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Old 06-29-2022, 08:30 AM   #1
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Rivian tows 30' Airstream 500 miles

Maybe someone else has posted this one, but I thought this was an interesting video of a Rivian towing an Airstream on a 500 mile trip. I don't know what the Rivian tow capacities are spec'd at. Here is a family of 5 and a dog towing a big trailer. Touches on hassles of recharging and also about using your campsite power pedestal to recharge the vehicle.

https://youtu.be/OSOczJ-c4wU
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:47 AM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We also watched that video. We were particularly interested in it as we have a Rivian R1T on order and plan to use it to tow Lucy (25FB) with it. The Rivian R1T has 825 hp and 900 lb-ft of torque. It is on a par with our 3/4 ton Duramax. The range issue does concern us, but we plan to give it a shot.

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Old 06-29-2022, 08:58 AM   #3
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Right now most of my camping is within 100 miles, so I'd probably be ok (theoretically, I'm sticking with my RAM 2500 diesel for now). But for longer trips, like when we head up your way to Topsail in a few weeks, I would defiantly not be looking forward to charging hassles. I know we have a couple of stations here where I live in Orlando, I never see them being used and in fact most of the time, like at our local Chik Fillet there are non EVs parked in those spots. And then of course there is the whole "I have to disconnect to get in the spot" problem.

I'm sure you've seen many of the other non-RV related Rivian videos. Minus some gripes like the power tonneau cover and the lame display technology, it looks like a really, really capable and interesting vehicle. Good luck when you get it!


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We also watched that video. We were particularly interested in it as we have a Rivian R1T on order and plan to use it to tow Lucy (25FB) with it. The Rivian R1T has 825 hp and 900 lb-ft of torque. It is on a par with our 3/4 ton Duramax. The range issue does concern us, but we plan to give it a shot.

Brian
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Old 06-29-2022, 09:26 AM   #4
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We were curious and also watched the video. Saw a Rivian featured in the Long Way Up documentary series with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman driving prototype electric Harley-Davidsons across South and Central America.

Finding someplace to charge...the length of time needed to charge...and how much charge is left seem to be perennial concerns. It seemed to me to make an otherwise pleasant experience something akin to sitting in a dentists chair getting fillings drilled.

I'll be on-board once there is a Mr. Fusion powering the whole thing...'till then, it's diesel time.
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Old 06-29-2022, 09:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jondrew55 View Post
Right now most of my camping is within 100 miles, so I'd probably be ok (theoretically, I'm sticking with my RAM 2500 diesel for now). But for longer trips, like when we head up your way to Topsail in a few weeks, I would defiantly not be looking forward to charging hassles. I know we have a couple of stations here where I live in Orlando, I never see them being used and in fact most of the time, like at our local Chik Fillet there are non EVs parked in those spots. And then of course there is the whole "I have to disconnect to get in the spot" problem.

I'm sure you've seen many of the other non-RV related Rivian videos. Minus some gripes like the power tonneau cover and the lame display technology, it looks like a really, really capable and interesting vehicle. Good luck when you get it!
We also plan to keep the Duramax to do some of the long-range towing. We will try this EV towing thing for a while and just see how it goes. Being able to charge at the campground makes it more viable. We are looking at ECV towing as a new adventure.

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Old 06-29-2022, 02:52 PM   #6
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I think the couple's experience pretty much matches my expectations at this stage, except for two issues.

First, I must say I am somewhat surprised that there were already this many charging stations, even in places as remote as rural Nebraska and rural CO. The couple also did not seem to have a difficulty at all charging overnight at the different campgrounds and were graciously welcomed.

Second, I did not expect practically new EA chargers to be so buggy, with some not working, and others delivering less than rated power. I note that there were many comments on YouTube from others complaining that EA needs to step up it's game to match the ease and reliability of the Tesla charging network. So evidently, EA is experiencing some issues and is failing to match customer expectations, especially in comparison to Tesla.

Which brings me to another question: My understanding is that the Tesla battery technology is a few years ahead of everyone else. However, their Cybertruck is behind schedule (as just about everybody expected) and so it's hard to compare apples to apples in this regard. And while the Tesla Model X has been towing Airstreams, how would that SUV compare to this full-sized truck? Also curious to compare the F150 Lightning.
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Old 06-29-2022, 03:23 PM   #7
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I had an early 1/2019 R1T reservation, which I have since sold, and had intentions of buying a 22' single axle to go with it. But we rented a 23' dual last year and realized it and anything smaller was just too small for our needs and went back to a 25' RBT. I did not then nor now think the Rivian even with the Max pack would work pulling a heavier dual axle. So I got a new GMC 1,500 to pull the 25' RBT.

