My Wheels

2014 Toyota Tundra 4×4 Double Cab 5.7L V8 SR5 with TRD off-road package, anti-sway bar, 10-ply A/T tires, Firestone air bag suspension, and SiriusXM satellite radio.  Garmin GPS and iPad plugged in (with Audible audio books).

I chose this truck because I wanted a reliable, durable, go-anywhere vehicle that could haul the weight of the lightest camper on the market, and apparently this is it.  Price being equal, gas mileage and payload capacity were not my top priorities.

The following pics were taken in June-July 2014 before I took delivery of my camper:

.DSC_0403MyCab4WD TentDSC_0394

On August 28, 2015, I tested my highway mileage on perfectly flat roads in Nevada at various speeds:  I got 18 miles per gallon at 60 mph fully loaded with my camper, with tires inflated to 45 psi; 17 mpg at 65 mph; 16 mpg at 70 mph; and 15 mpg at 75 mpg.  Not bad, considering the truck without the camper was getting 18 mpg at 70 mph.  The camper had reduced highway mileage by 4 mpg, before I added a wind deflector.

I attribute an improvement of about 2 mpg after I mounted an Aeroplus wind deflector (available on Amazon) on a Yakima crossbar over the cab in early August 2015, to deflect wind over the camper’s front overhang:

31K7jPg8ypL      windview

After I added the camper, but before I added the wind deflector, I was getting about 14 mpg at 70 mph, so it’s improved my gas mileage by about 2 mpg, and it does reduce turbulence, so I don’t mind the bat-mobile look.  It also keeps the bugs from splattering all over my white camper front, and the wind noise is hardly noticeable.  Overall, I’d say the wind deflector was worth the expense (and hassle to modify and mount it, since it’s made only for flat crossbars, not Yakima round ones).

As a happy update, while westbound on I-84 on May 1, 2016, with no headwind, I got 18 mpg at 70 mph (2 mpg better than in Nevada last August), and the Big O mechanic says there’s no visible wear on the tires after more than 10,000 miles.  The wind deflector enables the truck to cruise as if the camper didn’t exist.  I couldn’t be more satisfied.

I also got a pair of fold-up treads in case of getting stuck in mud or snow, but that hasn’t happened yet.

In the summer of 2019, after colliding with deer twice in a year, I added a honkin’ grill guard that looks robust enough to take out elk.  This will ensure that deer will never again jump in front of me, of course.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s