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Adventure Vehicles 101 with Bryan Rogala

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Introducing Adventure Vehicles 101 with Bryan Rogala. This is the first in a series of 'The 101' episodes focused on adventure vehicles. Here, Bryan Rogala takes us on a tour of his Tundra build.

Video Transcript

BRYAN ROGALA: Hey guys, Bryan Rogala here for Outside. This is The 101. This series is all about adventure vehicles, so buckle up, because we have a lot to talk about. 

To me, driving is not just about getting from point A to point B. It's about how you get there and what you find along the way. Having the right vehicle means you can make it to the remote trailhead or campsite easier, and it means you can keep all your gear more organized and get out the door faster. And that is the whole point of a good adventure-mobile. It's something that enables you to get outside more often and do the things you love. 

There's all sorts of different types of rigs out there. You've got full-size vans, Sprinter vans, trucks, Airstreams, teardrop trailers, ambulances, former military vehicles, even Subarus. We're going to take a look at them all and show you how to pick the right one for you. 

We're also going to profile some readers' rigs, talk to the owners of the coolest rides that we can find, and show you how they built their dream rigs. We're going to meet some of the best custom-vehicle builders out there, like Tactical Application Vehicles in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We'll check out their amazing work and get tips from the pros on things like how to use a winch, what you should keep in your vehicle at all times, and how to trick out your own ride. There's going to be plenty of inspiration and high-end dream rigs to drool over, but we're also going to show you how to do a lot of this yourself. 

Case in point: this is my truck. For me, I knew I wanted a truck from day one. The truck fits my lifestyle. I wanted something that could haul a trailer on occasion, and something with enough room for my wife and I and our two large dogs, plus a ton of camping, biking, or ski gear. I wanted to be able to sleep in the back and have something that could make it down a really rough Forest Service road for hunting and fishing trips. 

A midsize truck does that really well, and it has more room than something like a Jeep Wrangler or 4Runner. I also don't plan to live out of my vehicle, so I didn't need something like a Sprinter van. Originally, I looked for a Tacoma, but, as I'm sure a lot of you know, they are ridiculously expensive. So I opted for a 2003 Tundra instead. It's basically the same truck as a new Tacoma, but it's older and not as popular, so they're a lot cheaper. 

Now I've got it built out, so it's really great. I can throw a mountain-bike rack on the back. The swing-out carrier is nice, because it lets me just move the bike out of the way, so I can get access to the back of the truck really quickly. 

And then another big thing for me was storage space. I used to use all sorts of different bins, and my stuff was kind of just thrown in the back of the truck. And I recently upgraded to some Decked drawers. So these things are great. You can obviously build your own drawers if you want to. There's all sorts of plans out there. 

I wanted something that was dustproof and weatherproof and kept my stuff secure and safe, so I went with Decked. I usually keep mountain-bike stuff or whatever stuff I'm using in one drawer, and then the other drawer has some recovery equipment, an air compressor, things like that, in case I get stuck. 

The other great thing about this deck platform is it provides a sleeping platform. So I can sleep two people down here pretty easily, which is nice, but ultimately, I wanted to be able to camp really comfortably out of my truck. So I put a Go Fast camper on the top of it. 

It actually allows you to stand up in the bed of the truck. It has panels that you can move around and sort of slide into a bed. Being able to stand up is really nice, but the best thing about the Go Fast, and the reason you get this thing, is because you have a bed built-in. So in less time than it takes me to set up an actual tent, my tent's up, and I've got a super comfy two-inch foam mattress in here. 

Now, chances are if you're watching this, you already own a great adventure-vehicle platform. You might just need to add some key accessories to make it a little bit better. In the next episode, we'll cover the first steps to choosing the right rig for you. If you like this video, please comment and subscribe. We'd love to answer questions and cover topics you want to know more about. 

So stay tuned for more episodes of Rigs 101. We've got a lot more in store, it's going to be a lot of fun, and we'll see you off-road.