the Rivian Truck
For the $70,000 price tag, you can expect a lot of features that make the R1T worth the price. Beyond the features we’ve already discussed, you’ll find a lot more once you step into the cabin.
As with most electric vehicles, the Rivian truck holds most of the control features in a 16-inch central console. Additionally, a 12.3-inch instrument screen provides information to drivers to keep them up to date.
Entertainment is a serious plus with the R1T with 18 speakers, LTE and Wifi, wireless chargers, and six USB ports. Passengers will appreciate the smooth, quiet ride and easy access to devices.
The 11 cubic foot “frunk” provides impressive storage space despite a shorter-than-average bed. In fact, 14.3 cubic feet under the bed and a “Gear Tunnel” make the R1T a contender for the most storage in a midsize pickup.
Moving back outside, the chassis is gorgeous and streamlined. This is the answer for folks wanting a more elegant solution to off-roading. Including LED headlights and built-in lightbars, the Rivian truck is ready for anything.
And don’t forget the panoramic roof and vegan leather seats. It’s perfect for a night under the stars.
The Disadvantages of the Rivian Truck
Like any new vehicle on the market, it isn’t all sunshine and roses. The R1T has some disadvantages that take away from the user experience.
All of the functions of the vehicle are controlled by the touchscreens, including vents and internal lighting. Some testers report that they prefer manual controls for ease of use. Speaking of ease, Apple AirPlay and Android Auto aren’t standard in the vehicle. Users can connect through Bluetooth, but that’s one more step than necessary.
Standard, the vehicle has adequate range and speed (dual motor.) In the upgraded version (quad motor and larger battery,) you’ve got more than enough to do whatever you need. But all this comes at a cost. Starting at $70,000, add-ons can balloon the price to nearly $100,000 for the Rivian truck.
Because the R1T is so popular, you’ll also have to wait for your chance to buy one. Rivian won’t fulfill orders with the MAX battery from 2021 until the first quarter of 2023. Maybe it’s about growing pains, but the wait is a drawback if you need something soon.
Is the Rivian Truck Easy to Charge?
You’ve got three main options for charging your new Rivian truck that are pretty straightforward.
A standard 120V home outlet will charge your new pickup, albeit slowly. But it isn’t worth the effort at three miles of range per hour of charge.
You can also get your hands on a Rivian wall charger which will get you ready faster, with twenty-five miles of range per hour. But you need a licensed electrician to do the installation. If that’s not doable, you can buy a portable charger that plugs into a standard 240V outlet in the meantime.
You can plug into any J-plug network on the road. Compatible with Tesla chargers, you can also plan your trips using their network. Remember that the J-plug isn’t compatible with Tesla Superchargers, which adds complexity. But you can get adapters for non-J-plug chargers as well.
How Much Can the Rivian Truck Tow?
On paper, the Rivian truck can tow 11,000 pounds, the same as most V8s. That’s because of a few design features that add to the overall R1T experience.
In the quad motor version, the software works with a concept called torque vectoring. While driving, the vehicle sends the most torque to the wheel with the most traction. Testers say the pickup corners are like a sports car.
The quad motors also translate to consistent towing abilities over flat surfaces. But Fast Lane Truck in Boulder, Colorado, put the Rivian through its paces. Each year FLT tests new pickups on an eight-mile stretch of highway with a 7% grade. Ike’s Gauntlet could’ve crushed the R1T, but testers found it was an excellent tow vehicle.
One feature that makes it such a good tow vehicle is the hydraulic suspension. Computer stabilization allows the R1T to auto-level tow loads and ensure safety. The height won’t affect your ride. The truck performs equally well at any level and can go from 7.6 to 14.9 inches of clearance.
Pro Tip: Avoid buying one of these Worst Trucks for Towing a Large RV Camper.
Is This Electric Truk Worth It?
If you regularly tow large loads and want an EV, the Rivian truck is worth the steep price. From acceleration to the bells and whistles, Rivian has something special going on. We think that for the RVer with deep pockets and a desire to turn heads, the R1T is a perfect choice.
But if the price tag leaves you spinning, don’t worry. Most experts predict the price of electric vehicles will match or even beat traditional ones within a few years,
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