1 2 3
Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/9/23 12:06 p.m.

For those who aren't aware, Rivian makes an EV delivery van for Amazon. Well, looks like Amazon didn't meet their numbers to maintain an exclusive, so it's going to be available to other customers. It could be a really fun base for an electric camper. It's got an EPA range of 201 miles which obviously doesn't make it a cross-country Cannonballer, but for a meandering trip with more time spent camping than driving it would be a fun base. Since they're mostly aiming at big fleets I don't think pricing is released. I think the E-Transit and gas Sprinters start in the $50s.

Let's not fall into the usual discussion about how it can't do 3000 miles on a charge and costs more than a dollar. It's not interesting anymore. Let's have more fun building imaginary campers out of this thing.

Also, Motor Trend reports that the Rivan plant in Normal is going to get retooled for an updated version of the R1T and R1S. Changes include "25 percent shorter wiring harnesses, consolidated control units, and advancements in body structure and battery pack", leading to a decrease in manufacturing cost of about 35 percent. That's ridiculously big. Those first ones must have been "let's just get it out the door and deal with optimization later". I'm not sure if the MSRP will drop or if Rivian has been absorbing unsustainable manufacturing costs - I suspect the latter.

iansane
iansane GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/9/23 12:11 p.m.

Actually, those vans might be a perfect use for my my techs on port. Techs never leave the terminals, sit for hours at a time and we have access to 460v plugins all over the terminal. It'd be better than the 30 year old ex-UPS trucks we have now...

Website says it starts @ 83k for the SWB and 87k for the LWB. Oof. That's a pricey meatball.

BoulderG
BoulderG GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/9/23 12:12 p.m.

I've seen those Amazon vans delivering. They seem very cool. Yeah, not a ton of range and not sure how you'd recharge in the wild? Carry a generator? Add a Leaf of batteries? Would an RV hookup at a campground work?

If it's in the $50Ks, that seems quite price competitive. How is the back road / dirt road driving experience?

wae
wae PowerDork
11/9/23 12:17 p.m.

What do the inside and the underside look like?  It appears to have a pretty low load floor, but what's the total interior height without needing to make a pop-top roof?  Assuming that the battery runs along the bottom, could the fresh/grey/black tanks could get sandwiched between the battery pack and a new floor that would still give about 6'6" of height?

How does the whole battery power thing work?  Would it make sense to use it to power all the typical RV 12V stuff or would you need to put some deep cycle batteries in for that stuff?

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
11/9/23 12:30 p.m.

There are videos on YouTube by Amazon drivers giving an inside tour of those vans.  They're pretty innovative, and the drivers seem to really like them.  

They seem like they'd be perfect for plumbers, electricians or other contractors.

triumph7
triumph7 HalfDork
11/9/23 12:47 p.m.
wae said:

What do the inside and the underside look like?  It appears to have a pretty low load floor, but what's the total interior height without needing to make a pop-top roof?  Assuming that the battery runs along the bottom, could the fresh/grey/black tanks could get sandwiched between the battery pack and a new floor that would still give about 6'6" of height?

How does the whole battery power thing work?  Would it make sense to use it to power all the typical RV 12V stuff or would you need to put some deep cycle batteries in for that stuff?

Not sure about the Rivian but when we were converting the ProMasters we had a DC-DC converter to keep all the 12V electronics happy.  Since the Rivian was built ground up as an EV they may or may not have a 12V system (IDK).

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/9/23 12:58 p.m.
BoulderG said:

I've seen those Amazon vans delivering. They seem very cool. Yeah, not a ton of range and not sure how you'd recharge in the wild? Carry a generator? Add a Leaf of batteries? Would an RV hookup at a campground work?

If it's in the $50Ks, that seems quite price competitive. How is the back road / dirt road driving experience?

RV hookups work great for Level 2 charging. 

These vans are FWD only, so between that and the inability to refuel off the grid (other than running an annoying generator) they're probably better suited to campground camping than boondocking unless your boondocks are close and aren't at the end of a goat track. It would work for our favorite off-grid campsite near Moab, but it wouldn't suit a trip to Lake Powell for us.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/9/23 1:10 p.m.
wae said:

What do the inside and the underside look like?  It appears to have a pretty low load floor, but what's the total interior height without needing to make a pop-top roof?  Assuming that the battery runs along the bottom, could the fresh/grey/black tanks could get sandwiched between the battery pack and a new floor that would still give about 6'6" of height?

How does the whole battery power thing work?  Would it make sense to use it to power all the typical RV 12V stuff or would you need to put some deep cycle batteries in for that stuff?

Black and grey water tanks are a good question. Maybe you don't put a bathroom/shower in it, that opens up a lot of space both inside and underneath. We don't have either in our Westfalia and we've survived. Obviously, that would be a hard no for a lot of people, they like pooping inside their vehicle :) But in that Westfalia, the freshwater tank is inside the vehicle. Grey water drains out the bottom into whatever you put underneath for proper disposal.

