Did You Know the 2022 Rivian R1T is a Heavy Duty Truck? Owner’s Manual Tells All

It also has a fancy Trailer Brake Controller.

2022 rivian r1t heavy duty pickup truck

It turns out that the new 2022 Rivian R1T is classified as a heavy-duty pickup based on the information published in the Rivian owner’s manual. Is it all good or are there causes for concern? Here are all of the details. Let’s take a close look at this truck’s very unique features.

Thanks to Rivian Forums for publishing the Rivian R1T owner’s manual – September 2021 edition. The current manual is approximately 178 pages long and provides great insight into this truck’s features and capabilities.

Is it a Heavy Duty pickup?

The U.S. EPA agency uses a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) classification to separate all vehicles into various classes with different emissions and efficiency rating requirements. The Rivian pickup truck GVWR is listed at 8,532 lbs. This puts the R1T into the EPA Class 2b (aka. 3/4-ton HD pickup truck category 8,501 – 10,000 lbs).

This puts the R1T in the same classification as the Ford F-250, Chevy Silverado 2500, and the Ram 2500.

What does this mean?

The world of new all-electric pickup trucks is changing the way we think about these classifications and truck capabilities. The R1T has a footprint that is a little bigger than a Toyota Tacoma crew cab and a little smaller than a Ford F-150 crew cab. The R1T is equipped with a large and heavy battery to enable its 314-mile EPA driving range. It’s also equipped with four electric motors for a total and mind-boggling output of 835 hp and 908 lb-ft of torque (figures according to Motor Trend).

Rivian has NOT published precise payloads or curb weights for the new R1T pickup, but the Rivian owner’s manual provides a hypothetical payload calculation with 1,400 lbs of capacity.

The owner’s manual confirms that the R1T is rated to tow up to 11,000 lbs with a weight distribution hitch.

Why the 5-Lug Hubs?

The Rivian R1T is equipped with 5-Lug hubs. Most midsize and half-ton pickup trucks use 6-Lug hubs. The Nissan Titan XD has a GVWR of up to 8,800 lbs and uses 6-Lug hubs. All 3/4-ton pickup trucks in the same Class 2b segment use 8-Lug hubs.

Is the fact that the R1T uses 5-Lug hubs a cause for concern? No, not at this time. The R1T uses a very unique 4-motor configuration. There are two electric motors mounted inboard in the rear, and there are two mounted in the front. The wheels are driven by half-shafts. There are no reports of these hubs or these driveshafts failing. However, it is very unusual to see a vehicle with this much power and this much weight riding on 5-Lug hubs.

How Does the Rivian GVWR Compare?

For reference, here are the GVWR ratings for many other popular pickup trucks.

  • Toyota Tacoma: GVWR = 5,600 lbs
  • Ford Ranger: GVWR = 6,050 lbs
  • Nissan Frontier: GVWR = 6,012 lbs
  • Ford F-150 Hybrid: GVWR = 7,350 lbs
  • Toyota Tundra Hybrid: GVWR = 7,660 lbs
  • Rivian R1T: GVWR = 8,532 lbs
  • Nissan Titan XD: GVWR = 8,800 lbs
  • Chevy Silverad 2500: GVWR = 10,850 lbs

We still do not have official information about the Ford F-150 Lightning or GMC Hummer EV truck weight ratings. The Lightning GVWR may be close to 8,500 lbs. The GMC Hummer EV truck GVWR is unknown. There is a report that the GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 curb weight is 9,046 lbs. This may put the GMC Hummer EV truck GVWR well above 10,000 lbs. The Hummer EV truck is riding on 8-Lug hubs.

Rivian R1T Power Outlets

The owner’s manual states that the Rivian R1T will provide numerous USB-c, 12-Volt, and 120-Volt outlets throughout the vehicle. The total 120-Volt outlet output is 1,500 Watt. This is far short of the current Ford F-150 Hybrid inverter/generator output of 7,200 Watt.

Rivian R1T Trailer Brake Controller

The Rivian R1T is said to be equipped with a Class-V 2-inch receiver hitch. This hitch has a plastic cover that integrates it into the bumper. The R1T can be equipped with a 4-pin or a 7-pin trailer wiring connection. If the trailer is equipped with electrically activated brakes, the Rivian provides an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller. However, this is NOT a traditional controller for adjusting the trailer brake gain and manual trailer brake override.

Here is how it works.

The trailer brake gain is adjusted using the center infotainment screen. As soon as the truck detects that a trailer (with brakes) is plugged in, it selects a Towing Mode and allows the driver to adjust the trailer brake gain. In order to test the trailer brake actuation, the driver can press down and hold the right thumb control on the steering wheel (see image above).

It’s great to see that the Rivian R1T provides a special Towing Mode, an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, Trailer Sway Control, and other features that account for towing a trailer.

TFLtruck still has no access to a Rivian R1T loan vehicle for video review purposes. We do not know why. However, dozens of you have already offered us to use your R1T or R1S vehicles for video review. We could not be more thankful.