1st time truck owner (soon to be) and just discovered Overlanding, need help.

Teri Mitti

New member
Hello all,

Originally, I was going to buy my 1st truck for work commute and light off-road activities (I have waited long for this opportunity). The idea was to get a truck that allows me to go camping and later set it up to pull a small boat and a 4-6 bed occupancy camper. I would be more of a weekend warrior but during Spring and Summer, I would be out and about for longer periods. I have my eyes on the 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro, 4WD, 3.5L V6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, double cab, 5 ft bed. Then I discovered oerlanding and I was sold. I never knew this existed. I am now putting my purchase for Tacoma 2020 TRD Pro on hold.

Disclaimer, I know nothing about trucks and how to set it up for Overlanding. I am conducting research, looking at YouTube, etc., thus far.

Here are some of my questions:

1- I know 2020 Tacoma has a clearance of 9.4, but do I need to lift it? Especially if I am going to do later: tuff, harsh and difficult terrains during all seasons?
2- Will the moonroof be a problem when I add later a tent on top of the roof?
3- If the 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro can not be used, what trim from 2020 can be used and what accessories I need to add?
4- I reside in Queens, NY. I am looking to connect with Tacoma clubs/groups who reside close to my location.
5- From my little research over the last few weeks, it seems like, if I am looking to add Overlanding accessories like bumpers, etc., I may have to find a place outside of NY State to do this. Is there any place in NY State or where would you guys recommend?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.
 

AbleGuy

[Back] Roads Scholar
Remember also to pay close attention to your truck’s cargo weight rating capacity as you start to plan on what you’re going to add on to it or carry in it.
 

reaver

Active member
Go out and use it. See what your interest level is and build from there..
This. Use the truck stock. Learn how to drive and pick a line first. You likely won't need to lift at all at first. As you start pushing the truck and yourself further, you'll start finding weaknesses, both in the vehicle and in your skills. That will tell you what needs changing.
 

Teri Mitti

New member
This. Use the truck stock. Learn how to drive and pick a line first. You likely won't need to lift at all at first. As you start pushing the truck and yourself further, you'll start finding weaknesses, both in the vehicle and in your skills. That will tell you what needs changing.
Good tip. As I read all the feedbacks, I am learning.
Thank you.
 

Ovrlnd Rd

Adventurer
Roof Top Tents generally aren't on the roof of trucks (SUVs and cars, yes, but not trucks). You're typically looking at a rack over the bed or on a canopy that is strong enough to hold several hundred pounds.

The TRD Pro is going to be a premium type vehicle to start off with. You might want to get something a little less expensive to "learn" on and make sure you enjoy it before sinking a lot of money into a high priced truck (the learning curve can be steep if you want to do technical routes and can seriously impact the resell value of a pricey vehicle).
 

Teri Mitti

New member
Roof Top Tents generally aren't on the roof of trucks (SUVs and cars, yes, but not trucks). You're typically looking at a rack over the bed or on a canopy that is strong enough to hold several hundred pounds.

The TRD Pro is going to be a premium type vehicle to start off with. You might want to get something a little less expensive to "learn" on and make sure you enjoy it before sinking a lot of money into a high priced truck (the learning curve can be steep if you want to do technical routes and can seriously impact the resell value of a pricey vehicle).
@ technical routes stood out and made me realize, I have to find a community/club near me who is active and have some experience (what it feels like, looks like, observations, etc.)
Thank you.
 

Runt

Adventurer
The 4 to 6 bed occupancy camper makes a 3rd gen Tacoma a very bad choice due to its dismal weight carrying capacity and 3.5 L V6 power curve. A Tacoma is not a heavy tow vehicle or a hauler...its a nimble, reliable mid-sized truck that is good at lots of things but very poor at carrying heavy loads or pulling heavy trailers with out suspension and gearing modifications. A full size Tundra might be a better choice. However drop the 4 to 6 bed camper idea and a Tacoma would be and is, a fine choice if not the best. A Off Road version in premium trim will give you most of what you need compared to a TRD Pro. Add a modest mid-travel 3" lift and some good wheels and tires plus some leather Clazzio seat covers and your 95 % to what a TRD Pro is and have thousands left in your pocket for a winch, bumpers, gears, heavier rear springs or what ever you learn you will need as you progress in your experience. Good luck and remember the most important part is getting out there....cant do that if you spend all your cash on modifications.
 