Turns out they are listed on the website: https://rivian.com/fleet. Note that apparently Amazon requested the range be limited as their drivers only need 150 miles, but the EPA range is rated at 201. Not sure if that would require an unlock. It's an LFP battery so that means you can run it at 100% as much as you want and the charge speed doesn't fall off as quickly for the last 20%.

I can't find interior height, but I did find a statement that "a 95th percentile male can walk through it". Formula SAE says that's just over 6'1".

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/9/23 1:11 p.m.
iansane said:

Oof. That's a pricey meatball.

Quote of the day, that.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
11/9/23 1:26 p.m.

I'd definitely be in the market if they are selling in the $50K range, but I'd be shocked. $87K wouldn't surprise me at all, and that would mean I'm out. 
 

Watching with interest. 

wae
wae PowerDork
11/9/23 1:30 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
wae said:

What do the inside and the underside look like?  It appears to have a pretty low load floor, but what's the total interior height without needing to make a pop-top roof?  Assuming that the battery runs along the bottom, could the fresh/grey/black tanks could get sandwiched between the battery pack and a new floor that would still give about 6'6" of height?

How does the whole battery power thing work?  Would it make sense to use it to power all the typical RV 12V stuff or would you need to put some deep cycle batteries in for that stuff?

Black and grey water tanks are a good question. Maybe you don't put a bathroom/shower in it, that opens up a lot of space both inside and underneath. We don't have either in our Westfalia and we've survived. Obviously, that would be a hard no for a lot of people, they like pooping inside their vehicle :) But in that Westfalia, the freshwater tank is inside the vehicle. Grey water drains out the bottom into whatever you put underneath for proper disposal.

Turns out they are listed on the website: https://rivian.com/fleet. Note that apparently Amazon requested the range be limited as their drivers only need 150 miles, but the EPA range is rated at 201. Not sure if that would require an unlock. It's an LFP battery so that means you can run it at 100% as much as you want and the charge speed doesn't fall off as quickly for the last 20%.

I can't find interior height, but I did find a statement that "a 95th percentile male can walk through it". Formula SAE says that's just over 6'1".

I was always puzzled by that; the reason I like an RV is so that I have my own shower and bathroom.  Given the small footprint, I could suffer a combo bathroom/shower like this:

But that's as peasant as I can go.  I need to be able to make my morning coffee, take care of business, and be showered before I open the door and step outside.

I'm baffled that in their dimensions they don't list the load height.  That's a pretty important metric for a commercial vehicle.  Overall height is just over 9'6", though.  If we take out the 6.9 inches of ground clearance, we're looking at just a hair short of 9'.  If we're only looking at 6'1" or 6'2" of interior height, though, then we're going to need to get creative with the holding tanks, water heater, furnace, and other features in order to hide them under things like the bed or something.  It's small enough that maybe the heating could be managed through a heat strip in a rooftop A/C unit.  Ideally, I'd want to have propane on board to run the kitchen, furnace, and water heater.  Maybe something could be built and attached to the rear of the vehicle - it looks like the rear axle is really close to the back, so it probably wouldn't affect it too much to have things hanging off there.

Looks like as of right now, they're starting the 700 off at about $87k:

 

iansane
iansane GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/9/23 1:31 p.m.

I threw a request in for more info. A lot of port yard equipment is getting swapped over to EV stuff so maybe it's a good PR stunt to pay for expensive EV workvans.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/9/23 1:36 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

RV hookups work great for Level 2 charging. 

These vans are FWD only, so between that and the inability to refuel off the grid (other than running an annoying generator) they're probably better suited to campground camping than boondocking unless your boondocks are close and aren't at the end of a goat track. It would work for our favorite off-grid campsite near Moab, but it wouldn't suit a trip to Lake Powell for us.

I've had visions of filling the roof with solar panels and towing a solar panel trailer.  Doing this math off the top of my head but assuming have the battery pack as a Tesla it's around 50kw of batteries.  Put five 400w panels on the roof.  The trailer can hold more so let's say ten on it.  That gives us 6kw of panels at 4 hours of light a day you get about half of your range each day.  Odds are you aren't driving everyday so maybe it could work?  

EDIT - with the dimensions posted above you can probably fit 8 panels on the roof.  Our trailer would have to be 28 feet long but it's going to be lightweight.  Could make it 3 sided with the side panels not as efficient of course.  I think this would work.

wae
wae PowerDork
11/9/23 1:45 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

Don't forget to account for recharging the battery for your electric chainsaw to cut down all those pesky trees in the campground so you can get some sunlight!

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/9/23 1:50 p.m.

One of their FAQs is can I buy a van for personal use. The answer is no. 

