Doug is the owner of this lightweight overland 2012 Toyota Tacoma that A/T Overland showcased in their footprint this year at Overland Expo East. As we start to chat about his Tacoma, Doug comments, “It took me 6 years to get the truck to where I’m at right now”.
The more aggressive stance of Tacoma build starts with a 3 inch OME lift with Camburg upper control arms. the truck has been outfitted with this upgraded suspension for 4 years with no issues. In the rear are ARB Old Man Emu Dakar Leaf Springs and a Firestone Tacoma Airbag Kit. Doug swapped out his stock wheels for an OEM set from a newer 2016 Tacoma.
Trail armor includes Avid offroad sliders, and the front bumper is from Shrockworks in Houston, TX. A Shrockworks Fairlead and Factor 55 Flatlink subtly protrude from a hidden winch within the bumper. Tucked away in the bumper’s light housing are Rigid Lights and the snorkel kit is made by Dobinson.
In the rear of the Tacoma, a full-size spare has been relocated to a very nicely built dual swing-out gate built by Brute Force Fab in Clovis, CA. The spare tire opens out to one side, and an assortment of camping gear is attached to the driver side swing-out gate, including an outdoor solar shower, 5 lb propane tank and other fuel.
On the truck roof is a Prinsu cab roof rack that Doug had to perform a bit of surgery on and cut in order to accommodate the cabover portion of the A/T Habitat camper without interference. Atop the roof rack, Doug mounted a Goal Zero solar panel that hinges up for maximum solar angle when parked, and collapses securely for transit. Packed neatly into the front of the rack is a slimline LED light bar. Doug mentioned he didn’t do a great job, but it all fits quite nicely and all the work he’s done is very practical.
A/T Habitat Camper with New Rear Overhang Rainfly
If you’re not already familiar, the A/T Habitat is a clear-coated, high-quality aluminum camper with a minimal cabover design, where the roof opens up like a lid towards the rear, 180 degrees. When the lid of the camper shell folds over, the roof creates a nice solid awning extending out over the rear tailgate.
What folds out with the opening of the roof it is an all season tent that requires no rainfly. The tent itself is manufactured by Nemo Equipment who makes expedition tents, so you know it’s legit.
FYI, if you’re interested here’s an article on different Toyota Tacoma Camper options available.
The New A/T Habitat Rainfly
This year at Overland Expo East 2019, A/T Overland introduced a new prototype rainfly featured on Doug’s rig, that extends down and outward from the sides, giving you a 3-sided exterior space that shields from the elements. It’s a nice addition that creates a dry, sheltered outdoor living space adjacent to interior access which is definitely beneficial in inclement or hot/sunny weather. Doug’s setup shows practical use of this outdoor space, with camping recliners, fake grass, a Coleman propane stove, and his Trail Kitchen setup.
A/T Habitat Awning
The A/T Habitat side awning is an accessory to the camper that is ultra-lightweight and is not unlike a series of tent poles and waterproof tent vestibule material. So, you know it’s ultralight and packs small.
Moving onto the camper interior, access is via the truck’s original tailgate and a hatch that opens just like you see on a standard camper shell. Doug came up with an ingenious DIY solution to keep bugs out when leaving this open, by hanging a screen drape across the opening that closes via a magnet strip.
Inside Doug has covered the interior sides of the aluminum camper with stickers from his adventures (hopefully there’s a Savage Camper sticker there now as well).
The fold out camper roof that becomes an awning to the rear exteriorly is actually a large, very comfortable cantilever bed that supports 600 lbs. With the expedition tent doming out when opened, it creates surprisingly a lot of room inside. I stand at 6’1” and the ceiling is way over my head. There’s great visibility since you are essentially standing in the bed of your truck, and there’s lots of screen windows to see out all around.
The cabover portion serves as a large counter/shelf inside, and Doug fabricated another dual-purpose counter that fits to one side of the standing area which converts into a bed that can sleep an additional 2 people.
And finally, the American flag waving in the wind overhead, Doug mentions “I kind of did my own thing and mounted an RV flag pole, because I like to have America with me wherever I go. It’s the first thing I set up, and the last thing to come down”. Nice display of patriotism Doug.