Towing Airstream Classic

steilkurve

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Hey all. New member here. Current owner of a Model X with which I tow an Aistream Bambi 22FB trailer. It's 3900 pounds without cargo and the X can tow up to 5000. Considering the R1T to tow a larger Airstream I'd like to purchase, a Classic 30RB which has a base weight of 7800 pounds. I know the max of the R1T is 11000 pounds so I'd be well within that but any thoughts on range impact? My X with the Bambi behind it gives me about 60% of range (on average). Would the hit be similar with the R1T you think or less/more? I'm hoping as a truck the R1T's specs would make it more efficient at towing. I know we're all guessing here so appreciate all theories!
 

DucRider

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Physics doesn't change when switching methods to power a vehicle.

The Rivian may have a slightly lower range penalty when towing than an X since it is likely to be less efficient (aerodynamic) to begin with. That being said, moving to a bigger trailer (both weight and size) will likely more than offset that, so you should probably plan on a 50% or so range reduction (a number I've also heard from Model X owners who tow travel trailers)
 

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Hey all. New member here.
Welcome to the forum!

I know the max of the R1T is 11000 pounds so I'd be well within that but any thoughts on range impact?
FWIW, the only thing I've seen or heard from a Rivian source is RJ Scaringe answering in an interview that the R1T can tow way more than 11,000 pounds but of course it would come at the expense of range. So they decided to use 50% range reduction as their guide to establishing its max tow weight which landed them at 11,000 pounds.
 
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steilkurve

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So they decided to use 50% range reduction as their guide to establishing its max tow weight which landed them at 11,000 pounds.
Interesting. So this would mean they have calculated that at 11000 pounds, you loose 50% of range. I assume less the lighter the trailer? If correct, this would be encouraging. If I do rough math based on 50% loss for 11K of trailer, the Classic with some cargo would give me 244 miles of range. Quite manageable.
 
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steilkurve

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That being said, moving to a bigger trailer (both weight and size) will likely more than offset that, so you should probably plan on a 50% or so range reduction (a number I've also heard from Model X owners who tow travel trailers)
In good conditions, i.e. driving 55 mph, flat terrain, light cargo, mild weather, little wind, etc., I tend to do better than 50% and up to 60%. I get 50% or thereabouts outside of these conditions. ;-)
 

Rollin On Purpose

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I have this similar concern. I'm in the queue for an R1T, hoping to tow our airstream 2019 globetrotter 27' , base weight 6800 lbs, max tongue weight 880lbs. Currently towing with a RAM1500 4x4 EcoDiesel 3.0. The 8 spd auto with the EcoDiesel incurs about a 30-40% hit at 63mph and otherwise tows pretty well. I am anxiously following all news about R1T towing capabilities.
 

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Welcome to the forum!



FWIW, the only thing I've seen or heard from a Rivian source is RJ Scaringe answering in an interview that the R1T can tow way more than 11,000 pounds but of course it would come at the expense of range. So they decided to use 50% range reduction as their guide to establishing its max tow weight which landed them at 11,000 pounds.
Hmmm. The R1S has the same range, but the towing capacity is much lower at 7,700 lbs.
 

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Hmmm. The R1S has the same range, but the towing capacity is much lower at 7,700 lbs.
This could have to do with suspension differences or wheelbase, my guess is the latter. The heavier the load & shorter the wheelbase, the worse that sway is an issue.
 

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This could have to do with suspension differences or wheelbase, my guess is the latter. The heavier the load & shorter the wheelbase, the worse that sway is an issue.
This goes counter to the point that towing capacity was limited by range reduction.
 
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steilkurve

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I have this similar concern. I'm in the queue for an R1T, hoping to tow our airstream 2019 globetrotter 27' , base weight 6800 lbs, max tongue weight 880lbs. (...) I am anxiously following all news about R1T towing capabilities.
Cool. We'd love to upgrade to the Classic 30' from our Bambi but the 27' Globetrotter is also a strong contender. Pro of the latter is lighter weight which will translate into more range.
 

skyote

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This goes counter to the point that towing capacity was limited by range reduction.
Towing range reduction will be similar between R1S & R1T. Lesser tow capacity of R1S is for another reason.
 

