Archive for the ‘Camping’ Category

2014 Toyota Tundra Adirondack adventure

- September 6th, 2014

My two weeks spent this summer with the 2014 Toyota Tundra 4 X 4 – TRD off-road package included an outdoor jaunt through New York’s incredible Adirondack mountains on a 5-day camping excursion to Lake George.  

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After having reviewed several pick-ups in this size class, I can honestly say the new Tundra is about as comfortable a truck I have ever had the pleasure of driving. From front to back and from side to side, the new Tundra exudes class, comfort and luxury.

As a pivotal ‘re-design year’ for Toyota’s entry into the full-size truck market, inspected the truck for changes and improvements over previous models. Upon first glance, the redesigned Tundra doesn’t appear a lot different than its predecessors; until you analyze the subtleties.

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Among the changes in the 2014 model  include an all-new gauge cluster and center stack, which have been reconfigured and are quite sporty-looking indeed.  The interior layout is also greatly improved over previous designs. My father owns a 2012 Tundra and perched inside is a bit more bland feel than the new, more convenient layout of the 2014 model.

More cup holders, slots for holding gadgets and an expanded center console make for the perfect cockpit for any outdoorsman. I found the seats on this new truck to be more snug and form-fitting with improved lumbar support.

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My first impression with the new Tundra 4 X 4 TRD was the power and torque, and there’s good reason for that. Every Tundra comes equipped with a standard 4.6 litre V8, or the man-sized iForce 5.7L V8, as the one I tested, which produces a formidable 381 horsepower with 401 pounds torque.  I am told there is also a ’supercharged’ version available with a whopping 504 horsepower which sounds to me like an exercise in excess.

The iForce 5.7 L V8, in my opinion produces more than enough power and torque than most truck owners would ever require.

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The ride quality of the new Tundra is very nice; firm and solid with smaller bumps soaked up like a sponge in the vehicle’s ample suspension. Hauling my small tent trailer was no challenge for this beast, and there was scant little drop in fuel economy with my 1200 pound pop-up in tow, which was a long stretch from the truck’s 10,400 pound towing capacity.

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Engineers at Toyota put some effort into the suspension for this redesign year with changes to the springs and the TRD package; which included high-performance Bilstein shocks. Evidently meant for hauling much heavier loads than mine, the TRD package also offers several great options that cater more to towing & off-road enthusiasts.

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As I motored up Lake George New York’s famous Prospect Mountain, the Tundra made short work of the ascent like an eager mountain goat!  Several look-outs along the way offered a great vantage point over the Adirondack’s scenic lake known as the ’100 mile view’.

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The TRD package includes not only high-end Bilsteins, but other off-road necessities like skid plates, off-road-tuned suspension and back-up camera. The TRD upgrade will set you back around $6000, but is worth every penny to those who spend more time in God’s country than the urban jungle. The back-up camera, which I initially thought to be extraneous actually proved quite handy when hooking or unhooking the trailer; like having eyes in the back of your head.

Fuel consumption with the truck hovered, on average, between 15 – 16.5 liters per 100 km’s which is not what I would describe as fuel sipping, however in-line with other full-size pick-ups in its class. Interesting observation was how fuel-economy actually improved while driving in the US, and dropped-off slightly running on Canadian fuel.

No explanation for this just an interesting observation.

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For those who aren’t used to a full-size half ton pick-up truck, the 2014 Tundra does carry a Sasquatch-sized footprint and requires extra caution when parking and maneuvering into tighter spaces. The new front grill profile and stance is actually closer in size and appearance to 3/4 ton trucks like Ford’s F-250.

As far as a camping vehicle goes this new truck fit-in quite nicely, although I see it to be even better suited to a big-game hunting trip in the mountains.

In the end, the 2014 Toyota Tundra TRD provided a great family camping and travelling experience. Anyone looking for top-of-the-line luxury in a full-size pick-up combined with some of the best off-road capability on the market, this is the vehicle for you.

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For those who do not plan on hauling a 24-foot cabin cruiser; however, I would opt for the standard 4.6 L V8 and benefit from improved fuel economy.

For more information on the Toyota Tundra: http://www.toyota.ca/toyota/en/language#/toyota/en/vehicles/tundra/overview

 

Off to Ottawa RV SHOW at CE Centre this weekend

- February 28th, 2012

As many of you already know, my other favourite past time (besides hunting & fishing) is camping and RV’ing. Over the years, I have owned 5 different trailers – from a tiny 600 lb soft-top tent trailer, to a 32-foot Park model, to the 31-foot Salem 5th wheel we purchased last summer.

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I just love camping and RV’ing, there is something special about enjoying the outdoors and spending time in an RV. I believe it’s the sense of adventure and social aspect that I’m addicted to. RV’ers just seem to share a special bond, I don’t know what it is. At home we are fairly private people, but once we arrive at the trailer in the summer a whole new social-life takes seed.

 

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This weekend, I’ll be bringing the family to the 19th Annual Ottawa RV SHOW at the spankin’ new CE Centre. It’s not that we’re necessarily in the market for a new trailer, but these shows are fabulous on a number of levels.

Regardless whether you’re in the market for a $100,000 Class A or a $5000 pop-up, the Ottawa RV Show has it all. In my case, I’ll be searching for accessories – a new ‘add-a-room’ for our trailer or perhaps an awning extension. Whatever the case may be, I know this show has all the experts’ right there under one roof and more trailers than you can shake a stick at.

Hey, you do realize that camping season is less than 3 months away. 

Better get crackin’!!

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For more information: http://www.ottawarvsale.com/

 

Outdoorsguy