Jakob Schiller from Outside Magazine spent a little time with the guys from ARB USA in their nicely outfitted 2016 Tacoma. They took a little trip into the mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico and discussed some of the upgrades in the 'World's Coolest Tacoma':

Part of our 30,000 mile upgrades for the TCT Explorer (Subscribe FREE to read it in the Summer 2016 issue) included upgraded headlights & taillights from ANZO USA.

A new video from just after SEMA SHOW 2015. The TCT Trooper 2016 Toyota Tacoma plays around in the desert outside Las Vegas, NV.

Edit courtesy of Alex Fleming =)

This year during the FJ Summit, Toyota invited journalists from around the country (including our Editor in Chief Beau Johnston) to join them on a multi-day Toyota Overland adventure. The route was planned, guided, and filmed by our friends at Expedition Overland.

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Like a lot of people, I am disappointed Toyota does not offer the Trail Edition with a 3rd row seating option. We decided to settle on the SR5 because seating for more than 5 people was mandatory for our family. One option is to get a Trail Edition and add a 3rd row, but safety for my family is of the utmost importance.  The SR5 includes additional air bags and safety equipment designed for the 3rd row.  Being the engineer that I am, I decided to look a little further into the Crawl Control Circuit and see if it was somehow possible to put this into my SR5.  Why not just go straight for lockers?  I am a technology guy, and Toyota has really developed some great off-road Technology and I really wanted this over lockers to start with.

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Rokmen Off Road has been building quality off road parts for 12+ years. Their attention to detail and precision machining leads to a phenomenal end product with everything they build. In the last couple of years, Rokmen has begun to produce specialized parts for Toyota trucks and SUVs. TCT Magazine has highlighted some of their great products in past issues and now we bring to you their latest addition to the lineup - Rokmen Pro-Series Upper Control Arms.

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If you know me, you know I’m a nut when it comes to wiring up lights on my FJ. I started out with an sPod switch system to control all the lights, but at Overland Expo in 2015 I discovered Switch-Pros and their new 8100 Switching System.

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So you just got an RC Crawler for the Holidays, and now you want to mod it out to get the most out of the little package.  The RC world is very similar to the 1:1 world of trucks, it’s very easy to get sucked into the modifications  and the bills can add up very quickly.  Luckily, parts for your  new  RC  come a lot cheaper than for your 1:1 rig!  

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There are a lot of portable fridge/freezers on the market these days, with more seemingly being introduced each year. With such a saturated market, it can be tough to decided which is the best for your needs.

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Last year at SEMA Show, Senior Editor Dennis Lloyd and I were racing through the show, like we do, when suddenly I was stopped in my tracks. In front of me was a 2014 Tundra with a full truck tent + add-on ground tent. We were looking at the Napier Outdoors Sportz 57 Series with their new addition, the Sportz Link model 51000.

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As FJ owners we know all too well how bad visibility can be when looking out our windows from inside. It’s one of the cons to the many pros to our lovable rigs. Especially when it’s stacked to the ceiling with camping gear in the rear and we can’t use our rear view mirror effectively. Trail Toys has introduced a solution.

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In Germany Maltec have built up a reputation for building motorhomes based on the Toyota Landcruiser HDJ80, but far from being just a gimmick for the rich end of the 4x4 market maybe they are actually the ultimate expedition vehicle... Robb Pritchard goes to find out.

 

Get Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine on the App StoreThis past September, Joey and Jordyn Pitts of J-J Adventures decided to set off on a road trip to the Rocky Mountains and surrounding areas. They started their 21-day trip in Paradise, Texas and traveled with their two dogs through 8 states in their 2014 Toyota Trail Edition 4Runner. While on their journey, they primarily chose to camp and live out of their Little Guy, Boss Edition teardrop camper. This is the second of a 2-part series. 

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The new Toyota Fortuner has made its way into New Zealand dealerships and it is turning a lot of heads. As the country continues to embrace the outdoor lifestyle image, the demand for SUVs capable of fueling the population’s adventure-seeking way of life also increases. We were lucky enough to spend two weeks touring the North Island in a manual transmission GX Fortuner this past March and immediately fell in love with it.

Get Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine on the App StoreAmazing how weather can affect the overall mood among a large group of people. The lack of rain, snow, and mud this year made the strong winds bearable. Vendors were upbeat, classes were full, and attendance increased 40% over last year.


The 250 exhibitors included feature vehicles, authors, and filmmakers. Also in attendance were approximately 20 VIP travelers, who were on global journeys from Germany, South Africa, Spain, Mexico, and South America. There were many more international guests who chose not to register as VIP travelers. I met a couple from Australia, who had already conquered much of the world and were now enjoying the U.S.

