Built 2017 Toyota Tundra is Ready for Overlanding Adventures

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Heavily modified Tundra Double Cab can seat and feed four adults, serve as a mobile tent, and pull itself out of sticky situations.

If you’re going on a long trip, there are certain things you need to check off of a list before you leave. You definitely need a plan and some sort of a schedule. The proper supplies are essential. Perhaps the most important thing is reliable transportation, especially if your journey involves overlanding. The 2017 Toyota Tundra in this video from Expedition Overland you see here is all set for it.

Paul May of Equipt Expedition Outfitters originally brings the truck by to make a delivery to the Expedition Overland shop, but then host Clay Croft has him give a video tour of all of the add-ons May installed to make it an overlanding rig. May picked a Tundra Double Cab as the foundation for the project/promotional vehicle because its 6.5-foot bed offers enough room for gear and supplies, plus it’s large enough that May, who’s 6’4″, can sleep in it.

yotatech.com 2017 Toyota Tundra Build

He can turn the back of the Tundra into a hotel-room-on-wheels in about an hour. It requires removing a sliding drawer system that contains a portable power pack, inverter, mini refrigerator, and recovery gear.

On the outside, there are a variety of mods to make what was already a tough truck into an even tougher one. May added a 12,000-pound winch up front and upgraded both bumpers. He did the same with the tires, which are now 35s. He tells Croft, “Suspension, we went with the Old Man Emu suspension. Two and a half inch lift in there. Also on the rear, to carry a better load, we put on Firestone airbags, so it’s a full airbag system on there, too.”

yotatech.com 2017 Toyota Tundra Build

May’s Tundra wears aftermarket assist steps, but they have their limits, particularly when it comes to rocks. May says, “If I’m rock-crawling this, I’m in the wrong spot.” If he stays away from rocky trails and still manages to get himself in trouble, the rack on top of his camper shell might be able to help him out. It has enough space to carry two traction pads, a pair of jerry cans, a box for gear and tools, an axe, and a shovel.

Surprisingly, the 5.7-liter V8, aside from a few electrical additions, is stock. May hasn’t even re-geared his truck. He hasn’t felt a need to do that or add power. He says, “I can take this on the open road, you know, running back between here and Utah, be having a conversation in the car, look down and I’m doing over 100 miles an hour.”

yotatech.com 2017 Toyota Tundra Build

If May’s truck without a supercharger is good enough for him, then it’s good enough for us, too. It offers plenty of other cool stuff that make us want it – inside and out.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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