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The weight of the trailer has a much smaller impact on range than its size. At 55mph, the aerodynamic drag of a large trailer uses about 3 times the energy compared to the rilling resistance. At 70mph drag is 4.5 times greater.
 
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steilkurve

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The weight of the trailer has a much smaller impact on range than its size. At 55mph, the aerodynamic drag of a large trailer uses about 3 times the energy compared to the rilling resistance. At 70mph drag is 4.5 times greater.
By large you mean width I assume? I’d assume weight and length have equally less impact?
 

ajdelange

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Hey all. New member here. Current owner of a Model X with which I tow an Aistream Bambi 22FB trailer. It's 3900 pounds without cargo and the X can tow up to 5000. Considering the R1T to tow a larger Airstream I'd like to purchase, a Classic 30RB which has a base weight of 7800 pounds. I know the max of the R1T is 11000 pounds so I'd be well within that but any thoughts on range impact?
The range of your X when not towing depends on how much energy is dissipated in pushing air aside (drag), how much goes to warm the road and tyres, how much warms wheel bearings, how much goes into the potential energy of the car as it goes up hills, how much goes into the kinetic energy of the car etc. From this you can deduct a sizeable portion of that which goes into potential and kinetic energy because of regenerative braking. Ordinarily the largest load on a vehicle's engine is the inertial (kinetic energy) load but that obviously depends on how you drive. If you can maintain constant speed inertial load is small relative to drag especially if drag is high because of high speed driving. In BEVs the importance of the inertial load is reduced relative to drag becuase of kinetic energy recovery,

My X with the Bambi behind it gives me about 60% of range (on average). Would the hit be similar with the R1T you think or less/more? I'm hoping as a truck the R1T's specs would make it more efficient at towing. I know we're all guessing here so appreciate all theories!
It's going to appear to be smaller becuase the R1T takes more energy to move itself than the X. A Raven X requires about 270 Wh to go a mile. If you are experiencing reduction to 60% range with your Bambi that means the combination (X plus trailer) requires 270/.6 = 450 and thus the trailer is taking 450 - 270 = 180 Wh/mi. I don't really know what the R1T is going to use but indications are that it will be around 400 Wh/mi. Add 180 for the trailer and the total is 580. Now 480/580 = 0.69 so your range reduction will be to 69% - less than the reduction to 60% your are seeing with the X. But notice that I said the hit "appears" to be smaller. You are now burning 580 Wh to go a mile whereas you only use 450 with the X. The R1T is thus a less efficient means of towing a trailer,

If you go to a larger trailer it will be heavier so that inertial and gravitational loads will go up some and presumably it is physically larger so drag will go up too. The thing I'd hope you would take away from this post is that it is the relative loads imposed by tractor and trailer that determine range reduction. As the trailer's loads become larger relative to the tractor's it should be obvious that the more dramatic the range reduction will be.
 

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By large you mean width I assume? I’d assume weight and length have equally less impact?
Full width of 8.5 ft and full height of 13.5 feet at 11,000 pounds. I did the math to see if I could use a Rivian to tow a light weight tiny home. The range at 55mph is 103 miles with the 180kWh battery.

If you had something in which the height was reduced to half, you would get around 146 miles of range. If you could make it as aerodynamic as the Tesla Semi, you get around 170 miles.

I figured my 5,000 pound travel trailer which is about 10 feet tall will drop my range to 158 miles.

If you have a popup trailer in the 3,000 pound range, you might see around 253 miles of range.

These calculators assume the tires rolling resistance coefficient to be around .02. If you had all your tires of the low rolling resistance kind in the .14 range or less, you could see pretty good jump in range. But it also means no off roading at your destination.

I'd love to see Rivian make their own travel trailer. It would have a large batter back that connects to the truck to give more range. It would have electric wheels for regen braking, and maneuvering off hitch. It would be a pop-up of course to reduce height, aerodynamic in shape, and have adjustable air suspension to allow it to get very low on the highway, but raise up for low speed maneuvering. And, of course, it would have expanding solar panels to provide 4K to 5K watts of solar which means you could travel around about 40 miles a day with the truck only and not need to stop anywhere for a charge up.
 
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