I have a Tacoma and just purchased a FWC Eagle shell. I also just found out I'll be moving to Germany for a 3 (possibly 6) year stay. I'll be shipping the truck and camper to Germany in March. I'm now prepping the truck and have a few questions I hope you all could answer.
I’m looking forward to exploring Europe, and I’m guessing I’ll see a lot more highway than dirt roads. In the past, I haven’t done any "real" off-roading, mostly highway along with forest service roads getting to trailheads or out of the way camping spots in OR, WA, and CA. I haven’t really had any problems with my stock setup, but I know I’ll need to make some changes to accommodate the camper. I travel pretty light (backpacker) and want to keep it that way, so I don’t plan on upgrading the bumpers or adding a winch until I know I’ll actually use them. The truck will probably be my only vehicle, so the camper will not be mounted full time.
The truck: 2010 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab SR5 V6 4x4 (stock, 85k miles)
16 in alloy wheels with P245/75R16 Michelin LTX M/S2 tires
recall rear springs installed (3 leaf w/overload)
The camper: 2016 Eagle shell with factory furnace, aux battery, and roll-over couch
Haven’t weighed it yet, but the data plate says 600 lbs
Planned add-ons: small solar setup, and maybe a fridge later on
As of now, I’m planning the following upgrades:
Boss air bags with Boss adjustable shocks front and rear. I would install custom leaf packs, but I’d like to be able to adjust when the camper is not mounted. Since the truck is at 85k, I'll probably replace the front springs with new stock springs at the same time.
- I’ve noticed references to air bags putting concentrated stress on the frame. Do I need to strengthen the frame at the mounting locations? Should I pair the bags with slightly upgraded custom leaf packs to help avoid this?
I know I’ll need to ditch my passenger rated tires in order to better support the extra weight. I’d like to avoid E rated tires to preserve the ride quality, but it doesn’t look like I have much of a choice. I’m on the fence between staying with the stock 245/75’s and going to 235/85’s. I haven’t seen a 235/85 in anything less than an E, but I have seen a couple 245/75’s in a C. Right now I’m leaning toward Cooper Discoverer AT3’s, as they seem to be one of the lighter AT tires out there, or another set of Michelins.
- Would a C rated tire be up to the task?
- Anybody know of any D rated tires in either 245/75R16 or 235/85R16?
- Since the 235/85's are larger in diameter than the 245/75's by about 1 inch, would I have any trouble using chains?
I’ll be replacing my original front and rear brake pads at the same time as mounting the camper.
- Should I be looking at aftermarket rotors and pads, or am I ok sticking with stock parts?
Since I'll be driving a U.S. spec Tacoma in Europe, I'm thinking I should take some parts with me to try and avoid any availability or cost issues later on. Just off the top of my head; bulbs, filters, wipers. Any suggestions?
Sheesh, I think that's it. Am I missing anything? Thanks in advance for any input and for all the info that everyone’s taken the time to post on here.
Edited by GrayJ, 08 January 2017 - 01:46 AM.