Pass-through really necessary?


I wasn't sure where to post this, so it's fine if the moderators want to move it.

Anyway, how important is a pass-through from the camper to the cab? I've heard people say they like it for safety reasons because it lets them drive away quickly without getting out of the vehicle. However, when would a situation like that actually happen? It seems to me that if you're camped in a dodgy area and someone appears outside your vehicle with a gun, you aren't going anywhere until you give them what they want, pass-through or not. I suppose a bear or other apex predator could theoretically be waiting outside your teardrop, slide-in camper, etc., waiting to pounce on you in the 30 seconds it takes to walk to the cab. However, having a pass-through limits the types of vehicles you can use, and many of them are more expensive than other options. Has anyone ever had an experience where their pass-though saved them from certain death or something?


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are you traveling with a companion? I know for my parents a passthrough is required so my mom can crawl in the back and take a nap.. but her health is not the greatest and its hard for her to travel now days.

a couple years ago I had some yokels pull into our dispersed camp in the middle of the night and light us up with their lightbar for a good 20mins.. if that situation turned south and I was in a truck w/passthrough I'd of lit that engine up and pulled outta there at WOT the moment one of their doors opened.


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I guess the answer is "it depends".

In our case, we are both armed, and our vehicle gives us the high ground.

There is a full-width two-foot wide platform behind the cab, that is going to serve as our front porch- we are going to put our front door on the front of our box. From the platform, we can enter the cab without having to give up the high ground by going to the ground.

Ultimately, our cab is not insulated and not nearly as secure as our box is going to be, so not only is the cab never going to be an extension of our living area, we are well aware that if we had a pass-through and someone broke into the cab, opening our pass-through door would put us face-to-face with the criminals, possibly admitting them into our box. I really don't want to engage in a gunfight in a tiny little passageway like that, especially inside my own vehicle.

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goin camping

Call me old and lazy but when it is raining, snowing or too hot or cold. That pass trough is a winner.

I also like the thought that if I wake up in a wildfire or other problem. I am in the drivers seat and gone in less than two blinks of the eye.

To each their own.


Well-known member
... Has anyone ever had an experience where their pass-though saved them from certain death or something?
Many vehicles don't have a "passthrough" because the cab and body are already integrated. Motorhomes, vans, station wagons, and SUVs come to mind.

A better question might be, "Has anyone in a motorhome, van, station wagon, SUV, vehicle-with-a-passthrough, or simply sleeping in the driver's seat of a pickup truck, driven away to avoid a potential problem?"


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Cab-body integration is one of the reasons vans are popular for living in. Beyond the safety reasons, pulling over to "fill in the blank" without getting out in the rain/snow/hail/cold/heat/... can be handy.

You'll have to decide how important cab-body integration is to you, just like you'll need to find how large/small/short/tall/light/heavy/cheap/expensive a camping/expedition/living vehicle you want.

If you can fit through a sliding rear window of a truck cab, you have options that some people don't have.

Some people insist on a restroom within a vehicle, some don't want to use the space for it.

What is important to you?


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Call me old and lazy but when it is raining, snowing or too hot or cold. That pass trough is a winner. ...
Is that similar to an all-you-can-eat drive-through? :cool:

... I also like the thought that if I wake up in a wildfire or other problem. I am in the drivers seat and gone in less than two blinks of the eye. ...
While driving my Jeep Wrangler, after dark, in to Custer State Park a number of years ago, I found the road, and surrounding land, full of bison. I decided to back up 100', and although I could have set up my tent on my roof-rack or on the ground, I decided I would sleep in my driver's seat, just in case. :cool: I went to sleep to the sound of the bison. I woke up at about 4:00 AM, noticed that the bison were no longer on the road, and carefully and slowly drove through.



We have a large heavy truck with a walk through. Lack of cab cabin access would be a total deal breaker for us. The convenience of the passenger being able to use the kitchen bathroom or bed while driving , the ability to pull over somewhere and get into the habitat without dealing with weather is essential in our eyes.
Talk about high ground or shoot outs in passage-ways has nothing to do with cab access.


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Any passenger in our vehicle will be wearing a 3-point inertia-reel seatbelt, so that stuff means nothing to us...


We simply enjoy our passthru as a means of extending the space, livability, and visibility/window square footage of our camper.

I doubt we would have gone with something that didn’t have the passthru if only for that reason

Not concerned about security and I suspect those arguments were made for global vehicles camping in foreign countries where defensible positions are nigh impossible.

I would hate to have a whole wall without any windows or access. That would suck.


We plan to do one and are going to great lengths to make it happen so that we do not need to climb down and back up for short stops, bad weather, or roadside rest stops.

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We don't have to climb down and back up- we can easily reach the driver's door from the platform behind the cab...

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Our front wall will have our front door, and our front porch right outside of it...
One thing to keep in mind is that having a deck in front of your box pushes the weight of your box backwards and makes your truck more rear heavy. I know you have a lot of capacity, but you may want to check your placement on all of your weights. I have planned a pass through for me, but I am standing on my water tanks right behind my cab.

Just food for thought.

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