At this time, we’re focused on fulfilling fleet orders. Sign up for Rivian's newsletter for updates on the latest.

 

Ignoring the range or lack thereof, no 4WD is a deal breaker for me. If I'm camping in something that small, I don't want to be anywhere near other campers. 

Also, $87k is a good bit more than I paid for this. I looked at a bunch of class B RVs before I went in the other direction. I'll just tow my outback machine and stay in a campground. 

20230501_190731.jpg

 

Another consideration. Beating around boondocking, I think I'd rather have a van that I could get parts for in case I do something stupid. Snapping a ball joint turns into a big deal when you can't buy a new one at FLAPS. In the EV world, that leaves you with Ford. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/9/23 1:56 p.m.
wae said:
Keith Tanner said:
wae said:

What do the inside and the underside look like?  It appears to have a pretty low load floor, but what's the total interior height without needing to make a pop-top roof?  Assuming that the battery runs along the bottom, could the fresh/grey/black tanks could get sandwiched between the battery pack and a new floor that would still give about 6'6" of height?

How does the whole battery power thing work?  Would it make sense to use it to power all the typical RV 12V stuff or would you need to put some deep cycle batteries in for that stuff?

Black and grey water tanks are a good question. Maybe you don't put a bathroom/shower in it, that opens up a lot of space both inside and underneath. We don't have either in our Westfalia and we've survived. Obviously, that would be a hard no for a lot of people, they like pooping inside their vehicle :) But in that Westfalia, the freshwater tank is inside the vehicle. Grey water drains out the bottom into whatever you put underneath for proper disposal.

Turns out they are listed on the website: https://rivian.com/fleet. Note that apparently Amazon requested the range be limited as their drivers only need 150 miles, but the EPA range is rated at 201. Not sure if that would require an unlock. It's an LFP battery so that means you can run it at 100% as much as you want and the charge speed doesn't fall off as quickly for the last 20%.

I can't find interior height, but I did find a statement that "a 95th percentile male can walk through it". Formula SAE says that's just over 6'1".

I was always puzzled by that; the reason I like an RV is so that I have my own shower and bathroom.  Given the small footprint, I could suffer a combo bathroom/shower like this:

But that's as peasant as I can go.  I need to be able to make my morning coffee, take care of business, and be showered before I open the door and step outside.

I'm baffled that in their dimensions they don't list the load height.  That's a pretty important metric for a commercial vehicle.  Overall height is just over 9'6", though.  If we take out the 6.9 inches of ground clearance, we're looking at just a hair short of 9'.  If we're only looking at 6'1" or 6'2" of interior height, though, then we're going to need to get creative with the holding tanks, water heater, furnace, and other features in order to hide them under things like the bed or something.  It's small enough that maybe the heating could be managed through a heat strip in a rooftop A/C unit.  Ideally, I'd want to have propane on board to run the kitchen, furnace, and water heater.  Maybe something could be built and attached to the rear of the vehicle - it looks like the rear axle is really close to the back, so it probably wouldn't affect it too much to have things hanging off there.

Looks like as of right now, they're starting the 700 off at about $87k:

 

My wife and I are always puzzled by people who want to poop right beside the kitchen :) I grew up with tents and canoes, so simply being able to drive to a camping spot, not have to carry everything through the woods and staying dry when it rains are luxe to me. I usually clean myself by swimming. VW-style camping is a little different than a huge RV, you make different choices. I think you're right that managing the various water packages would be the challenge in this. You might have to give up a couple of square feet of floor space to stack the tanks vertically, not sure how that works with black water.

You don't need propane. Use electricity. It's probably already got a heat pump on board, so there's full HVAC already in place. It's not like you need to run the engine to make it work :)

Trying to carry enough solar to charge the battery for driving makes it pretty clear pretty quickly just how much power vehicles use. But solar would definitely help keep up with the house load. Our VW has 100W on the roof and that's enough to stay on top of lighting and the refrigerator and the (propane) furnace.

Stampie's plan sounds like The Martian :)

wae
wae PowerDork
11/9/23 1:57 p.m.

In reply to Toyman! :

Personally, I do not understand how class Bs exist.  They are waaaaaaaaay too small.  I feel cramped in my 32' class A even when it's just me.

 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/9/23 2:00 p.m.

In reply to wae :

Agreed. A bathroom - even a small wet-bath - is near the top of the list of why I want a camper van.  One of the "4 S's" list of requirements: Sleep, Shower, Sh1t, Store (my bicycles - inside).  Finding something that effectively covers all 4 has been surprisingly difficult and why I am begrudgingly planning a self-build... The places I want to go usually don't have the options Keith discusses.  To be frank, my recent 10-day trip from PA-AR-TX-NC-PA to ride and pick up a transmission really reinforced why I want my camper van built. If hadn't been locked into hotel room reservations, I would have been easier to adjust my plans based on changes in the weather. 

