Rivian's Retractable Camp Kitchen Costs $5,000

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Electric-vehicle manufacturers often tout their products’ ability to double as a mobile generator for laborers needing a place to plug in their tools. But a few have also suggested a reliable power source would be similarly beneficial for recreational actives. In 2019, Rivian began showcasing the camp kitchen its designers had made fit into the gear tunnel located between the R1T’s truck bed and passenger cabin. Easily deployed, the kitchen comes with an electric stovetop, electric kettle, small sink (fed by a five-gallon water tank), and enough storage space to house the items necessary to cook and serve a meal.

It was looking like an incredibly slick option for woodsy weekend warriors — until we learned the price, that is.

A recent posting on the Rivian Owners Forum noted that the kit was retailing for a whopping $5,000 on the company’s soon to be updated website configurator. Having taken a peak for ourselves using a reservation holder’s login (thanks, Sam), the system doesn’t appear to be a stellar deal. Campers taking a piecemeal approach to the culinary arts could easily cobble together an equally capable propane kitchen for thousands less.

Of course, they’ll be missing out on the countertop made from recycled materials and novel storage solution made possible by the system’s clever design. Though owners really only benefit from how easy it is to store and setup. Since Rivian’s kitchen lives inside the gear tunnel, that space is now wholly devoted to it. A portable stove, water basin, and collapsible table would likely take up substantially less real estate in the bed and could leave the tunnel open for tenting equipment or luggage.

Building a woodland kitchen with similar capabilities could be done for a few hundred bucks, making the $5,000 fee seem borderline ludicrous. But there’s not really anything else like this on the market right now and opting for a popup trailer with a kitchenette of its own would likely take you into five figures. It’s also worth remembering that the First Edition R1T retails for $75,000 and helps define the kind of customers Rivian had in mind when it considered the retractable camp kitchen. They might be the exact kind of person to ready to spend five grand on a micro range/sink before dumping even more money on the 30-piece prep and cookware set from Snow Peak that Rivian is selling separately.

Browsing the website, which will be open to the public on November 23rd, we also learned that the larger 400+ battery pack will come with a $10,000 surcharge and that Rivian plans on offering a fairly diverse array of interior color and wheel options (same for the R1S SUV). Some of those items don’t appear as if they’ll be available on the first batch of EVs, however. The battery at least seems like it won’t be available until the Adventure and Explorer trims drop in January 2022.

[Images: Rivian]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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3 of 35 comments
  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Nov 17, 2020

    You're kidding, right? Jalopnik makes MSNBC look like the Proud Boys....

  • Russycle Russycle on Nov 19, 2020

    I think it's great. Will I buy one? No. But if you have money to burn and like showing off, why not? It's a clever concept. If you don't have money to burn, you're probably not buying a Rivian.

  • JOHN One is for sale on an ebay car donation site.https://www.ebay.com/itm/305579991767?itmmeta=01HYHVJ49MCC6HEWQY5AX9MX85&hash=item4725fca2d7:g:k9cAAOSw5V5mThFw
  • Scott So they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars and they are promising us a “Cheaper EV”? I wonder how that will look and feel? They killed the Fiesta because they claimed that they couldn’t make a profit on them and when I bought the first one in late 2010 they couldn’t deliver the accessories I wanted for it! Then I bought a 2016 Fiesta ST and again couldn’t get the accessories for it I wanted. They claimed that the components were going to be available, eventually. So they lost on that one as well! I don’t care about what they say anymore. I’ve moved on to another brand.
  • Michael S6 CX 70 or 90 will not be on my buying list. Drove a rental base CX 90 and it was noisy and the engine noise was not pleasant. Ride was rough for a family SUV. Mazda has to understand that what is good for Miata isn't what we expect in semi luxury SUV. My wife's 2012 Buick Enclave has much better Ride and noise level albeit at worse gas millage. Had difficulty pairing my phone with Apple CarPlay
  • Michael S6 What is the metric conversion between one million barrels and the number of votes he expects to buy.
  • NJRide This could give Infiniti dealers an extra product maybe make it a sub brand