Rivian Forum – Rivian R1T & R1S News, Pricing & Order... banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that there are more than few folks that are planning to tow campers with their new Rivian, and I'm one of them. While there is still not a lot of data on range when towing, what I've seen so far has not been encouraging,

I'm looking at things from my own personal perspective, which means towing a larger teardrop, just under 8 feet high, 7' 8" wide, 15-1/2 feet long and about 2,000 lbs, for relatively long distances, and to some fairly remote places. While the size & shape of the trailer make it slipperier than many, there is still a fair amount of drag. Both theory and all the data so far indicate that drag is that is the primary culprit in range loss. The data also seem to indicate that almost regardless of size, range loss will approach 50% when towing anything with a larger aerodynamic profile.

I'm still new to the EV world, but from what I see reported, the power consumption of the R1T when towing is on the order of 90-plus kWh per 100 miles. This would mean having to stop to charge nearly hourly, even with the larger 180 kWh Max battery pack, assuming you keep to 80/20 SOC parameters which effectively means 108 kWh capacity. While it's less than ideal to have to stop so frequently, the true impact is that having only 100 or so miles of range likely rules out visiting the many parts of North America where charging stations are sparse, at least for the foreseeable future.

As I said, I'm new to the EV world, so I'd ask the august group of knowledgeable folks who browse this forum to tell me if my assumptions and what pass for calculations on my part at least approximate what towing with a Rivian would be like.
 

·
Registered
2017 Prius, 2012 Tacoma, 2012 Vespa GTV300
Joined
·
256 Posts
I too would plan to tow with an R1T. I feel that your assumptions and calculations are realistic. We're at an even greater disadvantage as we'd be towing a longer and heaver trailer. I'm disappointed with the 1400 lb payload in the few R1T's I've uncovered the payload. At this point, I' feel that we're going to hold off on replacing our ICE TV with a BEV TV for the foreseeable future. Sucks, but what can you do.
 

·
Registered
Red/Black R1T Adventure, max pack, off-road, 22 Sports.
Joined
·
61 Posts
I don't rightly have the answers, but perhaps if you look at the Tesla Motor Club, you might get some idea from others who tow using the Model X. I think Rivian is claiming roughly 50% range compared to driving without a trailer - so ballpark, you're probably about right while being on the conservative side. Maybe also look at the TFLTruck on Youtube:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't rightly have the answers, but perhaps if you look at the Tesla Motor Club, you might get some idea from others who tow using the Model X. I think Rivian is claiming roughly 50% range compared to driving without a trailer - so ballpark, you're probably about right while being on the conservative side. Maybe also look at the TFLTruck on Youtube:
I've actually looked at all of the R1T towing videos out there (I think) as well as reading as much as I could find on the topic. What's pretty clear is that towing almost anything that increases drag will severely impact range.

The OOS video is perhaps the most definitive in this regard. Their testing towing a small trailer loaded with sandbags, but with a low profile, reduced the range of the R1T to roughly 1.1 miles per kWh. The same trailer, without the load, but with a large sheet of plywood mounted vertically, reduced that to about 0.8 miles/kWh. For comparison, the Rivian EPA figures for the R1T are in the 2.3 mi/kWh range.

For the 135 kWh battery pack (the Long Range version presently being shipped) and assuming some buffer (which looks to be in the 7% range in the tests I saw), that means about 125 usable kWh's. So if you charged to 100% and wanted a minimal reserve of say 10% SOC, at 0.8 mi/kWh you will need to recharge at about 90 miles. That really rules out the R1T LR as a tow vehicle for most camper applications.

The larger battery of R1T Max offers some improvement. Using the same parameters as for the LR (100% charge, 7% buffer, 10% SOC reserve) gives an effective range of about 120 miles. That may be enough to make the R1T Max a viable tow vehicle for a camper, particularly if the OOS tow figure is a worst case.

It's possible and perhaps even likely, that my teardrop's rounded profile will be a bit more aerodynamic than the sheet of plywood was in the OOS test. If my teardrop resulted in say 0.95 miles per kWh, that would up the effective range to something on the order of 143 miles. Perhaps not ideal, but at least something you could live with.

All of this points out the need for more real-world data and to the need for an improved EV charging network. Hopefully, there will be a lot more towing data as Rivian deliveries increase. The needed improvement to the charging network should get underway shortly as the infrastructure bill money makes its way to the states (an aside - from what I can see, the charging network in Canada needs even more work than that in the US).

