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Rig Review - What worked and what didn't with the Tacoma Stored in Las Vegas?

April 28, 2023.

The big news on this Rig Review is that the Tacoma has been stored in Las Vegas, largely eliminating the long, 20+ hour slog to get from the PNW to the SW before a winter adventure. While this has definitely reduced the wear and tear on the truck - saving something on the order of 2000 miles per trip - it has also introduced other benefits and drawbacks that I didn't really think about when I decided to go this route.

With that in mind, let's get down to it. This Rig Review covers the following trips:


I'm Loving the Truck in Las Vegas (First Impressions, Cost Analysis)

Costs pretty much the same.

TL;DR - having the Tacoma in Las Vegas and flying back and forth for each trip is one of the best things we've done for the setup in a long time from a quality of life perspective. It doesn't save any money though.

I Need New Headlights (ongoing-ish)

Polishing worked OK, but quickly reverted back to the foggy state.

TL;DR - my headlight housings are getting foggy again. Given their age - original to the Tacoma - it's time to put in some new ones.

GPS Navigation Software (resolved for now)

TL;DR - After considering a switch to Gaia, I'm (mostly) sticking with Backcountry Navigator for GPS software because it works better for the things I do.

The ARB Fridge Died

My $1000 ARB fridge, now a glorified ice chest.

TL;DR - I'm not happy at all that the ARB fridge wouldn't cool on my last trip. I'm going to be reaching out to ARB support to (hopefully) get the issue resolved.

The Floor of My Tent Has Holes in It

Repeated use has worn through the aluminum skin of the floor.

TL;DR - The two spots where the ladder rests on the bottom of the tent have developed holes in the aluminum floor.


Seemingly solved from previous Rig Reviews

  1. GPS Navigation Software

Unchanged / Still an issue from previous Rig Reviews

There are some things that have been featured in Rig Reviews that are - as yet - unchanged from when I originally reviewed them. Rather than highlight those things again, I'll simply link to them here.

  1. The Transmission is Leaking
  2. The Rear Diff is Weeping
  3. My Suspension Squeaks
  4. Skid plate attachment could be better



More Rig Reviews


  1. Ken Thompson
    Ken Thompson June 11, 2023

    Love Adventure Taco. Your writing and pics are awesome, interesting and informative. . I look forward to each new article.
    Just want to make a comment regarding fogging/oxidation of headlights. After you restore oxidized headlights the secret to keeping them clear is to apply a clear coat or UV protectant. If you don’t do that they will re oxidize within a few weeks or months. The headlights oxidize because the original uv protectant gradually diminishes and wears away. When you restore your headlights any uv protection left is removed.
    I did my headlights 3 1/2 years ago and they still look like new (my truck is outside 24/7}. I apply Meguiers Headlight Coating twice a year. Just spray it on. Easy peasy, headlights look like new.
    Looking forward to the next Adventure Taco.

    • turbodb
      turbodb June 11, 2023

      Thanks Ken, always puts a smile on my face when folks enjoy the stories and photos! And, thanks for the note about the UV protectant on the headlights. When I restored mine (in December of 2020), I used the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit, which came with a UV coating that I applied. It worked OK for a few months, but I think the fact that the housings were original to the truck (so 20+ years old) meant that they were just too old to last all that long. At any rate, I feel like spending a few hundred bucks on new housings is money well spent...especially if they last another 10-15 years! ?

    JOHN D MORAN June 12, 2023

    Good information, I remember those existing concerns. As for headlights, I've used several different restoration kits, they work OK but, YES, you have to recoat the surface after each restoration as the plastic is softer but even then it will eventually fog again, especially out here in the desert where we often have blowing sand. After several years of restoring the lens I gave up and replaced both headlight housings (as I had done with taillights some time back due to water leaks) and it made all the difference in the world. The new headlight housings are so much better/brighter than restored housings.

  3. Gusmore
    Gusmore June 12, 2023

    REALLY interesting, seeing the "Stored in LV" breakdown. Your solution, which is perfect for you and mrs.turbodb, doesn't pan out for me. That said, I wouldn't have known that without your excellent post.
    As a solo traveler, the road journey and ensuing encounters are part of the destination. Plus, I abhor flying. The PITA of getting my arse to an airport, paying for the ticket and longterm parking, coupled with the inhumane system that is called "air travel" makes for an untenable situation for me. Plus, the $300/month tag for storage seems a bit prohibitive.
    Everybody's needs are different, based on proximity (I live in CA near the Oregon border), time to spare, and of course finances.Thanks a bunch for sharing this!

    • turbodb
      turbodb June 12, 2023

      Storing in LV (or someplace closer to where the exploration takes place) definitely isn't for everyone, but for it to even be close from a financial standpoint, it has to be a pretty far distance... less than 1000 miles and I don't think it'd pan out very well.

      As far as solo and enjoying the journey - I used to think the same as you but over time - as I've driven the same roads time after time after time after time to get from Seattle to Death Valley (or Mojave, etc.), there's no longer a lot to "encounter" that I haven't already encountered several times. As such, it's become a slog.

      As for the flying - well, I get that. I'm lucky enough that public transportation is simple and cheap to/from the airport, and a large airport isn't very far away. I can totally imagine that living somewhere near... Yreka/Weed (?) would make the airport part of the journey much less "worthwhile."

      As for the storage fee - I was a bit worried about it to begin with, but it turns out that a month of storage is about 3 tanks of fuel... and when I realized that, well, it suddenly became much more palatable, since driving down and back for a single trip is 7-8 tanks!

      Glad you enjoyed the analysis; if it helps anyone make a decision (either way), that's exactly what I was going for! ?

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