2003 Tundra Expedition to South America (listing of Maint & Mods)



With your help ExPo, I selected a Tundra as my expedition platform with a truck camper for the approaching one year journey to SA. :costumed-smiley-007

It is a 2003 Tundra TRD 4WD with 110k miles. Here are my planned modifications and maintenance. About half of this is already completed. This is for reference here on the forum and also to see what you might take away or add from the list. The idea behind the list was to keep it simple (KISS) and stick to the basics. If I planned to build the perfect expedition rig, I'd die a broke old man having never left my garage. Okay, here we go:

Tune up:

1. Auto Transmission Syn fluid, filter, flush
2. New syn differentials fluids
3. Transfer case fluids
4. Engine syn oil, oil filter, air filter, lube shaft
5. Replace PCV Valve
6. New plat spark plugs
7. New starter battery
8. Flush radiator/new coolant
9. Wiper blades
10. New front pads and rotors
11. New serpentine belt
12. Replace timing belt, tensioner, and water pump
13. Replace fuel filter
17. replace fuel cap gasket
18. Wheel bearings repacked with syn grease

19. ? new Brake fluid (bleed brakes)
20. ? New power steering fluid


1. Air Compressor and Jumper
2. Firestone AirBags
3. New heavy duty shocks
4. Garmin GPS with WorldMaps and mount
5. Fire extinguisher
6. Emergency signs
7. Fix a Flat in a can
8. Tire plug kit
9. License plate holder, tamper resistant
10. General mechanics tools
11. Chilton repair manual
12. Tow rope
13. Expandable poles and tarp for awning
14. First Aid Kit
15. Great alarm system
16. Extra Serp Belt
17. Spare oil filter
18. Lug locks (patterned)
19. The Club
20. 4 new BFG A/Ts Load Series D
21. Axe, shovel, jerrycan, water container

Click here for a similar post on modifications on the pop-up truck camper. I have 2 months until departure. :elkgrin:
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Cool! I dare say the 03 Tundra may be one best trucks ever made...but I may be biased....

Good luck with your adventure, I'll be living vicariously for a while.....


Nice, solid platform. I had my 2000 Tundra for a bit over 200k. It was fun to build up and a great rig to travel in. I'm sure it has gone even further with its new owner. A couple others on here love these as well (ie..the post above). Have fun with your build and good luck with your one year adventure down to SA. :sombrero:
Looks like a good list, I might suggest a come along to add to the list in case you get off the pavement. I have taken 2 trips to Central America and did far less preparation than that and made out okay. I bought both vehicles two months before the trip and had an easy trip down as both were in good mechanical condition when purchased. I hope to make a trip to Panama and back in the next 2-3 years in my current rig with the family. I will be looking forward to your trip report.



Director of Adventure Management Operations
When I did the timing belt and water pump, I'd get an under drive crank pulley and electric cooling fans. They seem to add some seat of the pants fun to our trucks and bump up the mileage (plus you can just leave the fans "on" and have a ton of airflow even if you are moving very slow). I'd get a larger Tranny cooler while I was at it, just for cheap insurance.

Best of luck on your trip, and please keep us updated!!!
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Sounds like a great platform. I would add E-rated tires if I was adding a truck camper on the back. The extra heat generated by the increased weight on the back of the truck and I'm sure the roads are not in the best of shape. Just cheap insurance IMO.

I would also figure out a way to disable the ignition system so the truck can't be stolen. An easy toggle switch hidden under the dash would be sufficient and not a big inconvenience to you.