All we can really do at this point - besides speculate - is wait and see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think 120miles is doable maybe even 140 if you slow down.
I agree that the range of the R1T Max towing a lighter, smaller, more aero trailer at 55 mph in moderate weather will likely approach 140 miles. The problem is that in many parts of North America, the charging stations are presently further apart than 140 miles.

At present, there are about 50,000 public EV charging stations in the US, with about 5,000 more in Canada. They are not spread out evenly however, and there are substantial charging deserts throughout the North American Mid- and Mountain West and in places like the Canadian Maritimes. Only about 15% of the existing network are DC fast chargers.

By way of comparison there are currently 115,000 or more gas stations in the US and about 12,000 in Canada and these are much more spread out than EV charging stations. My max towing range with my present setup (Kia Telluride pulling a [email protected] 320), is roughly 250 miles, which is more than enough get just about anywhere (and back) in North America. Given the large number of gas stations, that would also be the case even if your range is half of that.

Bottom line is that until the EV charging network expands considerably, or the range of EV's increases substantially, it will be challenging to travel to many parts of North America while towing with your BEV. You are unlikely to literally be stranded; you after all can plug in and charge anywhere there is electricity. At 110 volts of AC however, it will take a very long time to get your R1T Max close to its 180 kWh capacity. For the foreseeable future, a trip to and from a destination like Yellowknife will have to be planned meticulously and will still take weeks, not days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Yes you are nuts if you think you can go cross country. I've towed from Ottawa to fredricton in my truck. Never again was 1000 in fuel when fuel was cheap.

I'll fly anywhere more than 4 hours drive now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I found some encouraging information on the [email protected] camper forum. One of the members there tows a model 400 (a larger teardrop about 18 feet long, 8 feet high and 3,000 lbs) with a Tesla Model X. From what he posted, it seems like he averages somewhere around the 1.8 mi/kWh mark. Would be great to see that level when using the R1T to tow.

Hopefully, we'll see more real world data fairly soon as the R1T LE rolls out and folks start using their "Adventure Vehicles" and reporting the results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
The range figures provided above sound about right, but they're not the biggest issue for long distance towing. I've made 3 cross-country trips in an EV and the main problem with towing is that very few charging stations are set up for pull-through. Unless you're willing to drop the trailer at every charging stop, an EV isn't ideal for towing right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Yes you are nuts if you think you can go cross country. I've towed from Ottawa to fredricton in my truck. Never again was 1000 in fuel when fuel was cheap.

I'll fly anywhere more than 4 hours drive now.
Flying is not really much of an option when the passenger manifest includes two dogs plus a ton of gear along with your spouse . . .
The rivian gets 2.4mi / kwh unladden in perfect conditions in conserve mode. Pipe dream to get 1.8 with a trailer.
The recent R1T "aero tow test" (a vertical sheet of plywood mounted on an empty utility trailer) by the OOS guys returned 0.8 mi/kWh. I can only hope that the Rivian power consumtion is closer to the Tesla's than the OOS test number. At 0.8 mi/kWh, your effective range, with some reserve, would be only 90 miles or so.

If that's reality towing a 2,000 teardrop with the R1T, there will be a sparingly used, very low-mileage Max on the Bring a Trailer site sometime in late 2023.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Thanks for this discussion, y'all.
My use case will probably include towing our River Retro - similar to the 400 mentioned above, maybe a bit heavier.
We ordered a Max Pack knowing that but I'm considering dropping to the Large battery just so I can get the darn truck this decade. (Any sign of the Max packs anywhere?)
The numbers you all share mean that limits us to short trips or long(time) travels and having to sort out pull-through charging options or dropping the trailer in a spot so I can charge. Ugh.
(BTW, last time I was at the EA in Hood River, there was a Semi plugged in blocking all but one of the chargers. He was able to move enough I could squeeze our eGolf in but...are there any charge companies considering us haulers?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks for this discussion, y'all.
My use case will probably include towing our River Retro - similar to the 400 mentioned above, maybe a bit heavier.
We ordered a Max Pack knowing that but I'm considering dropping to the Large battery just so I can get the darn truck this decade. (Any sign of the Max packs anywhere?)
The numbers you all share mean that limits us to short trips or long(time) travels and having to sort out pull-through charging options or dropping the trailer in a spot so I can charge. Ugh.
(BTW, last time I was at the EA in Hood River, there was a Semi plugged in blocking all but one of the chargers. He was able to move enough I could squeeze our eGolf in but...are there any charge companies considering us haulers?)
When I put a deposit in for my pre-order in the spring of 2020, the Rivian website made mention of a Max variant for both the R1T and S. I actually put a deposit in for both models at that time. Some months later, language relative to an R1S Max disappeared from the site, and by the time the configurator became operational, the Max Pack was only available on the R1T.