Overland Expo WEST 2016 - Toyota Magazine
Class offerings include subjects on technical off-roading, wilderness medical, and battery welding.

Total participation was close to 10,000 people, which is a significant increase over the 6,000 in 2015.
“We were blown away by a 40% increase in attendance this year—we sold out of Overland Experience packages (610 people), and the camping area completely filled, something we didn’t anticipate happening for a few more years,” said event organizer, Roseann Hanson. “We ended up running a shuttle for the weekend serving the outlying forest camps. We couldn’t be more pleased—with 400 session-hours of world-class teaching, and 250 exhibitors of fine equipment and services for overlanders, it was a huge success thanks to our talented and hardworking staff, instructors, and volunteers.”

Indeed, it was a spectacular event. My favorite thing to do is meet international participants who stop by Overland Expo as part of their world tour. Amazing what can be learned in a 20-minute conversation with these experienced travelers.

From a product perspective, I sought out anything that reduced setup and takedown time. Less time fiddling with gear means more time for taking in scenery, socializing, and cooking. I also looked for anything innovative that seemed highly useful and/or convenient. Following are products that seemingly met my criteria.

Road Shower (RoadShower.com)
This product is a long black tube, capable of holding 5 gallons, with a water port featuring standard hose threads and an air pressure port. The black tube heats the water during the day at 15-20 degrees per hour (includes built-in thermometer). Pumping air into the tube provides the water pressure. It mounts onto a roof rack where it can contain maximum sun exposure. Attach the included short hose and sprayer, add air (a pocket CO2 tire inflator will suffice), and you’re ready for a hot shower.
Overland Expo WEST 2016 - Toyota Magazine

ArkPak (arkportablepower.com)
This is a battery case on steroids and can serve as an easily accessible power source for all of your campsite needs. Drop in a Gel AGM battery of your choice, and the ArkPak 715 provides a LCD battery management display, two 12v sockets, a 2.1 amp USB, a 50 amp Anderson plug, and a 150W Power Inverter. Not enough wattage? Upgrade to their 730 model and drop in a 31 Group batter for 300W. Plug it into your vehicle’s 12V socket to achieve a dual-battery configuration. During the day, additional charging can be achieved via solar panels. Mounting bracket is included. It is also compatible with lithium LiFePO4 batteries.
Overland Expo WEST 2016 - Toyota Magazine

ShiftPod Tent (ShiftPod.com)
With a cushion-patterned silver exterior, it appears as something designed for use on the moon. The waterproof and dustproof roomy tent features built-in poles so that it can be set up in under 2 minutes. The exterior reflective material reduced heat absorption during the day. Waterproof vents can be opened from the inside. For hot climates, the included A/C port can be used with a portable air-conditioner. If near a power source, power cables can be ran through a power cable hole with adjustable closure. The spacious tent is 12’x12’x6.5’ open, and 12”x12”x74” stored.
Overland Expo WEST 2016 - Toyota Magazine

Wilco Offroad HitchGate (WilcoOffroad.com)
If you don’t want to equip your 4Runner with an off-road rear bumper, but you desire a way to carry a spare tire, fuel canisters, and other items, then Wilco has a great solution that plugs directly into the hitch receiver. The swingout arm is easy to move out of the way for tailgate clearance. The upper rack can haul wood and other items not wanted inside the SUV.
Overland Expo WEST 2016 - Toyota Magazine

Scout Equipment Co. Overland Kitchen (scoutequipment.co)
This clever system fits in the back of the 4Runner and features a slide-out fridge, sink, stove, and utensil drawer, with additional storage compartments at the top.
Overland Expo WEST 2016 - Toyota Magazine

Tentsile (tentsile.com)
Want more of a minimalist tent camping experience that integrates you into the environment? Tentsile Tree Tents are hammock-style tents that tie between trees, or even off-road bumpers, and elevate you off the ground or above water. With a screen covering to protect from insects, and a floor that isn’t touching the bumpy ground, this is a great way to stay cool at night.
tentsile at Overland Expo West 2016 | Toyota Magazine

XPCamper V2 (xpcamper.com)
Pickup bed campers are limited by the width of the pickup bed, so XPCamper offers an aerodynamic hard-side pop-up design that replaces the pickup bed completely, and thus offers more room. The V2 model doesn’t disable the utility function of your Tacoma or Tundra, rather it expands it. The camper base is a flatbed and walls can be attached when the camper is detached. The hard-side popup is motorized for raising and lowering. Roomy interior features kitchen and bed, interior shower setup, table, and chairs. The exterior has multiple storage compartments.
XP Camper at Overland Expo West 2016 | Toyota Magazine

 

Want more?? Check out the slideshow!

