A Pickup Instead of an SUV?

Our friends at Expedition Portal have published an article "Why You Should Skip the SUV and Buy a Pickup", which discusses using a modern pickup truck for overland travel instead of an SUV.

Author Christophe Noel illustrates very good points about how most of the great 'true' SUVs are either no longer produced, or are now nothing more than glorified station wagons.

We thought a quick discussion of how the Tacoma and Tundra are perfectly suited for overland vehicle platforms would be a great addition to Mr. Noels article.

Why You Should Skip the SUV and Buy a Pickup | Expedition Portal

Photo courtesty of Expedition Portal / Christophe Noel


While the new 3.5l V6 engine in the 3rd Gen Tacoma has many of us wondering how to build these trucks into good overland platforms, all you need to do is look to Expedition Overland to see how it can be done.

Of course, the 2nd Gen Tacoma is still one of the most popular trucks in North America and has one of the most robust aftermarket parts list of any Toyota vehicle.

Toyota Tacoma overland


The current 2nd Gen Tundra is an amazing choice for an overland platform. The 5.7L V8 engine gets good enough mileage for a full size truck, and has plenty of power to haul or pull just about any overland camping setup.

Adding a Magnuson Supercharger not only increases HP and torque, but it can actually help with mileage if you keep your foot off the skinny pedal.

As far as reliability goes, if you take care of your Tundra with regular maintenance and sesible modifications, it can run for 1 million miles!

Toyota Tundra overland

So, what does a Tacoma or Tundra setup for Overland exploring really need?

Upgraded Tires (usually an All Terrain) are perhaps the best first modification for an overland vehicle. Most OEM tires are not suitable for extended off-highway travel, especially when the vehicle is heavily loaded.

A Lift Kit is an obvious choice and will help with fitting larger tires. Ensure you install the Diff Drop if your vehicle calls for it, that will help maintain reliability after your truck is lifted.

Re-Gearing can be a great way to recover power and keep an efficient vehicle after all other modifications are installed.

Armor is not always necessary with an overland build, but lightweight skid plates, aluminum bumpers, and stout rock sliders will help if you get in an unexpected situation.


As a final thought, regardless of whether you choose the nimble Toyota Tacoma, stout Toyota Tundra, or stick with an SUV such as the 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, or Land Cruiser, building a Toyota Overland platform is the best way to ensure an amazing adventure!


Our Online Store is open 24/7 to help you find the perfect lift kit, mod, or accessory for your Toyota 4x4!

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