kneebuster

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I got my R1T (Artemis - goddess of wild nature) on May 10th. Didn't get my spare until June 6th so held off on wheeling.

On Sunday 6/19 4 R1Ts from the Colorado Rivian Club, and 1 from the Gateway Rivian Club, ran Yankee Hill Road west of Central City Colorado (Yankee Hill to Central City - Colorado Offroad Trail (trailsoffroad.com)). We ran the trail from East to West (backwards according to most sites/books), and took the spur up the actual Yankee Hill (steep and loose, Yankee Hill - The Actual Hill - Colorado Offroad Trail (trailsoffroad.com). Several of us had extensive wheeling experience. This trail is rated moderate in some places, and hard in others. Some sites and guidebooks use a 10 point difficulty scale and this trail seems to most commonly come out as a 4 or 5. The east half is fairly easy, but the west side is more difficult. All agree that it requires a capable high-clearance 4x4. I should note that we were all running the 20" all-terrains, and everyone aired down (some to 25, others including me. to 30).

I was in the lead (I was the only one who'd run the trail before), and relied on the in-truck GPS display for route finding after the first couple of turn options.

Was I impressed with the capabilities of the Rivian? Hell yes! The trucks kicked ass. I intentionally picked more challenging lines at times, and the truck never let me down. It actually made things a little too easy. Anyone who says that the R1T isn't up to the task of 4-wheeling needs to stick to mall parking lots.

Strengths
.
Adjustable ground clearance. I did not drag bottom at any point, but did come down on a rear control arm off one rock. Only once did I put it in "highest", most of the trail was run in "high".
Suspension. The ride was way, way smoother and more comfortable than my Xterra (3" lift, sway bar delete, fully armored) or Diesel Grand Cherokee Overland (air suspension, fully armored). Really, it was amazing how the truck soaked up the obstacles and caused minor occupant movement.
Power. The trucks just chugged up everything we threw at them. I was in Off-Road All-Purpose mode most of the time (see Weaknesses below).
Traction. The Pirelli Scorpions handled the trail without hesitation. Some sections were dirt, lots of rocks of varying sizes, and at least 1 very steep loose slope. When I did watch other trucks lose traction, it was typically only at 1 wheel, and even then the wheel speed stayed low, minimizing any trail damage. Everyone in our group did a great job with throttle control.
Downhill. With regen on high, I was able to come to a complete stop on steep downhills without ever touching the brakes. It was a bit weird to have to keep my foot on the throttle to make forward progress compared to my other vehicles that require braking.

Weaknesses.
Really only 1 that I can think of. When you get out of the truck with it in Off-Road mode it'll try to go back to general All-Purpose mode when you get back in. There is a question on the display asking if you want to change, but it's easy to miss. On one section I got back in and must have missed the question. I started to drive and was surprised that I was suddenly getting proximity warnings going off even though I wasn't too close to any obstacles. The truck still handled the section fine until I figured out what was up. It'd be nice to have the option to make this default to staying in off-road mode.

We did have 1 mechanical failure on the run, ironically at the top of the steepest section when we were all out of our vehicles for a photo op. John's front driver-side suspension airbag blew. We were all standing there when we heard it. The rest of the airbags deflated on their own to match. He called Rivian but we weren't thinking it'd be possible to get a flatbed up there. In the end, John chose to not only drive down the steep slope, but all the way out to pavement. I'll let him chime in more if he's here and wants to, but he said it was a really rough ride, but he didn’t mention any handling issues. My take was that it was good to know that even with such a failure, you could still get yourself out. We left the truck at the side of the road for it to be picked up today. It'll be interesting to see if it was one of the airbags or a hose.

There should be lot more photos and videos, and we flew several drones. I expect additional trail reports and photos/videos on Rivian Stories (https://s00n.rivianstories.com/posts/24424809?utm_source=manual for one).

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Some videos to follow.




 
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COdogman

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Amazing report. Looks like a great time. Thanks kneebuster!
 
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kneebuster

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3 more videos added since the intial post (4 total now).
 

Mark_AZR1T

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This is way cool!!!!
 

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Awesome!
Would love to join you all if this happens again!
 


Jabbahop

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what does a road/trail like that do in terms of range/efficiency?
 
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kneebuster

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what does a road/trail like that do in terms of range/efficiency?
Excellent question.
I started out the afternoon with 89% battery and a projected 244 all-purpose miles.
I traveled 69.2 miles total (of which slightly over 10 were off-road), with an average efficiency of 2.23 mi/kWh
Got home with 58% battery and a projected 160 all-purpose miles.
I therefore lost 84 miles of range to go 69.2 miles. Considering the trail, I don't think that's really too bad.
 
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kneebuster

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Jabbahop

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Excellent question.
I started out th afternoon with 89% battery and a projected 244 all-purpose miles. I traveled 69.2 miles total (of which slightly over 10 were off-road), with an average efficiency of 2.23 mi/kWh, and got home with 58% battery and a projected 160 all-purpose miles. I therefore lost 84 miles of range to go 69.2 miles. Considering the trail, I don't think that's really too bad.
awesome. thank you. I know it is apples to oranges, but what would you experience with your petrol vehicles in terms of mpg or range on a similar trip. I am curious how much regen benefits on these types of drives.
 
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kneebuster

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awesome. thank you. I know it is apples to oranges, but what would you experience with your petrol vehicles in terms of mpg or range on a similar trip. I am curious how much regen benefits on these types of drives.
No worries. I don't have the spreadsheet from tracking my mileage on the Xterra, but my recollection was of a noticeable, but not huge, hit on MPG when off-road. With the Rivian it's not just the regen that helps, but you're also not idling at all. Next time I go out I'll try to set a trip meter just for the off-road portion.
 


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Very strange that John was able to extract the truck with a blown front airbag. I blew my front driver damper 1/2 mile from my house on a paved road 10 min after delivery and the inner fender was sitting on the tire. Any attempt to even turn the wheel caused massive grinding noises and would have torn up the fender. Luckily I was able to get to a safe spot for the Rivian flatbed to come get the truck.

It has since been repaired and I have the truck but wondered how it could fail so massively.

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Really cool guys! Thank you for the detailed report.

did you run a/c while trekking and if so how did it perform w the noise and all? This is Colorado so you may not have to.
 

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How did the airbag go? Of its own accord or did a rock take it out?
 
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kneebuster

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How did the airbag go? Of its own accord or did a rock take it out?
No reported impacts. Still waiting to hear what the mechanic found. Not clear if it's the bag, or an air line at this point.
 
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kneebuster

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Update. The failure was the boot on the air strut. The loss of air resulted in the Air Suspension Unit that regulates suspension air pressure to overheat and fail. Both those, plus any damage from driving on a bottomed-out suspension are being covered under warranty. Repair time with parts shipping is 5-8 days. John's big takeaway was he should have pushed to have the service truck come out and repair it. They have the strut in stock and could have replaced it on the mountain. The only issue was timing because it was Sunday before a holiday, so he would have had to leave the truck at the top of the mountain for 2 days.
 
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