Built for the backcountry
When James Fonnesbeck points his ’07 Toyota Tundra into the backcountry, he has just about everything he needs for a reliable and comfortable outdoor experience.
Fonnesbeck, of Ogden, Utah, is president and chief engineer at Expedition One, and he and his family are backcountry regulars. He has wheeled this Tundra in a variety of areas including ’50s-era logging roads near Idaho’s Sawtooth National Recreation Area and on trails in the Bruneau and Jarbidge river basins of Idaho. The Tundra is also a great on-road machine and has served as a method of conveyance for a family trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (with some off-highway exploration in western Wyoming on the way home, of course). The truck has also plied the trails around Moab, Utah, which is where we found it.
With a bevy of well thought-out mods, this capable 5.7L-powered Tundra is an example of a fullsize overlanding machine that can do it all.
The Tundra towers over trail obstacles, thanks in part to a Pro Comp suspension system integrated into the ’Yotas IFS. This kit features new crossmembers and knuckles as well as MX2.75 coilovers. The kit generates six inches of total lift.
Fuel capacity is paramount in the backcountry, and this Tundra has plenty on tap thanks to a Transfer Flow 46-gallon unit. This tank helps to provide massive range and it only hangs down one inch below the lowest part of the framerail. Fonnesbeck says the Tundra averages 14 mpg on the highway, which translates to a cruising range of 644 miles.
Helping to keep trail crud from ending up on the Tundra’s body are a set of Bushwacker Pocket Style fender flares. These flares add two inches of tire coverage, and they’re made from Bushwacker’s Dura-Flex material so they’re up to the task of overlanding.
Out in the backcountry, Fonnesbeck sleeps in the Eezi-Awn Series 3 1600 roof tent. This tent is quick to set up and take down (we’ve seen it in action, and it takes just a few short minutes), has a 2.5-inch-thick mattress, board locking mechanism, anodized custom-designed aluminum extrusions, mosquito mesh at the doors and windows, zip-up privacy panels, and an aluminum retractable ladder. The tent is mounted to a Mule Expedition Equipment bed rack system that consists of steel bed clamps and aluminum load bars. Also added to the exterior of the truck area a pair of AMP Research PowerSteps to aid ingress and egress.
Out back, the Pro Comp kit lifts the Tundra’s leaf-spring suspension via a pair of lift blocks and an additional leaf spring. Pro Comp MX-6 shocks help keep the rear end in check.
The rig rolls on rugged and meaty 37x12.50R20LT BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 tires. The BFGs wrap around a set of 10-inch-wide RBP 93R black wheels.
The rear of the rig harbors a multitude of off-highway-centric components, including an Expedition One RangeMax bumper that sports a pair of clevis mounts as well as a prototype spare tire mount and mounts for the four Expedition One Geri Can Water Packs. The bumper also mounts a pair of PIAA lights and a Superwinch EP9.0 winch with Viking Offroad synthetic winch rope.
Here you can see how the Geri Can mount and spare tire mount on the Expedition One bumper swing open to allow unobstructed access to the Tundra’s cargo area. A neat feature of the bumper is a custom wireless remote control system that locks and unlocks the swing-out mounts.
Here’s a close-up of the rear-mounted Superwinch EP9.0 electric winch. Note the easy access to the winch drum.
The big Expediton One RangeMax bumper not only protects the front of the truck, it also offers a pair of clevis mounts and it serves as a mounting point for a quartet of forward-facing PIAA lights as well as a Superwinch Talon 12.5 winch with Viking Offroad synthetic rope.
Mounted on the cab of the truck is a Mule Expedition Equipment prototype 48x54-inch steel roof rack. It’s made from 1-inch-diameter, 0.10-inch-thick tubing. FW
Owner/Hometown: James Fonnesbeck/Ogden, Utah
Vehicle/Model: ’07 Toyota/Tundra CrewMax
Estimated value: $50,000
Type: 5.7L V-8
Aspiration: Fuel injected
Output, hp/torque (estimated): 236/266
Transmission: Factory automatic
Transfer Case: Factory part-time 2-spd
Front: Pro Comp 6-in, MX2.75 coilovers
Rear: Pro Comp 6-in, MX-6 shock absorbers
Ring and pinion: 4.30:1
Wheels: 20x10 RBP 93R
Tires: 37x12.50R20 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2