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Electric Car Camping Just Got More Comfortable: Rivian Camp Mode

Rivian R1T camping(Photo/Rivian)
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Over-the-air updates are adding cool features to new vehicles regularly, but this might be the most exciting one yet. Rivian introduces Camp mode.

In an over-the-air update, Rivian just added a host of cool features focused on vehicle camping. Overlanders, what do you think? An electric vehicle with a 300-mile range, deep sleep functionality to save battery life, and — perhaps the best feature in any vehicle ever — auto-leveling.

I live with a man who has a leveling app on his phone. When we car camp, he has to find the flattest spot, even if it takes all night. There’s a lot of getting out of the truck, using the app, getting back in, making a few tire positioning adjustments, etc. So I’d buy a Rivian for this smart new feature alone.

Rivian Camp Mode

Rivian Camp Mode Screen
Rivian Camp Mode infotainment page; (photo/Rivian)

Vehicle Leveling

This mode is for use on uneven terrain. Using the truck’s air suspension height adjustment — with 6.5 inches of vertical range on all wheels — the chassis will sit level on even the most undulated terrain. The standalone app accesses built-in hardware and intends to make glamping even more enjoyable.

Rivian_Camping App-Level Truck-2

Optimize Vehicle Energy Use

This mode is for when you’re parked, by setting timers for charging ports and outlets, and turning off interior displays. Two energy settings allow for more versatility around camp while keeping battery power in mind.

“Stay off” cuts all outlets and anything else drawing power. “Stay on” is the setting for functions like lighting, climate control, and Gear Guard video. If you’re fond of stealthy car camping, you’ll appreciate that the internal displays can be turned off, so as not to draw attention when parked at night. Sensitive to light? It can all be turned off.

Camp Courtesy Setting

Turns off exterior lights, vehicle sounds, proximity lock and unlock, and Gear Guard alarm sound. Enables quiet cooling and heating. We’ve all shown up late in camp or have experienced the intrusion.

Rivian’s Camp mode has a noise level adjustment and a “courtesy” function, which turns off exterior lights and automatic sounds like proximity locking. This setting also runs climate control quietly.

Engage Flood Lights for Illuminating Your Campsite

Mirror-mounted lights built into every R1S and R1T can now be activated. Lights can be controlled individually and also work with mirrors folded in. Whichever direction you’re parked, you can fold the mirrors to light up your site, without having to re-park. Note the floodlights can only be activated while Camp mode is engaged and the vehicle is in Park.


This Rivian blog post walks through the features of Camp mode in even more detail. This OTA software update includes the following features:

  • Camp mode features
  • Display range as a percentage of the state of charge in addition to or instead of distance
  • Option for metric units as the measurement for speed, distance, temperature, and air pressure
  • New vehicle controls via Rivian Mobile App: remotely control the hood, vent the windows, and activate and stop the panic alarm

Rivian Is Already Set Up for Camping

The Rivian R1S model (the SUV) already comes with flat-folding seats for an air mat and sleeping bag. And the R1T (the truck), in conjunction with the leveling function, is ideal for rooftop tents and other mounted toppers. In addition, the truck can be optioned with an all-electric kitchen.

Rivian vehicles also come set up for camping, with features like a detachable speaker that doubles as a flashlight or lantern, and, apparently, side mirrors that can be turned into floodlights to illuminate your surroundings.

Rivian R1T kitchen

With more of us heading out onto backroads with our off-highway rigs, Rivian has certainly created a home on wheels with the feature-rich Camp mode updates. Sadly, as noted in a Rivian Tweet, Rivian falls short in the making of hot chocolate.

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