Off Roading Question:

skyote

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
2,594
Reaction score
5,172
Location
Austin, TX
Vehicles
Jeeps, 2500HD Duramax, R1S Preorder (Dec 2018)
Another possibility is a light bar that installs INSIDE the windshield at the top out of the driver's line of sight (mostly). No aero problems!
Only potential problem with that is that they still put off quite a bit of heat.
Advertisement

 

BillArnett

Well-Known Member
First Name
Bill
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
107
Location
Emerald Hills CA
First Name
Bill
Vehicles
Jeep Wrangler; Tesla Model S, Model 3 (& Cybertruck on order)
Only potential problem with that is that they still put off quite a bit of heat.
Good point. In winter that would be a benefit. But in summer it might require active cooling which all of a sudden makes this a much more complicated installation. Sigh :-(
 

azbill

Well-Known Member
First Name
Bill
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
704
Reaction score
897
Location
Arizona
First Name
Bill
Vehicles
GMC Sierra, Bolt, Sky, MME CA Route 1
Occupation
Engineer
I was wondering about rock rails/sliders, too. We don't have them on our LR3 and there was one time they would've come in handy, but we only damaged a plastic trim piece which was $113 and I did the installation.

Another off-road accessory that some people may want is auxiliary lighting. Our LR3's headlights are outstanding with bi-xenon plus halogen for the high beams doing wonders off-road. If the RIvian lighting isn't as good it would be nice if they'd sell an auxiliary lighting kit for front and/or rear. I picture something with provides a relay controlled and fuse-protected circuit plus infotainment update to control the relay. Maybe even mounting brackets or the entire setup with lights.
Check out the GM accessories page for the Hummer, they have thought about all of this because they have hardcore off roaders involved in the design.

https://www.gmc.com/electric/hummer-ev/insider/pickup-suv-accessories

They have integral wiring in the mounting brackets for the lights (light bar and pod lights) and they can be controlled from the UI. Rock sliders are also included in the extreme off road package or you can get them as an option.
 

DucRider

Well-Known Member
First Name
Gary
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
3,144
Location
rRegon
First Name
Gary
Vehicles
Clarity Electric
Check out the GM accessories page for the Hummer, they have thought about all of this because they have hardcore off roaders involved in the design.

https://www.gmc.com/electric/hummer-ev/insider/pickup-suv-accessories

They have integral wiring in the mounting brackets for the lights (light bar and pod lights) and they can be controlled from the UI. Rock sliders are also included in the extreme off road package or you can get them as an option.
The Hummer is aimed and designed much more to that niche than Rivian, so that makes sense. Some of those accessories will likely be (or become) available for the R1T/S, but they will never be a hardcore off-road machine. Maybe a future variation will address that market.
 

BillArnett

Well-Known Member
First Name
Bill
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
107
Location
Emerald Hills CA
First Name
Bill
Vehicles
Jeep Wrangler; Tesla Model S, Model 3 (& Cybertruck on order)
The Hummer is aimed and designed much more to that niche than Rivian, so that makes sense. Some of those accessories will likely be (or become) available for the R1T/S, but they will never be a hardcore off-road machine. Maybe a future variation will address that market.
IMHO, the term “hard core” refers to a vehicle that’s not street-legal, a race car or a rock buggy and so on. When I built my Jeep I tried to make it as capable as possible without sacrificing on-road legality (though, of course, I had to compromise on on-road performance and economy). The nice thing about Jeeps is that there are so many after-market parts and accessories that can transform a stock Jeep into something very capable without going “hard core”.

I should point out, too, that many of the things that make a vehicle better at rock-crawling also greatly improve its performance in less extreme trails, too. You don’t NEED 37” tires to drive on fire roads but it sure makes it more comfortable and less likely to get a flat. Too bad that Rivian has foreclosed this possibility.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rad

DucRider

Well-Known Member
First Name
Gary
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
3,144
Location
rRegon
First Name
Gary
Vehicles
Clarity Electric
I should point out, too, that many of the things that make a vehicle better at rock-crawling also greatly improve its performance in less extreme trails, too. You don’t NEED 37” tires to drive on fire roads but it sure makes it more comfortable and less likely to get a flat. Too bad that Rivian has foreclosed this possibility.
For better or worse, they elected to focus on the "maybe an occasional dirt/gravel road" demographic. Emphasising pavement performance, comfort and EPA range was apparently deemed a higher priority than catering to the semi-serious off road crowd. GM chose to address that crowd with the Hummer and Jeep might be a BEV player soon as well. The Cybertruck is a big question mark on off road options/capabilities.

