Our Little Monster


Monster joined our company with a lot of roles to fill. Up to this point, we had been using Sleepy, our 2004 Gen 1 Tundra, to handle all the hauling. It’s a great truck, but now has well over 200K miles on it, and it’s a little undersized for our future needs. We needed a multi-functional workhorse. It had to fit the bill as a full function overlanding truck, a show platform for our Four Wheel Campers, and to pull our up and coming 24’ enclosed marketing trailer all over the country. No short order.

It never crossed my mind to purchase something other than a Toyota. There are plenty of worthy trucks, but I love Toyotas and that’s the way it is. The Tacoma was a bit small for our long-term plans so we went with a brand new 2017 Toyota Tundra Double Cab Limited in white with the 5.7L V8.

The nickname Monster stuck pretty early on. Honestly, it is the biggest thing I have ever owned (with the exception of my house). I am still learning where the corners are and parking lots are a real trick.

Within a span of three months we built the new truck up to its current level of preparation. It is a purpose-built truck. Strong as an ox, tall enough to clear things without being too tall, and it has the functionality of a rather large Swiss Army Knife.

The purchase of the double cab over the Crew Max cab was all about the bed. I think the lines on the Crew Max are more appealing, but we had a lot of plans for the back, and a 5’ bed was not going to give us enough room to do it. We started with an Ole Man Emu 2-1/2” lift with added capacity springs. We added Firestone commercial air bags, managed by a Ride Air compressor with remote.  That helps us handle the heaviest of loads with ease. Next was the swap of tires and rims to 35x12.5 BFG All Terrain TA KO2 tires on Method The Standard rims. This added some extra height, and a bit wider stance.  We added matching front and rear bumpers from Expedition One for added protection and a place for our 12,000 lb Warn winch with synthetic line. Both bumpers have sets of PIAA LED flood lights in them, and we added a pair of 9” ARB Intensity lights to the front one. Plenty of light now. We also added set of N-Fab steps too, so we can get in the truck again.

To the sprayed bed we added ¾” rubber mat originally intended for a horse stall. It turns out to be an incredibly durable mat that takes all the abuse you can throw at it. We added a Snug Top cab high shell, with their Sportmans package option. This gives the roof a 400 lb dynamic load capacity without additional internal framing.  Perfect for hauling all those overlanding goodies. The top of the shell rotates between a Eezi-Awn K9 Load Bar System and a K9 1250x1800 Canopy Roof Rack System, depending on the duties of the day.  The rack can haul a RTT, Awning, Max Trax, Extra Fuel, Shovel, Axe, Hi-Lift, and more. Even a Fly Craft boat on occasion. The load bars are a perfect solution for one of our Eezi-Awn hard shell roof top tents. The sides of the shell have hinged window hatches, to let us gain access to anywhere in the bed. On top of that mat in the bed we have a custom made drawer system from AT Overland, that Monster shares with Sleepy. It is 6’L x 4’W x 1.5’H. The right half is a full length drawer, for just about everything you need for an adventure. The left side rear section holds a National Luna 50L Stainless Steel fridge on a Eezi-Awn Shuttle fridge slide. In front of the fridge on the left side is a top lid cabinet that stores our National Luna Portable Power Pack auxiliary battery system, a twin cylinder ARB compressor, 400W inverter, and all of our recovery gear.

We also have the ability to remove all this from the bed and put a Four Wheel Campers Woolrich Edition Hawk Front Dinette camper in there. Best of both worlds.

The cab of the truck is already filled to the brim with toys from Toyota, but we added a few things.  We installed a 2 Meter HAM radio in the center console with remote speaker. This allows us to keep in touch with the group, whether on a trail run, or chasing race trucks south of the border.  And we recently added a Weboost mobile/data wireless amplifier for remote connectivity. It creates a boosted signal inside the cab, so we can always keep working even way off the beaten path. Custom fluffy flip flop mats top it off, because I am a flip flop guy.


SUSPENSION Old Man Emu 2-1/2" Lift
Heavy-Duty Front & Rear Springs
WHEELS & TIRES 35" x 12.5" BFG All-Terrain TA KO2 Tires
Method The Standard Rims
ACCESSORIES Firestone Air Bags with Air Ride with Onboard Remote-Controlled Compressor
Expedition One Front & Rear Bumpers with PIAA LED Fog Lights
ARB Intensity 9" LED Combination Flood & Spotlights
Warn VR12-S 12,000 lb. Winch with Synthetic Line
SnugTop Truck Cap (400 lb. Load Capacity)
Eezi-Awn K9 Roof Rack & Load Bars
AT Overland Bed Drawer System with National Luna 50L Fridge/Freezer & Partner Camp Stove
National Luna Portable Power Pack Dual Battery System
ARB Twin Cylinder Compressor
500W Inverter
Kenwood HAM 2M Radio
Weboost Drive 4G-X Cell/Data Amplifier


We’ve had Monster since December 2016, and I can tell you it is one tough vehicle. We’ve used it as a chase vehicle on the Baja 1000, hauled a 1400 lb camper all over the western US, Traversed Utah a pile of times, and tow a 6,000 lb 29’ long marketing trailer all over the country.  I have beat on this truck as hard as I have any vehicle I have owned, and it doesn’t seem to care. Rock solid. I can’t think of a thing I would change. It does it all. Monster is going to be a part of our family for a very long time.

If you make to one of our events, come by and check it out.