Rivian R1T Towing Capacity: A Comprehensive Guide 

Photo Courtesy Of Rivian

The Rivian R1T has been quite the anticipated product in the automotive community. Being one of the first fully electric trucks, it is an exciting aspect that the Rivian R1T was introduced to the market. Looking at the specifications can raise the question, how much does the Rivian R1T tow? How does this truck compare to its counterparts that have been utilizing gas and diesel engines? 

So, what is the Rivian R1T towing capacity? The R1T has a wide towing range, but at most, the Rivian R1T has a towing capacity of 11,000 lbs. Also included is a payload of about 1,760 lbs. For those not in the U.S, that is a total of about 4,490 kg and a payload of about 800 kg.

This is quite a big towing capacity from a truck such as the Rivian R1T, which is focused on the electric side of the industry.  

While this may seem to be on the lower end of towing for a one-ton truck, it holds its own when looking at some more finite details of the truck. There are other factors that must be considered when looking at the R1T. The fact that this all-electric truck is being marketed is an exciting opportunity to learn about all of its incredible capabilities!  

Payload Weight 

The payload of any truck is an important aspect to consider. The Rivian R1T has a payload of 1760 lbs. Whether you are moving a small load or heavy equipment, 1760 lbs will be a great platform to load onto. The payload of any truck is considered to be the max weight that can be placed in the truck before things like steering or/and suspension will be affected.  

An important note to remember is that the payload includes passengers that you may be carrying. If you plan to take the maximum number of passengers and luggage, you will have to factor both of those into the final payload while traveling. Does this payload capacity affect the towing capacity? Yes and no. If the towing capacity is exceeded, then there will be less payload that can be applied to the truck. 

The Rivian R1T sports a 54-inch-long bed, measuring 4.5 feet long. Considered to be between a mid-sized and a full-sized truck, the R1T offers enough space to load up any sort of equipment. A key feature that makes loading that much easier is the tailgate that can release and swing down, with a click from their mobile app, allowing the truck to link up with a device. There are many other features that are controlled by a device that makes this truck just as high-tech as it is advertised. 

Tongue Weight

Tongue weight is an important aspect when looking to tow any vehicle. The tongue weight is the total weight a fully loaded trailer puts onto the ball hitch of the vehicle. This weight should be 8%-12% of the gross trailer weight. The Rivian R1T can tow 11,000 pounds, meaning that this truck has a tongue weight of 900-1300 pounds. When hauling a full 11,000-pound load, the suspension will be overloaded.  

Tongue weight is crucial because it sets the limit that should not be exceeded when looking to tow heavy loads. Once exceeded, there will be a considerable amount of play in the rear of the vehicle, as it is so laden down with the weight that it will work differently. The towing capacity, payload, and tongue weight are all related to one another in the way of towing. 

It is later mentioned in this article that having the correct hitch is extremely helpful. This will be discussed a bit more in-depth, but it also affects tongue weight.  When towing, having the correct hitch can save a lot of headaches since it will improve your towing performance. Having the correctly rated hitch will the tongue weight not be as over-loaded. 

Fuel Mileage While Towing 

Being fully electric, the Rivian R1T is not measured by a regular fuel economy like its gas and diesel counterparts produced by other manufacturers in the automotive industry. This one-ton truck claims to currently have a 314-mile  range. In January of 2022 Rivian is planning to upgrade the range of the R1T to a  400-mile range. There will also be an option to get an upgrade to that battery that will add another 250 miles, resulting in the final 650-mile range. 

When towing with a full 11,000-pound load you should expect to have a 50% reduction of range. This means that you may only get about 107 miles of range if you pull that much weight. Half of the battery range will be lost when pulling this amount of weight. It also is determined largely on the amount of weight that is being pulled. Obviously, a little load will not affect that battery to that extent. 

The tires that are put on this particular truck can also affect the range, which it will maintain. For example, on rivian.com/r1t the company states, “For 20″ wheels, our estimates show a range reduction of 10-15%, with a 5-10% reduction  for 22” wheels.” So, if you are looking to eventually size the tires up on this truck, you may want to consider the fact that range will be affected, however, this is also the same for gas and diesel engine trucks. When sizing up, tires, fuel mileage, and range will all be affected in one way or another.  

Increasing the Towing Capacity  

Looking at other manufacturers’ products may lead to the question of increased towing capacity in order to match competitors or to get the most out of your rig. Can the towing capacity be increased? Not in the way many people may think. However, some slight changes and upgrades and help any vehicle perform just a bit better when towing. 

While you cannot actually increase the total towing capacity, it can be helped through the proper components. Rivian has given the information that this truck can tow up to 11,000 lbs. worth of weight without having issues arise. The reason that these instructions should be followed is that the truck was designed to only tow at that given capacity. As mentioned before, when towing more than the given specifications, the suspension and steering could be damaged or harmed.  

The first change that can be made that will affect the towing performance is to find the correct hitch to tow with. When pulling a trailer, the trailer and truck will distribute the weight throughout the axles and chassis so that the vehicle is not put under an excessive amount of stress. One way to regulate this and improve towing performance is to upgrade to a proper hitch.  

The second change that could be made would be to upgrade the suspension, but Rivian has created quite the responsive suspension design in order to compliment the towing that this truck is designed for.  

Rivian has also created a cross-linked independent air suspension system. But don’t let the long name be scary. What this means is that the independent air suspension will be able to automatically adjust the ride height in order to compensate for the payload or towing weight that the vehicle is carrying.  

This means that when significant weight is added to the truck, the self-leveling suspension will level the truck so that there is no low riding back end while towing. With a ride height of anywhere between 7.9 and 14.4 inches, the Rivian R1T is great for both on-road and off-road experience, whether towing is involved or not. 

When it comes to upgrading suspension components, Rivian has made it a pretty hard system to beat. This cross-linked independent air suspension is set up to be a very intuitive system, one that is able to calculate the exact weight of the vehicle and adjust accordingly. There may be some minor adjustments that can be made to the suspension, but as far as major upgrades are concerned, the Rivian suspension is very up to par!  

Much of what can be found about upgrading the towing capacity of a vehicle deals with modifications to the engine, but since the R1T is fully electric it is not a viable option. With the additional upgrades to the battery that have been announced for January, there are great opportunities to increase the towing performance of this truck. 


The Rivian R1T Truck is a promising truck when looking at the towing capabilities that it can handle. With many other amazing features that are offered, this truck will be a great competitor in the upcoming years. An increase in the battery range will be a huge upgrade as it will allow further travel, resulting in the opportunity to tow much farther.  

In looking over all the components that this truck gives, it sets up a great platform for towing. And the suspension is a great bonus. Since it is all self-leveling there is a terrific opportunity to load the full 11,000 pounds of capacity and not be worried about a sagging back end or compromised suspension.  

The Rivian R1T is a great pickup when it comes to towing. It is able to handle what the road throws at it and accommodates for a good amount of weight. The electronic interfaces allow for a good experience whether it is on or off-the-road adventures. 

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