Tyler’s build: Living out of my Tacoma, full-time, while traveling North America (@WanderingWinterfields)

Tyler

✓ • Mythical
Badministrator
Messages
6,637
Upvotes Recieved
11,325
Location
Long Island, NY
First Name
Tyler
Truck Year
2017
Truck Color
Quicksand
Truck Grade
Off-Road
Cab & Bed
Double Cab, Long Bed
Transmission
Automatic
T3G Member
#1
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INTRODUCTION
This is the build thread of the truck that inspired me to create this website!

It was a truck originally built to be abused pretty hard, despite its price tag, while still daily driven when things aren't too broken.
Two years later, I am now transforming it into a home-on-wheels that myself, Paige, and our two dogs will live in, full-time, while we travel all of North and South America. #VanLife

Follow the build and our journey right here on the forum, on our Instagram page, and on our YouTube channel.
We are The Wandering Winterfields and we hope you'll wander with us!

RECENT PHOTO (OCTOBER 2020)​
THE NIGHT I BOUGHT THE TRUCK (7/24/2017)​
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Tons of additional photos, videos, and other shenanigans can also be found on my personal Instagram account (@sixlxvi) and occasionally on the Tacoma3G Instagram page. Photos of the trail carnage the truck has acquired are at the bottom of this post.

TRUCK
2017 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab -- 6-ft. "long" bed -- TRD Off-Road 4x4 -- Automatic
It came with a dealer-installed TRD Pro skid plate and useless OEM roof rack.

MODIFICATIONS *THIS PART IS SLIGHTLY OUTDATED. WILL UPDATE SOON.*
STUFF STILL SITTING IN MY GARAGE...​
TIRES / WHEELS​
  • Installed:
    • BFGoodrich 315/75r16 KM3 [photos]
    • Black Rhino Arsenal wheels in sand/black color with -10mm offset
    • Full-size spare on stock steelie, mounted to Relentless Fabrication rear swing gate
  • Removed:
    • BFGoodrich 285/75r16 KO2s on stock OR wheels [photos]
    • Spidertrax 1.25" wheel spacers (front only)
    [*][*][*]
FRONT AXLE / SUSPENSION​
  • Installed:
    • Icon coilovers with extended length shocks and 700lbs coils (~3.2” lift) [photos 1, photos 2]
    • SPC adjustable upper control arms
    • Wheeler's Off-Road bump stops
    • Cab mount chop by DrWeld, pinch weld flattened, and additional trimming of fender area to fit 35" tires
  • Removed:
    • Swaybar delete
    • OME 887 coils with Bilstein 5100 extended shocks, set to .85 notch [photos]
REAR AXLE / SUSPENSION​
  • Installed:
    • Icon remote reservoir extended length shocks [photos]
  • Removed:
    • Bilstien 5100 extended length shocks [photos]
    • Dakar heavy duty leaf spring packs (~4” lift) [photos]
ARMOR / BUMPERS​
PERFORMANCE / MECHANICAL / BRAKES​
  • Installed:
    • OVTune ECU flash kit on Premium 4.88 octane flash
    • Nitro Gear & Axle 5.29 regear package
    • Remmen Brakes front "Rocky" series brake kit (pads + rotors) (not yet installed)
    • Extended length rear braided brake lines (not yet installed)
    • DobinsonsUSA snorkel kit
    • K&N air intake filter
  • Wishlist:
    • Harrop front E-locker
LIGHTING / ELECTRICAL​
  • Installed:
    • CaliRaisedLED OEM style light bar switch and relay mount
    • KC HiLiTES Apollo lights as ditch lights mounted on CaliRaisedLED low profile brackets
    • SDHQ OFFROAD Switch Pros switch panel power system (not yet installed)
  • Wishlist:
    • KC HiLiTES Gravity Pro 6 LED light bar
  • Removed:
EXTERIOR / APPEARANCE​
INTERIOR / QUALITY OF LIFE​
  • Installed:
    • Clazzio leather seat covers in matching tan insert, grey body, and red stitching, with embroidered front headrests [relevant photos]
    • salex Vehicle OCD center console organizer and 2nd gen Tacoma top tray "hack" [relevant photos]
    • Installed driver side style hold downs for the OEM rubber floor mats on passenger side mat and rear mat [relevant photos]
    • A/C drain relocated to avoid rust to frame
    • ExpeditionEssentials TPAM dash mount with Tackform his/her phone mounts
    • 12Volt.Solutions plug and play remote start kit (not yet installed)
UTILITY / RECOVERY​
  • Installed:
    • CB radio with antenna mounted behind driver side rear glass [relevant photos]
    • OEM cargo bed divider (expensive but very useful) [relevant photos]
    • Smittybilt 10k synthetic winch (not yet installed)
    • Two 3.5 gallon RotopaX
  • Removed:
CAMPER SHELL
Ordered a Four Wheel Camper shell model in black on 10/31/2019. Expected delivery around March 2020. We will DIY build the inside of it when we get it. I also have upgrades planned to help the truck handle the weight. Stay tuned!

