Camping With Your Rivian: Leveraging Forum Wisdom

Coast2Coast

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I found this on Forbes and it's useful if you're thinking about camping with your Rivian and using RV parks, as it talks a lot about charging options.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradte...oad-trip-in-a-tesla-or-other-ev/#28b7e13647bb

My guess is we have a lot of collective wisdom on the theme of EV camping, and since this is a Rivian forum, maybe we could begin aggregating what we know. I'll start. There are various charging options, some increasing in number and some not. If I wanted to pack the 2-3 most likely to be used charging adapters for my first Rivian road trip, what should I pack?

Maybe folks could make recommendations in other categories, such as chairs, tables, tableware, air matresses, tents. Or maybe different threads for different categories of gear, but my point is: as a forum, we know a lot. How can we best make that collective knowledge available to all?
 

ohmman

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This is my fourth summer towing an Airstream 22 Sport with my Model X. We have approximately 6000 miles under our belt, so my answers are tailored from my personal experiences.

Connectors for charging
  • NEMA 14-50 connector is the most important, because you can charge on a 50A RV port and pull 240V/40A. You will probably want to dial down the draw on the vehicle, as most RV outlets aren't built for sustained max draw. You also are unlikely to need all of that juice anyway if you're staying overnight.
  • TT-30 connector is also useful for campgrounds that don't have 50A outlets but do have 30A outlets, so you can pull 120V/24A.
  • NEMA 14-30P connector is useful if you think you'll run across someone with a dryer outlet on your travels (airbnb, VRBO, or a friend's house).
Useful charging accessories
  • A 14-50 RV extension cable is very heavy, but very useful. I carry one in my frunk at all times.
  • Chargepoint/Blink/etc. RFID cards are good in case you are at a charging station that has no cell phone service
Planning
I use campendium and campgroundreviews.com to seek out campgrounds that suit my needs. In both of those apps/websites you can filter by hookups, so you can ensure that you're finding electricity where you need it. I also use a very accurate trip planning app developed by a friend for Tesla (EVTO-Tesla) which accounts for consumption with my camper and including anticipated weather.

I cannot overemphasize how important planning is, especially if you're towing. I create a spreadsheet for any decent-length trip that has line items for each segment. There are columns for distance, driving time, and charging time, notes about the campground (e.g. enter from the second entrance, etc.), and on long trips, where we will do laundry, which locations have sewer or dump stations, water, etc. And there's another column for a backup if my first choice for camping only includes FCFS sites (which are often some of the best campgrounds).

Time spent in the comfort of your home planning your trip is not only pretty fun, but it also eliminates a lot of stress on the road. You know exactly where you're charging, how much charge you need, how much time you have, and you can enjoy the journey.


Hopefully this provides a good start to a great idea for a thread.
DFD9A7D2-F94E-4D7C-B756-3398B198AEC8.jpeg
 

DucRider

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Time spent in the comfort of your home planning your trip is not only pretty fun, but it also eliminates a lot of stress on the road. You know exactly where you're charging, how much charge you need, how much time you have, and you can enjoy the journey.
But that takes much of the "Adventure" out of the trip!
/sarcasm

The ability to plug into a 14-50 is indeed the most important. It may or may not be included in the Rivian charge kit that will presumably be included in the purchase. Since Rivian is marketing these vehicles for this type of activity, I think it likely that a portable EVSE with adapters will be part of the deal
 

tomis916

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Ohmman, great post. Thank you.

I've seen other articles on this topic (and perhaps you have posted this info already somewhere), but I'm curious to hear what your range is on your Model X with and without the trailer. I have a Tab camper that's probably half the size and weight as your Airstream and I have been holding back on a R1T because I'm concerned about the drop in range - especially since I live at the foot of the Rockies in Colorado. It is my impression that the range will probably drop about 50%.

As for camping, for me, packing TO DO lists are critical for my feeble memory. I use an app called RV Checklist and that helps a lot. When planning trips, in additional to Campendium, I also use Allstays. But, I'm still in the combustion engine towing world. Obviously, camping without a trailer is considerably less complicated and the focus would be more about just charging and range.
 

ohmman

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I've seen other articles on this topic (and perhaps you have posted this info already somewhere), but I'm curious to hear what your range is on your Model X with and without the trailer.
The short of it is that I have a 4 year old 90D, and I've taken it to pretty remote places with the camper, which means I've charged to 100% relatively often and drained the battery under 5% relatively often (on a daily/non-trip basis, I treat it with the utmost respect and care, but sometimes you cannot avoid the alternative). So while my ~4.5 year old Model X 90D came with 257 miles of rated range, the rated range is now around 235. I can expect approximately half of that range while towing, especially if highways or mountain passes are involved.

To reach the rated range in a Model X 90D, one has to consume, on average, 320Wh/mi. While towing at 55mph on flat roads, I consume anywhere from 550Wh/mi - 600Wh/mi. So as you can see, it's slightly more than half of the rated range, but add in a buffer, occasional unexpected headwinds, or higher speeds, and you chew away at the buffer quickly.

I would expect that the Rivian models will have less of a hit on a percentage basis because they start as less efficient vehicles that will likely run in the 400-425Wh/mi range. But much of it depends on how the slipstream aligns with the camper, since the bulk of consumption at highway speeds is air resistance.

I have a very long thread over at the Tesla Motors Club forum that describes every step of my exploration, as I was one of the earlier ones to try the model. I've linked to it in that text, but if that violates the policy of this site in any way, please don't hesitate to report this post and let the moderator(s) know. I just don't want to rehash all of the details.
 

StevieD

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As full-time RVrs, we use our Class A RV as home and flat-tow our R1T behind. When we bought our 2020 Newmar, we configured it with a 30 amp outlet for charging when we’re boon docking or dry camping. We can power the outlet via our site hookup, 12KV generator, or inverters Linked to 16 house batteries.
 

tomis916

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I have started working through the thread (and other similar threads) on the Tesla Motors Club forum. There is a wealth of knowledge there for anyone considering towing a travel trailer with an electric vehicle (much of the knowledge provided by @ohmman). Thanks so much for the tip.
 

StevieD

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I have started working through the thread (and other similar threads) on the Tesla Motors Club forum. There is a wealth of knowledge there for anyone considering towing a travel trailer with an electric vehicle (much of the knowledge provided by @ohmman). Thanks so much for the tip.
I’ll bet that the Tesla data doesn’t include flat towing capability like the R1T offers! In my case, that’s a killer feature as I can tow the R1T behind my “house”!
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