Overlanding Rig for Hunting?

Huntin_GI

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Apr 14, 2016
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121
Thoughts?

After hunting out of a Subaru, Honda CRV, a Saturn Sedan, and a 2wd Chevy Colorado, I am moving into a 4wd truck. I had been leaning into the Tundra before gas prices started their meteoric climb to the top of the daily consumables budget.

As I began to explore alternatives, I came across a fully outfitted 17' Tacoma Off Road with 50K miles. This thing has everything someone who enjoys exploring the mountain west could want (live in CO). I'm talking over built suspension, bigger tires, RLD canopy, roof top tent, winch, recovery gear, alu cab awning, battery bank system, dometic fridge on slide, and much more.

I bit the bullet as the deal was too good to pass up.

Now to the point of the post.
For those that have an overlanding rig that doubles as a hunting rig, what has your experience been? Any particular complaints? Tips?


P.S.
No, I didn't take these photos, as I have to go pick the truck up in Olympia WA. I will be driving back along I-90 and then turning south out of Billings on my way back to CO. Any recommended stops along the way? Ill be driving either the first or second week of April.
IMG_20201007_181529.jpg IMG_20200923_195519.jpg
 

bsnedeker

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MT
Only issue I can see is having all of camp attached to your truck means you have to break camp every time you want to go check out another area or head to town for a beer or whatever. If you plan on hunting out of your truck from the same spot for 3+ days without heading to town I think this will be sweet.
 

Greenchilecheeseburger

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New Mexico
What's your gear ratio? I owned a 2017 and 2018 Tacoma (both turned out to be lemons) and I was constantly frustrated with the output from the 3.5 ltr V6 and poor factory gearing. Both trucks were stock with stock tires, the 6 speed transmission was constantly downshifting at the slightest incline to maintain speed. It was terrible on lengthy trips and I never used cruise control once in the 2 years of ownership since the transmission was constantly shifting and forcing the engine into high RPMs (peak HP is at 6000 RPM.) This obviously tanks your fuel mileage. Considering to the vehicle you purchased, with larger and heavier tires, a RTT increasing wind resistance and other (awesome) mods which make your truck incredibly heavy - if the original owner has not re-geared that truck you'll need to do it ASAP.

You need to be very careful with such a heavy rig with a very low GVWR. I see a ton of heavily modded tacos out there, but that does not necessarily mean they are very safe. Consider braking distances and wear on linkage. And since you mentioned you're concerned with fuel costs, all that gear is going to continue to decrease your fuel efficiency. For reference both my Tacoma's averaged about 21 in town and 17 on the highway WITHOUT any gear, if I remember correctly that usually dropped to about 15 MPGs when on hunting/camping trips.

Not trying to rain on your parade or diminish your excitement from getting a new ride, only trying to give you some real world reviews and realistic expectations for how these vehicles drive.

Read this article - I agree with it 100% based on my experiences with the 3rd Gen. Tacomas as well as friends and family members who bought them as well.
 

Greenchilecheeseburger

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New Mexico
Now to the point of the post.
For those that have an overlanding rig that doubles as a hunting rig, what has your experience been? Any particular complaints? Tips?
I guess I better answer your question, my issue with overlanding rigs is all that nice gear in the bed/rack is very attractive to thieves when you park at a trailhead or around town. Overlanding rigs are like big neon signs that say "expensive shit here."
 
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Huntin_GI

Huntin_GI

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"before gas prices started their meteoric climb to the top of the daily consumables budget...."

??

Huh? How old are you? Gas is like $2.50 a gallon. I think around 2007 or so it was bout $4.00 - 5.00 a gallon.

A year ago, gas was nearly as cheap as it was 25 years ago!

Nice truck. Enjoy it. All that stuff can add up in weight.
31. And while recognizing gas has been more expensive in the past, I’m pointing out, fuel has seen a dramatic uptick in recent months and is currently showing no signs of slowing.
 
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Huntin_GI

Huntin_GI

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Th
I guess I better answer your question, my issue with overlanding rigs is all that nice gear in the bed/rack is very attractive to thieves when you park at a trailhead or around town. Overlanding rigs are like big neon signs that say "expensive shit here."
This is/has been a concern I’ve been mulling over.
 
