Between the two of us, we know pretty much nothing about trucks and cars. We relied heavily on recommendations from other overlanders to upgrade our Tundra. All modifications we did are listed on the Tundra information page, if you are interested, but here’s a shot list of our favorite things we bought for the truck:
BF Goodrich All Terrain LT 265/75R16 E-rated tires: With all the terrible roads we were on, and not airing down quite as frequently as we should have, we never had a single problem with our tires. Not a single flat or puncture. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. We love these tires and seriously want to write a love note to BF Goodrich… Would that be weird?
Clip-on Tow Mirror: Adding a camper to your pickup truck seriously limits your vision in the side-mirrors and completely obliterates the use of your rearview mirror. Awesome, right? We added clip-on mirror extensions to both side mirrors to extend our field of vision. We actually found an extra one (similar to the one pictured here) at the side of the road in Costa Rica, so we have one with the extra little convex mirror on the driver side and a plain old single mirror extension on the passenger side.
MAXTRAX: Maxtrax, the simple, safe, quick and easy recovery device. We never ended up using them but came close a couple of times. Available in classic orange, as well as a wide variety of colors, we got ours in pink (because that’s Neli’s favorite color, obviously). These are one of those things, like a winch, that some people get and others don’t. We didn’t have a winch, so for us, this was a cheaper and lighter recovery option.
Optima Battery: As mentioned before, we know very little about vehicles, but we did enough reading to know that a high-performance battery was a must have for us on this trip. We went with the YellowTop, as it is touted as being the ideal battery for modern accessory-loaded vehicles. It can be repeatedly brought back from deep power drains to full charge, so it can power plenty of electronics and still start you up time after time.
RotoPax 4-Gallon Gasoline Can: Rotopax gifted us the 4-gallon gas can and mounting kit and we love it. It’s super flat so can be installed right on the side of your camper, rather than having to find some extra space somewhere. We always kept this filled, just in case, but we never ran out of gas… We did meet lots of other people who had run out of gas and were happy to give them our extra 4 gallons! RotoPax gas cans are the only EPA and CARB compliant containers available for sale in the United States, as well as being leak-proof, we think they’re pretty great.
My wife and I are planning on doing a similar trip, sans dog. A question, if you don’t mind – how did you handle renewing your vehicle’s registration during the trip? Everything I’ve read online suggests that a “valid” vehicle registration is required at border crossings. I assume “valid” means current. I’d hate to be in Patagonia and find out I need a smog check to renew the registration!
Hey Dave! So our CA registration expired in February after we left in October. Basically, we put our truck on Planned Non-Op with the DMV and renewed it when we got back home. We smoked a couple days after crossing back in to CA and everything was pretty smooth.
As for registration o the road, they are basically looking for proof of ownership, rather than registration. Once our registration had expired we started showing a copy of our title (and the original at border crossings), this seemed to be fine since the title also has the license place info on it. Granted, we didn’t go all the way to Patagonia, have you tried reaching out on any of the forums?
Hope this was little bit helpful!