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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Was looking for a cover for the back of the truck that would give me more height in the tunnel cover and came across the Flated Air Topper. After a lot of thinking, and measuring and re-thinking, I finally bought the mid-size short bed Air Topper. Of course, because of the design of the back window, the topper did not fit as designed, but does fit if flipped around. The only challenges that in that configuration, it doesn’t open on the tailgate side. This works for my used case, but might not for everybody. Still, I thought I would share in case anyone is looking at it . Takes around 10 minutes to inflate and install. When not in use, it “rolls” up into a carrying case. Here’s a couple of pictures. (I have not installed the windows yet… They are warming in the sun.)
Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Automotive side marker light

Automotive lighting Hood Automotive design Building Automotive exterior
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That a bouncy house?
No, it’s pretty solid… You can stand on top of it if you’re not too big of a person. What’s great about it is it can easily be stored in the bed flat—it folds down pretty small—and put up just for the moment that you need it (such as I used it to overland camp) and then easily taken down so you don’t lose efficiency.
 

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"Rivian really needs to …" make that wing on the roof removable. Functional or not, it is vulnerable (to anything that moves in the bed.)
I imagine most "bed cap" manufacturers would look at that wing as a deal breaker for adapting their design.
The best I can suggest is SmartCap. It's aluminum and modular. I have it on an '21 F-150. it has a cut-out for the brake light and bed light in the back of the cab.
I'm sure a competent fabricator could take a SmartCap for a vehicle near the dimensions of the R1T bed width and cab height (Ranger? Tacoma?) and tailor its front to the R1T body lines.
This photo tells the story, but hides the fit of the cap to the cab. The front module of the cap can be adapted to the given vehicle. Not easy or cheap, but doable and a great product.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting idea.

The website says that the inside length is 60". Rivian's bed length is 54". It seems like it should stick out further (like 6") out the back.
If you install it the correct way with the flat side toward the back window, it does stick out about 5 or inches, I just set it up at the campsite back to front, which avoids the spoiler and makes t a pretty good fit. I’m now trying to figure out how to modify the other side so that it can function as an opening.

I don’t intend to use this permanently on my truck, just when I’m overland camping or maybe if I have to move some thing in the back that I want to protect for a short distance. I reached out to the team that made it and I’m talking to them about what their plans are. I’ll keep you posted.
 

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"Rivian really needs to …" make that wing on the roof removable. Functional or not, it is vulnerable (to anything that moves in the bed.)
I'm not sure that is really a requirement - at least for the companies out there that manufacturer Toppers designed to OEM spec's. They just need enough demand to build to spec... In this case, to build around the rear spoiler.
 

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I'm not sure that is really a requirement - at least for the companies out there that manufacturer Toppers designed to OEM spec's. They just need enough demand to build to spec... In this case, to build around the rear spoiler.
I doubt there will ever be enough R1's built to be enough demand for any given niche vendor to justify the tooling, let alone inventory, warranty, etc.
I think there will be one-off, bespoke fabricated caps in fiberglass and in aluminum.
Rivian made the right decision to publish or perish, but the last two years have not seen the kind of progress expected. Maybe it's covid and china and supply chain.

Rivian has to get with the program, be like Jeep, Bronco, Land Rover, Land Cruiser … it's a symbiosis … make the car appealing to the aftermarket, that makes the car appealing to the user, that makes the car appealing to the aftermarket Rivian appears to have gotten off to a good start, involved Dometic and others, then stopped.

Perhaps it was the tech startup own-goal "not invented here" syndrome (which has held Tesla back for a solid decade, ongoing) or perhaps it was some failed people on projects that failed to deliver on core engineering in software and hardware. Looks like both to me. The absence of partners, third parties, OEMs and aftermarket solutions is conspicuous for this type of vehicle.

There's far too many "de-contented" misses to be explained by just the "cut and shut" on vehicle R&D to bring to market in 2021 that slipped into 2022. The 180º tailgate, winch, software like tank turn, sunroof cover, detail design changes, the frunk shrunk, Max Pack, the long overdue gear tunnel accessories.

There's also missing "obvious" competitive features for a 2022 EV. I'd say V2L, onboard power, rear-wheel steering are major misses in the feature set. I'd prefer a mid-gate to the tunnel or at least design the cab as either-or. The lack of a tailgate bed extender, no racks that line up the bed with the cab mounted racks. The SUV fold-forward seats instead of pickup fold-back seats and flat cargo area seem like straightforward accessory and design flubs. Stuff that second tier vehicle manufacturers deliver. Equipment that the aftermarket could have delivered. Detail design to make the R1 appeal to the aftermarket would have been a win-win-win (the third win being the user.)

I hate to think what the damn bluetooth speaker cost to develop. It couldn't have been cheaper than going with Meridian or quitting Meridian if they wouldn't do it and going with JBL or whichever company would do the whole audio show (a feature that factors into consumer perception of value and the quality of the ownership experience) and it would be a working audio environment from launch. Preferably, just quit the goofy "will never sell one car, ever" bluetooth speaker and make that high value space a locking, removable drawer with usb-c ports inside to charge devices and batteries, etc. simple, quick, valuable utility. Same with the frunk. Letting the frunk shrink must have been a fireable failure in design and planning. It looks like they needed more cooling, so a bigger fan, but no ducting, and redundant plumbing. No heat pump and thermal limits on charging.

Efficiency is good, but no better than the F-150 Lightning that did not start as an electric vehicle, is 20% larger, yet similar range and mi/kWh efficiency.

Missing software, details left unfinished in the hardware. 360º cameras that stitch together with blind spots at the corners of the vehicle (where the camera views are most valuable for maneuvering.) No software for dashcam. The mobile device app is still bare bones. Having the closed front end instead of lifting with the hood … quite a blunder and a miss for a feature with significant "I prefer the one with flat access to the frunk" buying decision consequences.

The BOS developed power tonneau that should never have made it past 2018 is one of the more glaring face-plants. Though I'm more irked by the shrunk frunk, the missing winch, heat pump, Max Pack and V2L. With Max Pack deferred for another year, it takes the R1 off the off-road EV shopping list for me.

Product management teams at Rivian are not all of the same caliber. The hydraulic sways from Kinetic are an excellent success. Quad motors and long arm, long travel suspension geometry is magnificent and a major advantage. But the 2018 battery technology, the lack of thermal management, the slow charging, the failure to deliver Max Pack, all suggest some engineering teams in 2018 were overtaxed.

Reminds me of Musk looking back on the X once it was a success and sucking air through his teeth to admit the wing doors were a mistake, shared platform with the S, a mistake, pedestal seats, a mistake. He then made the Y and the 3 and laid his cards on the table … learns from mistakes. : )

Hopefully Rivian has a serious go at the R2. I'm afraid what we're seeing is the R1 is a "flagship" in a fleet of one boat. The R2 is "quiet quit" deferred for a couple of years to rethink. The real focus of Rivian is to build 100,000 EDVs and make some money, recoup the share price above the IPO strike price and the boardroom is all about the equity stakeholders, not the R1 feature-function-benefit or the ownership experience – those are just the cost of upholding the brand.
 
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