Apertura Expeditions Build- 2010 Toyota 4runner Trail

Apertura Expeditions is the name that defines what I like to do. Apertura is an Italian noun meaning open-mindness and Expeditions well, see if you can guess that one! I have been in a fortunate position in my life where I've had the opportunity
to explore a lot of America. I love to take pictures and hit the open road, travel and explore new territory. I also love to fiddle, take apart and fix things and of course sometimes break them :sombrero:

This is where the fun stuff comes in. My quest for my on-going desires to travel more and capture more images brought me to the build of my 2010 Toyota 4runner. I orginate from across the pond in good old England, Sussex to be specific.
Though I have lived all around the world, I have spent a majority of my time here in the US. My hunt for a vehicle was extensive and after much debate I decided in April of 2010 to purchase a 5th Generation Toyota 4runner-Trail Edition.

I've put together a little build of pictures of the truck and the modifications I have done. I will keep it primarily, truck based images and throw a few scenic ones in here and there. To date I have over 82,000 miles on this truck and love it just
as much as I did the day I drove it off the dealers lot. I have has just as fun much modifying as I have exploring with it, its been the perfect equilibrium!

“It's the ambition that makes the journey and destination all that more rewarding”


Factory minor: tints, shorter ariel, hitch ball receiver





Let the Modifications begin. I got employment out West in Colorado for two years. Colorado was simply a open canvas for exploration.

ARB Deluxe Bull Bar, Warn VR8000 Winch, Old EMU 3" Front and rear Suspension, Rocky Road Sliders, Gobi Roof rack







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Build Continued...

I enjoy doing trails at night. I wanted to add some additional lighting to the truck for those "after work" trail runs. Rigid industries where up and coming, so I thought I would give them a go. WOW! They're awesome!

Rigid Industries, Victory Series, x2 6'' Spot, x2 10" SR (hybrid)-(these where added at a later date)


Here are some scenic shots with the new mod's in place. I also change my tires from the Blizzak 265/70/17 to the infamous GoodYear Duratracs in a 285/70/17 studded.





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It was time for a rear bumper. This was a long one in which the whole process took around 7 months. I collected a vast amount of images from those who had already done a custom rear bumper on the truck ranging from Land rovers, to Land cruisers to jeeps. This was the best concept in the end. The are a few teaks that need to be made but other than that, it turned out great! Its 100% bolt on so changes can easily be made!




Here's a short video of the old LED light set-up, where I installed a "flasher".

Test video practicing vehicle width...
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Recommended books for Overlanding

New Roof Rack and Light Arrangement

New re-designed rack. My intention here was to go as low and areo-dynamic as possible. I also wanted a flush surface. This was end result thanks to a good friend at Gobi.







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Sleeping Accommodation- RTT

Having traveled thousands of miles and utilizing the interior of the truck for sleeping accommodation, it was time for a change. I am 6"4 and never quite managed to work a way of sleeping with my legs fully extended out. So I had enough of the cramps and decided on the purchase of a Columbus Variant XL tent by Autohome. The ordering was pretty painful and 8 months later the tent arrived, consequently with a nice discount :)! I have used in the winter and summer months and overall pretty pleased with it. It is comfortable, lightweight and consists a sturdy construction. The insulation could be improved however.








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The Everyday Commute Version

As the truck stands right now. Here you see the stripped down version for the everyday commute. It seemed silly to have the tent, fuel cans, tires etc... on whilst commuting. It takes roughly 1hr to load everything back on for a trip.





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Reasoning behind the purchase of the 2010 Toyota 4runner

Why the choice of 2010 5th Gen Toyota 4runner? I set out a quest for a suitable and adaptable vehicle that would meet my everyday needs. Now my everyday needs are always changing as I have no wife, no mortgage and no kids :) Lucky me, hey! Coming from across the pond we all drove landys back home, defenders to be specific. We used the defenders for farm work, shoots (hunting) and leisurable activities. When I moved out to the US, I still had the Defender bug in me. Some call it a disease, some a passion, some an obsession. Too much my surprise they're a rare bird over here and if you're lucky to find one with low enough miles and good condition, it typically comes with a hefty price tag. A price tags that's mind blowing! Defender's back home are dirt cheap in comparison and have always been considered more of the workman's/countryman's truck. Where as over here you're considered pretty wealthy driving a good conditioned 110 around as their dis-continued and inventory is limited. So I tried pretty hard to get my hands on a defender that had low miles at the price I deemed reasonable. No such luck. So the research began to look at vehicle available here in the US that has similar traits to the Defender. Which is where the 4runner comes in, I know you're thinking apples to oranges. In researching I was looking at second hand options and couldn't believe how high there re-sale value was, in fact Kelly Blue book has the 4runner in the top ten highest re-sale value awards and additionally Toyota has 6 of those 10 spots. It was clear reasons for me to stick with an automotive manufacturer like Toyota. The 4runner also has a very strong track record in terms of reliability.

Time came to purchase and Toyota was just about to release the new body styled 5th gen 4ruuner. I immediately fell for it! I ran some basic numbers and worked out that at the time it came to the same cost as 2009 V8 Limited 4th Gen. What was I losing, the V8. So April 13th of 2010 she was purchased. I'm a big guy, 6'4 230 pounds and with that said I need my SPACE! The 5th Gen delivered that well. For its capabilities and design it is a very comfortable truck. I've driven across country many times and never felt all cramped up the other end. The fuel economy is not ideal, but it's better than almost most other options out there for a body-on-frame SUV. In fact truthfully the fuel economy is the only thing that bothers me about the truck. I have loved its versatility however, so the pros outweigh the cons for me. I love the outdoors and camping and general exploring but sadly I don't make my living doing that (YET). With that said building the truck to the gills for everyday commutes would be just silly and very un-practical. That is why I have designed my modifications accordingly. I can load up this truck for “expeditions” and long weekend in the matter of an hour or two. Then same process when I return and I have a decent daily driver. I personally think the 5th gen 4runner is one of the best options out there for the outdoor enthusiast who still has to maintain a city life. It's a perfect equilibrium between a daily driver and weekend off-roader. It's quiet, comfortable and has great off-road capabilities from factory.

All in all I have been thrilled with my decision of the 5th Gen Toyota 4runner and continue to love the truck the same way as the day I bought it. You could say I'm now a “Toyota man” though landies will always be in my blood. I can't wait for the next adventure in it and to share the pictures with you. It's truly my freedom pod on wheels! If you've got any questions, please feel free to ask!

Ollie Fleming

Apertura Expeditions

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Apertura-Expeditions/403274763096601
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Maybe I missed it, but who made the rear bumper? Amazing build. Thank you for sharing. Oh , crap. I think you already told me. CBI Offroad? Sorry about that.