Which Taco for AT Overland build?

kerouac

Member
With Toyota having some great finance rates now is the time for us to finally pull the trigger. I've searched the forums and can't really find an answer to my question.

The goal is a Tacoma with one of the AT Overland products for a rig that will do long distances travels from Baja to Alaska and all the forest service roads through USA and Canada. No rock crawling. No super gnarly trails. Just an ability to hit most of the "out of the way" places on I-overlander. In 5 years time (when we retire) we will consider South America.

So, the questions is...
Which Taco would you buy? Would you go standard model or one of the TRD models? We prefer as small and agile as possible so that leaves out the double cab long box models. Would you purchase an access cab with the 6 foot box or a double cab with the short box?

It's just me, the wife and a labrador (sometimes).

Thanks in advance.
 

Stoked

Observer
For what you want to do, any model is fine. Might not be worth the price difference for one of the TRD models if you plan to upgrade some stuff down the road.

As for the length...if it's just you and the wife and a dog, then AC would be my choice. That extra foot in the bed will be nice once you get your cap on.
 

kwill

Observer
I don't think the TRD Pro is worth the extra money but the low end models are missing a lot of amenities that make long trips much more pleasant. I don't get the TRD Sport 4X4 either. It's a 4X4 tuned for the street, i.e. very stiff. The sweet spot is the TRD Offroad 4X4. JMO.
 

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kerouac

Member
This is great! Exactly the kind of feedback we're looking for. Anybody else have thoughts/ideas? keep em coming :)
 

jaxyaks

Adventurer
If you need a truck, TRD Offroad 4x4 will do everything you mentioned with little or no modification, if you don't need the truck, the 4 runner will get it done.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I don't believe the TRD Offroad is worth the money in this case. Since the upfront understanding is it won't remain stock then the TRD package is mostly not relevant. You will want to rework the suspension for the weight so the progressive shocks and spring rates Toyota uses are replaced.

That leaves the rear locker and 120V inverter. You don't need the inverter, it's not very good, maxes at 400W but is crippled to 100W in certain conditions. The locker is factory and that's nice. It has a set of conditions to use it, for example must be low range. It can be handy to have an on-demand locker in 2WD high but whether it's really a bother is IMO a toss up.

But that said in your position I'd go with a SR5 and put on the stuff you need, a OME suspension and an Air Locker if you want one.

I bought a TRD OR but I wasn't looking for it. Since I was buying used it was a matter of finding what was out there. I wanted Access Cab and stick shift, which were primary points. About the only things left TRD OR on my truck are the stickers on the bed and the locker.

AC vs. Double Cab. I personally like more bed space but the way my camper works (a WilderNest) requires it. A Habitat isn't as critical to have a 6' bed to work so I think it's up to you. I'd still go with a Access Cab for my use. But I prefer the fridge in the bed. Putting the fridge in the interior cab I think makes sense, though, so DC in that case. With an AT Habitat I can see the argument for that.
 
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kerouac

Member
I don't believe the TRD Offroad is worth the money in this case. Since the upfront understanding is it won't remain stock then the TRD package is mostly not relevant. You will want to rework the suspension for the weight so the progressive shocks and spring rates Toyota uses are replaced.

That leaves the rear locker and 120V inverter. You don't need the inverter, it's not very good, maxes at 400W but is crippled to 100W in certain conditions. The locker is factory and that's nice. It has a set of conditions to use it, for example must be low range. It can be handy to have an on-demand locker in 2WD high but whether it's really a bother is IMO a toss up.

But that said in your position I'd go with a SR5 and put on the stuff you need, a OME suspension and an Air Locker if you want one.

I bought a TRD OR but I wasn't looking for it. Since I was buying used it was a matter of finding what was out there. I wanted Access Cab and stick shift, which were primary points. About the only things left TRD OR on my truck are the stickers on the bed and the locker.

