Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Let’s get ready to rumble was an understatement this past weekend in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest. I drove down with the family from Silver Spring, MD, in the 2020 Tundra “Nomadic Mission” TRD Pro warrior truck by Fit Fathers for a day of mud sliding, light rock climbing, and slope running. The socially distanced 2020 Trail Trek Tour featured the group’s first Off-Road Family Fun Run and included nine vehicles, 29 participants, and one happy-to-be-in-the-woods dog.

My Tundra TRD Pro was joined by the Army Green Team, consisting of the new Tacoma TRD Pro and 4Runner TRD Pro, which both held their own through deep waters and uphill battles. But of course, big brother Tundra is the family’s king of the mountain and calls the shots. We tackled two trail rides in the National Forest, including Taskers Gap and Peters Mill Run that comprise 36 miles of motorized OHV trails. Though, I was a bit jealous of the dirt bikes and ATVs ripping the trails like the surefooted mountain goat. Experienced host Philip Van der Vossen led our procession of trucks. We took a surgical approach for some good dirty fun with my Fit Fathers crew, daughters, and father Randi Payton who started African American On Wheels magazine over thirty years ago. The collaboration also included buccaneer Leon Brittain of Throttle Life and Auto Sense’s Brian Armstead.

Developed for sporty ruggedness, my CrewMax 5.7-liter i-FORCE V8 pickup began life as a standard TRD Pro. Its mechanical performance includes a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential Shift utilized for quicker starts, part-time four-wheel drive (high and low settings), a tow package, a 38-gallon fuel tank, 381-horsepower, and 401 lb-ft of torque. To beef up the appearance and capabilities of Tundra Fit, we added a few modifications. Upgrades included a BakFlip MX4 tri-fold bed cover, black hood stripes, a tailgate lock, Go Rhino hitch step, Tundra corner bed step, TRD Pro decals, and predator step bars that are not suited for rock climbing I discovered. I also painted the calipers and tow hooks red.

For superior traction and grappling once entering the unknown, we selected BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires in size 275/65/R18. The plan was to keep the stock BBS 5-spoke Satin Black forged-aluminum 18” TRD rims. I didn’t want to limit performance by going with bigger rubber. Not only are they great in wet and dry conditions, but the KO2s aesthetically changed the truck’s entire demeanor to that emanating aggression. The Tundra’s stance is also more domineering now with the BFs. What’s truly impressive with the all-weather T/A KO2 tires is the 20% tougher sidewalls due to its CoreGard technology that has led to the Baja Champion moniker. The sever snow-rated rubber also deflects projecting items when traversing through the wild thanks to BFGoodrich’s Advanced Deflection Design implementation. Moreover, they are just as helpful when I enter the city and have to swerve around Washington, DC’s potholes continuously. With the All-Terrain T/A KO2s, this is no longer the case.

On the TRD Pro side of things, the Tundra is already gym fit with upgrades that have enhanced both the truck’s appearance and its skillsets. This package offers a TRD Pro skid plate, TRD stainless steel dual exhausts with Dark Chrome tailpipe finishers (love the wicked growl when you accelerate), TRD-tuned FOX shocks with 3-stage compression, TOYOTA black grille, TRD Pro bed stamps, and TRD Pro black leather bucket seats with red contrast stitching. As you can see, the beastly nomad from Japan delivers on all fronts and will meet your wildest expectations, especially when it comes to quality and durability.

For more adventurous off-roading excursions, please visit  TRAILTREKTOUR.com.  Keep shining with those Tundras people!