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Kayak Taco
01-13-2012, 02:18 AM
Hello All -
I just wanted to take a second to post to introduce myself and show off my "Whitewater Assault Vehicle". As an avid Whitewater Kayaker, and a dabbler in everything from Mountaineering, Mountain Biking, Skiing, 4x4'ing, etc, a capable vehicle is always a must for me. My prior "Rigs" Were a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee (that turned into a caged rock buggy), a 2005 Honda Odyssey outfitted with a sleeping platform, and a 2004 Crew Cab Nissan Titan. I wanted a vehicle that could sleep as well as the Odyssey, and be more capable off road than the Titan (and also I wanted a manual transmission...). I settled on a 2nd Gen Access Cab Tacoma, and found this one in September of 2010. It was a 2007 in perfect condition with 12k miles and exactly the options I wanted, plus it already had a Shell (a Must for me), and a Bed Rug. Over the last year I've added a few mods with a few more to go... (I know it never ends)

Base Vehicle:
2007 Tacoma 4x4 Access Cab OR 6Speed

Mods:
Cab High Camper Shell
Bed Rug
Billstein 5100s up front set at 2.5"
Rear 2" Add a leaf
FJ Cruiser 17" Alloy Wheels (5 of them)
265/70/17 General Grabber AT2s
All-Pro Front Bumper
Warn M8000 Winch with Masterpull Synthetic and Aluminum Fairlead
Weathertech Floor Liners
Reese POD Trailer Brake controller mounted in Change Tray by left knee
Custom Over the Shell rack with Yakima bars and kayak stackers, bike mounts, etc.

Future Mods:
Sleeping Platform in progress
Custom Rock Sliders
New Rear springs (OME Dakkars or similar)

So, here's a few driveway queen shots...
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And a few from some trips:
Camping in Maine
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Lunch at the Takeout of the Great Chazzy River in Upstate NY (One of the best things about a well stocked WW Assault Vehicle)
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Covered Bridge in Vermont
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After having her a month at OBX
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And the Obligatory WW Shot. Bottom Moose River, NY
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I'll post more as I get the other Mods done and get her out on the Road. The plan at the moment is to do 2 full weeks in July or August from NH to ID and back, with stops along the way in the Badlands, Yellowstone, and Glacier NPs. We did 2 weeks in the Odyssey a few years ago, and being able to sleep in the vehicle just about anywhere makes for a fantastically flexible experience. Thanks for the Info so far ExPo!

downhill
01-13-2012, 03:33 AM
Looks very familiar!
Bought mine in 2010 with 30k, mint condition. 2007, access cab 6 speed with the Leer shell.

I've added:
Stock aluminum 16" wheels
235/85-16 E rated tires
URD short shift
modified shift leverARB front bumper
CBI custom rear bumper
Allpro sliders
All-Pro front skid (bobbed)
Aluminum cargo rack
4.56 gears
ARB airlockers front and rear
Fox 2.5 coil over front
All-Pro Expedition pack + Bilsteins rear
Custom built Puma OBA
Hella lights
Heavy duty headlight harness
modified stock spare tire carrier
Weather Tech
Wet Okole
Coming in May: FJ twin stick
Custom gauges
Scangauge
Escort Garmin GPS
815648156581566

Kayak Taco
01-13-2012, 05:37 AM
Great looking rig downhill! How do you like the All-Pro Expo pack?

blakeape
01-13-2012, 05:40 AM
Nice rig! Reminds me of my 96 Taco back before it ended up on 1tons and 42" Iroks. It was my whitewater assault vehicle back in the late 90's and early 2000's. I Worked in upstate NY on the Hudson, headed south for Gauley in the fall, Jackson Hole in the winter, Paddled from the Penobscot in ME, to surfing ocean waves off Baja and creeking in Canada in that truck. I live just outside Glacier National Park in NW MT feel free to look me up next summer when you come through. Are you on Ager's falls, Gorrila? I know I recognized that kayaking shot.

Kayak Taco
01-13-2012, 05:51 AM
Blakeape Right Side of Magilla...

My Jeep was on 1 tons, chopped top, fully caged, etc. I had a lot of fun with it but grew tired of having to trailer it everywhere, and having a rig I couldn't drive on general explorations, hence the Tacoma. Crawling is fun, but expensive, and not as much fun as WW (for me anyway). I've spent a bunch of time at the Gauley, and lived in the Carolinas for 6 years before moving north, so I've paddled all over WV and the Carolinas. Beautiful country.
Will definitely have to look you up this summer. I'd love some local knowledge for our trip out west...

