We’d been watching the Rivian company for a while.. We’d seen the R1T (the truck) and the R1S (the SUV) in pictures and videos online. There was a lot of interest in Rivian, Amazon and Ford both had sizable investments in the company. But, we hadn’t seen any hard numbers on their measurements, nor had we seen either in person.

All that in mind, and really good initial impression videos coming out… on December 27, 2021, we decided to go ahead and put down a deposit for a chance to have one — we thought, in 3 to 4 years. Thinking we’d be keeping our new 2022 Model S ( which we’d just taken delivery of ) for some years.. this would fit right in with our predicted “ready to trade” timeline. If it turned out to be too big for our car hauler, we’d just cancel the order and get our deposit back – no harm, no foul.

Our initial config included the Max pack which takes the R1T to over 400 miles of range. The 2022 Model S has 405 miles of rated range, so this made sense to go with. Plus, you can’t upgrade the battery pack to be larger at a later date, so… go as big as you want / can afford up front.

In March, Rivian had their first misstep in their interaction with the community – they announced a price increase of their vehicles – even for existing reservation holders! Our take was apparently different from most. We took this in stride – better to pay more and have the company stay around and make vehicles… vs going bankrupt trying to honor an unrealistic price in today’s landscape. Alas, the broader community reacted very negatively. Only 2 days later, RJ ( found/CEO ) announced they were reversing this decision for existing reservation holders.

In June, we got an update about an R1 Shop. Reservation holders were invited to purchase an R1 vehicle from this marketplace! In addition, several owners were popping up on YouTube as well, having gotten a surprise invite to finalize their config – again, only those with a config matching current production were being invited.

In the mean time, we’d also gotten some verification on the R1T’s measurements… IT WILL FIT! (in the car hauler). So, on June 24th, we adjusted the config to match the R1T’s currently in production.. We had grown frustrated with the 2022 Model S’s Yoke steering, and really wanted to accelerate our next vehicle.

The changes included dropping the battery from the Max pack back down to the Large pack. A loss of about 100 miles of range. We realized that the remaining 312 miles of range was still more than the 2017 Model X P100D (285 miles) that we’d had for over 4 years. This was a very livable range, so we felt comfortable in that. We also changed our Ocean Coast interior to the Black Mountain version, since the Ocean Coast had been delayed.

Suspecting we were still a year or more away due to the timing of our reservation, we went about our normal day to day, not giving much thought to the truck.

On September 17th, a YouTuber named Branden Flasch uploaded a video announcing his R1T delivery – WITH – the Ocean Coast interior! So we changed our config yet again – moving back to the Ocean Coast interior.

From our No Tesla, no pain post, you’ll note that September was the month we began really researching other EVs – eager to get away from the Yoke steering of our Model S. The morning of September 30th, Rivian announced that by the end of October, your delivery window would appear in your Rivian account! This was great! Up until then, we’d really had no idea when our turn may come. So, we decided we would hold off on test drives, etc.. until our R1T delivery window was listed on our account. After all, if it was going to be in 3 months or so, we could probably live with the Yoke until then.

Saturday, October 1st, I woke up… mind on getting ready for day one of our drive to Rodeo, NM. I picked up my phone to look at fuel prices, check weather, maps, etc… And noticed another email from Rivian.. Delivered at 10:02pm, just 15 minutes after I’d gone to bed the night before..

WHAT!?!?! Lehnanne had already been up for a bit.. I said “You’re not going to believe this… our Rivian R1T is ready to confirm!!!!” We both shared some combined disbelief, excitement, and trepidation – but we immediately confirmed our order!

Later that day, we submitted the trade-in of our 2022 Model S, not quite knowing what to know expect as the offer, but knowing we didn’t have to accept it if it was too low.

On Monday, October 3rd, we got our offer… it was far better than we expected! In fact, it was MORE than the cost of the new Rivian R1T! By over $8,000!!! We accepted the offer and completed uploading the rest of the needed documents.

Our Rivian Guide contacted us to introduce herself, and answer any questions we had. She let us know that typical delivery times were between 4 and 6 weeks from date of confirmation. This would work well – we were in Rodeo, NM after all – and our delivery would be… back in Las Vegas!

So, we came back to Las Vegas at the end of October.. and waited for the call / email that our R1T was ready for pick up. On Wednesday, November 2nd, we had a call with our Rivian Guide, talking about final registration details, etc.. and she confirmed that indeed… our R1T was in Las Vegas! Delivery would be very soon.

That evening, when I got off work, I drove up to the Rivian Service Center in north Las Vegas.. hope’n to get a peek of our beauty… When I arrived, I met a very nice Delivery Specialist who checked their VIN sheet and again, confirmed our R1T was indeed there. Alas, it was inside going through final inspection, and not in an area I would have access to. They were very polite when I asked if I could look in the window from outside to the service center — of course! So, I took two shots.. neither had anything I could confirm was -our- truck.

The last wash…

On Friday, November 4th, we got the email – our R1T was ready for delivery! A mere 5 minutes later, I got a call from our Delivery Specialist, Nic – they had an opening in their schedule for the next day, at 10:30am – we of course took that slot. What’s more… Rivian isn’t licensed to deliver at the service center, so they would be bringing the truck right to our lot at LVM Resort!

I sprang into action that evening… cleaning the Model S, taking all of our stuff out of it, etc… Saturday morning, I got a text from Nic that they could arrive at 9:45 if that would work for us – heck ya it would!

Delivery day!

Nic and Michele arrived with the truck and our delivery went very well. I actually did the initial walk through talk, showing all the functions / features of the R1T – the first time our delivery team had the customer do all the talking.. 🙂 They were very polite and said I did a great job!

We setup our phones as keys, went for a quick drive and then Nic and Michele drove away in our 2022 Model S.

We drove the truck a few more times over the next couple of days, and have to say… it.. is… awesome! It drives better and rides more comfortably than any of the 3 Tesla vehicles we’d had!

Now, the truck is at The Specialists Detail Studio – the same place that polished and protected our Model X and our Model S. We’ll share the details of what we’re having done, along with pictures of the results once it’s complete. 🙂

For now, enjoy these highlights from our first few days of ownership!


Michael

Resident Tesla nut and polymath. Raised in eastern Kentucky, joined the US Navy at 19 to operate a Nuclear Reactor on a Fast-Attack submarine. After finishing his enlistment, Michael has continued to follow his passions in technology, astronomy, and of course, traveling the country.

3 Comments

Herbie AKA Redjaguar 100 Travels · 2022-11-14 at 11:04

All we would like to say is Congratulations!!!! That was an awesome story and we enjoyed it. I guess you are no longer a Resident Tesla nut anymore…. We wish you all the best and hope you but a video out on the truck on your channel.

    Michael · 2022-11-14 at 11:17

    Thanks Herbie! I’m still a Tesla nut… a ‘Nikola Tesla’ nut.. ( I do have his likeness tattooed on my arm.. 😀 ) We’ll work on a video when we get the truck back.. 🙂

Jim B · 2022-11-14 at 14:35

Cool story! I love the “phones as keys’ piece. It will be nice when more brands go to that.

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