The many Rivian R1T reviews we’ve seen so far have shown the electric pickup to be highly versatile and capable.
It’s especially competent off-road, thanks to its quad-motor electric powertrain that uses one electric motor for each wheel. This translates into an intelligent all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring that Engineering Explained described as “the Holy Grail of AWD systems.“
We’ve already seen the R1T tackle difficult off-road trails—including Moab’s Hells Gate—snow and deep water, but one thing we hadn’t seen until now was a Rivian driving through a lake.
Yes, you read that right, an R1T owner decided to launch his boat in rather unusual fashion into Bear Lake in Idaho. Known for very nice sand, fresh water and a very gradual beach, the lake is a very popular destination for boat enthusiasts, which means that launching a boat in summer can require several hours of waiting in line at the few boat marinas available.
To avoid the wait, this Rivian R1T owner decided to launch his boat from the beach shore. Normally, people who are brave enough to try this use highly modified vehicles for that or, more often, tractors. Doing it in a factory-spec truck is not something most people consider—except this guy. While the video is pretty self-explanatory and very cool, here are some interesting details shared by the R1T owner in the description on Youtube.
“Once I knew the R1T maximum water fording height was over 43 inches, I was instantly curious of whether I could launch my boat in Bear Lake Idaho.”
The place he chose to do that was Bear Lake Beach, which has hard sand and is not muddy. His boat, a 2004 Malibu 23 LSV, needs about 36 inches (914 mm) of water to float off the trailer. With the boat weighing about 4,000 pounds (1,814 kilograms) and the trailer about 1,500 lbs (680 kg), it means the Rivian was pushing or pulling about 6,000 lbs (2,721 kg).
Now, the owner set up the Rivian for the adventure by disconnecting the trailer lights so that the R1T wouldn’t get confused and go into Towing Mode, and by setting the mode to Off Road Deep Sand.
“Deep Sand mode truly ended up being better for deep sand than just normal All Purpose mode, specifically it gave more power to the front wheels.”
As you can see in the video, everything went okay, and the R1T owner said he did this “three or four times over the course of a few days.“
First he had to back up the boat until the 20-inch all-terrain tires were a little under the water. However, he didn’t get anywhere near the maximum fording height of 43 inches (1,092 mm), which is marked at the top of the black trim around the wheel wells. Beyond that point, the R1T would actually begin to float, not sink, the owner claims.
“So, I was most nervous about just losing traction and being able to pull the boat out because the R1T would float. But we didn’t get close to that happening. The R1T always had plenty of traction even though I wanted to get it over as quickly as possible.”
The man, who says he has two more Rivian vehicles on order, believes launching a boat like that is a first for a Rivian.
“I’d be surprised if the engineers even considered launching a boat from a beach shore.”
Obviously, to perform a stunt like this you have to do your homework first and then trust that water won’t reach the battery, motors or other critical electrical components. It’s clearly an unnecessary move, but really cool nevertheless.