The vast majority of Rivians will likely rarely see even a fire road. I don't think Rivian is claiming otherwise.
 

BillArnett

Well-Known Member
First Name
Bill
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
87
Reaction score
107
Location
Emerald Hills CA
First Name
Bill
Vehicles
Jeep Wrangler; Tesla Model S, Model 3 (& Cybertruck on order)
For better or worse, they elected to focus on the "maybe an occasional dirt/gravel road" demographic. Emphasising pavement performance, comfort and EPA range was apparently deemed a higher priority than catering to the semi-serious off road crowd. GM chose to address that crowd with the Hummer and Jeep might be a BEV player soon as well. The Cybertruck is a big question mark on off road options/capabilities.

The vast majority of Rivians will likely rarely see even a fire road. I don't think Rivian is claiming otherwise.
You’re right, of course. And it’s also true the most Jeep Wranglers never see the dirt. But Jeep has left open the possibility of after-market mods for those who want something more. Rivian could have made the wheel wells a little bigger and the brake rotors a little smaller with essentially no impact on on-road performance but a huge benefit for the more serious off-roader.

Rivian claims to be an “adventure vehicle” but it’s a fairly limited form of “adventure” IMHO.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rad

DucRider

Well-Known Member
First Name
Gary
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
3,144
Location
rRegon
First Name
Gary
Vehicles
Clarity Electric
Rivian could have made the wheel wells a little bigger and the brake rotors a little smaller with essentially no impact on on-road performance but a huge benefit for the more serious off-roader.
I think it likely that would create issues with their software for traction/stability/ride control.
Could they have written the software with a wider range of settings to accommodate a wider variety of tires? Certainly.
Their market analysis apparently showed it was not worth the additional development/testing time and possible range hit from making accommodations for very large tires.

Someone at some point will swap smaller brakes in to fit taller sidewall tires. It will be interesting to see what issues (if any) that creates. I theory, if the diameter of the tire is the same as the OEM 20's, the drive system would never know the difference. Automatic stability control in an emergency type maneuver that engages the brakes might be a different issue. Not sure how an owner would test that one.
 

SoCal Rob

Well-Known Member
First Name
Rob
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
278
Reaction score
648
Location
Southern California
First Name
Rob
Vehicles
Ford Fusion Energi, Kia Soul, Land Rover LR3
Occupation
Information Technology
Rivian could have made the wheel wells a little bigger and the brake rotors a little smaller with essentially no impact on on-road performance but a huge benefit for the more serious off-roader.

Rivian claims to be an “adventure vehicle” but it’s a fairly limited form of “adventure” IMHO.
It could very well be that larger wheel wells would have a notable impact on range at highway speeds. If bigger wheel wells reduces the official range, that could shrink the already limited pool of buyers. If the range drops from 300+ to 299 (or less) I am confident that some people wouldn't buy because the first digit is a 2. The Rivian buyers who remain would be forced to live with the reduced range even if they never fill those wheel wells with anything larger than stock sizes.

Maybe an accessory maker can come out with low-profile wheel well opening trim kit and new fender liners to go with them so we can keep the existing painted fenders but get bigger tires while Rivian gets to retain a better range figure for their stock vehicle.

Given the weight of the Rivian, could you make the brake rotors small enough to put smaller wheels on while retaining acceptable braking performance in a range of driving conditions?
 

azbill

Well-Known Member
First Name
Bill
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
704
Reaction score
897
Location
Arizona
First Name
Bill
Vehicles
GMC Sierra, Bolt, Sky, MME CA Route 1
Occupation
Engineer
The Hummer is aimed and designed much more to that niche than Rivian, so that makes sense. Some of those accessories will likely be (or become) available for the R1T/S, but they will never be a hardcore off-road machine. Maybe a future variation will address that market.
I agree that it is a different market and also a different price point. But people on this and other Rivian forums have wanted things like these:

- Removable roof
- Roll down rear window
- Multipro type of (or 180) tailgate
- 37 inch wheels
- Rock sliders
- 350KW/800V charging
- CarPlay/Android support

GM is providing that, but of course at a higher price.
 

skyote

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
2,594
Reaction score
5,172
Location
Austin, TX
Vehicles
Jeeps, 2500HD Duramax, R1S Preorder (Dec 2018)
Given the weight of the Rivian, could you make the brake rotors small enough to put smaller wheels on while retaining acceptable braking performance in a range of driving conditions?
Without a doubt. My 3/4 ton HD pickup weighs more than a Rivian & has excellent brakes that will fit inside 17" wheels.
 

