Sign me up for both please!About 4 months ago my buddy Jeff, (Feb 2019 R1S LE Order) showed me a post over at rivianownersforum.com from Danny C who had fit a small 12V DC electric cooler in his R1T frunk. Jeff is an avid camper and was a bit bummed out about the unusual dimensions of the R1 precluding any good sized electric coolers—in the 40 quart size range.
He asked me how hard it would be to design and manufacture a lower profile 40 quart 12V DC cooler specifically for the R1 platform—which is not as odd a question as it seems because I have 20+ years experience as a product design and manufacturing engineer, including roto-molding. IOW it's my day job.
We got to talking about his coolers for camping, the Dometic style in overlanding, and if it would even be possible for the frunk to use such a unit with more volume than current retail units offer.
We bounced ideas and concepts around for about 4 months, worked with the great Sue Smith from Munro & Associates for engineering assets, and DuckTruck let us poke around his R1T to take hundreds of photos.
The design brief ended up being a clean-sheet 40 quart powered refrigerator/freezer to specifically fit in, and work with, the R1 platform: highly robust, field repairable, functional, and likely to outlast the Rivian itself.
While working on the cooler design and where it would live in the frunk, we came up with the addition of a 12 gallon, (45 liter) potable water tank to sit in the lower well of the frunk: DC powered pump, solid state fill limit switch, baffled interior, wash-down sprayer, and sturdy enough to replace the stock frunk folding deck.
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We are aware that Rivian stopped adding the 12V DC plug in the frunk at around VIN 12.000
That means the customer base with the plug is about 12,000 trucks already delivered. On the (possibly) plus side this post shows that Rivian left the wiring and only removed the plug:
It is looking like adding the plug back is not all that difficult or expensive. If there is sufficient interest from owners with VIN's after 12,000 we can put together a small kit with the plug and any connectors needed, as well as a how to video.
Also, for those unsure about running an electric cooler in the frunk, several owners have already been running them without issue. Some even took the time to record actual in use temperature data and share it here:
We will be putting up a private forum in the next week or so for anyone who wants to reserve--the hope being we can get 200 - 300 people wanting the cooler, the water tank, or both and move ahead with production.
Pricing is not final but the cooler is looking like $550 - $600 and the water tank with pump, electronic fill sensor, and sprayer will be in the $150 - $200 range.
Until then I am happy to answer any questions in here.
Any one or all of the projects could be ready by spring If production begins by January. We will see how much interest there is and how many people want to sign up.Hi @Gene,
More nice work, thanks for the update. Looking forward to the new site, but let me add a comment:
It's important (to me) that whatever is done here be available by spring. Because that is when I will start to need this on my adventures. If it's not available before that time, then I will have to go with an ICECO in the bed, and won't want to purchase a second solution. Yours is much nicer and works with the vehicle better, so that's what I would prefer.
I sense a bit of reluctance on your part to front the money without a firm commitment from a sufficient number of people. You may not get that, because many (most?) people won't commit at this level of development and because I think that you have so far reached only a small fraction of Rivian owners through your forum posts. Yet you have received an overwhelmingly positive response, so I suggest you take the risk and just do it - I think you will find you can sell every one of these you can make. Choose an initial batch size to get a price break on your components - maybe 1000 units - then trust your own judgement to produce the best item you can with the feedback you've already received. Then you can ship by April. By then there will be over 30,000 Rivians on the road and rapidly growing, and IMO most of the people who see your product will want one. You can minimize your cash outlay by taking deposits, but maybe give us initial "investors" a price that is break-even or minimal profit since we are sharing the risk with you, then when you start delivering you can sell at a higher price.
This is somewhat of a seasonal item. If it's available for the season it will be a hit. If you miss the season, it will still be a hit IMO but it will take you far longer to recover your initial investment. I think it's a bigger risk to wait than it is to charge ahead right now.
I appreciate your restraint =)This roof idea looks great. Before I comment more, how far along are you in the design and concept here?
Sorry but just assuming people want to sign up based on their posts feels a little like "harvesting" or something else invasive. I know it is a bit of a hassle to have to sign up at another forum but I feel a lot more comfortable with those interested in signing up opting in rather than having to opt out at some point because they seemed interested on a random forum post.Do we need to register and sign up on the other forum to express interest, or did you take note of our interest from this forum?
Paul,Very cool , i was unable to access the link for the post about running coolers in sealed frunk and not over heateing them how are you managing this ?
The plan is to have anyone interested sign up here. Then, if / when we get to the minimum number required to make a production run possible, have everyone that signed up place a reservation. The production run will be for those who reserved. There may be future production runs but those would also be based on people or possibly re-sellers who have pre-registered. If re-sellers get involved the prices will of course need to increase as they need to make a profit.Do you plan to do pre-orders only, pre-orders + some additional stock for latecomers, multiple rounds, ...?
(Sorry if I've missed this answered somewhere in the thread - tried looking for it!)