After a week in Ouray exploring the San Juan Mountains with the Manley off-road trailer mounted with its CVT tent, I was hooked on the convenience of the rooftop tent when overlanding. This got the wheels turning in my head on how to transform Blue Betty into a rig fit for multi-day overlanding explorations. First step taken toward this new phase of the truck’s life was to find a way to mount up a rooftop tent. Without a place to store a trailer and knowing I’ll be tackling some harder trails on my journeys, I knew a bed rack would be my best option for what I needed.
If you've been following the Alaska/Yukon series of Expedition Overland, you have seen some of the best activities and adventures Alaska has to offer.
With Episode 6 (of 12) that was released yesterday, Clay and his team have taken this series to the next level. Not only does this episode feature a fantastic example of how to engineer your way out of mud, it includes chopper flights, a Tread Lightly Nissan (yes, Justin's XTerra), and truly unique campsites that an overland adventurer would covet. Also, there's a Moose :)
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In 2010 my wife Tiffany and I were excited, surprised and terrified to find that we would be welcoming a child into the world. Eight weeks after the initial shock, we were informed that not one, but two girls were on their way. Of course my mind went to all of the things that we had grown to love as a couple and what we wanted to continue to enjoy with a family. Many of the activities that we enjoyed: camping, hiking, biking, skiing etc., revolved around a four wheel drive vehicle. In fact, I had been driving 4x4s since high school, primarily as a means of access to remote areas but also for the fun and challenge of the drive. I set out to find a vehicle that provided a blend of off-road performance while transporting four people and a dog in comfort. Jeep, Land Rover and Toyota immediately came to mind.
Our Toyotas are more than a simple mode of transportation. They are an extension of ourselves, both in personality and functionality. Besides the obvious reason of dashing good looks, we choose a particular make and model based on how we expect it to perform in the myriad conditions we’re likely to encounter during ownership. And when factory offerings are not generous enough, we’ll spend thousands in hard-earned dollars on aftermarket accessories to ensure that our vehicle is as close to ideal as possible. This principle rings true whether hanging some seatback DVD players in the Swagger Wagon or plumbing nitrous into a Supra for track days.
It’s certainly true for we adventurous, backcountry travelers, who depend on our Yotas to not only get us out there, but more importantly, to get us back. So considering the levels of investment and expectation we place on our overlanding vehicles, it’s imperative to our wallets, our well-being, and our pleasure that we choose wisely.
The entire TCT Magazine Team of Editors, contributors, and creative staff have worked for months to bring this issue to the world. Inside the January 2014 Issue:
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In the previous issue I covered electrical, storage, and communication modifications on my Taco. This time I’ll finish up this retrospective with performance mods, parts, and repairs & failures I’ve dealt with.
Four Wheeler is showing off spy shots of a newly designed BF Goodrich All Terrain tire in Baja.
For those not familiar with the legendary rubber, the BFG A/T has been the go-to tire for many years on vehicles meant for mixed-use. Every Special Edition FJ Cruiser ships with the iconic shoes, and many of us ran BFG's for years. The BFG A/T practially invented the all-terrain dual/use category, so any change is sure to be major.
Just a scratch..or two..
Photos by: Monte Nickles, Ben Springli, Mike Digirat
If you missed last month’s issue, allow me to fill you in on what’s happen. A bunch of Tacomas doing a ton of trails through Wyoming, Montana and Colorado. We just finished the first three trails in Wyoming and Montana and are back in Powell, WY for a shower and fixing our rigs. Mine was in the worst shape with a front differential leaking all of its fluid for unknown reasons.
Didn't take long to get the truck up on the lift and tear the whole thing down. Turns out a CV seal was installed wrong at my own hand. It was a miracle it had lasted as long as it had. Unfortunately by the time everything was tore apart, it was about 11pm.
So you’re in the market for a rooftop tent. Have you figured out where you will mount it yet? There is no disputing that rooftop tents, or RTT, have been growing in popularity among off-road enthusiasts. For weekend excursions to international expeditions, wherever your travels may lead you, you can be assured that if your vehicle can make it there, you can set up camp there.