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Taking a Tacoma around the world, need advice

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by Round the world, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. Apr 15, 2021 at 6:39 PM
    #981
    Round the world

    Round the world [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Tolls? What tolls? I heard there’s one somewhere around Tijuana and another north of Cabo but we drove on different roads and didn’t see any. If your serious about going there, there’s a Facebook group called talkbaja. There’s really good info there. Regarding getting into Mex, the border people didn’t even check our passports or tourist visa called the FMM. Looked in the camper maybe a minute and asked if I had any beer or wine. I laughed and said yes, some Tecate - we were at the Tecate border point
     
  2. Apr 15, 2021 at 6:43 PM
    #982
    Fargo Taco

    Fargo Taco Well-Known Member

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    Not Drew but still Drew
    Fargo
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    Lomax tonneau cover, N-Fab Podium steps, The dreaded Raptor Lights
    They probably just wanted to make sure you had some! :laugh:

    Looking at your site, I am just in awe at the route you're planning to take. It's just not in me to undertake something like that but I'm glad there are people like you that are up to the challenge. Safe travels, Andy!
     
  3. Apr 15, 2021 at 7:21 PM
    #983
    Round the world

    Round the world [OP] Well-Known Member

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    flatbed with 4WC Fleet with extensive mods
    Well thanks Drew! Right now we’re just planners, scheming a trip. Who knows, we might chicken out, or end up being ransomed
     
  4. Apr 17, 2021 at 7:43 PM
    #984
    Round the world

    Round the world [OP] Well-Known Member

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    flatbed with 4WC Fleet with extensive mods
    We just got got back from spending in 50 days in Baja, driving over 3,300 miles. We had a great time, Baja is a wonderful, safe, cheap with friendly people. We ended up spending $60 a day including food, gas, camping, and a hotel once a week. Here's some of my thoughts of driving there.

    If you're interested we've have eight posts on our website, describing our adventures at www.roguewanderers.com

    Driving

    I think driving is one of the major barriers to people coming to visit Baja. We drove on nearly all of the major roads except for around Tijuana. We found that Baja drivers drive in a similar fashion to people in the major cities of the US. They’re not rude, nor overly aggressive, but they do drive about 10 miles an hour over the speed limit and tend to only yield at stop signs.

    One of my concerns was the municipal police unnecessarily targeting gringos, although we were pulled over twice we did not end up getting any tickets. We talked to them respectfully, removed our sunglasses but at the same time weren’t intimidated by them and they let us go. We also talked to them only in English even though we could get by in Spanish. If they do the trick of taking your license, let them have it. You will get it back once go to the court and pay the ticket, or just don’t. It’s only $20 to get a new license, most likely cheaper than the fine. I brought a laminated copy of mine just for that purpose.

    upload_2021-4-17_20-21-56.jpg
    One thing we did notice is that the posting of speed limits are sometimes erratic and are usually only posted once, there are no warnings of a change in speed limits. Our practice was to slow down immediately. Our strategy was to drive a few miles an hour under the posted speed limit and when someone came up on us to drive onto the shoulder (a standard practice) and let people pass.
    The other practice we did was to come to a complete, absolute stop just like you did in driver’s ed so long ago. Several times we were watched by the local police as we did this and they did nothing. You do though have to watch out for traffic behind you as they are not used to people completely stopping.

    upload_2021-4-17_20-26-0.jpg
    Topes or speed bumps, sometimes called “sleeping policeman” are a fact of life in Mexico. In almost every case warning signs were posted. Sometimes they can be gentle, sometimes they can be brutal. You have been warned.

    We never drove at night as we were concerned about heavy truck traffic and cows wondering on the roads. Yes, we do have auxiliary lights on the truck but it just wasn’t worth it for us.