Example photo (not my truck):
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WHY I ENDED UP BUYING A TACOMA
July 2017: I had been daily driving my 1986 Chevy M1008 CUCV (K30) for two years now. It never let me down and literally received compliments daily. The truck is my baby, and always will be, but I felt like although it has 37" tires, it is mostly a mall crawler. Paige has a 2013 Jeep JK that we bought new in 2013 and it has seen many trails across the country. My CUCV definitely wouldn't be able to keep up with it, so I decided I wanted a Jeep for myself.

We went around to some dealerships to see Jeeps. I knew what I wanted since I’ve already owned a Jeep for about four years. And because I knew what I wanted, it was kind of hard to find my desired configuration on any lots, and I would've had to order it. So we left the final dealership for the day and immediately drove by an adjacent Toyota dealership. That's when the Quicksand paint color caught our eyes. Our Jeep color is called Dune, which is similar to Quicksand, so naturally we were intrigued. Well, kind of — I never wanted to own anything other than an old Chevy pickup, with the exception being the Jeep JK. Regardless, we went in to compare the price of the Tacoma to the Jeep. I figured it would be a lot cheaper since Jeeps are notoriously expensive, but the Tacoma was actually not at all cheaper. But I decided to accept my guilty pleasure for the design of the 3rd gen. Tacoma and Paige was also digging it.

Fast forward to about six hours later, I'm now driving home in a brand new Tacoma — a truck I know nothing about, except that it has a rear locker. Mmmmm, that rear locker is so nice. I'm driving home thinking to myself, "What the hell did I just do?". I had a perfectly good crusty truck that was already paid off and I definitely didn't need a brand new truck.

I made a promise to myself after I got the truck. I want to put as many miles I can on it — driving it until it dies. Despite it being a brand new $38k truck, I will not be afraid to wheel it... hard. I've always had a passion for off-roading, and that wasn't going to stop with the Tacoma. Little did we know, two years later, we'd be living out of the truck, full-time!

THE ACCIDENT
http://instagr.am/p/Bhw1AnynBvJ/
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December 2017. Six months of having the truck and 4,000 miles on the odometer...

I’m on a military base headed back to work at 1200. I’m waiting to turn left in the turning lane and then get hit on the passenger side from a car behind me going straight. The dude told the police he fell asleep, but this was right at lunch time and he had someone else in the car. He was definitely texting. His car was totaled and leaking fluids everywhere.

My truck? $15,000 in damage. I’m someone that buys a vehicle with no intention of ever selling it. With that being said, my brand new truck needing this much work done to it at only six months old... it was very frustrating. For a while I didn’t want the truck anymore even though the repairs looked like it never happened. Then I guess I learned to accept it.

The only decent thing to come from this was the police ruining my rear bumper by trying to push the truck with their car. I was able to get the body shop to replace those nasty chrome bumper caps with color matched ones.

TRAIL CARNAGE
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RANDOM PHOTOS
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MY OTHER RIGS
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tacomiyagi

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Tacoma3G Supporter
Tacoma3G O.G.
Messages
103
Upvotes Recieved
177
Location
Las Vegas, NV
First Name
Roger
T3G Member
#25
Love the build and what you've done so far. Story was great. Funny thing is, I custom ordered my truck as it was hard to find a longbed, fully loaded and in the quicksand color. One month into the order I changed my mind at the last minute when it was to begin building and went with white. I don't regret the decision as my previous 3 trucks were white also but I always wonder how my truck would be like now had I stuck it out and not changed it. Well....I get to look at yours. I also got my friend to get a taco at the same time and he went with quicksand as well.
 

Tyler

✓ • Mythical
Badministrator
Messages
6,637
Upvotes Recieved
11,325
Location
Long Island, NY
First Name
Tyler
Truck Year
2017
Truck Color
Quicksand
Truck Grade
Off-Road
Cab & Bed
Double Cab, Long Bed
Transmission
Automatic
T3G Member
#1
Love the build and what you've done so far. Story was great. Funny thing is, I custom ordered my truck as it was hard to find a longbed, fully loaded and in the quicksand color. One month into the order I changed my mind at the last minute when it was to begin building and went with white. I don't regret the decision as my previous 3 trucks were white also but I always wonder how my truck would be like now had I stuck it out and not changed it. Well....I get to look at yours. I also got my friend to get a taco at the same time and he went with quicksand as well.
Lol, awesome. Glad you can quicksand vicariously through me. And thank you.
 

Catfish

✓ • Diamond
Tacoma3G O.G.
Messages
361
Upvotes Recieved
513
Location
Bay Area, Ca
First Name
Adrian
Truck Year
2017
Truck Color
Silver Sky
Truck Grade
Off-Road
Cab & Bed
Double Cab, Long Bed
Transmission
Automatic
T3G Member
#3
well dude. it was either your color, or silver. knowing me.. i went with what i knew.. I STILL LOVE THE QS color.