Going on an overland expedition always sounds fun. There is plenty thought behind designing a vehicle that you will be living out of for two months at a time.
The team over at Expedition Overland explore some of the most remote places in North America and now Central America in a new expedition. They design the vehicle they will be using and put them to the test, bringing everything they will need for the trip with them.
The expedition they are getting ready for was going to take them down to Central America, ending up at the Darien Gap. The Darien Gap is a break in the Pan-American Highway consisting of a large swath of undeveloped swampland and forest within Panama.
This journey they used two 2015 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium, and a 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD Offroad. The Tacoma did have some modifications done from previous expeditions but the 4Runners had to get completely outfitted.
One thing that they had to take into consideration is the weight of the vehicle while on the expedition. It is not like most off-road trips where there may be a cooler, and some gear in the back. This trip they would be loaded down with plenty of weight for the entire journey.
The first thing that was done to the 4Runner’s, was adding the Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stage 7 kit. This kit comes with new coilers, shocks, springs, upper control arms, and billet links. The kit gives the suspension a complete overhaul allowing the vehicle to handle anything thrown at it.
Tires where the next step to increase ground clearance as well as making sure the trucks have traction for the different types of terrain. The team went with the General Grabber AT 2 after having success with this tire on previous expeditions.
The 4Runners’s where also outfitted with Warn Zeon Platinum winches with a hide away mount. It placed the winch behind the factory bummer and grill. The winches came with Warn’s light weight Spydura rope.
With storage being key on long trips in the middle of no where, being able to use all the space in your vehicle is key. The Expedition Overland crew had each of the vehicles outfitted with off-road drawers. These drawers will store food and supplies safely but allow for easy access to the items.
The drawers would slide out of the back of each vehicle. There would also be a drawer installed that would slide a mini refrigerator and stove out from underneath. All the drawers allowed for more bags and supplies to be placed on top.
The nice thing about the Tacoma and 4Runner platform is the ability to use the entire vehicle. This includes using a roof rack to store more items, roof top tents, and to secure the Rigid Industries LED light bars.
Awnings were even added to the vehicles so they could have additional shade. Tucked up on the roof rack was Rigid Industries 40 inch SR series light bar. The 4Runner’s also has a 32 inch E2 combo light bar tucked behind the grille with even more rock lights, backup lights, and area lighting. These trucks will be able to light up the night in any country they drive across.
Mobile GPS applications on iPads, and high altitude radios rounded out the vehicles. They were built with a purpose and will be put to the test on some of the most extreme terrain in the world.
Going on an expedition where you will be out on the trail for any long period of time should not be taken lightly. It can be very dangerous and plenty of caution should be taken. With the right preparation it can be a fun experience to be apart of.