While many of the tanks can go inside the van, there are some that need to go under the floor. 

If infrastructure improves, then the limited range might be less of a factor for me.  Many of the places I want to go to ride to will have power, and may eventually have EV charging facilities.   That said, I also have desires to do part-time "#vanlife" early in retirement and boondock in far away places. I still have the "one fuel" plan using either diesel or gasoline to do anything that can't easily run off the batteries - and I will have a crap-load of batteries. 

Doug Demuro did a pretty decent video on the van when Amazon first started taking deliveries.  I see them on the road here in the Mid-Atlantic and New England often as they make a lot of sense here. 

One item that might help is a retractable awning that has solar panels as the awning. I understand flexible panels are getting close to being able to do that. 

wae
wae PowerDork
11/9/23 2:01 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I'd want to have propane for that because as I understand it, generating heat consumes a lot of battery power.  I'd hate to have to choose between freezing my tookus off and being able to drive away in the morning if I were stopping overnight and had to boondock.  If I'm going to overnight in a Cracker Barrel parking lot, I want to set the thermostat to about 68 degrees and have a nice hot shower in the morning before getting back on the road.  I would assume thatthere would not be a charging port I could stay connected to overnight.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/9/23 2:02 p.m.
wae said:

In reply to Toyman! :

Personally, I do not understand how class Bs exist.  They are waaaaaaaaay too small.  I feel cramped in my 32' class A even when it's just me.

That's because you're looking at it as a house you can drive, and not as a self-propelled tent with a kitchen. The point is not always to spend time in the camper when camping :)

Anyhow, looks like the Autopian has a couple of upskirt shots of the Rivian. It's not all battery under there. There is a LOT of battery, but there's some space behind the wheels. See the article for more. https://www.theautopian.com/what-i-found-when-i-crawled-under-rivians-amazon-delivery-van/

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/9/23 2:06 p.m.
wae said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I'd want to have propane for that because as I understand it, generating heat consumes a lot of battery power.  I'd hate to have to choose between freezing my tookus off and being able to drive away in the morning if I were stopping overnight and had to boondock.  If I'm going to overnight in a Cracker Barrel parking lot, I want to set the thermostat to about 68 degrees and have a nice hot shower in the morning before getting back on the road.  I would assume thatthere would not be a charging port I could stay connected to overnight.

Resistive heat consumes a lot of power, heat pumps are a lot more efficient. So it's not as bad as it used to be. But you can't use waste heat from the engine to heat your hot water tank when driving, so maybe you do want propane if you're going to be running a shower.

Ironically, one of the chargers we used on a recent road trip was right beside a Cracker Barrel :)

wae
wae PowerDork
11/9/23 2:10 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I'm looking at it as a mobile cabin that I can relax in, cook in, sleep in, do my personal business in, and then move to another location.  Maybe even have a mobile office so I can work from "home".  If I'm traveling with other people, I want to be able to have a place to play games or watch a movie when it's cold or rainy outside so that I don't have to plan a trip around the weather or even the seasons as much.

That said, I'd probably use that space behind the rear axle for a propane tank and a combined grey/black water tank.  I think that would be just large enough to get the job done. 

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/9/23 2:11 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I also grew up in tents and boats. Sleeping on the beach or beside a mountain stream. Scouting, family camping, hiking miles to get to camp carrying everything you need on your back. 50-mile canoe trips to the back of beyond. Every one of my kids spent nights in tents before they were a year old and they still enjoy it. There are some great memories from those trips. 

But, I'm past that point in life. I want AC and heat, I want a shower I don't have to get out of if I drop the soap, and a toilet without bark or bugs. I still love the idea of roughing it but the pain from a night on the ground is a reminder of why my motorhome has the exact same mattress as the bed at home.

I'm not ashamed to say, I've gotten soft in my old age. 

I still want a 4WD off-road camper but I'm leaning toward something like this. Not that I could ever afford one. 

Luxury off road camper Atacama 6300 | World-travel vehicle of ACTION MOBIL

 

 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/9/23 2:37 p.m.

In reply to Toyman! :

I want similar things, but I also want the maneuverability of a smaller vehicle to go into tighter areas, so I'm willing to accept some compromises in interior room.  At least while I'm still flexible enough to live with those compromises. 

BoulderG
BoulderG GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/9/23 2:37 p.m.

Thanks for the 'upskirt' photos. Digressing, I'm wondering - what is the piece above the Panhard Rod that goes from the bracket to the center of the van? I presume there are more locating methods on the front side of the subframe that we can't see?

1 2 3

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
2xgV4PZuVvXu2yU7uQnYOvx0ipeL1y7CwDdzIjjSAXN42btxCFvmbnNqoEzrpvFp