AlpineExpress Tundra, Ready for Adventure

AlpineExpress Tundra, Ready for Adventure

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Our 2018 CrewMax Tundra has been a warrior both on pavement and dirt during these unprecedented times. We’ve kept the use of this truck true to her name. It’s been everywhere!

We’ve headed to the Mountains of Colorado in both summer and winter, we’ve hit trails in Moab and even driven down to the waters edge during a Lake Powell trip. This truck has always performed perfectly.

Alpine Express Toyota Tundra Build Toyota Magazine

The most useful upgrades that we have recently finished, as usual, have been the Toytec BOSS 2.0 Aluma suspension and the Kenda Klever A/T tires. We've been able to complete most of the other upgrades we had planned for this rig, however the Rock Sliders have not been added yet (See Last Word for details).

There's no point in burying the lead... once again Toytec Lifts has done it with their BOSS 2.0 Aluma suspension. You can read about our install day at Toytec4x4 on the website (), so for this part I'll cover the performance. In short, the Aluma series coilovers and rear shocks provide excellent daily driver performance on the road and deliver an excellent range of capability on dirt (or snow, or rocks...).

Alpine Express Toyota Tundra Build Toyota Magazine

I know there is always a lot of discussion on which suspension to install, and certainly there is not one specific kit that will suit all needs. However since most of us use our trucks as daily drivers with the occasional off-highway trip, some of the remote res  more expensive kits can be overkill. For the weekend simply can't beat the Toytec BOSS Aluma series.

Alpine Express Toyota Tundra Build Toyota Magazine

The other major upgrade for AlpineExpress are the 5 Kenda Klever A/T tires. While Daniel already gave first impressions from his recent Baja Trip, we wanted to run these on the Tundra to see how they handle towing, hauling, and of course all the snow, ice, rain, and mud that the mountains offer.

Alpine Express Toyota Tundra Build Toyota Magazine

We already have over 5,000 miles on this set of 5 Kenda tires, covering all the type of terrain we love. While these are marketed as an economical tire (and they are easy on the bank account), they perform extremely well. I have not lost grip one time in slippery conditions. Our Tundra will never be considered a rock crawler, but the tread and composition of the Klever A/T have plenty of sticking power for our bike & ski hauling, daily driving, overland, and camping needs.

The other upgrades we've completed are relatively minor compared to the suspension and tires, but really make this full-size truck the perfect platform for our exciting exploration!

Alpine Express Toyota Tundra Build Toyota Magazine

Perhaps the most noticeable upgrade looks really cool in the day, but is most useful on night runs. Of course I'm talking about the 4x LightForce lights we just added to to the front.

While LED light bars are the most popular option lately, I've always really enjoyed the look of more traditional lights, and LightForce was the first off-road light we installed on the original TRD FJC. This setup consists of two Striker LED driving lights on the outside and two HTX2 Hybrid Driving Lights in the middle. They all sit on an easy to install NFAB bumper bar.

The Striker pair serve as auxiliary lights and can be used in many situations. The draw low current since they're LED, and the throw off plenty of light to help illuminate the sides of roads. For the main high-output throw, I love the HTX2! This setup combines the power of and HID center bulb with the brightness of the LED outer ring to provide over 3,000m of useful light.

This setup came with dual switches so I can run HID, LED, or both. As you can see when all 6 lights are on, there is plenty of throw to handle any night-exploring situation. The bumper mounted NFAB bar also keeps the lights low for better coverage, and means no glare on the hood. Perfect for our the AlpineExpress's mountain adventures.

Alpine Express Toyota Tundra Build Toyota Magazine

In mid 2020 we covered the new line of Dometic CFX fridges, and I was finally able to get our 55 mounted in the Tundra. Since many supplies ante severely limited, I opted for a DIY fridge slide. It really works well for our needs.

Alpine Express Toyota Tundra Build Toyota Magazine

We tested this fridge extensively over the last year, and it always performs as expected. My general workflow is to keep the temp low while traveling (just above freezing), then bump it up to about 40 when parked at camp. Since the Tundra doesn't yet have a dual battery, this helps keep everything. I've and cool while ensuring we don't draw too much power when parked. The CFX55 does have a great low voltage warning and cutoff, but it's better to keep things efficient.

The fridge is plugged in to a 12v fused outlet I added to the bed, just behind the Rago Hi-Lift mount. The install process was fairly simple for this quick mod, I just ran 12GA wire from engine bay along the frame and up the wheel well. I left plenty of slack for a little flex, and the built in dual USB ports are handy for topping off the phone. I also added a voltage readout so we can keep track of the trucks main battery.

As I wrote about in the original AlpineExpress article, the RetraxPro XR roll top is a great option for bed coverage + T-Slot accessories. The Yakima Skyline and CoreBar setup is very versatile and supports everything we need. For summer adventures, I install two Kuat Trio bike trays for our Polygon and Marin Mountain bikes. This keeps them high & dry as we travel around the mountains for our favorite downhill action. I love that the crossbars / towers come off with a quick release so I can use the truck bed any time. The versatility of this setup that's also low-profile is definitely my preferred  way to accessorize the Tundra bed for multi-use.

Alpine Express Toyota Tundra Build Toyota Magazine

I may have saved my favorite upgrade for last...even though it's not crucial to camping and adventure, it's used almost every day, especially in the winter. Of course I'm talking about the remote start setup from 12VSolutions. Very similar to the setup we installed in the GX460, I really like that this remote start keeps the vehicle running when you unlock it and open the door. During colder months it's so nice to step in to a pre-warmed truck, or to have it running as we approach with our luggage after a long trip. I even use it in the summer, so the hot truck is a little cooler by the time we hop in.

Alpine Express Toyota Tundra Build Toyota Magazine

You may have seen that Toyota has teased the all new 2022 Tundra. I'm very excited to see what the next generation brings, but the fact is that this combination of drivetrain and body style have proven to be an excellent platform to build a full-size adventure vehicle. With a little time and effort, it's possible to add enough modern comforts to overcome the aging tech stack and customize the 2014+ Toyota Tundra to meet virtually any needs.


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