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Officially Unofficial R1T Power Tonneau Cover Redesign Gossip Thread

SASSquatch

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Dear All,

I'm kind of tired of sifting through various threads to figure out what is going on with the tonneau cover redesign so I thought i would start a thread JUST for discussion of this topic. Please post your whispers, official and unofficial comments from Guides, CS, Chat Bots, Cut-The-Line-Kyles, and everything in between.

Here is what I know. My 11/21 preorder of an R1T had an updated delivery date of Jan/February 2023. I have been assigned an awesome Guide working out of Normal, IL. I was asked to confirm my build but my Guide told me that there is zero chance that the redesign will be ready by January/February so if I wanted a power tonneau I would need to put my order on "hold." This locks in pricing and keeps my place in line. My Guide promised to pass along any updates - right now the only one is that they have no set time.

The official word from Rivian regarding timing can be found buried in their FAQ about the redesign:

https://rivian.com/support/article/why-will-some-r1t-powered-tonneau-covers-be-replaced

The timing they point to in the FAQ is early 2023. I am guessing that means Q1 or Q2.

Let the gossip flow...
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I can’t remember where I read it, but someone here the other day said Rivian has scrapped the redesign their original vendor was working on and is now trying to do it themselves.
 

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When picking up my truck in Bellevue, I asked about tonneau replacement timelines. All they'd say with any confidence was "sometime next year" for the retrofit.
 
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I can’t remember where I read it, but someone here the other day said Rivian has scrapped the redesign their original vendor was working on and is now trying to do it themselves.
Thank you COdogman. Did you read/hear if that move to deal with it internally changed their timeline?
 

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Thank you COdogman. Did you read/hear if that move to deal with it internally changed their timeline?
I was just trying to find that post where I read it, but no luck. I don’t recall any timeline, although if that is true I think the implication would be that it’s going to be even longer than first thought. It could be wrong, but my gut does tell me there has to be some issue with the original vendor or Rivian wouldn’t be in this position. They have had quite a bit of time to get that thing right and it still isn’t ready?
 

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I was just trying to find that post where I read it, but no luck. I don’t recall any timeline, although if that is true I think the implication would be that it’s going to be even longer than first thought. It could be wrong, but my gut does tell me there has to be some issue with the original vendor or Rivian wouldn’t be in this position. They have had quite a bit of time to get that thing right and it still isn’t ready?
All we have to go on is what they list on their FAQ page:

Why will some R1T powered tonneau covers be replaced?
Currently, some R1T owners are experiencing issues with their powered tonneau covers. While most are operating as intended, many are not.

We’re aware of the issue and working on a better solution. As part of that solution, we’re also working on a process for replacing existing tonneau covers. Right now, no customer action is required. We simply want existing R1T owners to know that we’re working hard on this. Our goal is to have a solution in early 2023 and will reach out at that time with next steps.

What will change about the powered tonneau cover design?
The updated design addresses subcomponent design issues and improves the tonneau cover's robustness against manufacturing build variations. The look and function of the new design is the same.

I will say that my prediction is (was) that they won't make drastic changes like adding another motor. I think they are going to try and make the current design more robust so that it fails less often.
 

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All we have to go on is what they list on their FAQ page:

Why will some R1T powered tonneau covers be replaced?
Currently, some R1T owners are experiencing issues with their powered tonneau covers. While most are operating as intended, many are not.

We’re aware of the issue and working on a better solution. As part of that solution, we’re also working on a process for replacing existing tonneau covers. Right now, no customer action is required. We simply want existing R1T owners to know that we’re working hard on this. Our goal is to have a solution in early 2023 and will reach out at that time with next steps.

What will change about the powered tonneau cover design?
The updated design addresses subcomponent design issues and improves the tonneau cover's robustness against manufacturing build variations. The look and function of the new design is the same.

I will say that my prediction is (was) that they won't make drastic changes like adding another motor. I think they are going to try and make the current design more robust so that it fails less often.
That would make sense too. In one of those threads on the topic - I think it was the Munro tonneau tear down video thread, some of our resident engineers and manufacturing experts had good commentary on ways it could be improved. I’m no engineer but it seems to me if the motor was simply located in the middle instead of off to one side it would solve their problem. Obviously that would be best for Rivian and probably all of you waiting for those covers!
 
