If you plan to do any serious off-road adventuring, you will inevitably get flat tires. That’s why no vehicle with any truly adventurous aspiration carries a meager mini-spare tire, much less a can of Fix a Flat. But the team responsible for engineering the all-electric 2022 Rivian R1T pickup truck went several steps above and beyond in making sure flat tires can be swiftly and safely repaired, even in rough terrain—that is, for punctures too serious to simply be topped up periodically using the onboard air compressor.
Tire in the Trunk
The 2022 Rivian R1T’s full-size spare tire and all tire-changing equipment reside beneath the floor of the pickup box, accessible via the locking trunklid door. This location necessitates emptying the bed to access it, but it keeps the tools and spare clean and stowed safely where jagged rocks and other potential trail obstacles can’t harm anything. It also ensures they remain accessible should a flat occur where there’s insufficient rear ground clearance to lower an underslung spare.
After you’ve pulled the spare and tools from the trunk, before changing a tire on the Rivian R1T, first set the suspension to its max height, then activate Tire-Change mode from the Vehicle menu within the main Settings menu (gear emblem). This mode instructs the cross-linked hydraulic suspension from attempting any of its vehicle-leveling machinations during the jacking and tire-change procedures.
Swiss Army Tool Carrier
There’s a round plastic piece secured to the underside of the upside-down spare. In addition to retaining the scissors jack, tire iron, jack handle, jacking-point puck, and jack-base extension, this piece does a few other tricks. It features hexagonal ribbing that makes it strong enough to serve as a jacking base on dirt or sand. Rivian told us it can even support an off-roading high-lift jack. The piece also boasts two cutouts that function as grab handles, allowing you to use it as a shovel to scrape away loose sand or dirt where the jack will go.
Jacking the Rivian R1T
The primary jacking points under each corner of the 2022 Rivian R1T are marked with a hole into which you insert a jacking puck that securely locates the top of the jack and shortens the distance it must extend by about 2 inches. A jack base serves to elevate the bottom of the jack by a similar amount. Every little bit helps when you’re cranking a scissors jack to lift a 3-4-ton vehicle.
Just remember to break the lugs loose before you get the tire off the ground. (Sadly, there’s nothing innovative in the Rivian’s tire iron department, though perhaps the onboard air-compressor could power an air wrench?)