DucRider

Well-Known Member
First Name
Gary
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
3,144
Location
rRegon
First Name
Gary
Vehicles
Clarity Electric
I agree that it is a different market and also a different price point. But people on this and other Rivian forums have wanted things like these:

- Removable roof
- Roll down rear window
- Multipro type of (or 180) tailgate
- 37 inch wheels
- Rock sliders
- 350KW/800V charging
- CarPlay/Android support

GM is providing that, but of course at a higher price.
Rivian forum users have also wanted:
  • 8' bed
  • Rear seats in the R1T that fold to allow dog crates
  • 400+ mile R1S
  • Solid steel roof
  • Sun shade for the glass roof
  • electrochromic roof
  • flat towing behind an RV
  • bed step
  • Homelink
  • Lidar
  • Rear trailer cameras
  • Camper shell for the R1T
  • Removable center seat on the R1S 2nd row
  • Standard sized tires for the 21s
  • The black rims to cost less
  • The camp kitchen to cost less
  • Delivery 6 months ago
+ more "wants" from various users

We are in a good place in that there are starting to be choices to fill those wants. Any vehicle is going to come with compromises. The consumer has to pick what fits their needs best.

The Rivian is not and was never touted to be a vehicle that can be heavily modded to excel at off road.
 

DucRider

Well-Known Member
First Name
Gary
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
3,144
Location
rRegon
First Name
Gary
Vehicles
Clarity Electric
Without a doubt. My 3/4 ton HD pickup weighs more than a Rivian & has excellent brakes that will fit inside 17" wheels.
Indeed, but it is not a performance oriented vehicle with 800+ HP (or is it?)

I'm reasonably sure they didn't have a meeting where they decided to fit larger, more expensive brakes in order to tick off a subset of owners that want to mod them for serious off-road use. It was designed to a purpose that may or may not match what you are looking for. Either you accept those compromises - or move on. Apparently there are quite a number of forum users that are much more qualified in vehicle design and know their target market better than the Rivian team.
 

skyote

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
2,594
Reaction score
5,172
Location
Austin, TX
Vehicles
Jeeps, 2500HD Duramax, R1S Preorder (Dec 2018)
Indeed, but it is not a performance oriented vehicle with 800+ HP (or is it?)

I'm reasonably sure they didn't have a meeting where they decided to fit larger, more expensive brakes in order to tick off a subset of owners that want to mod them for serious off-road use. It was designed to a purpose that may or may not match what you are looking for. Either you accept those compromises - or move on. Apparently there are quite a number of forum users that are much more qualified in vehicle design and know their target market better than the Rivian team.
Someone is salty tonight.

I understand & agree with your point. My point was that you can fit plenty of stopping power inside of 17" wheels. Stopping my truck takes more force than a Rivian traveling the same speed, "performance" doesn't matter. Now if you're mentioning performance as in racing/track, I guarantee far fewer Rivian owners are buying for that use case than off road.
 

DucRider

Well-Known Member
First Name
Gary
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
3,144
Location
rRegon
First Name
Gary
Vehicles
Clarity Electric
Someone is salty tonight.

I understand & agree with your point. My point was that you can fit plenty of stopping power inside of 17" wheels. Stopping my truck takes more force than a Rivian traveling the same speed, "performance" doesn't matter. Now if you're mentioning performance as in racing/track, I guarantee far fewer Rivian owners are buying for that use case than off road.
Rivian made a conscious decision to fit a more expensive setup. I don't know why, but it was not accidental. They saw a specific need that we are not privy to (possibly marketing got involved, but doubt it adds much perceived value).
 
Advertisement

 
Advertisement
Top