Teri Mitti

New member
The 4 to 6 bed occupancy camper makes a 3rd gen Tacoma a very bad choice due to its dismal weight carrying capacity and 3.5 L V6 power curve. A Tacoma is not a heavy tow vehicle or a hauler...its a nimble, reliable mid-sized truck that is good at lots of things but very poor at carrying heavy loads or pulling heavy trailers with out suspension and gearing modifications. A full size Tundra might be a better choice. However drop the 4 to 6 bed camper idea and a Tacoma would be and is, a fine choice if not the best. A Off Road version in premium trim will give you most of what you need compared to a TRD Pro. Add a modest mid-travel 3" lift and some good wheels and tires plus some leather Clazzio seat covers and your 95 % to what a TRD Pro is and have thousands left in your pocket for a winch, bumpers, gears, heavier rear springs or what ever you learn you will need as you progress in your experience. Good luck and remember the most important part is getting out there....cant do that if you spend all your cash on modifications.
I appreciate the feedback. The points are helping me to think outside the box making things understandable. @ ...getting out there..., this is fueling the passion for that 1st-day experience.
Thank you
 

flecker

Member
This. Use the truck stock. Learn how to drive and pick a line first. You likely won't need to lift at all at first. As you start pushing the truck and yourself further, you'll start finding weaknesses, both in the vehicle and in your skills. That will tell you what needs changing.
I have been wheeling for 30+ years (I'm not bragging! I'm just old).... THIS ^^^ is solid advice. Go out and learn the limits of the vehicle, and yourself.
If the TRD Pro comes with a traction device, like e-lockers, your already money up. I can make it most places on 28" tires that some Jeeps struggle with... hey are outfitted with every bolt on in the book~ Snazzy bumpers, winch, arb's front and back, long arm kits, anti rock diso's, 33's... etc.

WHY? Because I know my rigs limitations and use it to the best of my ability. Don't get me wrong, some upgrades will be necessary over time to get where you like to go, but driver skill is worth more in the long run! Knowing how to pick lines, understanding your cog, and how your particular rig might adapt to certain terrain based on the advantages/ disadvantages it has.

This is the typical order of things for myself at least.

COMFORT> This is first. If your gonna camp in it and have fun in the outdoor arena then none of the above matters if you get out there and are uncomfortable! This means the gear you tote along on your outings. Nice sleeping platform/ tent or whatever... good bag... you get the jist.

Just drive vehicle initially. See what gets stressed based on conditions your apt to drive in.

Make sure your tires are adequate~ You wouldn't roll out into a snow storm with slicks, right? If you like basic meandering on and off road. Then a good AT tire will suffice. (To many to list...), If your primarily off the beaten path, then a bit more aggressive. And so on. If it's a weekend warrior, consider a set of rollies for the week commute to work and a set of campers to throw on when you head out for the "getaway"! Yah, it's money up front, but you will love it later when your only buying some new cheapo's for the commute.

Recovery~ winch, come along, shovel, some form of jack/ lift. Straps, shackles a pulley and so on... Lot's of options and opinions here, so do some reading and learning~

Traction~ Selectable lockers are king. E- lockers are great standard! If it's just an offroad beater then throw a Detroit, Aussie or whatever in the rear and maybe a selectable up front. These are costly... so only WHEN needed. IMO it's money better spent than a lift right up front.

A little extra height~ At some point you may want to add a bit of ground clearance... but be sensible! Remember the higher you go, the worse off your center of gravity. Sucks on the steeps when things shift and your top heavy. Also consider the offset of gearing when lifting and adding larger tires! I mean a couple of inches, you probably aren't going to notice a ton of power loss and your speedo might be four or five miles off... but add another few inches on up, things start to add up. Gears, the associated lift, suspension and so on... wait on this as long as you can and just learn to drive and have fun camping/ exploring.
 
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