The Tacoma, Our Blank Canvas
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
We are living through a golden age capable 4 wheel drives suited for overland travel. From 200 Series Landcruisers to 4x4 Sprinter Vans, there are so many options out there that will get you around the world comfortably and reliably. But where to start?
Given our criteria for a sizable and comfortable living space, we crossed off most traditional SUVs off the list right away. While Landcruisers and G wagons are fantastic overland vehicles, they lack interior we were after without spending large amounts of money on expensive conversions. Most people that choose these types of SUVs rely on roof top tents, ground tents, or trailers for their accommodation, something that was not appealing given the duration and difficulty of our route.
Vans are another excellent option for most people looking for that highly sought after living space. However, most of the van setups out there are severely compromised for serious 4x4 terrain, heavy, require low sulfur diesel not available in many developing countries, and are extremely expensive. So we knew our weapon of choice had to be a pickup truck with a camper setup.
In our experience thus far travelling internationally outside of North America, we knew that ¼ and ½ ton trucks popular in the US would be far too large for the narrow towns and trails we will encounter on our journey. So that left us looking for a compact truck which naturally led us to the king of compact trucks in North America, the bulletproof and wildly popular 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road 4x4.
· 1200lb payload capacity
· 4400lb curb weight
· 3.5L gasoline V6 engine that runs on 87 octane fuel
· 21.1 gallon fuel capacity
· 6 speed manual transmission
· 4wd with low range transfer case
· 4.3 to 1 rear locking differential (much shorter gearing than the automatic transmission Tacomas)
· Double Cab with 5ft bed
· Solid axle rear suspension with leaf springs
· Double wishbone front suspension
· Ability to fit Four Wheel Camper (more on that in future articles)
· 32.0° approach angle stock, 23.1° departure angle, 21.0° breakover angle stock
· Ground clearance of 9.4 inches stock
· Proven platform known for exceptional reliability
· Widespread international dealer network
· 17ft long, easily fitting into a 20ft shipping container
· One of the most capable off road platforms on sale in North America
· Included tow package for extra engine cooling
· $36,000 sticker price brand new