Adventure: Tacoma Build

The Tacoma build is coming along nicely. Almost done actually. I know, I know, I’m never done, but I’m closer than you think. I’m not a total truck nut. Well, I am but it’s all about USING the truck that I’m a nut about. I’m not a guy that builds and builds and builds and then goes out rock crawling. Nothing wrong with that set, but I built the truck to USE the truck to get from A to B. And I travel alone. I’m not a caravan guy, or a club guy. Again, NOTHING wrong with these groups, but I grew up solo, and in the silence, so that is what I’m after. Most of the time that means driving long stretches of pavement followed by long stretches of dirt followed by stretches of bad dirt and finalized by long stretches on foot or on bike. It’s all about where the truck allows me to access.

Having said that, this rig will eventually go away. And depending on life events it might go sooner as opposed to later. My wife and I will be van people at some point, but don’t for ONE second thing we will be van life people. No, no, and no. We will be van people you will never see or hear unless you read this site.

This is not my first Toyota pickup. I had a 1992 version that ran for 270,000 miles before we sold it. And the list of repairs included ONE taillight bulb. That’s it. This new version of the Toyota is better in some ways and worse in others. I’ll do a review at some point, but you know me, my review will pale in comparison to the real gear heads out there but I still think my view is valid.

Not a huge list here, but strategic.

Icon Stage 6 suspension.(Drives like new vehicle both on and off road.)
Pelfrybuilt front and rear bumpers, skids, sliders
ARE shell
Baja Designs LED light bar and fog lights.

6 Comments on “Adventure: Tacoma Build”

  1. This is exactly the Post I’d hope you’d write, Dan. I’m looking at a Tacoma for utilitarian reasons similar to yours. I’d probably look at a Tundra if I didn’t have to park the thing in Denver.

    What exactly does the suspension modification do for you? Does it make matters better off road at the expense of on-road? I’m not looking for a rolling soda, just a decent riding vehicle that won’t beat me to death on shitty pavement.

    1. Michael,
      The suspension, in a nutshell, gives you an entirely different feeling vehicle, both on and off, and also a FAR more capable vehicle. I have adjusters meaning I can set the firmness level by moving a dial. So most of the time I’m in about a “5” but when I go off road I ramp them up. It is NIGHT AND DAY beyond the stock TRD Off Road suspension. You can’t even compare. The truck no longer floats off road and can handle things that frankly I’m a bit nervous to even drive. Washboard, the scourge of the dirt kingdom, is now totally doable, and at 30mph, without it feeling and sounding like the dash is going to come apart. I even love how the truck rides on road, even at level “10.” When you hit the gas the back of the truck doesn’t sag at all and the truck just rockets off the line.

  2. Goldenhour 1st shot is great. You’re still a pro, I can smell it. Big smile from me. Great post. I’m a caravanman because I have a caravanwoman. I would be a truckman if I had so travel solo. I think tent on top. Tnx.

  3. What is the deal with the LED light strips?

    These things strike me as a method for blinding oneself. Sure, they make the path in front bright, but you won’t be able to see crap anywhere else. If it’s dark and you need to see, turn the lights OFF and wait.

    What am I missing? Bellingham is stuffed with these things! HUGE bars on top of the cab, etc.

    1. AM,
      Well, if you spend lots and lots of time on backroads these LED’s are worth their weight. When you turn these on, and the fog lights, you get an angle of coverage that is so far beyond your high beams that it’s hard to fathom until you see it. This comes in handy for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the most important is that you can see the wildlife and take appropriate evasive action. My driver’s door already had a full length dent from a stray whitetail, and last week, were it not for these lights, I would have drilled an antelope at about 60mph. Even with the grill protection it would have mangled the front of the my truck. The other use is to really illuminate the track. Even 40mph at night on a dirt track or road and you will out drive your headlights pretty quickly. So, the LED beam is like the surface of the sun. You can see all the nitty gritty.

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