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The Rivian truck’s four torquey electric motors give it an 11,000-pound maximum tow rating. But the new R1T pickup doesn’t come with any visible trailer hitch. The truth is that every Rivian truck has a hitch receiver welded to its frame, hidden away behind a plastic bumper panel.

Is the Rivian electric truck good at towing?

The electric motors in EV vehicles offer tons of torque, making them ideal for towing heavy loads. But hauling will rapidly decrease the Rivian’s range, so it is not great at towing long distances. You can see its towing tested in the video below:

The 2021 Rivian R1T was actually the first electric truck on the market, beating out the Tesla Cybertruck and Ford F-150 Lightning. It has proven capable off-road, completing the first all-electric transcontinental off-road expedition. But pickup fans wonder how this EV will handle traditional truck tasks such as towing and hauling.

The truth is that the Rivian has plenty of power for pulling up to 11,000 pounds. Electric motors excel at low-speed torque. The Rivian’s quad-motor drive makes 900 lb-ft of torque, from 0 RPM.

But making this much power seriously slices into the Rivian truck’s range. Early reviewers have found that pulling a heavy trailer roughly cuts the pickup’s 314-mile range in half.

Does the Rivian R1T truck come with a hitch receiver?

The Rivian electric truck does not only have the torque to tow up to 11,000 pounds–it also has the hardware. The Rivian truck comes with a Class V trailer hitch receiver welded to its frame, but it is usually covered by a piece of trim.

Silver Rivian truck driving away from the camera on a rural highway.
Rivian R1T | PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

The Rivian’s trailer hitch cover is simply a piece of plastic in the middle of the truck’s bumper. If you want to access its Class V trailer hitch receiver, you must use a flat-head screwdriver to turn two nylon body panel screws a quarter turn. Once these screws are loose, you can pull the cover straight down and away.

If you fit a regular trailer hitch into this Class V receiver, the Rivian truck can pull up to 5,000 pounds. But if you use a weight-distributing hitch, the truck’s towing capacity jumps to 11,000 pounds.

Does the Rivian electric truck have a tow/haul mode?

The Rivian electric truck features a tow/haul mode with an electric trailer brake and trailer stability assist. The smart truck even automatically activates tow/haul mode when you plug a trailer into the Rivian’s electric towing socket.

A yellow, green, and silver Rivian electric truck navigate a road winding up through a mountain pass.
Rivian R1Ts | Rivian

When the Rivian truck’s Trailer Sway Control feature detects the trailer swaying, it will actually disengage Manual Cruise Control. In towing mode, you can also adjust regenerative braking and trailer brake gain.

Tow/haul mode maps the trailer brake to a button on the steering wheel so you can activate the trailer brakes without touching the truck’s brake pedal. The trailer brakes also come on when you touch the truck’s brake pedal.

Automatic ride height adjustment and Driver+ features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist are not available when the Rivian is in tow/haul mode. The truck’s hill stop auto-hold mode may also not work with a heavy trailer.

Next, see just how much towing affects the Rivian truck’s range or watch its tow rating put to the test in the video below:


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