Overlanding has become increasingly popular over the years. As light bars & rooftop tents become more and more prevalent, I find myself wanting my own adventure rig. Clay Croft from Expedition Overland happens to have what I would consider the perfect Toyota Tacoma for tackling the world.
Having the ability to navigate the globe with minimal support is a key component to Overlanding. That puts a lot of demand on the vehicle, in almost all capacities. That is what makes the Tacoma such a fitting truck to start off with. Known to be sturdy as a rock, the Tacoma offers a package that is off-road capable, economical, and most importantly reliable. But even a Toyota needs a little boost to make it on trips that have ranged from Alaska to Panama, and that is where Clay and his team come in.
Clay is Expedition Overland’s fearless leader, directing the cast and crew on their adventures thus far. Clay utilized his experience when building the Tacoma, resulting in a near perfect vehicle to lead the way. They started life with a 2013 TRD Offroad Tacoma, an already capable machine. The crew then got to work, upgrading key components to better suit their trip. First came an all new suspension setup from Icon Vehicle Dynamics. With the V2.5 kit from Icon, Clay can adjust the ride height to his liking as well as adjust the pressure in each shock to accommodate the additional load from all the Overland gear.
Clay also added a fair amount of protection to keep this Taco from getting crumbled. ARB makes some of the finest bumpers on the market, making a fitting contribution to protect the front end. The Taco received a Kaymar rear swing out that allows Clay to carry a full-size spare and plenty of fluids via Jerry cans. Filling the gap between the two, Clay had a set of custom rock sliders built. One of my favorite features of this build is the custom fender sliders that Dark Horse built, something I would love to see on more Tacos and 4Runners.
From there Clay did the normal mods that most off-roaders do; topper, roof rack, light bars, and of course a ham radio. But where Overlanding gets really fun is all the living equipment that’s needed. That means things like a portable fridge and necessary cookware. Clay and his team organized the bed of this Taco brilliantly to make everything you could need right at your finger tips. And yes, that includes firearms.
This Taco is chalk full of other radically cool details, but I’ll let Clay finish filling you in on those. The last bit I want to touch on is how great it is seeing a Toyota used for a project like this. The Tacoma’s and light Toyota trucks have proven time and time again they are as dependable as it gets. The fact that this particular one has taken Clay and his team on so many adventures is just that much sweeter. And it’s supercharged no less. That just shows how overbuilt these rigs are, making them a staple in anyone’s garage. Check out Clay’s full breakdown with their series ‘In The Shop.’ And if you want to see the Taco in action, check it out in their web series where they travel the country, Expedition Overland style.