Rugged And Ready: Gen 3 Toyota Tacoma

A few months ago, a customer came to us with his Gen 3 Toyota Tacoma, looking to build a subtle yet highly functional off-roading machine. The goal was to build a complete vehicle with the majority of the electrical leg work accomplished so it’s simple to add additional features later on.


Due to its exceptional weight to strength ratio, we installed an Alu Cab Explorer Canopy on his long bed. The canopy has a black powder-coated finish, and only weighs 135lbs, though it can carry hundreds of pounds of gear on top with no issues.


We mounted Alu Cab’s load bars on the top channel, which are a great feature for a seamless look and allow for a smooth RTT install down the road. In addition, we added a solar powered fan at the rear of the canopy, allowing the air to circulate should they convert the canopy into a sleep-able setup.


For the front bumper, we went with the Warn Semi-Hidden Winch Mount. This is a seamless install and keeps the stock front bumper mostly intact. We put a Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum Winch within the bumper, and pretensioned the line for him so he is ready to rock and roll. This winch has a pull capacity of 10,000lbs, and a remote-enabled controller so no need to re-engage a manual clutch.

We also installed Baja Designs Squadron Sport Amber Wide/Cornering Fog Lights, which replaced the stock fog lights on this Gen 3 Tacoma. To keep it simple, we kept the same electrical hookup so his stock fog light switch near the steering wheel still controls his new lights.


A great feature in most builds, our customer requested a Safari Snorkel to protect his engine from dust and water as he takes his rig off-roading. Eventually we will be transferring him to the Sy-Klone Snorkel Pre-Filter which has an improved ability to block out dust.


Under the hood, we custom fabricated the MOLE Overland Dual Compressor Mount for his Gen 3 Tacoma to mount the 12 Volt Twin Air Compressor behind the grill. This offers easy access to his compressor and keeps his engine compartment from becoming over-cluttered.


We kept his original battery, and custom fabricated the MOLE Overland Auxiliary Battery Tray to house the Full River Deep Cycle AGM Auxiliary Battery in the back left of the engine compartment. Additionally, we wired in the REDARC BCDC1225D Auxiliary Battery Charger to draw power from the main battery to keep the auxiliary battery topped off. We connected the MPPT Solar Controller as well, which allows solar panels to be easily connected, and charge the auxiliary battery at the same time. We also mounted the SPOD SE Source within his engine compartment to power his air compressor and additional components down the road.


For the interior of the cab we wired in the SPOD switch system to manage his auxiliary equipment. Currently, only the air compressor is hooked up, so he will have plenty of room to add more lights and options later on. We also mounted a Digital Battery Monitor screen so we can always check in on the health of his batteries.


In the cab, we installed a Blue Sea Dual-USB Intelligent Rapid Charge Socket, so he can charge multiple devices by USB. We also installed an ARB Secure Fridge Socket to run power to the fridge he will be stowing within his double cab as he sleeps at night.


Inside the canopy we mounted the Alu Cab Table; a great base for your cooking setup, and the legs collapse within the frame for slim storage. We also added a Quick Disconnect port in the rear, with a hose connected to the ARB Twin Compressor which we mounted within the grill of the Tacoma. This allows for quick access to your rear tires and you don’t need to worry about your hose reaching any longer. We also installed a 1 gallon air tank, which can store air from the compressor and allow air tools to be used from the rear as well. Next to the disconnect is the rear fuse block that we wired in from the front, so additional electrical components can be added to the rear at ease.



We also hooked up an additional Blue Sea Dual-USB Intelligent Rapid Charge Socket and battery monitor within the canopy, so he can monitor his battery and charge his phone/device at the same time. Right next to that is an additional fridge socket, so his fridge can ride in the back during the day, and in the cab at night.


This has been an absolutely busy summer for builds and installs, but fall is right around the corner so if you’re looking to get a project done, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!


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