Well Saturday December 2nd I went with a few guy's from WATTORA to go snow wheeling a little east of Seattle.
We headed out to a place close to Cle Elum in search of some Forest Service Roads and we found them!!!! She handled like a champ. Bone stock the TRD is a good package, the snow was kind of dry and powdery. For the most part the snow wasn't to deep maybe 8-10 inches at most and I was following a '01 regular cab Tacoma with the 3RZ with a 93 regular cab Hilux behind me.
We hit some parts of the road that were a little much for the '05. The first obstacle I encountered. I tried to follow in one spot and had to put her in 4lo and try as I might she didn't grab so I switched on the rear diff lock still nothing. I got on the cb to call the '01 to come back down to get his tire deflators. When he got down I aired down to 15 psi. I backed up and put her back in 4hi and made a run at it. Amazing what airing down will do. She slipped a little but she made it up the hill.
Cruising around the back country we didn't run into anything to severe until the '01 made a go at a hill and I said aw eff it and made a go at it. I made it up about 3/4's the way up before the tires started slipping and she said I don't think so bub! Well had to back down the hill (managed a little underbrush pinstripping courtesy of a 2 inch branch)
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful except the '01 getting brave and finding himself stuck in a puddle and highcentered on a massive burm both requiring a tug to rediscover that elusive traction. As we made our way back to the main road I was bringing up the rear and started in 4hi but quickly learned that ABS doesn't really help on snow and had to switch to 4lo and use some engine braking to keep from sliding off a cliff or into a snow covered stump.
I've come to the conclusion that Toyota has done something right with the TRD Offroad package but it still needs a little help. I've decided the first thing for good traction is to upgrade the tires. I plan on getting some BFG All Terrains to remedy that. Second, A healthy 3 inch suspension lift would help out immensly. When money gets good I'm looking inot getting some Hoe's for the front and and AAL for the rear. Third, On board air would be a nice addition for airing up after a day of wheeling. Fourth and most importanly, a good dose of common sense to know what you and your vehicle are capable of. There were a couple of hills and trails the other guys went on that I knew my rig wouldn't without mods or body damage.
And now for the pics.
Stuck on the burm
My hill troubles
And the puddle incident