    Walking and Mexican dogs
    We like to do a lot of walking around towns and found that dogs can be a menace. Most dogs are not friendly and are in fact afraid of people but are quite aggressive in defending what they perceive as their territory. So our strategy was to carry our gravel and rocks in our hands. Although we never had to throw them, simply the act of bending down to pick up rocks sometimes scared the dogs off.

    Sand and rough road driving
    Pretty much any road that is not paved in Baja will have varying amounts of bumps or extensive sections of wash boards. If I knew we were going for more than a few miles off pavement I would drop the tire pressure down by 1/3. This dramatically smoothed down the road for us. Since we like to wild camp by ourselves many of our best sites were down the beach a ways. In that case prior to driving on the soft sand, I would air down to between 15 to 20 psi. Since our truck is heavy we run on pavement roughly 50 psi, 30 psi on bumpy roads, and 15 psi on deep sand. Even in 4wd low range, the difference between 30 PSI and 15 is huge; one digs in the sand, the other one floats, it’s amazing. Obviously, if you’re planning on camping on the beach you need to bring an air compressor, some of them are pretty cheap.

    Happy to chat about it more!
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
  5. Apr 18, 2021 at 5:55 AM
    #985
    JDSmith

    JDSmith Well-Known Member

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    That’s a good life :cool: Always look forward to your posts!
     
  6. Apr 18, 2021 at 8:19 AM
    #986
    Round the world

    Round the world [OP] Well-Known Member

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    flatbed with 4WC Fleet with extensive mods
    Thanks Jesse! Yes, we are enjoying ourselves!
     
    JDSmith, Airmain and Fargo Taco like this.
  7. Apr 22, 2021 at 9:24 PM
    #987
    GrandiOdyssey

    GrandiOdyssey Well-Known Member

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    Lots coming soon...
    Glad to see you enjoyed Baja we spent the entire month of December there! Beware of mainland though, we attempted to drive back to TX from Mazatlan after taking the ferry from La Paz but we were ambushed by drug cartel soldiers and had 3 of our tires shot out and two rounds into the bed/ drivers door. Perhaps I'll do a writeup on our thread about it before we finally got our truck back in March after being repaired in Mexico for two months. Happy to be alive, probably will not be returning to Mexico anytime soon though... For now the story is on our instagram page.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  8. Apr 23, 2021 at 2:15 PM
    #988
    RushT

    RushT Amateur Everythingist

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    It just kills me how cheap life is in some places, and the lawlessness that abounds from that perspective. It’s certainly not perfect anywhere, but some places are definitely worse than others.
     
  9. Apr 23, 2021 at 2:40 PM
    #989
    Round the world

    Round the world [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yup! Sounds like the narcos prefer to drive 3rd gen white Tacoma’s and they got mixed up. Hopefully our truck with the flatbed is different enough
     
    Fargo Taco likes this.
  10. May 10, 2021 at 8:39 AM
    #990
    samiam dubai

    samiam dubai New Member

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    sounds like an EPIC trip :) wishing you all the best.

    I'm actually planning a similar trip in 3 years or so, and have done some research on it...and as of now, the FWC flatbed is my primary choice;
    However, I'm planning on doing these mods to it...so figured I'd share them with you.

    The FWC uses propane for cooking, furnace, and hot water. that's not a problem in north America, however, as you start traveling internationally, it might prove challenging; or at the very least, inconvenient.
    Finding stations to refill propane can become challenging, especially in remote areas.
    The connectors are different in different countries (so, at the very least, you need to research and take the proper gas connectors with you)
    some shipping companies might not allow you to ship the propane tanks, for safety reasons.

    and since you're using propane for 3 functions, you will need regular refills, and that's why my plan is to get rid of propane altogether.

