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Rivian wants to add even more utility with secret truck bed compartments

If your truck bed isn’t cutting it with limited storage and functionality, Rivian‘s new patent could change that. The EV maker’s latest patent application describes a “movable panel” on the truck bed, providing secret storage compartments and utility surfaces for work or play.

After Rivian delisted the Camp Kitchen option for its R1T truck from its online gear shop, many were disappointed with the decision. The Camp Kitchen, once a $5,000 add-on for the Rivian R1T truck, was a complete pull-out kitchen with two induction cooktops, a water tank, plenty of storage, and more, but it is no longer available.

CEO RJ Scaringe recently joined Marques Brownlee on the MKBHD podcast, saying the Camp Kitchen idea was more popular than they expected. However, Scaringe said Rivian is redesigning it for something that doesn’t consume the entire R1T “gear tunnel.”

Rivian has found that most people use the gear tunnel for bigger items such as duffle bags or a snowboard. But, as Brownlee explains, if you have a smaller object, it often slides around.

In a patent application published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on April 6, 2023 (filed on October 5, 2021), Rivian describes a “movable panel for a vehicle exterior” with several different storage bins and other utility surfaces.

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Rivian movable panel for truck bed application (Source: USPTO)

Rivian patents truck bed storage and utility system

The patent application filed by Rivian shows a truck bed with foldable sides. The panel folds down, providing an extra utility table for camping, tailgating, work, and more.

In addition, the application shows several different designs with various storage compartments. One of the images shows panels at various heights to sit (like at a tailgating event or work) or to use as a table at a more convenient height.

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Rivian pull-out kitchen table for truck bed application (Source: USPTO)

Rivian even shows a slide-out table in one of the designs, complete with two seats and a charging port to take your next camping/tailgating outing to the next level.

If the truck bed storage system goes into production, it’s unclear whether it will be offered on the R1T or Rivian’s upcoming R2 platform.

Electrek’s Take

Is this part of the redesigned Camp Kitchen that Scaringe hinted at on the podcast? It’s not likely.

For one, the patent was initially filed in 2021, and Rivian has evolved and learned a ton about the industry and its products since then.

That being said, it could offer insights into future products or add-on features Rivian will use for the Camp Kitchen replacement that will be “revealed shortly.”

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