- Jul 30, 2020
- RDC Crypto
- Corona California
In my line of work of owning a media company, Dusty Summit, having a capable off-road vehicle is an absolute must; the locations we shoot at requires you to get from a remote location in the desert. Whether it be shooting a desert race or a commercial for a client, we are constantly scouting locations in unforgiving terrain. I recently sold my beloved 2007 Lexus GX470 that I lovingly beat on for the past two years. It was an incredible car that served its purpose as a daily driver and production vehicle. It started its life as a dedicated off-road adventure car that I would take into the mountains for camping, but when I launched Dusty Summit, it quickly snowballed into a car that would see hundreds of miles offroad. From the rock trails of Moab to the majestic beaches of Baja. It was a Swiss Army knife ready for any adventure I threw at it
But all great things have to come to an end, and I sold it. As business was getting busier and we were spending more time on the road, hotels became increasingly expensive, so I thought, why not build a capable Off-road rig that can serve as a mobile office and a camper - save a few bucks on hotel rooms. But that isn’t the only reason for selling the GX: when it was fully loaded with camera gear in the back, it handled as if someone had loaded the entire back with bricks, just awful. This probably could have been remedied with stiffer rear springs and airbags, but that would have compromised the suspension on the trails.
Just last week, I sold the Lexus, and it is headed to New Mexico with its new owner; it was a great vehicle, and I would not be surprised if I purchased another one down the road.
Enter the Toyota Tundra, a new project I am tackling to build out the ultimate media chase and overland vehicle. This truck will serve as a home base for our media productions in the foreseeable future. I purchase a single-owner 2008 Toyota Tundra 5.7L 4WD with a perfect maintenance record from Albuquerque, New Mexico. After some digging, I found out an 84-year-old woman bought it new, and her son kept every single receipt for the truck.
I went with this platform for a few reasons: the first is that Toyota’s reliability is unmatched compared to any truck. The second is that the newer generation Tundra is 70% more expensive but is the exact same truck underneath. Only the body and interior are different; the rest of the truck remains the same in addition to a few technology upgrades.
Although it is entirely stock with the beautiful old man camper spec, I have been collecting parts and will build it out in phases. It is going to get a Total Chaos Mid travel kit paired to Icon suspension in the front that allows for 12” wheel travel utilizing a factory lower control arm. 35 inch General Tire X3 tires and wheels are still a deciding factor for the next move.
I am partnering with Enduro Campers to build out a lightweight composite pop-top camper called the Lobo. That’s Spanish for lone wolf… I love it. Enduro Campers is a new camper company based out in San Luis Obispo, and we will be using my truck as a test mule for the first XL Pop-Top camper. They use super-durable composite sandwich panels to create an ultra-light and durable camper that will be strong enough to withstand the abuse I am going to throw at it. With these advanced technologies, the camper should only weigh about 280 pounds. This will be one of the focal points to the build; I will be able to have a mobile office while on location for shoots and use it as a camper on long trips. Skip the hotels as much as possible; we are going camping, boys!
This is Project Tundra, my quest to build the ultimate do it off-road media support truck. Whether it is chasing races in Baja or on a shoot in Colorado Rocky Mountains at 12,000 ft, this is the journey of the Dusty Summit Toyota Tundra.