DesertBoater
01-13-2012, 05:53 AM
That rack looks sweet!! I'm assuming it's not a readily available production deal...? I've ended up switching to a full ladder rack from thule bars to hold the weight of sea/whitewater boats/bikes/box/etc, and now I'm about to jump into a FWC Eagle.

Cheers,
West

01tundra
01-13-2012, 01:22 PM
Nice! Especially the WW pic :).

We're just now getting into WW paddling, this will be our second season, so we have a long way to go. I'm thinking seriously about building a low-profile aluminum bed rack so I can carry four boats with the bed extender on it, I hate just throwing them in the bed, because no matter how well you tie those dudes down, they still manage to move around........

blakeape
01-13-2012, 04:23 PM
Ahh, Magilla that's what its called. I always took out after Ager's never actually ran Magilla. Loved the bottom moose and upstate NY. I still drive my Taco on the road, here's a shot of it at a Whitewater festival last May in Bigfork MT and me on Bear Creek here in MT. The really good WW season out here is usually end of April to early July depending on the year. The water is really cold though, Summer Paddling is fun but obviously lower water levels. 8160781608

Kayak Taco
01-13-2012, 09:58 PM
That rack looks sweet!! I'm assuming it's not a readily available production deal...? I've ended up switching to a full ladder rack from thule bars to hold the weight of sea/whitewater boats/bikes/box/etc, and now I'm about to jump into a FWC Eagle.

Cheers,
West

West -
Nope, Rack is a 1 of a Kind I made in my Garage. It's 1.75" x .065" Tube that I bent using my JD2 Bender. I made one similar for my Titan as well. I much prefer the round tube bent close to the shell design over any of the commercially available options. Problem is that if you want something to fit close to the shell, the rack custom to that exact shell/truck combination. I think there'd be a good market for this design, but it would be hard to make anything standardized, as there are so many different shell heights, as well as shell/bedrail interfaces... some overhang, some don't etc...
I may be making a third one for a friend's T100 soon...
Tim

Kayak Taco
01-13-2012, 10:04 PM
Blake -
I have never paddled in MT, hoping someting is still going out there this July. I've spent several weeks paddling all over Colorado and California. Sierra California Granite is my favorite... East Fork Kaweah attached...
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I know all about cold water. In New England, the melt is early, so the water AND the air are cold...

downhill
01-14-2012, 02:24 AM
Great looking rig downhill! How do you like the All-Pro Expo pack?

Kayak, Yours looks great too! I like the spring pack, but I'm careful about recommending it. All-Pro claims the pack is designed for 400 to 500 pound constant loads and gives a 3" lift. Well, the stock rear weighs 1400 so that would put the target weight at 1900 pounds. The back of my truck weighs 2550 and is lifted 3.25" I'd say they are a wee bit off. I know lots of people have issues with the spring rate, but I took a chance because I do have weight. I think for most people the best route is custom ordered Alcans. On the plus side, the springs ride great on and offroad on my truck. They have eliminated the axle wrap that was pretty bad with the 4.56 gears. They also have integrated teflon pads and there is zero squeak from them. Good quality I think, but if you want a set find someone that has a similar rear weight and expos to see how they ride. Also, the bilstiens they sold me to go with the springs don't work. For a 3" lift a 5100 is too short. I could bolt them up, but all but 1.5" was used up reaching the mount. You need a 27" shock to work properly through the full range of motion. Typical All-Pro. I like the Bilsteins though. Good valving for my rig. All-Pro does make a "standard" leaf pack which is identical but they claim a 20% reductiion in spring rate. I've just had mine on for about a month and so far they haven't dropped at all. Alcan makes springs for your specific axle weight, and from what I hear, does that very well. They cost more of course.

blakeape
01-14-2012, 02:48 AM
I have to correct my earlier post about the Bottom Moose. We always took out after Crystal not Ager's. I had a brain slip there and it was bugging me.

RyanPont
01-18-2012, 02:09 AM
I like your build. Care to share any good camping spots in NH? I usually spend quite a few weekends camping in the White Mountains.

Kayak Taco
01-18-2012, 02:57 AM
Ryan -
Thanks! As far as expedition camping spots, there's not much I know of in the Whites. However, I have camped at Crawford Notch and Pinkham notch, and both are nice as far as state campgrounds. Last weekend, I went through Sandwich Notch Road (from Merideth area to Waterville Valley) and there may be some opportunity through there for some "dispersed camping". Also I am looking to go through Bear Notch Road and look around there some. I think when you get north of the whites, opportunities may be more abundant. Good Luck!
Tim