July 15, 2022 3 min read
Location: Springfield, Oregon
Nickname: Wicked Yoda
Make & Model: Toyota Land Cruiser
Year: 1984, 5 Speed Manual
HEST products: HEST Dually Long & HEST Camp Pillows
Critical dimensions for your bed platform:
Length: 85” Width (at narrowest point): 52” Height: 5”- 6” when closed
Is this your daily driver or getaway car?
This is one of our daily drivers and our bug out vehicle.
On your average weekend adventure, what is the gear set up you bring with you?
We have evolved our setup over the past few years. If we are going for just a weekend we have all our recovery gear (always in the truck), 100 watt foldable solar with a 250w solar generator, a single bin for our kitchen, small bin for food, 15 gal water tank that gets filled half way, a table and chairs, a cooler with dry ice to keep regular ice longer, my ukulele and some clothes.
How did you navigate gear storage needs into your rig set up?
Wagon Gear makes a handy tailgate mod to store gear in the tailgate. That’s where we keep all the soft shackles, tow straps, tree strap, air compressor line, siphon pro, etc. Everything else I try to have in bins or containers. So when we get to camp we only pull out large items instead of lots of little pieces. We also have gullwing windows for the rear to access gear from the sides so we don’t have to open the rear bumper.
Any cool custom details you’re proud of?
We tried to support companies that make Land Cruiser specific parts. So our Wagon Gear gullwing windows are our favorite! We use them every single day. The most useful mod to date. We really love the custom front bumper and fender protection that Dave from 4plus made for us too. Truly one of a kind. There’s little things as well like the hinges of our tent are painted the same color as our truck. The LED headlights were a game changer. The list goes on, we love our rig!
Coolest place you’ve taken your rig to?
That’s a hard one. I think maybe Hog Canyon in Kanab, UT was number 1 for me. A 20 mile through trail with sand and stone and petroglyphs all in 4 low aired way down. The most technical trail we’ve yet. Also camping on the edge of Goose Neck State Park, we had it all to ourselves in the beginning of the pandemic.
Any projects in the pipeline to get the cruiser even more adventure ready?
JWe just upgraded to an ARB Zero fridge so now I can start designing our drawer system. Doing away with the bins is gonna be so nice! Installing the Icon Rebound Pros we just won at Expo PNW will be nice too. With the InnerLock bead lock system we will be able to air all the way down which will help us in the sand. (Wicked sinks like she’s in quicksand).
Biggest challenge in your build out?
Adding all the weight and not having the power to pull up hills. She’s under powered big time, but in 4 low ain’t no stopping her. But we’ll see what a challenge building the drawers will be.
Tips for others looking to do the same to their vehicle?
Research your options. Talk to people about their builds. Get the pros and cons. Balance the form and function of each modification. You don’t need much to have a capable fun rig. The more complex your rig is, the more things can go wrong. Know how everything works so when something goes wrong you can address it. Learn how to use your gear properly. It’s so easy just to buy ALL the stuff, but do you need it? Keep it as simple as possible. As you use your rig you’ll figure out what you really need. It’ll save you from buying things you may not actually use. (These are really reminders for myself).