Rivian R1T & R1S: How We’d Build It

After years of lead-in, pure-electric vehicle maker Rivian has pushed live the online configurator for its two first models, the R1T pickup and R1S SUV.

Since Rivian designed its rigs specifically for overlanders like us (and the brand made an appearance at Overland Expo West in 2019), we thought it only fitting to ask a few of our staffers to build their ideal Rivian rig.

Without further ado, here are how some of us Overland Expo folks would specify our dream Rivians.


Jonathan Hanson


Jonathan's rivian.png

R1T — $88,300

I picked the R1T (pickup) for the option of adding a shell or pop-top. I also wanted the 400+ mile Max Pack battery option, which doesn’t seem to be available on the R1S (SUV). Adding as much range as possible is obviously paramount in an all-electric vehicle. That’s a painful $10,000, though.

I also added the Adventure Pack for the underbody shield (i.e. critical battery protection), air compressor, and tow hooks — all nice features to have. I don’t really care about the rest of the package.

I picked Limestone for the exterior color, just to confuse everyone who knows me and expected white. For interior, selected “Ocean Coast.” (cue eye roll).

I opted for the 20-inch “all-terrain” wheels. Things are bad when a 20-inch wheel is considered the all-terrain choice. They’re a fry cry better than the standard 21-inch wheels or — God forbid — the “Sport” 22-inchers.

Totally skip the $5,000 kitchen. A four-gallon water tank? And an induction cooktop is a brutal waste of battery power.

For a lot less than five grand I can put together a kitchen of my own with a Partner Steel stove, a decently sized water tank with pressure spigot, table, chairs, crystal cocktail glasses, Reed and Barton silver service.


Nick Jaynes


Nick's Rivian.png

R1T — $88,800

Like Jonathan, I went for the R1T truck. Having owned several overland-outfitted SUVs, I’ve migrated over to pickups. And I don’t think I’ll look back. The bed utility is too appealing. Plus, as Jonathan so wisely pointed out, the 400+ mile Max Pack battery doesn’t seem to be available on the R1S. So, R1T is a win-win for me.

That said, I did hem and haw for a couple minutes about stepping up to the Max Pack. Is an extra 100+ miles of range worth $10,000? I am not sure. I got it just to be on the safe side. I also added the Off-Road Package. I’ll be keen to see where the air compressor hookup is placed.

I also opted for the smallest possible wheels, the 20-inchers, wrapped in all-terrain tires. I assume the brake discs prohibit smaller wheels than 20s, which is a shame. 18s are probably the max I’d be comfortable running on an overland rig. C’est la vie!

READ MORE: 2021 FORD BRONCO: HOW WE’D BUILD IT

Unlike Jonathan, I opted for the $5,000 Camp Kitchen. Yes, you can probably build one for less money. But this option is so intriguing to me, I had to go for it. Plus, I wager anyone in the second-hand market will want one with the Camp Kitchen. So, I’m hedging my resale bets.

I went with the Rivian Blue exterior and stuck with the more plebeian Black Mountain interior — white, though pretty, seemed like a silly choice for an outdoor adventure vehicle.

All told, mine clocked in at $88,800, which is like really fancy Ford F-150 money these days or just a bit more than the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser. Let’s not mince words here: It’s a lot of coin. But it’s also a pure-electric truck with 400+ miles of range. So, for those reasons, it seems reasonably priced to me.


Zach Elseman


zach';s .png

R1S — $73,300

Much like my Ford Bronco build, I opted for a simple, less luxurious version to hopefully hold up better to long term travel. I chose the baseline options in hopes that the efforts from Rivian to be very vocal and visible in the overlanding community will result in wide aftermarket support for things like battery skid protection, extended battery packs, and so on.

READ MORE: WHERE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM WHEN OVERLANDING

I opted for the 5-seat version to maximize cargo room (we don’t keep second-row seats very long). “Upgraded 20-inch Wheels” seemed like the best of the worst when it came to the amount of sidewall available from the showroom. I liked the look of the dark 20-inch wheels more, but for the $1,700 upgrade cost, I would simply buy the wheels and tires that I want in the smallest diameter that will fit around the brakes.

All in all, I am really excited to see this product come to market. I look forward to seeing them out on the trail.


Graham Jackson


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R1S — $73,800

I went for the R1S because I have a fleet of station wagons … and it looks good.

The Range Package is a no brainer, but it’s part of the explore package anyway. I’m sad that the Max Pack is not available on the R1S. That’s something they need to fix. The more range the better, as I see it.

I ticked the box for the Off-Road Package expressly for the compressor. Though, I’m second guessing myself on that one. I bet I could source a better cheaper compressor. That being said, I like the beefy tow points on the front and the underbody protection.

I picked the smallest wheels possible to give the biggest sidewalls, for, you know, off-road.

Glacier White is my color of choice, just to annoy Jonathan. Though I think it looks nice and isn’t an up-charge.

Finally, for seating arrangement, I went for the fewest seats possible, as I’d be taking the second row out for a build out anyhow.


Anthony Sicola


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R1T — $75,000

The Rivian R1T was tested in the harshest of environments and is ready to tackle your overland adventures. Personally, I am looking forward to the new EV wave that is about to sweep over the overland and off-road community and seeing the new products that Overland Expo exhibitors bring to market for this new breed of truck.

I picked the R1T with the Max Pack. I finished it in the El Cap Granite paint. And I opted for the Black Mountain interior.

With ample storage space under the front hood and behind the cab, I imagine many companies will launch organization products for these compartments, allowing easy access to recovery gear, kitchen equipment, and camp supplies. I think I’d outfit mine with armor, a winch, and a slide in camper for extra comfort on the road.


Header image: Rivian

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