Pass-through really necessary?

grizzlyj

Tea pot tester
I would love to travel through Asia and Africa. The reason I asked the question is that it seems like towing a caravan gives you much more living space for your $$ than an integrated overland camper, as we're calling them now. Plus I don't have $400K+ for one of those, and I don't want a camper van. That leaves a caravan like a Bruder EXP-6 or nice tent trailer like a Patriot X3. I'm fine with towing and the limitations that come with it. So for me, the main downside of a caravan is the lack of a pass-through.
Within the EU a campervan can mostly park anywhere for a few days undisturbed same as any other vehicle. You living inside it makes no difference. If you tried parking anywhere and then living in a caravan that officially is camping and is not allowed as widely by a large margin. Not sure why.
French Aires are specifically for campervans to stay on for longer, but "camping" with chairs, awning, bbq is not allowed outside that campervan, caravans not allowed (not always totally enforced though). You, your vehicle, one parking space that's it.
I wonder how many other countries behave like that?
I think I would rather take a sub 10 ton camper down a narrow lane than a long trailer, neither with a crawl thru? :)
 

jk6661

Observer
Within the EU a campervan can mostly park anywhere for a few days undisturbed same as any other vehicle. You living inside it makes no difference. If you tried parking anywhere and then living in a caravan that officially is camping and is not allowed as widely by a large margin. Not sure why.
French Aires are specifically for campervans to stay on for longer, but "camping" with chairs, awning, bbq is not allowed outside that campervan, caravans not allowed (not always totally enforced though). You, your vehicle, one parking space that's it.
I wonder how many other countries behave like that?
I think I would rather take a sub 10 ton camper down a narrow lane than a long trailer, neither with a crawl thru? :)
Interesting. I hadn't thought of that. Maybe that's the reason (or a reason) you don't hear about many people on multiyear overlanding trips with caravans. They only seem to be popular in Australia and South Africa.
 

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AbleGuy

Too Much Fun Club, founder
Seems to be two trains of thoughts here, one is concerning pass thru’s as a convenience, the second is having them for personal security.

Our preference has always been more leaning most heavily towards the convenience factor. That’s simply a personal preference and doesn’t seem to really be something that should engender argumentative counters.

Our last camper purchase option involved this. After many years of using campers on the back of pickups, some with “boot” crawl thru’s, others not, about 8 years ago we’d switched over to a small B+ van for months long trips and got used to the convenience of the walk thru. We kept the 4wd truck with a shell (and a tent that attaches to the rear of the shell) for shorter trips in more rugged terrain.

When we got rid of that B+, the choice was between an 8’ pop up on the back of our 3/4 ton truck, or something else with that walk thru. I advocated for the pop up option, but the wife had gotten used to the B+ floor plan and wanted another walk thru type of rig. So, the simple importance of maintaining our @35 years of a very happy relationship made me start looking for some kind of a viable walk thru rig....and once I discovered these great Tiger 4wd unibody campers, I was sold on that.
 

mobydick 11

Active member
Seems to be two trains of thoughts here, one is concerning pass thru’s as a convenience, the second is having them for personal security.

Our preference has always been more leaning most heavily towards the convenience factor. That’s simply a personal preference and doesn’t seem to really be something that should engender argumentative counters.

Our last camper purchase option involved this. After many years of using campers on the back of pickups, some with “boot” crawl thru’s, others not, about 8 years ago we’d switched over to a small B+ van for months long trips and got used to the convenience of the walk thru. We kept the 4wd truck with a shell (and a tent that attaches to the rear of the shell) for shorter trips in more rugged terrain.

When we got rid of that B+, the choice was between an 8’ pop up on the back of our 3/4 ton truck, or something else with that walk thru. I advocated for the pop up option, but the wife had gotten used to the B+ floor plan and wanted another walk thru type of rig. So, the simple importance of maintaining our @35 years of a very happy relationship made me start looking for some kind of a viable walk thru rig....and once I discovered these great Tiger 4wd unibody campers, I was sold on that.
You know what they say . Happy wife, happy life . I find it best to have one rig for when the wife comes along and one rig for me .
 

waveslider

Outdoorsman
There is a third train of thought which is even if the passthru is more of a “crawl-thru” it creates more open space, additional window square footage and generally a more open environment.

I don’t need it for security, and it’s not particularly convenient (my wife can get through it relatively easily) but we DEFINITELY appreciate the additional “space” it provides.

So there’s that.
 

gregmchugh

Observer
There is a third train of thought which is even if the passthru is more of a “crawl-thru” it creates more open space, additional window square footage and generally a more open environment.

I don’t need it for security, and it’s not particularly convenient (my wife can get through it relatively easily) but we DEFINITELY appreciate the additional “space” it provides.

So there’s that.
Yes, especially with the large pass through on the GXV Kenworth truck it really makes the cabin feel more open when you are sitting in the front with a good view out the cab...
 

AbleGuy

Too Much Fun Club, founder
Yes, especially with the large pass through on the GXV Kenworth truck it really makes the cabin feel more open when you are sitting in the front with a good view out the cab...
Right! And in that regard and speaking of security issues...When we’re camped and inside, whether boondockimg, at a Walmart or in a campground, I real like to be able to see out through the front and back, and left and right sides of our rig. That crawl/walk through feature adds nicely to that 360° visibility.
 

brian94ht

Chateau spotter
There is another reason to have a pass through on a larger truck. On our GXV Kenworth Patagonia the pass through is large enough to provide a good view out through the cab and our bench seat next to the pass through has seat belts. Nice spot to carry two more passengers and they have a good view and can interact with the two people in the cab. We do not have a door on our pass through but we do have a curtain, a foam plug to isolate the cab from the cabin, and a security plate we can install when needed.

View attachment 587598
Oh you mean a "view through" :)

Where is the foam plug and security plate stored?
 

waveslider

Outdoorsman
We ended up leaving the foam plug at home 99% of the time unless we know we are going to be in extreme temps. I made a "curtain" using magnets in the hemline of some light-blocking drapery fabric that stores VERY small and performs almost as well as the foam plug. Not the insulating quality but definitely better than nothing. It deploys in about 20 seconds and will help keep things warm/cool as needed or if privacy is required
 

gregmchugh

Observer
We ended up leaving the foam plug at home 99% of the time unless we know we are going to be in extreme temps. I made a "curtain" using magnets in the hemline of some light-blocking drapery fabric that stores VERY small and performs almost as well as the foam plug. Not the insulating quality but definitely better than nothing. It deploys in about 20 seconds and will help keep things warm/cool as needed or if privacy is required
We have one of these blinds in the pass through that works fine when the temps are not extreme, Lowes has a machine that trims them to the correct width in the store (pretty neat machine, they put the blind still in the box into the machine and input the desired width and it cuts the blind while in the box)...

 

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As far as convenience: my now deceased wife, and my daughters like being able to crawl through the opening to go to the bathroom while driving.
As far as security: We were camped at Third Bridge campground in Moremi Reserve in Botswana in 1993, in a Landcruiser with roof tent. I had diarrhea x 3. Lions were roaring in the night, the campground had no fence. I survived. The next am there was a pride of lions 1-2 km from the campground looking “cute”.
At that point I determined that a toilet in the camper would have been a good thing.
 
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