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Huntin_GI

Huntin_GI

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Joined
Apr 14, 2016
Messages
121
What's your gear ratio? I owned a 2017 and 2018 Tacoma (both turned out to be lemons) and I was constantly frustrated with the output from the 3.5 ltr V6 and poor factory gearing. Both trucks were stock with stock tires, the 6 speed transmission was constantly downshifting at the slightest incline to maintain speed. It was terrible on lengthy trips and I never used cruise control once in the 2 years of ownership since the transmission was constantly shifting and forcing the engine into high RPMs (peak HP is at 6000 RPM.) This obviously tanks your fuel mileage. Considering to the vehicle you purchased, with larger and heavier tires, a RTT increasing wind resistance and other (awesome) mods which make your truck incredibly heavy - if the original owner has not re-geared that truck you'll need to do it ASAP.

You need to be very careful with such a heavy rig with a very low GVWR. I see a ton of heavily modded tacos out there, but that does not necessarily mean they are very safe. Consider braking distances and wear on linkage. And since you mentioned you're concerned with fuel costs, all that gear is going to continue to decrease your fuel efficiency. For reference both my Tacoma's averaged about 21 in town and 17 on the highway WITHOUT any gear, if I remember correctly that usually dropped to about 15 MPGs when on hunting/camping trips.

Not trying to rain on your parade or diminish your excitement from getting a new ride, only trying to give you some real world reviews and realistic expectations for how these vehicles drive.

Read this article - I agree with it 100% based on my experiences with the 3rd Gen. Tacomas as well as friends and family members who bought them as well.
Did you bother with the OVtune or gear yours? I’m 100% going to do the tune and had been considering the regearing.
 

Antarctica

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Maryland
31. And while recognizing gas has been more expensive in the past, I’m pointing out, fuel has seen a dramatic uptick in recent months and is currently showing no signs of slowing.
Actually - your first post prompted me to check national gas prices, and you are right - they are higher than I knew/expected. I drive so little these days (work from home) that I hardly ever seem to buy gas and am out of touch with where it is at!! Was surprised to see several places in the country well over $3.00
 

Vandy321

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CO
You won't find a better hunting/camping setup. My only complaint with the taco is the short bed doesn't leave my room in the bed, the long bed is slightly better, but not much on room. Planning accordingly for meat transport, especially with the fridge on the slide-out. I'd say if packing in, consider leaving the fridge at home during the hunt only and going with a few large cheapo coolers for meat. Also, just make sure you have a way to lock whatever you can inside that camper top..and maybe consider a hidden kill switch or fuel shutoff so you don't come back to find someone drove off in your overlanding vehicle while you were off chasing elk for 8 days.
 

Packin_packout

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Nov 1, 2019
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I have mine configured similarly. Running f150 ecoboost w/ RTT & awning. Basically I can roll in at midnight be setup and sleeping in less than 3-5 minutes and back on the road just about as fast. It adds weight but I hunt all over the place and pretty much never ever have to bother with a hotel. As far as theft issues I just hang a trail camera near where I park my truck. Fridge / freezer on board and cooking setup folds out underneath awning so it works. When it starts getting to late season and daylight gets really short I will bring a wall tent or tipi because spending 10 hours straight in roof top is not my thing having, some room to stretch is nice. I had my kids and I in the truck down to -5 w/o issue w/ good sleeping bags.

I can fit two 150 qt coolers in the back, an arb freezer, 6 rubber totes, chainsaw, toolbox + fuel / water. Sleeps my kids up in the RTT...I sleep in the topper on a rack I built.
 
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Huntin_GI

Huntin_GI

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I have mine configured similarly. Running f150 ecoboost w/ RTT & awning. Basically I can roll in at midnight be setup and sleeping in less than 3-5 minutes and back on the road just about as fast. It adds weight but I hunt all over the place and pretty much never ever have to bother with a hotel. As far as theft issues I just hang a trail camera near where I park my truck. Fridge / freezer on board and cooking setup folds out underneath awning so it works. When it starts getting to late season and daylight gets really short I will bring a wall tent or tipi because spending 10 hours straight in roof top is not my thing having, some room to stretch is nice. I had my kids and I in the truck down to -5 w/o issue w/ good sleeping bags.

