The Truck

  • Willow sitting in front of the Tacoma

This is the amazingly capable vehicle we are presently using to get us into and back out of all the interesting and beautiful places we want to go, carrying more gear than we probably need. You know the saying though, “Better to have and not need than to need and not have.”

In the Alabama Hills near the foot of Mt. Whitney in Lone Pine, CA
In the Alabama Hills near the foot of Mt. Whitney in Lone Pine, CA

Detailed Info:
2004 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road Access Cab, 3.4 liter V6 (5VZ-FE), 5-speed manual, Super White color. I chose the ’04 first and foremost because it is the last year of that model style and all the issues have been ironed out. I’m not a fan of being an early adopter/Beta Tester. Many of the things I own are the last version of their model. Secondly, there is a truly amazing amount of aftermarket parts and upgrades for this model. I could probably build a whole truck out of aftermarket parts if I was so inclined (nope, although it would be pretty awesome) and could afford too (a whole lotta nope again). When something breaks or wears out I can easily replace it with a part of equal or better performance for less than the OEM part. Thirdly, it’s a Tacoma, widely regarded as one of the finest examples of a light pickup truck ever made. It is iconic. They might not admit it out loud or in mixed company but even Ford, Chevy and Jeep owners know what it is when they see it and understand what a fine and capable vehicle it is.

Its bed is topped with a snugtop Hi-Liner shell. It was the only option in a shell higher than cab height for this year and model of truck so I got it. Huge P.O.S. – buy anything BUT this shell. My full rant and pictures can be found here.

I finally replaced the Toytec spacer lift for a full OME NitroCharger/Dakar package. I have nothing against Thule but Yakima has served me well since my first car so I based my external storage on their products. The base is a Yakima Control Tower set with 58″ Roof Rack Round Crossbars. This base supports a RocketBox Pro 12 Cargo Box Yakima Load Warrior basket with the 18″ extension so we can carry more stuff up top, a Hi-Lift Jack, MaxTrax Sand Ladders and a small shovel.

Wheels in all the pictures on this site are American Racing Outlaw II shod with BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A K02 (my review) in the stock 265/70R16 size. We have since changed to Relations Race Wheels, RR4 in matte black. New pictures coming soon.

Besides what is on the truck I also have gear that’s only used for the truck.