Shane Williams

Shane Williams

Expedition Overland, our favorite group of explorers have released Season 2 of their series: Central America.

New episodes come out every Wednesday, for a 12 episode season. You can subscribe & see all of their work on their YouTube Channel. We've also included published episodes below.

Also new for this year: Exclusive video of the X Elles Race Team's 2015 Rallye Aiche des Gazelles bid.

Enjoy!

We actually make installing this bumper & winch look pretty easy :)

For this mod, we added the Rock Slide Engineering & COMEUP Winch to our 2015 Toyota Tundra CrewMax TCTExplorer.

This truck from Larry H. Miller Toyota of Colorado Springs is a beast, and the new hardware & recovery gear make sure it's ready to tackle anything.

A quick retrospective on the type of amazing Toyota coverage we've completed over the last 8+ years. It's a pleasure to serve our readers and supporters as the top free digital magazine for Toyota Land Cruisers, Trucks, FJ Cruisers, 4Runners, and Lexus SUVs. Here's to many more years of amazing content from TCT Magazine!

4Runner

You probably saw a few photos of this very nicely built 5th Gen 4Runner from our SEMA 2014 coverage last year. Toyota was kind enough to place this truck in their outdoor featured vehicles area and it was very well covered.

The Toyota & Land Cruiser community never ceases to amaze me. Last weekend, during the 5th Annual 100's in the Hills event in the Ouray/Telluride area, members of that event were instrumental in effecting the rescue of a couple that rolled their RZR UTV on Black Bear Pass.

OutdoorX4 - 100's in the Hills - Black Bear Pass

Jeremy from AZFJs captured some great footage of his group running Broken Arrow and the Homestead trail with his DJI Inspire 1 drone. We always love seeing FJ Cruiser trucks in action! Get in touch if you'd like us to feature your photos or video!

 

The new season of Expedition Overland, their Central America exploration, hits on July 8th. They've released two new videos ahead of the official premier: A full trailer as well as a Vehicle Build Video.

Expedition Overland: Central America | Toyota 4Runner Magazine

The teaser shows what we've come to expect from XO: A great group exploring and finding adventure, this time in Central America. This season will cover 10 Countries and 10,000 miles and we'll be ready to check it out on July 8th!

The Vehicle Build video begins with thier partnership with Toyota USA and goes over the various modifications made to the all new 2015 Trail Premium 4Runners, as well as the 2013 Tacoma. The three vehicles are very well prepared to tackle anything and everything along the journey.

We'll be doing a Hangout on Air next Wednesday the 8th, so look for it on our YouTube Channel as we all watch the premier of Expedition Overland: Central America.

2015 CrewMax Tundra

It’s been a long road, to say the least…our journey from buying a silver FJ Cruiser in 2007 (used with about 10,000 miles) to signing the papers on a brand new 2015 Tundra Crew Max in gorgeous radiant red. This is our journey:

2015 Tundra CrewMax

Our Toyota Journey took the next step on a cold, snowy February day. I received a call from Bill Stahelin, the General Manager of Larry H. Miller Toyota Scion of Colorado Springs. The long wait for our 2015 CrewMax Tundra was finally over, the transport truck had just dropped her off at the dealership.

Ready for a surprise? This was the first Toyota vehicle we bought from a Toyota dealership, and the first brand-new Toyota our family has ever purchased. The truck had less than 50 miles on the clock when we signed that day, brand new in every way. The team at LHM took great care of our entire family, and we were in & out of the dealership in record time (less than 2 hours). 

Our goal from the beginning was to spend some quality time in the Radiant Red beauty in stock form, so I could get a feel for how a fresh off the lot Tundra performed prior to starting any modifications. Of course I couldn’t NOT do anything to her, so the first mod was a new startup screen for the Entune entertainment system. 

We started small in terms of spending time in the truck: A quick trip to the cabin in the mountains (about two hours each way), lumber hauling, and general around-town duties. I did take her up into the woods after some snow to test the traction control and ABS functionality. Everything performed flawlessly and it’s easy to see how many people would choose to keep their rig stock.

Less than two weeks after bringing the Tundra home, we got a little antsy for a road trip. Two quick phone calls later and plans were place to visit friends and family in New Mexico for a long weekend. We loaded up a few bags & the kids in the Tundra and headed south.

