Only 1 Pickup Truck Has a Gear Tunnel — and It Can Fit a Human
Electric powertrains in EV pickup trucks take up less space than the powertrains in gas-powered ones. With this additional space, electric trucks can be configured in unique ways, especially for cargo areas. No other truck exemplifies this more than the Rivian R1T. The R1T is the only pickup truck that has a gear tunnel — and it’s large enough to fit a human.
What is the gear tunnel in the Rivian R1T?
The gear tunnel in the Rivian R1T is a unique storage compartment that’s located under the rear seat. You can access the gear tunnel via drop-down panels between the rear doors and wheels on either side of the EV truck. Press the button on the drop-down panels to open them. You can also open them with the R1T’s infotainment system.
Additionally, the gear tunnel can also be accessed from inside the cab via a small rear-seat pass-through. However, this pass-though is only large enough for your arm to slide through it.
The gear tunnel has a cargo capacity of 11 cu-ft. Rivian designed the gear tunnel to store items that might not fit in other places — or just an additional storage space to complement the other cargo areas, including the truck bed and the frunk (front storage area).
What items can you store in the Rivian R1T’s gear tunnel?
As mentioned earlier, the gear tunnel in the Rivian R1T is large enough to fit a human. You can find amusing videos on YouTube of people crawling into the gear tunnel and scampering out the other end. For obvious safety reasons, though, we recommend that you don’t ride in the gear tunnel.
However, there are a wide variety of items that you can store in the R1T’s gear tunnel. As detailed by MotorTrend, this includes skis, snowboards, golf bags, fishing poles, umbrellas, and collapsed strollers. Also, during its Trans-America Trail (TAT) road trip with the R1T, the MotorTrend crew “fit a couple of carry-on sized suitcases, a couple of duffle bags, a backpack, and a briefcase in the tunnel all at the same time.”
Along with unique storage capabilities, the gear tunnel features a 12-volt outlet at one end and a 110-volt outlet at the other end for powering accessories. Also, the drop-down panels can be used for seats, with a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds. Plus, the drop-down panels are handy to step on to load gear onto the roof.
Outfit the R1T’s gear tunnel with the camp kitchen
Another unique aspect of the gear tunnel is the ability to outfit it with the camp kitchen. The camp kitchen, which costs $5,000, slides out of the gear tunnel and conveniently stores inside of it when not in use.
Features of the camp kitchen include a two-burner induction cooktop, a collapsible sink with a spray faucet, a four-gallon water tank, plates, utensils, drawers, insulated mugs, a towel bar, and a bag holder for waste and recyclables.
Additionally, the R1T offers a gear tunnel “shuttle.” The shuttle is essentially a tray/table that slides out of the passenger side opening of the gear tunnel. Also, the camp kitchen can act as a shuttle by removing its “kitchen” elements.
This article was updated on 7/22/2022.