HomeGuideRivian R1T 24,000-Mile Owner Review: Rivian Bought It Back at Full Price...

Rivian R1T 24,000-Mile Owner Review: Rivian Bought It Back at Full Price After 15 Months

The Rivian R1T has emerged as a groundbreaking player in the pickup truck segment. As the world shifts towards sustainable transportation, the R1T stands out with its promise of combining eco-friendliness with rugged utility.

Mitch Dumke’s experience with the Rivian R1T offers a unique and comprehensive insight into the real-world capabilities and challenges of this innovative electric truck. Over a span of 15 months, Dumke embarked on an extensive journey, covering an impressive 24,000 miles. His experience is particularly noteworthy as it transcends the usual urban or suburban settings, the R1T was put to the test in the demanding environment of a working ranch.

This journey not only highlights the potential of the R1T as a reliable work vehicle but also sheds light on the practical challenges and triumphs faced by early adopters of electric trucks in demanding conditions. Dumke’s story is a valuable narrative for anyone interested in the practicalities, performance, and reliability of electric vehicles in rigorous, real-world applications.

Rivian R1T Owner Review

Rivian R1T Owner Review

Mitch Dumke’s Rivian R1T was not just a vehicle, it was an integral part of his ranch operations. Over 15 months, the R1T proved its mettle in a setting where toughness and reliability are not just desired but essential.

The R1T’s versatility was a standout feature in its ranch duties. It effortlessly transitioned from hauling trailers loaded with equipment to transporting livestock necessities. Its spacious truck bed, equipped with innovative tie-down hooks and an extended platform, made it easy to secure and transport a range of items, from tools to feed. The truck’s Gear Tunnel, a unique storage compartment, provided secure and easily accessible space for essential ranch tools, demonstrating how thoughtful design can enhance utility in work environments.

Rivian R1T faced the rigors of off-road terrain, varying weather conditions, and the daily grind of heavy-duty tasks. The truck’s robust build and electric powertrain handled these challenges with surprising ease. Features like the bed-mounted electrical outlets were not just convenient but essential for ranch activities, such as powering equipment during cattle branding. The R1T’s all-wheel drive and advanced traction control systems proved invaluable in navigating the diverse and often challenging landscapes of the ranch.

Positive Aspects of the Rivian R1T

The Rivian R1T’s performance on Mitch Dumke’s ranch highlighted its exceptional versatility and utility, crucial for any work-oriented vehicle. The R1T seamlessly adapted to a variety of demanding tasks, proving that electric vehicles can be as robust and versatile as traditional gas-powered trucks. Its ability to handle heavy loads, tow equipment, and navigate rugged terrain demonstrated its suitability for challenging work environments.

Rivian R1T interior

Rivian R1T Features

The R1T is packed with innovative features that set it apart from other vehicles in its class, particularly in terms of functionality:

  • Gear Tunnel: This unique storage compartment, accessible from the outside of the truck, provided an additional, secure space for tools and equipment. This feature was especially useful on the ranch, where quick and easy access to tools is often necessary.
  • Bed-Mounted Electrical Outlets: The R1T’s bed came equipped with electrical outlets, a feature that proved invaluable for powering tools and equipment directly from the vehicle. This capability was not just convenient but also a game-changer in remote areas of the ranch where access to power sources is limited.
  • Advanced Infotainment System: The truck’s infotainment system was another highlight, offering intuitive navigation and control, which is essential for managing a vehicle’s functions effortlessly while focusing on demanding tasks.

Rivian Customer Service Experience

One of the most commendable aspects of Dumke’s experience with the R1T was Rivian’s exceptional customer service. Despite facing several challenges and reliability issues with the vehicle, Dumke consistently praised Rivian’s responsive and supportive customer service team. Whenever he encountered a problem, Rivian’s team was quick to provide assistance, whether it was arranging for towing, offering a loaner vehicle, or addressing maintenance issues promptly.

This level of customer support not only helped mitigate the inconvenience caused by the vehicle’s issues but also demonstrated Rivian’s commitment to their customers’ satisfaction and trust.

Rivian R1T Reliability Issues

While the Rivian R1T showcased impressive capabilities on Mitch Dumke’s ranch, it was not without its challenges. Dumke’s 15-month journey with the R1T, covering 24,000 miles, was punctuated by several reliability issues that raised concerns about the vehicle’s dependability in demanding work environments.

Mechanical and Design Problems

  1. Drive System Failures: One of the most significant issues Dumke faced was with the R1T’s drive system. On multiple occasions, the truck experienced breakdowns related to this system, which is crucial for the vehicle’s operation. These incidents often resulted in the truck being immobilized, necessitating towing services.
  2. Parking Brake Malfunctions: Another recurring problem was with the parking brake. The R1T displayed alerts indicating issues with the parking brake system, leading to situations where the truck could not be moved after being parked. This was not only inconvenient but also posed potential safety risks.
  3. Design Flaws: In addition to these major mechanical issues, Dumke noted several design flaws. These included problems with the powered tonneau cover, misalignments in the hood, and issues with window seals. While these might seem minor compared to the drive system and parking brake issues, they contributed to the overall sense of unreliability.

Eroding Trust in the Vehicle

The cumulative effect of these issues significantly impacted Dumke’s trust in the R1T. For a vehicle intended to be a reliable workhorse, consistent breakdowns and mechanical failures are major setbacks. The fact that the truck had to be towed multiple times underscored the severity of these reliability concerns. Dumke found himself in situations where he could not depend on the R1T for essential tasks, which is a critical consideration for anyone relying on their vehicle for work.

The impact on trust was further compounded by the nature of the breakdowns. The suddenness and unpredictability of these failures made it difficult for Dumke to feel confident in the vehicle’s performance, especially when using it for important ranch work or when transporting family.

Rivian R1T Buyback at Full Price

In response to the challenges and reliability issues faced by Mitch Dumke with his Rivian R1T, Rivian made a significant decision that underscores their commitment to customer satisfaction: they agreed to repurchase the vehicle at full price. This move, especially after Dumke had put 24,000 miles on the truck over 15 months, was a notable gesture in the automotive industry, particularly for a new model from a relatively young company.

Rivian’s decision to buy back the R1T is a clear indication of their dedication to customer satisfaction. This action goes beyond standard customer service – it’s a statement of responsibility and a willingness to stand by their product. By choosing to repurchase the vehicle, Rivian not only acknowledged the issues Dumke faced but also demonstrated a readiness to rectify the situation in a manner that respects the customer’s experience and investment.


Despite the challenges and reliability issues he faced with the Rivian R1T, Mitch Dumke’s overall impression of the vehicle remains largely positive. He acknowledges the R1T’s innovative features, its versatility in handling demanding ranch work, and the exceptional customer service provided by Rivian. Dumke appreciates the electric truck’s capabilities and the potential it represents in the evolving landscape of electric vehicles.

Dumke’s experiences with the R1T, both positive and challenging, lead him to a nuanced recommendation of the vehicle. He recognizes the R1T’s potential and its suitability for certain users, particularly those who can benefit from its unique features and electric powertrain. However, he also cautions potential buyers about the reliability issues he encountered, suggesting that they consider their specific needs and the maturity of electric vehicle technology.

Saurav Revankar
Saurav Revankar
Saurav is a distinguished expert in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, known for his in-depth knowledge and passion for sustainable technology. With a particular focus on Tesla, he provides insightful analysis and comprehensive reviews that make complex EV topics accessible and engaging.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular