• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

Rivian’s New Camp Mode Levels Up Your Truck And Helps In Other Ways

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Aug 31, 2022

Anyone who’s done a lot of RVing without a really high-end motorhome or motorhome knows about upgrade blocks, or “Legos.” These are the small blocks with which you can build a small ramp to level your motorhome. Some motorhomes have an electronic or spirit level built in, but in some cases you need to bring your own spirit level to ensure the motorhome is level.

Failure to do so can result in an uncomfortable night’s sleep if the ground you are camping on is not already level. Having your head lower than your feet can cause you digestive problems and blood to flow to your head, and having one side higher than the other can make you feel like you’re going to fall out of bed. It can also lead to issues with the motorhome itself, such as the fridge not working properly if it’s not level. So, leveling is a must, and it can be a time consuming process.

But nicer campers and motorhomes come with self-levelling. With the push of a button, you can level your motorhome in no time. It’s a nice feature to have, but it doesn’t come cheap. And, if you’re using something like a rooftop tent, few vehicles other than RVs have a self-leveling feature.

Luckily, if you’ve pitched your rooftop tent on a Rivian, the company has figured out how to do the process like an expensive motorhome or motorhome. The latest software upgrade for its R1T and R1S models adds a host of new features to make camping inside your vehicle even more enjoyable and convenient, including the ability to upgrade while parked on uneven or sloping terrain.

Rivian Camp Mode

The new Camp mode can be accessed by tapping on the “More” icon in the lower right corner of the center screen and looking for the tent icon. Once selected, you will see a variety of settings that will enhance your camping experience.

Camp Leveling uses air suspension, algorithms and sensors to determine the degree of adjustment needed at each corner of the truck or SUV to create a level surface. Depending on the unevenness of the terrain, leveling can take anywhere from 20 seconds to a few minutes. When you’re done, the vehicle will let you know with a short chime.

Camp Leveling prevents your vehicle from rocking or tilting by making custom adjustments to each wheel. This leaves you with a flat, even surface for sleeping, cooking, or just hanging out.

In addition to leveling your vehicle (which is a big deal), Camp Mode also allows you to change the power consumption of vehicles when parked, set port and charge port timers, d turn off the vehicle’s interior displays, activate a specific Camp courtesy mode and illuminate your campsite with spotlights in the side mirrors. Keep reading to learn more about all these features!

In addition to your truck or SUV’s normal energy setting, Camp Mode offers two more: “Keep Off” and “Keep On.” The latter keeps the vehicle fully awake so you can use the air conditioning, listen to music, and use other features inside. Turning off all sockets, Gear Guard video and most other features, including the center display, saves even more energy. That way, if you’re concerned about range and don’t need the vehicle’s features or power, you can be sure you can get back to civilization.

If you ever find yourself camping in close proximity to other people and want to reduce potential disruption, “Camp Courtesy” is your solution. It turns off all exterior lights, sounds, and proximity lock. Also, once engaged, the climate controls will operate at a lower volume so as not to disturb those around you.

How Rivian recommends using these features

The R1’s extra capabilities, such as cooking and sleeping in or on it, were created with camping in mind, according to Rivian. However, they can be useful in various circumstances. Leveling the camp, for example, doesn’t just make sleeping indoors or on the R1S or R1T more enjoyable and convenient; it’s also great for any activity that requires a flat surface, like food prep or baking.

There are several strategies to reduce the energy consumption of your car while camping. The “Stay On” option is most effective if you want a more hotel-like vehicle camping experience in your Rivian. This allows you unrestricted access to all comfort and convenience amenities inside the car, including climate controls, music and access to Wi-Fi hotspots. You can also choose to turn off all interior displays if you want convenient access to these features but plan to sleep inside your R1.

To conserve battery and reduce some of the default lights and sounds that come on every time you open the door, for situations where you want to use your R1T or R1S more like a storage locker, ‘Stay off’ lets you to disable these Features.

The spotlights on the side mirrors are also useful. They can be individually controlled and work even when the mirrors are folded. If you’re parallel parked next to your campsite, for example, you can fold the mirrors up and light up the side of your campsite without having to aim your R1 directly at it.

Limitations (and how to work around them)

The majority of Camp Mode settings and controls are only accessible when your R1 is parked, including the lights. For security reasons, Rivian has also included other software limitations. If your R1T or R1S is parked on a steep or sloping incline, camp leveling may not work properly. While your car is charging or if the Gear Tunnel doors or tailgate are open, camp leveling will not be available.

If you’re looking to charge your car at a campsite, Rivian suggests leveling the vehicle first. Also, don’t forget to reset your ride height before heading out again. If you don’t press the “Reset Ride Height” button after leveling and start riding, your R1T and R1S will be speed limited until it has time to return to its ride height original suspension.

So, no, you can’t use Camp Mode to trick your Rivian into doing the “Carolina Squat” unless you want to drive really slow. Sorry.

There’s more where it came from

Rivian says it plans to release many new standalone apps for the R1T and R1S via software updates, including Camp Mode. These updates not only bring new abilities, apps, and features to its vehicles, but also improvements to existing ones. Using Rivian’s custom hardware and software platforms, they are able to quickly respond to customer feedback and improve driving and non-driving experiences throughout the life of the vehicle.

All images/video provided by Rivian.


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