Overlanding has become extremely popular. The idea is to build a vehicle of varying degrees of complexity to take with you on a journey that usually involves moderate off-roading.
Upon arrival at a destination, overlanders usually set out using tents integrated into their vehicles. Choosing an electric car for overlanding offers the best of everything. One of the advantages is that the battery can be used to power your campsite.
A huge onboard battery is one of the biggest perks of driving an electric vehicle overland. Many of the best overlanding EVs will typically be rough-and-tumble electric pickup trucks.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of EV overlanding?
The biggest advantage of using an EV as your overlanding rig is that big ol’ battery is used to power your gear. Overlanding is all about setting up an awesome camping site from your car, and powering these things with a conventional vehicle can be cumbersome.
But, with an EV capable of redirecting the juice from your battery, you’re good to go. Storage space is also a huge plus for EVs, especially large EV pickup trucks like the amazing Rivian R1T.
In terms of drawbacks, the only major hurdle to clear is the potential lack of charging stations in the wild. This is obviously a major annoyance and is something that will be addressed by better charging infrastructure as well as improved battery life. Being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery is the last thing you want while camping.
1. Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning has one of the best onboard power solutions available in the auto industry. If you really need to power your entire camping site and also need a variety of outlets for the job, look no further than the Ford F-150 Lightning.
Camping with electricity should be considered cheating. Ford’s massive EV can deliver up to 9.6kW of power, which allows you to power so many things it’ll feel like you’re camping out in your living room.
The craziest part is that the Lightning can also be configured with a 240V outlet, which isn’t exactly convenient for your camping site. It’s staggering to think of all the possibilities the Ford F-150 Lightning’s onboard power can open up for your camping site. Not only that, this heavy duty truck can haul up to 10,000 pounds of whatever you want to take with you when overlanding.
If you’re worried about running out of juice in the middle of your adventure, the Lightning has you covered with 320 miles of range. Ford says the car can be configured to accelerate from 0-60 MPH in less than four seconds, which is pretty clumsy when overlanding, but nice nonetheless.
2. Rivian R1T
The Rivian R1T needs no introduction. This extremely capable EV pickup truck is one of the most coveted electric vehicles you can buy at the moment, and its off-road capability is already renowned.
Rivian’s insanely complex electric pickup truck features four electric motors, allowing the massive EV to perform off-road like no other vehicle. Plus, the R1T’s AWD system allows the truck to tackle tough terrains with ease, meaning you’ll have no problem taking this massive overlander with you wherever adventure takes you.
Rivian designed the R1T with practicality in mind, which means that storage is one of the R1T’s major strong points. It features a clever storage area called the Gear Tunnel, which is essentially a giant hole that the truck passes through from side to side. This storage area is great for scavenged gear that you don’t want stowed in the interior of your truck.
The Rivian is also available with a full-on kitchen, which exits the aforementioned gear tunnel. This kitchen uses batteries as a power source for the heating elements, and also has a small sink.
Best of all, when you’re done using it, all you have to do is slide it back into the gear tunnel. However, this time there’s some sad news on the subject of nifty little kitchens; According to Rivian’s Gear Shop, Camp Kitchen is no longer available.
Sad news, indeed. Regardless, if they make Camp Kitchen even better, the wait will be worth it.
3. Rivian R1S
The Rivian R1S is the SUV sibling of the R1T. They both look amazing, but the R1S’s boxy, close-up look is even prettier than the R1T’s. However, do not mistake this Rivian for a weak family ruler.
Just because it has an SUV form factor doesn’t mean it isn’t ready for a wild adventure. The R1S is also equipped with incredible off-road capabilities. A quick look at the specifications will make your jaw drop, and if you’re into off-roading vehicles, you’ll want an R1S immediately. The R1S can wade in over three feet of water, guaranteeing that you’ll have almost zero problems driving through even the roughest of places.