Continued from 6 Days on Hema Map Patrol, Part 1.
Our inability to cross the Continental Divide via Union Pass outside of Pinedale, WY had us a little disappointed. However, after three hard days on the trail, we were happy for a nice night in a soft bed.
As first reported by our partner Living Overland, Expedition Overland is finalizing plans for a trip to South America.
A few months ago I saw a Facebook demo of a really cool smartphone mirroring system from Beat-Sonic, on a late-model Tundra.
It took about 20 minutes of research to realize this was a mod that MUST be installed in our TCT Explorer Tundra, so I sent in an order.
The Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Team spent some of our precious holiday time compiling our Editors Choice list for 2016. From amazing overland adventures to the latest best mods for your Toyota Cruiser, Truck, or SUV. Here are our top 7:
Late Summer, 2016. 0600 MDT. Williams Family + Hema Map Patrol Expedition. Day 0.
With over 22 years of military experience, I tend to ... over think things. Add a project that's been 2+ years in the making to my amazing (and very understanding) family and we have the beginning of one amazing adventure.
We've come up with a new (slightly experimental) way for you to find the coolest Toyota Cruisers & Trucks content! Introducing the TCT Article Map...
We're excited to announce that our native app has been updated to fix a few performance issue, AND it's now available on Android!
Last week I managed to capture a couple of test flights with our new drone. All the video was edited & processed on the iPad. Always a good day in the Tundra :)
Ok, so this is more of a 32,000 and some change update, but 30K makes a better title :) Angie & I have been publishing Toyota Cruisers & Trucks, along with the previous incarnations of the magazine, for nearly 10 years now. In that time, I have known two basic truths. First, I never know exactly where the next adventure will take us. Secondly, our 2015 CrewMax Tundra has all the capability our family needs but also includes a level of utility that no other vehicle can come close to matching.
Ive talked about the value of a true pickup truck in previous articles, so I wont belabor the point. Much.
This truck is...amazing.
At 30,000+ miles we have literally done everything with this truck. The Toyota marketing term build anything is not lost on our beloved Tundra. Weve built, pulled, hauled, wheeled, and explored quite a bit in the first 18 months of ownership. Yet as 2016 started I wondered....what else can she do?
Modifications in the past six months cant match the breadth of our initial build up (See our Fall 2015 issue for our previous build article), but the little tweaks weve added have helped round out the truck in terms of utility and convenience.
Earlier this year I did some major electrical work on the truck. While I didnt install a second battery, Ive been able to make use of our ArkPak Battery system via a custom mount in the bed of the truck. This runs the bed mounted fridge perfectly and provides easy access to 12v power.
In the cab, I installed the Yaesue FTM-400DR ham radio, mostly for APRS and on-trail comms. I also added a Uniden 40CH CB radio so I can chat with...others. The CB uses a passenger side mounted 2 Firestik while I added a 1/4 wave Diamond Antenna on the drivers side for the ham.
A 1200 Pure Sine inverter is hard-wired to the battery and mounted under the drivers seat. I added a custom 12V/USB/DC readout box as well. This setup makes it easy to monitor the trucks battery and provides in-cab access to full-time power.
Since I've become increasingly involved with a certain Australian mapping company (Hema Maps is also an advertiser in our magazine), I added a Samsung tablet for regular mapping apps, as well as a Ram iPhone mount to the windshield. The suction cups on these mounts have held up perfectly on all but the hottest of days. A Karma Go WiFi puck rounds out the front-dash to provide nearly full-time internet access to any device within range. Finally, the crew over at Ellis Precision fabbed up a custom TCT shifter for the truck. The billet aluminum knob is a huge upgrade over stock.
On the outside of the truck, we ditched the nice-but-boring stock headlights & tail lights in favor of a nice setup from Anzo USA. The LED tail lights are nice & bright, with a black style that give the truck a more aggressive appearance. In the front, we opted for a similar set of black projector U-Bar headlights. Theyre DRL compatible and look great on the TCT Explorer!
In June 2016, I attended Bill Burkes Advanced 4WD training course in the mountains west of Denver, Colorado. During the two day event, we took the Tundra (the largest vehicle in attendance by a long shot) through difficult, narrow, and winding trails. It performed beautifully with no body damage to report. That trip really showed me what the Tundra + Toytec BOSS Suspension is truly capable of.
That trip was also the maiden voyage of the new TCT Minnie, a 24 Winnebago travel trailer thats our new condo on wheels. While a departure from our old Manley ORV trailer tent setup, with two young children in tow, the Minnie has allowed us to explore Colorado more than ever. The big 5.7L V-8 provides plenty of power to pull the 6,000+lb trailer, but a supercharger would be very beneficial <grin>.
At FJ Summit X last month, the TCT Explorer tackled Mineral Creek, Engineer Pass, California & Corkscrew Gulches, and Imogene Pass. The big red truck took everything we could throw at it and came out smiling. Angie lead an amazing group of women over the Mineral Creek -> Cali/Corkscrew trail run and everyone had an amazing time!
While I know 4Runners, Land Cruisers, FJs, and Tacos are generally the favorite for Toyota Adventure & exploration, Ive recently noticed a trend toward full-size vehicles. Unless youre into hard-core rock crawling, the power, room, and utility of the 2.5 Gen Tundra cannot be overstated. It continues to be the perfect all-around truck for our family, and I look forward to many more years in the TCT Explorer Tundra!
To get your copy of the
Summer 2016 Issue: