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Rivian impressions - a blog post

Discussion in 'R1T' started by MarcyB, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. MarcyB

    MarcyB Rookie

    Sep 15, 2019
    We're working on something we call the "all-electric project", converting our travel trailer to only use electricity and planning to tow it with an EV truck as soon as we can get one. There are plenty of parts to this, and plenty of challenges, so I created a website + blog to report on our progress.

    My latest blog post is about Rivian and the preview event we attended in Atlanta last year. In case anyone is interested, here's a link (and I referenced Rivian Chat at the bottom, as this has been an excellent resource - thank you!):

    Domenick likes this.
  2. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    Thanks for the shout out and I'm looking forward to seeing how this works out for you. The trailer doesn't seem super-aerodynamic, but then, I'm not sure if many that size are (ok, maybe an Airstream, but they're $$$). How long is Howie, by the way? (I'm guessing 18 feet)
  3. MarcyB

    MarcyB Rookie

    Sep 15, 2019
    Nice guess on the trailer length - it's rated at 19'. For sure it's not all that aerodynamic, and that was a factor in deciding whether we renovate our longtime living quarters or buy something new (link to applicable blog post below). For various reasons, we decided to stick with what we have, and we'll be focusing on weight reduction and airflow improvements to see if we can improve EV range. Lots to play with, once we get something electric to tow it. Thanks for the comments!
    Domenick likes this.
  4. EyeOnEVs

    EyeOnEVs Karting

    Mar 5, 2019
    Just read your blog post. Exciting and challenging project! Regarding a couple of comments on your blog post ...

    "Maximum towing of 11,000 pounds, plenty for our trailer and the stuff we have in it (and we’re planning to lighten up the stuff a bit more)."
    "while towing. Rivian claims the range will drop to 50% (~200 miles instead of 400),

    FWIW, it was either RJ or Charles (chief engineer) that said the R1T can tow way more than 11,000 lbs but of course at the cost of greatly reducing the battery and thus the vehicle's range. So they decided to go with a max towing weight that didn't reduce the range by no more than 50%. So basically, if your trailer is already less than 11,000 lbs and you plan on reducing it even more along with some changes to increase it's aerodynamics, it doesn't seem unreasonable to expect you should be able to obtain less than 50% range drop thus increasing your mileage range to more than 200 miles. Of course other factors come into play such as wind speed, temperature, road conditions, elevation change, driving style, battery age, etc.

    "Each battery pack is 1600 pounds, so that’s a significant consideration if we were to think about putting an additional entire pack in Howie to connect to the truck for extra range."

    Rivian has filed a patent for an auxiliary battery module (discussed in this thread Rivian auxiliary battery module). Even though Rivian currently does not have any plans to build them, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they did a few years out. Setting aside the challenge of it's mobility due to how much it would weigh, it's basically the electric version of a Jerry Can for ICE vehicles.

    Best of luck with your changes!
    Domenick likes this.
  5. MarcyB

    MarcyB Rookie

    Sep 15, 2019
    Thanks for checking it out and thanks for your comments!

    I do hope you're right about getting more than 200 miles of range (with the other factors you mentioned taken into account, for sure). The trailer is ~8000 pounds, so that should help a bit. It would be nice if they would publish a towing weight vs. range curve eventually.

    Good info about the potential for an eventual auxiliary battery pack, we'll keep an eye out for that.


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