I would prefer the R1S, but since I will be towing (a [email protected] 320 in my case), need more capacity than the 135 kWh pack offered on the SUV. I've been in touch with Rivian CS multiple times asking about an R1S Max and the reply has always been the roughly the same. To paraphrase, CS has always told me that a larger battery pack will be offered for the R1S at some point, hopefully soon, but don't quote them on that, and since it will not have the same 180 kWh capacity of the Max Pack, it is called the "Longer Range" pack. Since I was not able to configure an R1S with a larger battery pack, and given the pretty ambiguous response from CS on availability, I cancelled that reservation and configured my R1T order for a Max.

Frankly, I think that the more constrained space in the R1S has proved to be a serious issue, one has yet to be resolved. It may even be the case that Rivian has not yet finalized the design of "Longer Range" pack for the S. While that's speculation, I think we can safely say that the capacity of the larger battery pack will be somewhat less than the 180 kWh pack for the R1T. As far as when it will be available, I'm not optimistic that it will offered anytime soon.

Rivian gave me a delivery window for the R1T Max of the first half of 2023. At this point, I'm taking a wait and see approach, and if it turns out that they do come out with the longer range R1S before my projected delivery date, I'll re-configure my order. Frankly however, I don't think that the R1T Max will really deliver in the first half of next year, and believe 2024 is more likely, so there is time. The longer wait (assuming 2024 here) also gives time for the charging infrastructure to expand.

If it turns out that the there is no longer range R1S until some years down the road, I'm prepared to take delivery of the R1T Max and see how it does towing a 15', 2,000 lb trailer. In the event that the R1T really does have an effective range of only 90 or so miles, there will be a lightly used, very low mileage Rivian pick up for sale in Southeast PA in the not-too-distant future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
422 Posts
EA in Hood River
I've had no issues charging the Tesla there. Ask the semi to move, he'd be well into the main parking lot there anyway.


My plan for Astoria in the summer is get small camper with hot shower and tow it to camp ground. Recharge at Fred's EA in Warrenton, go back and get the boat, recharge right before loading the boat and drive back and launch it at East marina rame for slip in West marina. The run is 100 miles one way and Rivian should make that easy in one run in summertime with both trailers.

The EA at Freds in Warrenton would mean unhitching the trailers if I was just passing through. Don't see that as that onerous but in my case the camper and boat are both going to be unloaded before I go to the chargers. You could pull straight in, 90 deg to my car and charge with trailer. The part of the parking lot you'd block is not one that would cause issues for anyone. Well out of the way. You might be able to do the same for the Hood River one if no one is parked in the spots West of last charger, the one farthest from my car. Had a guy in a e-Tron with a trailer doing that at an EVgo at Walmart.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
When I put a deposit in for my pre-order in the spring of 2020, the Rivian website made mention of a Max variant for both the R1T and S. I actually put a deposit in for both models at that time. Some months later, language relative to an R1S Max disappeared from the site, and by the time the configurator became operational, the Max Pack was only available on the R1T.

I would prefer the R1S, but since I will be towing (a [email protected] 320 in my case), need more capacity than the 135 kWh pack offered on the SUV. I've been in touch with Rivian CS multiple times asking about an R1S Max and the reply has always been the roughly the same. To paraphrase, CS has always told me that a larger battery pack will be offered for the R1S at some point, hopefully soon, but don't quote them on that, and since it will not have the same 180 kWh capacity of the Max Pack, it is called the "Longer Range" pack. Since I was not able to configure an R1S with a larger battery pack, and given the pretty ambiguous response from CS on availability, I cancelled that reservation and configured my R1T order for a Max.

Frankly, I think that the more constrained space in the R1S has proved to be a serious issue, one has yet to be resolved. It may even be the case that Rivian has not yet finalized the design of "Longer Range" pack for the S. While that's speculation, I think we can safely say that the capacity of the larger battery pack will be somewhat less than the 180 kWh pack for the R1T. As far as when it will be available, I'm not optimistic that it will offered anytime soon.

