How am I going to make a camper out of a Rivian truck now that it’s no longer an Amazon exclusive
It is said that after the second car in automobile history was built, only ten minutes passed before someone suggested racing it.
In the same vein, whenever a new electric vehicle is announced that looks like a truck or minivan, at any given time there are plans to convert it into an RV. For example, the number of Tesla Cybertruck campers now being planned is likely greater than the number of actual Cybertrucks on the road today. Since the end of the pandemic, the RV craze may have subsided a bit, but the advent of electric vehicles and improved solar technologies means the hype around non-piston-powered campers won’t dissipate anytime soon.
There are plenty of naysayers, of course, who claim that the idea of a car designed for traveling long distances to often remote areas is the absolute worst thing to use an electric car for. They certainly have a point, but I think there is a solution that will mesh well with the solutions needed for a self-contained RV.
Rivian’s truck has, so far, been known as “Amazon’s new truck that plays music while driving.” In fact, thanks to the world’s largest online retailer, Rivian should soon be ubiquitous on the roads of not only the US but also European countries. That’s fine, but after examining these things closely (or closely in the case of examining the undercarriage by David Tracy), it seems there are a lot of non-commercial users who would enjoy owning one of these things.
Naturally, when Rivian announced it would sell “civilian” versions of its new cargo van, the first thing Autopian employees thought of was the anticipated conversion of the vehicle.
I’ve searched online and some people have shown designs for a Rivian “van” – basically the van painted some color with a bunch of windows on it – but I’d like to dig a little deeper into what this thing might actually look like. I started with the longer Rivian 700 instead of the entry-level Rivian 500, which is 278 inches long versus 248.5 inches. The sides of the Rivian truck appear to be divided into modular sections. The shorter part has three side panels at the back for the front doors while the part we will be using has four.
There is a payload capacity of 2,734 pounds, which should be enough for all the things the camper requires. Look at all that interior height! At 114 inches long, it’s still longer than an E-Transit. Note the rear black plastic ‘exoskeleton’ that houses the rooftop air conditioning unit and also hides things like wiring and a condensation drain. Solar panels can also be placed well.
It’s perfect for RVs, and there’s space above the front seats to allow for a low queen-sized bed. I added skylights above to get maximum natural light but still allow for privacy.
In the center of the car there is a dinette and a sofa that can also be converted into a sleeping space. Engine hump? What is an engine hump? The front seats can easily rotate to be part of the living area. The bathroom is a reasonable size for an RV of this size.
Is this a single bed in the back of the rivian? It does, and there can be a bunk bed above if you like, but the model shown has Dream box: The entire back slides out to give you an almost king-sized bed and a dressing area. Not a bad use of space in a 23-foot vehicle.
What about range anxiety? I mean, the long wheelbase 700 supposedly only claims a range of 153 miles. Not a probe, because I’ll be using a version of the solution I jokingly described a short while ago. Like all campers, Rivian will have a generator for when you’re off the grid. Let’s take a look at one of the exclusive photos of our man David:
See all that room under the back of the truck? The front compartments can hold water tanks, but the back area can house a decent-sized gasoline generator. Not only will you get juice at a remote campsite, but you’ll also get expanded power to charge your Rivian while driving or parked.
The Rivian design is clean, functional and attractive and I think it would be attractive even if it were powered by an internal combustion engine. I’ll admit that I would have as many reservations as you might about an electric RV, but a Rivian with an on-board generator makes a pretty strong case for the decision. We expect to see a lot of wagon options for Rivian soon – perhaps even before the Cybertruck is ready for sale.
What I found when I crawled under Rivian’s Amazon delivery truck – The Autopian
You can now buy a Rivian truck like Amazon uses. Here’s how much it costs – Autopian
Our visionary designer envisions a third-row Rivian that’s similar to Ram’s revolutionary model, only bigger – The Autopian
Our daydream designer imagines the perfect little getaway car for your big truck – The Autopian