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    As a kid, growing up in the 90’s, I was mesmerized by off-road racing and the legend of Ivan “Ironman” Stewart. Stewart, driving under the Toyota banner, racked up an impressive seven Baja 500 and two Baja 1000 Unlimited Class wins between 1991 and 1999. In addition to dominating the Baja races, Ivan won a host of High Desert Racing Association, SCORE, and Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group stadium races for a total of 37 wins and six Trophy Truck Driver’s Champion titles.


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    It has been 17 years since Ivan secured a first-place finish for Toyota in the Baja 500, and 18 years since his last Baja 1000 victory. In fact, it has been XX years sinceit was 2000 when Toyota even last participated in SCORE races with an Unlimited Class entry. Toyota has instead chosen to wander the desert, focusing the last few years on the Stock Full Class with the team’s Lexus LX 570 (2009-2013) and Toyota TRD Pro Tundra (2014 to present).

    BJ Baldwin Trophy Truck Tundra

    That all changed on May 7 when Toyota announced they had signed a multi-year sponsorship with “Ballistic” BJ Baldwin. “BJ’s successful racing record, his adventurous attitude, and his ceaseless dedication to honing himself and his craft speaks volumes to Toyota’s core ‘Let’s Go Places’ and kaizen philosophies,” said Cooper Ericksen, Toyota vice president of , vehicle marketing and communications. “We look forward to having BJ and his Tundra involved in this next chapter of Toyota’s desert racing story that so far includes 11 Baja 500 and two Baja 1000 wins.”

    BJ Baldwin Trophy Truck Tundra

    Only one other driver, Larry Ragland, has won back to back first-places finishes in the Baja 1000 under the Ironman Spec, completing the grueling race as the single driver. BJ has a proven track record of winning but are his credentials enough to get Toyota to the promised land, a first-place finish? Toyota thinks so, investing heavily in Baldwin’s new flagship race truck, a new Tundra TRD Pro based Trophy Truck. The truck, built by ID Designs, is powered by a custom engine built by Kroyer Racing Engines specifically for this Trophy Truck applicationfeatures 26" of front and 30" of rear travel and a top speed of 145mph.

    BJ Baldwin Trophy Truck Tundra

    Not only is Toyota banking on BJ’s driving record, but they hope to tap into his media influence. BJ’s brings an added boost of energy to the Toyota team, which already supports drivers in the Lucas Oil Off Road Race Series, NASCAR circuits, and NHRA Top Fuel/Funny Car series. He has starred in Monster Energy’s #RECOIL series of videos, with the first two in the series racking up a combined total views of nearly 24 million.

    BJ Baldwin Trophy Truck Tundra

    His broader appeal as a driver reaches beyond the truck racing scene. Toyota chose to make the announcement at the Monster Energy AMA Supercross FIM World Championship for a reason. The event, co-sponsored by Toyota, saw in excess of 36-thousand fans braving rain and hail to watch the races. Most of these fans showed up in pickup trucks and countless stood in line to have their photo taken with BJ and Ivan. Toyota wants to leverage BJ’s name recognition in the market to help bolster sales of their Tundra and Tacoma platforms in a heavily saturated market.

    BJ Baldwin Trophy Truck Tundra

    BJ Baldwin’s Trophy Truck Specs:

    • Year built: 2016
    • Chassis: ID DESIGNS
    • Wheelbase: 124"
    • Weight: 6100LBS
    • Engine: V8 built by Kroyer Racing Engines
    • Front Suspension: Twin A-Arm
    • Front Travel: 26"
    • Rear Suspension: Triangulated 4-link
    • Rear Travel: 30"
    • Tires: 39X13.50X17
    • Steering: Sawgnall Steering Box
    • Brakes: Alcon 6 piston
    • Trans: Albins Sequential ST6
    • Top Speed: 145 MPH
    • Wheels: 17-in Method Race Wheels

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    COMEUP Web 16

     

    I've been exploring with 4x4 vehicles for over 20 years. My wheeling experience began on the backroads in northern Michigan and includes everything from mud to rocks, sand, and hard-core crawling.

    The event that helped start our original FJC Magazine - FJ Summit - happens this week, for the 10th time!

    The Toyota Cruisers & Trucks team has been preparing for the event for quite some time, so we thought a little preview of what's going down this year may be useful.

    As you may have read in our Spring 2016 Issue, Hema has launched their Hema Explorer North America app, and to kick it off they also started a grand North American Continental Divide Expedition.

    One of our favorite web series dedicated to overland preparation & travel, Mountain State Overland recently launched Season 3!

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    It's time for your Toyota Fix!
    We're excited to publish the  Spring 2016 Issue of Toyota Cruisers & Trucks!!


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