Rivian gave me a delivery window for the R1T Max of the first half of 2023. At this point, I'm taking a wait and see approach, and if it turns out that they do come out with the longer range R1S before my projected delivery date, I'll re-configure my order. Frankly however, I don't think that the R1T Max will really deliver in the first half of next year, and believe 2024 is more likely, so there is time. The longer wait (assuming 2024 here) also gives time for the charging infrastructure to expand.

If it turns out that the there is no longer range R1S until some years down the road, I'm prepared to take delivery of the R1T Max and see how it does towing a 15', 2,000 lb trailer. In the event that the R1T really does have an effective range of only 90 or so miles, there will be a lightly used, very low mileage Rivian pick up for sale in Southeast PA in the not-too-distant future.
In the end, I did switch to the smaller battery. After much discussion, we decided that the towing will be less often than we had thought a few months ago. (We just purchased a plot of land in Toutle, WA, where the trailer will likely live for the foreseeable future.) So, rather than continue to rent a Uhaul for another 1+ years when we want to do pickup things, we'll hopefully get the truck sooner this way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
My use case will probably include towing our River Retro - similar to the 400 mentioned above, maybe a bit heavier.
@srnyoung: You probably already have all the information you need to figure out whether the Rivian will suit you for towing, because presumably you already know how towing affects your range with your current tow vehicle and your current driving style when towing this trailer over your typical routes. That range reduction will be roughly the SAME with the Rivian. If it's 50% reduction with the ICE pickup, then it will be about 50% with the Rivian. If you're currently towing with a Subaru or other more-streamlined vehicle, then your range reduction should be LESS with the Rivian. The 90 miles cited above is misleading unless you're towing a drogue parachute - a real trailer makes at least a token effort at streamlining, and it's likely you will be traveling slower than 70mph over most of your route.

Bottom line, it's all about your trailer and how you use it. There is no "real world" test that can give you a better estimate of range loss with that trailer than your own experience. If you're towing it with a vehicle that currently has an unladen range of 300 miles, then towing it with a Rivian (that also has a range of 300 miles) should work just fine. You may have to stop longer to charge than you would to gas up, but you can also charge whenever you stop - with a gas vehicle you tend to also make stops where you don't get gas - those can now serve dual purpose for charging.

An additional benefit of the Rivian is that it is a MUCH better tow vehicle. The 4 motors independently controlling the 4 wheels means that the Rivian can actively compensate for trailer sway, so much so that you will probably not feel any difference when towing vs not towing. That's seriously impressive.

I'll wave in your general direction next time I drive through Toutle. Although my first trip down that way will probably be to the other side of the mountain once NF-23 reopens for the summer. I'd like to get to Takhlakh lake again soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
When you do go camping, my suggestion is to bring along a 240 volt 16 - 32 amp charger with a plug that fits the normal stove receptacle, such as used in RV parks for the 50 amp service to a RV. You can get one at aliexpress for about $185- $260 range. Mine has a Europe plug on it, so that was cut off and a 50 amp plug installed from Home Depot. I might also get a dryer cord and a 50 amp surface mount receptacle from Home Depot, to plug in my car at a friend's house that has a 30 amp dryer receptacle near the garage. I might also get a 30 amp dryer cord, connect a 20 amp 240 volt receptacle to that, then can use a #12 gauge extension cord up to say 100' long to charge my car at a further distance from the receptacle, if required. My charger is only 16 amps.

Also recommended is to only charge the battery to 80% for day to day charging, and to 90% when you anticipate a longer trip. I would try to avoid charging to 100% - it will degrade the battery a bit each time you do that.

Around 25% state of charge, start looking for any charger! High speed is OK, with the Rivian battery, because it is cooled by a compressor if required on a warmer day. My air cooled C-Max battery pack is not so happy with faster charging, and I only have a 7.5 KW battery, along with the 2.5L engine. Still I would be happier with a 32 amp charger than a larger capacity one for day to day recharging.

Also look at your utility rates for electricity. Many businesses in California at least pay a "Demand Charge" so if you need to run a 80 KW charger during the peak time period, you might see an additional charge of 80 KW X $5.75 added to that month's power bill. Some utility demand charges are over $12 per KW. So beware if you own a business and charge between 4 pm and 9 pm.

I live in Oregon, and they do not have demand charges added to the business power bill.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top