I can fit two 150 qt coolers in the back, an arb freezer, 6 rubber totes, chainsaw, toolbox + fuel / water. Sleeps my kids up in the RTT...I sleep in the topper on a rack I built.

I was curious about this. If the RTT is all your setting up, seems like it would be pretty painless. When planning my drive back from Washington I was trying to figure out the hotel situation and my wife mention I could just find a chunk of National forest and call it a night and I immediately realized the utility of this setup.
 
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Huntin_GI

Huntin_GI

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Actually - your first post prompted me to check national gas prices, and you are right - they are higher than I knew/expected. I drive so little these days (work from home) that I hardly ever seem to buy gas and am out of touch with where it is at!! Was surprised to see several places in the country well over $3.00
That was why I started hesitating about getting into a rig that gets 12-14 MPGs on a good day. All signs point to continued increases which causes me to be concerned with idea of a Tundra. Where I’m at in CO were see 2.94 all over the place.
 

Eltigreblanco

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Actually - your first post prompted me to check national gas prices, and you are right - they are higher than I knew/expected. I drive so little these days (work from home) that I hardly ever seem to buy gas and am out of touch with where it is at!! Was surprised to see several places in the country well over $3.00
I live in las vegas. The average price per gallon here is $3.23. Oil prices plummeted gas was still around $2.50 here
 

drmatara

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Dec 16, 2020
Messages
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If you plan on hunting out of your truck from the same spot for 5+ days without heading to town I think this will be nice but what if you have to head to town for a quick errand.
 

eddielasvegas

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Scottsdale, AZ
Looks like a nice setup.

If you're considering this setup and concerned about gas prices, you need to find another hobby.

The actual dollars you'll spend between 12MPG and 20MPG per year is insignificant if you spent on this what I think you did. Now, if gas starts being rationed, you are screwed. :D

Good luck on your drive back and keep us posted.


Eddie
 

Greenchilecheeseburger

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Did you bother with the OVtune or gear yours? I’m 100% going to do the tune and had been considering the regearing.
I did not have the vehicles long enough to be able to mod them. Only had each Tacoma for a year before Toyota bought them back. I had multiple issues with poor tolerances on the rear axle causing the rear brakes (drums) to warp. There were a few service bulletins issued by Toyota for this issue. Anyways, I did have plans to mod the trucks but never got the opportunity. I'm in a F150 now and very happy.

A tune is not going to fix a bad gear ratio, a tune is basically just changing shift points. Personally I'd put all my money towards re-gearing right away.

For what it's worth, my set up is pretty simple. I have a campershell with a low profile roof rack that I can store stuff on and a drawer system that I built inside the bed. I throw an old foam mattress topper and sleeping bag on top and that's it. No camp to breakdown and everything is locked in the shell. I did buy a cheap trailer hitch cargo carrier where I tie down waterjugs or an ice chest if I need extra room in the bed.
 

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Vandy321

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I was curious about this. If the RTT is all your setting up, seems like it would be pretty painless. When planning my drive back from Washington I was trying to figure out the hotel situation and my wife mention I could just find a chunk of National forest and call it a night and I immediately realized the utility of this setup.
Yes, do this. I'm headed to Bozeman this weekend to pic up my GFC for my Tacoma. Plan on making a fly fishing trip out of it. Just find a pull-out on public, and sleep in the tent. It'll give you some practice and help ID things you want to add/adjust before you take the family.

If you can delay a few days, the roads in YNP are set to open 15 April I believe. Fishing not open in the park until memorial weekend.

Enjoy the trip!
 

elkyinzer

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Overlanders have to be the vainest mofos this side of the Kardashians. Pitch a fricken tent, it's way more functional if a little less instagrammy. And the half ton you save in payload can be shifted towards gear for hobbies of people that actually do shit besides drive and take pics of their rig.

-proud stock Taco driver
 
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