Rivian Water-Wading Tips: How to Cross Shallow Bodies of Water Safely in Your R1T

The Rivian R1T boasts impressive off-road capabilities, including the ability to navigate shallow bodies of water that are up to 39 inches (1 meter) deep at speeds of up to 5 mph (8 km/h). But while the R1T is capable of driving across water, there are still a number of things you have to keep in mind to ensure that your water-wading adventures in your Rivian don’t end in headaches. 

Here are 5 key tips to remember when driving over bodies of water with your Rivian R1T:

Assess the Terrain Before Crossing

Before entering any body of water, take a moment to assess the conditions:

  • Water Depth: Ensure the water depth is within the R1T's safe fording depth of 39 inches (1 meter). If the water is deeper than 39 inches, it may be best to look for alternative routes.
  • Water Flow: Look for slow-moving or still water. While the R1T is a heavy vehicle, strong currents or rapids can destabilize it and pose safety risks.
  • Obstacles: Check for potential hazards like debris, road damage, or submerged objects that could snag or damage the R1T’s underside.

Set the Right Settings

Before traversing the body of water, make sure you engage the proper settings in your R1T. First off, make sure all doors and storage areas are closed securely. Then, go to “Drive Modes” > “All Terrain” (Under “Off-Road” on Quad-Motor vehicles) > then choose “Highest” under “Ride Height.” 

Try to distribute your gear evenly in your Rivian R1T’s storage areas to optimize traction as well. Also, do take note that driving across bodies of water could result in items on the R1T’s bed getting wet. 

Slow and Steady Wins the Race (Across the Water)

Enter the body of water slowly and maintain a deliberate, steady speed. Speeding can potentially harm your R1T or pose a danger to others nearby, so keep your speed only up to Rivian’s recommended 5 mph (8 km/h). Do not let water submerge the hood and avoid driving at a speed that would cause water to splash over the hood. Never shift the R1T into Park while in the middle of a body of water.

Keep Moving Forward (When Possible)

If possible, avoid stopping while driving the R1T through water. In conventional vehicles, stopping in flooded areas can allow water to enter sensitive electrical and mechanical components. While the R1T is a robust electric truck, it is still best to exercise caution. If the water depth becomes too much, it's best to turn back and choose an alternative route.

Perform a Post-Water Crossing Check

After crossing any body of water, thoroughly inspect your R1T. Drive a short distance away from the water and test your brakes to ensure that they work normally. Press and hold your R1T’s horn for two seconds to clear any water. Rivian advises that drivers repeat this process four times. If the horn does not work normally on the fifth press, allow time for the horn to dry out. 

Before you go: 

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