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That would make sense too. In one of those threads on the topic - I think it was the Munro tonneau tear down video thread, some of our resident engineers and manufacturing experts had good commentary on ways it could be improved. I’m no engineer but it seems to me if the motor was simply located in the middle instead of off to one side it would solve their problem. Obviously that would be best for Rivian and probably all of you waiting for those covers!
I think you hit the nail on the head! Placing the motor in the middle and beefing up both the tracks and the teeth that the gearing mechanism slots into would do the trick. Maybe using a more powerful motor but packaging is limited.

I'd be very surprised if this isn't the fix. I'm hoping that Rivian has some prototypes that they are testing out as we speak.
 

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Even changing the retracting gears to the penetrating type (visualize how the tips of the sprocket gears on a bicycle penetrate through the chain links as they pass by) would probably be a major upgrade making it much more difficult for one side of the long panel to jump the gear teeth and jam the assembly. One of Munroe's guys mentioned this as an easy (part of the) possible fix.
 
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Even changing the retracting gears to the penetrating type (visualize how the tips of the sprocket gear on a bicycle penetrate through the chain links as they pass by) would probably be a major upgrade making it much more difficult for one side of the long panel to jump the gear teeth and jam the assembly. One of Munroe's guys mentioned this as an easy (part of the) possible fix.
That is what I was trying to communicate but without having the right words - thanks for the visual.

So...that begs the question, if that is the change, why couldn't the vendor work that out? Seems pretty straightforward. It is in't trivial to have your in-house team ramp up on a totally new component that you were sourcing out. You need to make investments, equipment, tooling and training which takes time.

Maybe Rivian was using this as an excuse to move another component in-house to reduce cost.
 

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After seeing photos of the bed deconstructed I am surprised they didn’t just use a tambor style roll up cover. Maybe there wasn’t space for the “roll”? Seems like shrinking the gear tunnel a bit from the top would have been worth it in that case. That design is proven and very durable.
 
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After seeing photos of the bed deconstructed I am surprised they didn’t just use a tambor style roll up cover. Maybe there wasn’t space for the “roll”? Seems like shrinking the gear tunnel a bit from the top would have been worth it in that case. That design is proven and very durable.
From what I have read/seen, the tambor style would roll up into a roll that would exceed the space currently designed for the gear tunnel. The folding slats provide nearly 100% packaging efficiency.

I think they probably hit a limit with respect to how small they could make the gear tunnel before it reduced the utility. They probably could also only make the camp kitchen small enough to fit the existing gear tunnel space.

That is my guess anyway.
 
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Either way - I'm still hoping that somebody designs a cover for the cover! Something that stretches over the top of the power cover and keeps everything dry and debris free.

It doesn't have to offer any security, can be very light - it just needs to resist weather.

Basically, gutter guards for the tonneau cover!
 

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The stacking design has lots of merit, the execution of it by the supplier was lacking. Presumably there were also client demands to keep cost down.

you can have something done fast, cheap, or correctly. Pick two.
 

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Dear All,

I'm kind of tired of sifting through various threads to figure out what is going on with the tonneau cover redesign so I thought i would start a thread JUST for discussion of this topic. Please post your whispers, official and unofficial comments from Guides, CS, Chat Bots, Cut-The-Line-Kyles, and everything in between.

Here is what I know. My 11/21 preorder of an R1T had an updated delivery date of Jan/February 2023. I have been assigned an awesome Guide working out of Normal, IL. I was asked to confirm my build but my Guide told me that there is zero chance that the redesign will be ready by January/February so if I wanted a power tonneau I would need to put my order on "hold." This locks in pricing and keeps my place in line. My Guide promised to pass along any updates - right now the only one is that they have no set time.

The official word from Rivian regarding timing can be found buried in their FAQ about the redesign:

https://rivian.com/support/article/why-will-some-r1t-powered-tonneau-covers-be-replaced

The timing they point to in the FAQ is early 2023. I am guessing that means Q1 or Q2.

Let the gossip flow...
Is that a launch edition pre-order?
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