I have had 6 plugins over the last 12 years and even Tesla charging can be problematic at times which is much better than other charging systems. Waiting in a queue is frustrating, nonfunctioning, and low output is still somewhat common. You have to keep in mind that you really want to stay between 80% and 20% and you are only getting half the rated miles pulling a big trailer. This means a lot of charging stops.

I have not seen a lot of sites where you can accommodate charging with the trailer attached especially a 30' WOW. With that said if you were only going short distances and able to charge at the campsite overnight it might be doable but for us, that is not feasible living in CO and wanting to travel long distances through the mountains as quickly as possible.

I installed an auxiliary 50-gallon tank in the truckbed to give us range and flexibility with where we stop to fill up. Not even a consideration with an EV.

Maybe in another 5 to 10 years, we will have high capacity quicker charging batteries that truly memic gas/diesel performance and functionality but not there for me. YET
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Old 06-29-2022, 03:41 PM   #8
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I did not then nor now think the Rivian even with the Max pack would work pulling a heavier dual axle. So I got a new GMC 1,500 to pull the 25' RBT.


...


I installed an auxiliary 50-gallon tank in the truckbed to give us range and flexibility with where we stop to fill up. Not even a consideration with an EV.

Wow, a 50 gallon reserve tank, dang! With a family of four, a 23-foot Flying Cloud and a F-150, I think we have barely enough tow vehicle for our needs. Can't imagine adding 450+ lbs of metal and gas into our bed, lol! But man that sounds sweet!
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Old 06-29-2022, 04:33 PM   #9
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No thanks. I will stick with my F150 gas. What a great deal of hassle.

Things will have to change dramatically before I pull with an EV.
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Old 06-30-2022, 04:19 AM   #10
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Wow, a 50 gallon reserve tank, dang! With a family of four, a 23-foot Flying Cloud and a F-150, I think we have barely enough tow vehicle for our needs. Can't imagine adding 450+ lbs of metal and gas into our bed, lol! But man that sounds sweet!
Yea, payload aside a 50 gallon reserve tank and my 33 gallon tank would give me about 1000 miles of range. Basically 2 days of driving. So range paranoia would be a thing of the past.

Imagine pulling into a charging center like this with your trailer?
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Old 06-30-2022, 05:59 AM   #11
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No thanks, that was enough to convince me we're not ready for the EV revolution.
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:51 AM   #12
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Imagine pulling into a charging center like this with your trailer?
Every time I went from Denver to Steamboat and back in the Tesla the charging station at Silverthorn was always packed with at least a few cars helter-skelter waiting to get a spot. Thankfully Starbucks is right there, not to mention all the outlet stores. Park Medows was always typically full as well. A lot of us have/had free unlimited lifetime supercharging. This gives a lot of folks incentive to just clog up the superchargers for free juice even it if is a long wait. I used to go up to Boulder just to have dinner while I charged my Tesla for free. That's been a few years back now so I would guess it is harder to get a charger now there as well.
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:57 AM   #13
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Yea, payload aside a 50 gallon reserve tank and my 33 gallon tank would give me about 1000 miles of range. Basically 2 days of driving. So range paranoia would be a thing of the past.

Imagine pulling into a charging center like this with your trailer?
My new GM 1500 only has a 26-gallon tank hence the large reserve tank. I miss the old diesel excursions which as I recall were around 44 gallons.

I hardly ever have the trailer attached when I get around to filling up. But when you hit two 175 CC limits it stings. But hey, I have heard this is good for me and you. Just haven't figured out how really.
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Old 06-30-2022, 10:25 AM   #14
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TFL Truck video of Rivian R1T towing thru the Ike in the Rockies

https://tfltruck.com/2022/01/finally...-ike-gauntlet/

I like the TFL Truck tow vids. Reality check on R1T towing/charging experience. Pretty cool but no surprises. F250 diesel + IS 25FB here.
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Old 06-30-2022, 10:42 AM   #15
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Just my impression, but I think that the electric vehicle market is not aimed at everyone at this point, that's why a lot of people don't see it as filling their needs. If you don't think it will work for you, you're probably not even in the market that the companies are currently trying to serve. It's a bit like me complaining that I would never tow my Airstream with an SUV because it wouldn't also work for my slide-in truck camper.
Eventually electric vehicle companies will target all consumers, not just the early adopters and people with needs that can be met by the current technology, but for now they have no problem selling what they build.
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Old 06-30-2022, 01:21 PM   #16
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Have a heavily modified 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins. One of the first things changed was replacing the stock fuel tank with a 54 gallon tank mounted in the same space. Typically see 11.0 to 11.5 mpg towing. Plan on 10 mgp so always have some reserve. Never stop at the big 3 truck stops because the signs say "up to 20% bio-diesel" and my Cummins manual says 5% max. So I all ways check whether the station has bio-diesel and pass it by if it does.

