Zam15’s Tacoma Build


My name is Derek, I am a San Diego, CA native. I have always had a love to find out what is over the next hill. When I came upon Expedition Portal I was able to see how my life long desire to own a “Go Anywhere” Toyota Tacoma and my love of camping and exploration could go hand in hand. I would now be able to travel to remote places with friends and family and not be limited to the standard tourist traps. My goal was to be able to transport and sleep four people with all their gear in one vehicle and maintain its ability to leave large motor homes behind. I decided the best vehicle to do this was the Toyota Tacoma Double Cab.

All-Pro Sliders
ARB Front Bumper - Modified
Custom Diff Guard
1/4" Custom Skid
Rear Bumper - In progress

"Built Right Fabrication" Long Travel 3.5"
King 2.5” x 8" shocks w/remote reservoir and 700LB Coils
Cam tab gussets
Spindle gussets
Coil bucket/double shear UCA gussets
Heim steering
Tundra LT CV Axles
ARB Locker
4.88 Gears
Glassworks 6.5 " Fenders
Glassworks 6" Bedsides

Rea End:
Currie 9" Trussed Extreme Duty Housing
Currie 9+ Race Case
4.86 Gears, Extreme 35 Spline Axle
ARB Locker
3-Link + Panhard Bar
18" 2.5" Custom King Coilover Shocks
11" Explorer Drilled Rotors
Timbren Bump Stops F/R

Bi-Xenon 55w 5000K HID Projector Headlights
7” 55w HID Off-Road Lights
Vision X LED Rock Lights
6 LED Light Bar (Swapped into turn ARB signals)
6 LED Pod Mounted in ARB

Expedition Gear:
Roof Top Tent w/Changing Room
Safari Roof Rack
Homemade Awning
Thule Swing Away Bike Rack
50QT ARB Fridge
Custom Snorkel
10" x 3.75" ARB/Donaldson Cyclonic Pre-Filter

315/75R16 KO2
SCS Customs Stealth6 16" 3.5" BS
Viair 2.5 Gal Tank
ARB Dual Air Compressor

Transmission Cooler
TRD Supercharger
URD 7th Injector Kit
Tundra Disc Break Conversion with High Performance Slotted Rotors
Flowmaster 40

Snugtop Camper Shell
Spray On Bed Liner
Towing Package

Recovery Gear
12,500lb Winch
Ranger 3/8" Synthetic Rope
Custom Splice Fairlead
Factor 55 Flatlink
Sand Ladders
Snow Chains
Hi-Lift Jack

Mean Green High Output Alternator
IBS Dual Battery Kit
Dual Northstar Group 35 Batteries

Rear Bumper w/Tire Carrier
Hot water heater/aux tank
Flip-Pac or AT Habitat
Front Bypass Shocks

Old Mods:
65 Watt Solar - Mounted On Roof Rack
OME Front Shocks
Front Spacers
BFG MT, AT, RT in 255/85, 265/75
Budbuilt Traction Bar (Currently off the truck)
Dakar HD OME Leaf Springs + Deaver AAL
OME "Firm" Shocks N85
HD Shackles
Greasable Bushings
HD U-Bolts
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Rob O

Welcome. That's a great looking truck with some tasteful, functional mods. Look forward to more pics.


Thanks for the quick responses! :D

The Start:
My first step into the mini expedition world was with my previous vehicle. It was a 1998 Suzuki Sidekick Sport 4x2. It was a good daily driver, got good gas mileage and was very reliable. But it lacked in several areas. 1. It was underpowered 2. Trying to go on long trips was difficult due to lack of cargo space 3. It was not very capable off road (4x2). So I bought my Tacoma and sold my Suzuki, the only thing I lost was money (more than I wanted) but I gained so much more.

She was a good car.
But a much better one came along

-This leads me into my first mod... the most important thing to me was keeping my cargo dry and safe, so I went on Craigslist and found a nice used camper shell for a good price. It needed a little work but it turned out great. I was very surprised I found an exact match for my truck. Now I don't have to worry about my important gear blowing away of getting stolen. The camper shell also allowed for a dry place where two people could sleep as well as a place to mount a roof rack.



Rack System:
The next step was installing a roof rack that could support a cargo basket as well as other goodies. I decided on a Yakima roof rack with a Surco Safari cargo basket. The Yakima Control Towers are mounted on tracks to (hopefully) spread out the load across the entire shell. I selected the 58” cross bars to allow me to fit my 45” wide basket. I wanted the extra few inches on the crossbars so that I could eventually fit an awning on the roof to keep everyone out of the sun.

After testing the rack system on a few trips I found the Yakima roof rack to be very strong and durable. The Surco roof basket is very light and does not add much weight to the top of your vehicle; however I find it to be a bit on the flimsy side. The floor of the basket has some very large gaps if you avoid paying the extra cost for the floor kit. For the price it does ok…


Hey Derek!

Great looking Taco. You're off to a great start. If I was to lose my 4Runner, I'd be looking for the exact same Taco model.

When you can do your lift, etc., Head on over to the guys at ProTrux ( They did the work on my 4runner, and they are Toyota people, not Jeep or Chevy mechanics trying to apply what they know to a Toyota and screwing it up in the process. I drove over 100 miles to have them lift my 4runner, and it was well worth it.


Thanks for the advice, when I save up enough I will definitely give them a look. :safari-rig:


I just installed my RTT and moved my roof basket forward. I wanted to test it out so me and a friend went down to the bay for a day and took a nap for a few hours. It was windy but everything held up very well.

You just can't beat the view and it's a lot cheaper than beach front property.


Recent pictures from my 1500 Mile trip to: The Kern River, Sequoia NP, Yosemite NP and Mammoth.
After 14 Days in a RTT you start to notice its benefits over a ground tent. The only problem are all the Lookie Loos
56k Warning
Also Going to post in completed trips..
Yosemite NP:

Upper Yosemite:

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