2nd Meetup: Zombies, Road Trips and Accessories

The (currently still small, but hopefully growing) group of Santa Barbara Rivian club (SBRC) members met at Handlebar Coffee Roasters on De La Vina Street on Saturday for its second ‘coffee and cars’ meetup. As usual, the coffeeshop was full of Santa Barbarans enjoying the kickoff of the weekend with a chai latte or one of the delicious pastries, and we were lucky to find a lovely spot for our gathering.

Here is a high-level summary of the topics we discussed:

  • Rivian Halloween Mode: We enjoyed all the spooky features that Rivian deployed, especially the headlights,  and the driver display showing pedestrians as zombies & witches, with bats flying overhead.
  • Car Accessories: While we love our Rivians, there is definitely a need for various accessories to make our lives as adventurers better.
    • Front license plate mount: Since we all preferred installing our front license plates without drilling screws into the bumper, we found great alternatives: the SnapPlate Gen 2 by Everyamp and adhesive license plates (like this or this)
    • iPhone Mount: Since we all experienced inaccurate directions provided by Rivian’s own navigation system, we using iPhone navigations apps as alternate solutions. In order to properly use/see these alternate apps while driving, I installed a iPhone mount next to the center display. Everamp – the company that offers the Rivian license plate mount, offers a custom dash anchor and Magsafe-compatible mount specifically made for Rivians.
  • Dirt road driving: Many of us were excited to test the Rivian SUV in its natural habitat and go on dirt road drives to o explore the backroads and scenic routes.. While club members Dan and Joan went on a beautiful and scenic drive on Figueroa Mountain Road in Los Padres National Forest, Eric enjoyed his ride on East and West Camino Cielo. If you have other tips where to go on a scenic dirt-road drive, let us know.
  • Long-distance road trips: All Rivian models are known and praised The R1T is a amazing and comfortable road tripping vehicle. We agree.
    • During our coffee chat, club members Dan and Joan shared all the details of their wonderful road trip from Santa Barbara to Lake Tahoe. The explored the entire area in the Lake Tahoe basin, and also went on higher-altitude (snowy) drives such as the Genoa Peak Road (~9,100 feet). The total mileage of their trip was 1,500 – and they loved every minute of it.
    • I shared that we are planning a road trip from SB to Mono Lake in December. We wanted to visit California’s must-see destinations nestled amidst the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains for a long time, and exploring its beauty with our emission-free adventure vehicle powered by Rivian seem like the perfect experience. Joan highly recommended to stop by the Crawley Lake columns – and we will certainly do that, and also share picture with the group when we are back.
  • Related – Recommended apps for road trips: there are many useful apps out there, but the following two were discussed as especially helpful:
    • A better route planner planner:  The app that Rivian acquired in June this year is one of best route planners out there. Since its subscription is very affordable ($5 per month) and includes detailed information about public EV charging stations (including the Rivian Adventure Network), it is one of the preferred apps by many Rivian owners.
    • On X Offroad : This powerful off-roading app was recommended by Joan and Dan – they loved using it during their trip to Lake Tahoe. It allows drivers to discover nearby dirt / off-roads and trails, plan and build routes, save maps for offline use, track trips, and get home safely.

Hope this summary is helpful for those club members who were not able to attend. See you next time!

Here are a few snapshots from our gathering, including photos that the SBRC members shared.