The trip to Clovis Friday, then to Carlsbad on Saturday went completely without incident. The Tundra feels at home on the interstate as well as two lane highways. The CrewMax spaciousness combined with the limited trim makes for very comfortable travel, it’s almost like rolling down the highway in your living room. Other than the overabundance of chrome on the truck, there was nothing about this part of the trip that wasn’t perfect.

We spent Saturday afternoon and evening watching the grandkids play and catching up with my family. Sunday morning was more of the same, Brenden & Alana had so much fun playing on the farm. Finally though, it was time to pack up and head north. The seven hour drive from Carlsbad to Colorado Springs is not difficult, but can be a bit boring. So we planned to stop & spend a little time at a few places along the way.

There’s a neat state park outside Roswell, NM with a cool playground so we made our way out there for a pitstop before heading north. Spending this time meant we’d hit the Colorado border after dark, but we didn’t expect any issues. A little after dinner time, we arrived in Las Vegas NM for a quick bite before getting the kids ready to pass out in the truck. Angie checked Facebook real quick and learned the news: It was snowing at home in Colorado Springs and the out-of-nowhere storm was headed south.

Our sense of urgency to get home safely quickly escalated, and we got loaded up and hit the highway. Weather and road condition checks now became a minute-by-minute affair, and we pushed the speed limit in an attempt to make it to Colorado before it got…bad.

As we made our way up Raton Pass, the snow started coming down in heaps, with wind blowing massive snow into the truck. Visibility dropped to less than 50ft in the span of a few hundred yards, and I remarked that I would turn around if I could find a safe place to do so. We were on the road with about 15 other vehicles, all now crawling up the pass at less than 30mph.

I can honestly say this is the most dangerous driving I’ve done on an interstate. In the dark, in a new truck, whiteout conditions, and still driving up a pass. Of course I switched to 4WD, but the Tundra still had stock wheels & tires, and I wasn’t sure how she would handle climbing in these conditions.

Luckily the pure whiteout only lasted a few miles, and once we reached the top of Raton Pass visibility was back up to about ¼ mile. We continued following taillights and taking our time, no need to hurry and be unsafe at this point. On the down side of Raton Pass toward Trinidad, I-25 becomes fairly curvy and while it’s not steep, in a snowstorm extreme caution has to be taken. I downshifted the Tundra using manual mode and was able to keep 100% control of the truck all the way down. 

We took the first exit, found the first hotel we could, and got checked in. The only photo I was able to snap during this ordeal was after everyone was unloaded and she was parked, snug in the snow after a job well done.

To recap our first 2,000 miles in the Tundra:

  • Mountain trip
  • Kid hauling
  • Lumber duty
  • Trailer towing to the Yotas on the Beach event
  • Road Trip to NM
  • Dangerous mountain pass in a snowstorm

Needless to say, we’re sold on the CrewMax. In completely stock form, she performed perfectly and quite surprisingly in some very dangerous conditions. This truck has more features, comfort, power, and utility than any of our previous Toyota trucks. While she will never handle difficult trails like the FJC, and may not fit on some of our favorite exploration spots in Colorado, as an all-around multi-purpose vehicle, I don’t see how it can get any better.

At this point you may be wondering what’s next for the Tundra? Well, at just over 2,000 miles on the odometer, the modifications have begun. We’re working with the following vendors to create a one-of-a-kind Tundra, and you’ll see plenty more of her in future issues and at events around the country.

2015 CrewMax Tundra Supporting Vendors:

  • Toyota Racing Development / TRD
  • Toytec Lifts
  • Larry H. Miller Dealerships
  • Discount Tire Direct
  • Ken’s Colors of Colorado Springs
  • Rock Slide Engineering
  • Bully Dog
  • Icon Vehicle Dynamics
  • Demello Off Road

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    Heather is the newest member of the Toyota Cruisers & Trucks team as our Digital Editor.

    I left my 9-5 job in 2014 and since then I've been lucky enough to travel the country hitting off road events with my husband, Brian and dog Otis.  We have several off road vehicles, but my pride and joy is my '08 GX470.  We love spending time with our off road family and camping along the way.  Hope to see you at one of these great events! 

    Heather S

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