AC vs. Double Cab. I personally like more bed space but the way my camper works (a WilderNest) requires it. A Habitat isn't as critical to have a 6' bed to work so I think it's up to you. I'd still go with a Access Cab for my use. But I prefer the fridge in the bed. Putting the fridge in the interior cab I think makes sense, though, so DC in that case. With an AT Habitat I can see the argument for that.
@DaveInDenver what a thoughtful response. Posts like this is one of the reasons I appreciate this forum so much!
 

Slobber

Treading Lightly
I agree that an upgraded SR5 is a good bet. We purchased a 2015 SR5 DCSB based mostly on sticker price but am happy that it turned out that way. I personally haven't needed anything that I missed out on not buying a TRD. I have not made too many upgrades even past stock, just a small lift, tires, and storage items.

Because of our dog, we chose the double cab. It gave me room to build a large platform in the place of the rear seats that gives her plenty of mobility and a secure travel space at the same time. On rainy or snowy travel days, the extra room is nice to have inside where we can have a cooler and a few extra bags within arms reach through out the day, even with the doggo in the back. Our trips are not usually very long so the extra interior room has been more useful than having a longer bed.
 

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djm68

Observer
This thread is a bit old, curious what the OP bought? I am biased as I have a 2012 TRD offroad I bought lightly used (3k miles on it) in 2017, got an excellent deal. I am a fan of the 2nd gens, 3rd gen, IMO, is way too expensive and honestly, I do not think Toyota has kept with the competition in many regards.

Recently, my wife got a major case of truck envy, she dumped her VW Alltrack and started looking for a truck. Used 2nd gens are hard to find in reasonable condition, the prices are nearly always nuts. 3rd gens too expensive, not excited about the drivetrain. We then started looking at the ‘new’ Ford Ranger...and we were very impressed with the truck. The entire driveline is the same as used in the transit vans and has proven quite durable and reliable. The 2.3 ecoboost turbo 4 out performs the 3rd gen taco in every regard, the gas mileage is especially notable — 25 mpg on the highway! The gvwr is also A substantial 500lbs higher than a Taco.

With the Ranger, you can order an equivalent to the SR5 trim level and order the FX4 off-road package separately result in substantial savings...this is exactly what my wife ended up with. personally, if I were in the market for a new midsized truck the ranger is likely to be my #1 choice.

Cheers,
DJM
 

Yroundrdn

Observer
TRD Off-road is the truck! Very happy with mine and though I thought I would never use crawl control, I found it's very nice to have "just in case" you end up needing to back down something or in a bad spot, miles from anywhere. It's like a winch, may never use it but gives peace of mind. I've had many 4x4s and gotten out of crazy situations but these things can do more than I thought I needed. I would have been very disappointed if I had not gotten the TRD Off Road, especially since I used all the features on our first trip.
We went with the crew cab, didn't think I would need it but very glad we did. I removed the seats, put a fridge back there and like access to the rest of the stuff while driving. As for the long bed, I went with the short bed because though I never intend in being in "that" situation, I prefer the short wheel base since I've been in "that" situation trying to get out to a location we really wanted to see.
Good luck, you'll love the truck, that is what we went with and very glad we did.
 

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astroflashjones

New member
Cant go wrong, just depends on the added features you want. My last truck was a 2013 access cab, manual 2.7L. It did just fine off road and made it through some trails where others got stuck. Pretty sluggish on mountain passes though. When we had a kiddo I purchased a 2016 TRD OR double cab short bed to make room for a car seat. It came with the tech pachage that includes the heated seats and sunroof, probably my favorite upgrades. Crawl control and terrain select is nice but doesnt replace driver skill. Having the extra room in the cab has made it worth having the 5' bed.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
With the Ranger, you can order an equivalent to the SR5 trim level and order the FX4 off-road package separately result in substantial savings...this is exactly what my wife ended up with. personally, if I were in the market for a new midsized truck the ranger is likely to be my #1 choice.
If I was in a bind to replace my 2008 TRD Offroad it would 93% surely be with a lower-to-mid range spec Ranger optioned with a locker.
 
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