The pump must display if bio-diesel is being sold.

EV trucks are great to haul some stuff to the local landfill but at best a novelty for real world trailer towing cross country doing 300 to 450 miles per day.
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Old 06-30-2022, 03:22 PM   #17
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Just my impression, but I think that the electric vehicle market is not aimed at everyone at this point, that's why a lot of people don't see it as filling their needs. If you don't think it will work for you, you're probably not even in the market that the companies are currently trying to serve. It's a bit like me complaining that I would never tow my Airstream with an SUV because it wouldn't also work for my slide-in truck camper.
Eventually electric vehicle companies will target all consumers, not just the early adopters and people with needs that can be met by the current technology, but for now they have no problem selling what they build.
I think a four things have to happen for me:
1) A tow vehicle needs to be able to easily go 200 miles on a charge while towing.
2) The chargers have to be sufficient that I have no anxiety about getting to where I need to go. I heard the standard is chargers every 50 miles or 70 miles in rural areas. Plus they need to be well maintained. I have heard stories of 20 or 30% of the chargers not working. Thatís unacceptable. I can see where convenience stores will install them, etc. And of course we have to be able to charge without disconnecting the trailer.
3) The fast charge has to happen in 15 minutes. Longer than that gets to be a real pain; especially if it is really hot or cold outside. Plus if there is a line up at the charging station a 15 minute wait is all I would want to do.
4) The price to get into an EV must be similar to an ICE.

I have no problem with the concept or the technology. I was a very early adopter of the PC (first computer in 1985) and cell phone tech (1998). I am putting solar on my new house. So Iím all for the idea. I just think the technology and infrastructure isnít there yet for those of us who want to tow an Airstream.

And for commuter travel or travel on the coasts I think it will happen more quickly due to population density. But in the midwest itís going to take longer. Heck, there are areas that still donít have decent internet service where I live.
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Old 06-30-2022, 03:29 PM   #18
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I think a four things have to happen for me:
1) A tow vehicle needs to be able to easily go 200 miles on a charge while towing.
2) The chargers have to be sufficient that I have no anxiety about getting to where I need to go. I heard the standard is chargers every 50 miles or 70 miles in rural areas. Plus they need to be well maintained. I have heard stories of 20 or 30% of the chargers not working. Thatís unacceptable. I can see where convenience stores will install them, etc. And of course we have to be able to charge without disconnecting the trailer.
3) The fast charge has to happen in 15 minutes. Longer than that gets to be a real pain; especially if it is really hot or cold outside. Plus if there is a line up at the charging station a 15 minute wait is all I would want to do.
4) The price to get into an EV must be similar to an ICE.
In my opinion, all your points are valid except #4. Even if an EV has a higher purchase price, the savings in operating costs (fuel and maintenance) are significant.

We are anxiously awaiting the delivery of our R1S in 2023.
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Old 06-30-2022, 07:30 PM   #19
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In Detroit

Iím a Texan whoís in Detroit right now. Iím here for the wedding of an engineer with the big three. Stopped to see the F-150s being made.

As far as things go here, electric is the future. Period. And they like the idea of an airstream that can tote some batteries and assist with propulsion.

SoÖ. Electric is the future. I donít tend to be an early adopter. If I were buying today it would be a 4wd diesel. If Iím buying in 5 to 7 years it will be electric.

But the Airstream concept with batteries and drive motors makes a lot of sense and may be the key to getting todays towing experience out of tomorrowís electric TVs.

Hopefully someone will build a retrofit kit so I can put the new motor system on my 30 year old rigÖ
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Old 06-30-2022, 07:47 PM   #20
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Iím a Texan whoís in Detroit right now. Iím here for the wedding of an engineer with the big three. Stopped to see the F-150s being made.

As far as things go here, electric is the future. Period. And they like the idea of an airstream that can tote some batteries and assist with propulsion.

SoÖ. Electric is the future. I donít tend to be an early adopter. If I were buying today it would be a 4wd diesel. If Iím buying in 5 to 7 years it will be electric.

But the Airstream concept with batteries and drive motors makes a lot of sense and may be the key to getting todays towing experience out of tomorrowís electric TVs.

Hopefully someone will build a retrofit kit so I can put the new motor system on my 30 year old rigÖ
This should be the focus. Retrofitting current trailers would benefit all vehicles. It would be nice to have my MPG back up to where it is at when not pulling a load.
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