Testing out "Camp Mode" in the Rivian R1S

Three years ago, I decided to take the plunge after I saw some demo of the new Rivian EV trucks and SUVs that would be coming out "soon". Yesterday, a tow truck hit my driveway and unloaded my R1S and in the first day of ownership, it's been pretty good.

What I most wanted to test out was how good at car camping it would be. It has a dedicated "Camp Mode" that offers things like leveling out the suspension front and rear and side to side so you are perfectly flat while parked.

The other cool feature is you can disable all the electronics and screens at night, but keep just the climate controls working. That was super compelling to me, but I wanted to first answer the question: if you sleep in near-freezing weather overnight, will you have enough battery to get home?

So my first night of Rivian ownership, I folded down the 2nd and 3rd row seats and put out a queen-sized air mattress and my sleeping bag and pillow, and slept with the heater set to 70ºF/21ºC for close to 8 hours to test the effects of this on the battery level. Above is a quick video recap I put together this morning.


Last night was in the mid-30ºs  (1-2ºC) range when I climbed into the back of the Rivian around 11:45PM. I set the heater to 70ºF (21ºC) and disabled the rest of the electronics and woke up around 7:30AM.

Battery levels:
Battery at 11:45pm when I went to sleep: 72%
Battery at 7:30am when I woke up: 53%

It did sound like a hair dryer running on low all night, and my 20ºF bag was too warm even being used just as a blanket, so I probably should have set it to 65ºF for comfort but I wanted to know if the heater running all night at a pretty high level would take too much power away.

Overall, I was impressed. The leveling made the rear of the SUV completely flat and sleeping was comfortable. 8 hours of boosting the cabin temps by 35ºF/20ºC only took up less than 20% of the total battery, which is less than I suspected it might.

Knowing this, I would totally use the camp mode with the climate controls on during road trips, especially along highways with rest areas and easier access to high speed chargers that could replenish that 19% charge after each night. Would I use this at the end of a 50 mile gravel road for more than one night? Probably not, but closer to chargers on major roads, definitely.