Toyota Unveils Tacoma Overlanding Concept at SEMA

Toyota partnered with Cruiser Outfittersto create a “Go Anywhere Now” overland rig built on the dependable Tacoma SR5. We briefly covered this exciting rig in November with a look at the company’s SEMA line-up, but today delve deeper into their most accessible option.

The objective was to design a capable all-terrain vehicle without an extravagant price-tag, and that could still be utilized as a daily driver. Kurt Williams, Cruiser Outfitters Founder, commented: “Not everyone can buy, let alone find, a TRD Pro, so we wanted to build on the SR5 platform since it’s a great starting point to customize.”

Overland builds can be very expensive, and for the majority of us it’s simply not viable to own an expedition rig and an everyday vehicle for the commute. This in mind, the project goal was to “create a great all-round package that accentuates the Tacoma’s capability, while keeping it functional and attainable for weekend warriors.”

The Tacoma’s already impressive off-road performance is enhanced with a number of modifications, including: Old Man EMU BP-51 adjustable suspension, Dakar leaf springs, and upper control arms, Icon Alloy Alpha wheels, and Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. Trails can be gnarly, so additional protection is offered via an ARB Summit Combo BAR, Expedition Onedual swing rear bumper system, Ultra HD skid plate, rocker protection, and rock sliders. Evening visibility has been improved with ARB Intensity Solis front lights, Rigid Radiance Scene LED light pods, and an ARB LED light bar. If you’re venturing out to remote locations it’s important to be equipped for self-recovery (although proper training should be undertaken beforehand), thus the Tacoma incorporates a Warn winch, ARB compressor and Premium Recovery kit, Hi-Lift jack, shovel, and axe. Finally, an ARB Safari snorkel is fitted to prevent water crossings from ruining the fun.

Storage is another key consideration for overland travel, and a number of innovative solutions have been integrated into the Tacoma. Gear and provisions are easily secured via a Mule MAP and Baki Rack System, ARB Outback Solutions dual drawer system, ARB fridge/freezer, and a Yakima rooftop tent. This simple, yet functional, modular approach is easily removed should you require the truck as a daily driver.

Overlanding rigs are often extravagant and insanely expensive, and while the Tacoma concept isn’t exactly cheap, I do appreciate the efforts of Toyota and Cruiser Outfitters to create something that is more understated and attainable. Vehicle travel has traditionally been a budget-friendly way to explore, but in recent years social media has created the illusion that you need a monster rig and all the latest gear to enjoy the great outdoors, and that’s simply not true. I recommend checking out my featured vehicle piece on Fabian Scholz who preaches the importance of keeping it simple and notes a couple of German guys overlanding Central Asia in a €500 2WD Opel saloon. If you’d like to learn more about the Toyota concept head over to their website below or check out the detailed article written up by ARB.

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No money in the bank, but gas in the tank. Our resident Bikepacking Editor Jack Mac is an exploration photographer and writer living full-time in his 1986 Vanagon Syncro but spends most days at the garage pondering why he didn’t buy a Land Cruiser Troopy. If he’s not watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he can be found mountaineering for Berghaus, sea kayaking for Prijon, or bikepacking for Surly Bikes. Jack most recently spent two years on various assignments in the Arctic Circle but is now back in the UK preparing for his upcoming expeditions—looking at Land Cruisers. Find him on his website, Instagram, or on Facebook under Bicycle Touring Apocalypse.