    Add another 200AH of lithium, for a total of 300 or so, and you can install them in the propane housing. (even better than their current place, with lower center of Gravity, and no additional weight I believe). Just make sure that door, which is accessible from outside, is solid, or fortified.
    That will also free up the current battery cupboard, giving you very valuable kitchen pantry space (extra bonus :) )
    Then:
    Water Heater: I'll replace the water heater with an electric one...one of those Bosch heaters that everyone is using in Sprinter vans. Quite cheap.
    Furnace: Ideally, get a Webasto that runs on Petrol, and connect it directly to your tank...thus, unlimited supply of fuel for your furnace.
    Cooking: I'll probably go with a Coleman Dual fuel camping stove. They run on Petrol. These are extremely reliable, and last forever...and maybe as a "luxury" item, one portable induction plate when cooking inside (but you'll probably need a 2000W inverter for this).
    I frankly would not install an inverter just for induction, but if you have other uses for it, then why not?? Maybe a coffee machine, kettle, blender...?

    But, at the end of the day, you will end up with only two sources of energy; electric, which is unlimited with your solar and alternator, and Petrol.

    Simplify and enjoy :)
    Hope that helps
     
  11. May 10, 2021 at 9:18 AM
    #991
    dr4g1116

    dr4g1116 Well-Known Member

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    This is my dream some day! Safe travels to you and congrats on your retirement. :)
     
  12. May 15, 2021 at 8:37 AM
    #992
    Round the world

    Round the world [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the kind thoughts. You’ve obviously have put a lot of good thought into this and I wanted to wait until I had good internet. After nine months on the full-timing on the road in our camper we might have a bit of build fatigue/inertia.

    Like you, I have thought a lot about how to get rid of propane As it definitely can be a challenge to try to find filling station. Depending upon the furnace use, we go through one of our two propane tanks every 2 to 7 weeks. We’re hoping to stay in warm weather so it’s likely we’re looking at having to find propane every six weeks or so, not too bad. We’ve also ordered a propane converter which should cover us for much of the world:
    ED33B419-DE02-4A31-845D-119F2CD2BF55.jpg
    The POL threads screws directly into our US propane bottles. Before we ship, I’ll also make a 6’ hose with POL to POL fittings as some like Africa the easiest way to fill it is pouring from one big bottle into our bottle. Yes, not something that is OSHA-approved!

    we typically start the morning at about 60 to 80% battery capacity and with a 100 amp hour lithium battery that means we have burned between 20 to 40 amp-hours during the night. Or solar, we have two 160 W Overland Solar semi flexible panels on our Yakima roof rack. These have been great, although our professional builder drilled holes through the edges of the panels which caused problems. However these panels are simply top-notch.

    For us, the easiest thing to replace would be the propane water heater, and I agree switching it to electric would be best although I have not investigated brands. I think we could do this without upgrading our electrical, our three main electrical components; charge controller, battery, and solar panels. However, if we were to do this we would have to install an inverter and would probably install a 2000 watt model. That would not be cost prohibitive probably looking at $500 for both components?

    you do have an interesting idea of using a gasoline cookstove, didn’t know that there were any made. Have you investigated models? However, we do like our flush mounted cooktop. But having one that could be lifted out and used outdoors would be a nice option. Switching to an electric cooktop would require doubling our battery capacity, at least one more solar panel, and a larger capacity (from our 25 amp to a 35 amp) charge controller. Besides, my wife who does most of the cooking, does not like electric cooktops.

    I’ve also thought about switching to solar powered furnace but simply don’t have enough roof space for all the required solar panels so gas is still needed, either petrol or propane. Have you investigated any gasoline – powered models?

    thanks again for your thoughts and good luck on your planning. It took us 18 months of planning to launch our adventure
     
    RyanDCLB and Fargo Taco like this.
  13. May 15, 2021 at 8:42 AM
    #993
    Round the world

    Round the world [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Home's our Tacoma
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    flatbed with 4WC Fleet with extensive mods
    Thank you! We are halfway across the US on a slow two week trip to South Carolina. Then have a tentative ship date to England on June 26th! We’ve already put on 20,000 miles in the last nine months. It’s been great, plan, then live your dream!
     

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