Gunship. That’s the name I gave this 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro in Army Green. Why Gunship? Because the car I had prior to this one was a 2017 Audi A4 that I had named Spaceship due to it’s ultra-modern all-LED dashboard. Being a former active duty Marine and current National Guard Soldier, it seemed fitting for this very military-looking colored rig to be named Gunship.
Why the 4Runner
There are many reasons I chose the Toyota 4Runner as my personal vehicle, but they include the following:
- Houston floods. I’m in the National Guard, and I need reliable transportation that can handle up to 6″ of water on the roadways safely. The 4Runner can do that.
- Speaking of the National Guard, when I do need to go to drill or annual training, I am required to carry a large amount of equipment that didn’t all fit into my former vehicle easily.
- I fly RC aircraft, and I needed a vehicle with a large enclosed area to transport the planes to and from the airfield.
- My wife and I like going biking and would like to do more hiking and camping. This vehicle will accommodate both of those easily.
- Adventures. The 4Runner is made to have them
What are the mods?
Here is a list of the mods that have been done to the Gunship.
- Shrockworks rock sliders
- Sherpa Equipment Co. Crestone Roof Rack
- Rago Fabrication storage system and shelf
- Apex Overland front recovery points
- Yakima Slim Shady awning
- X-Bull recovery/traction board mounts by Bruce’s Rod Shop
- LED headlights and interior lighting
This is a list of things that I have in my 4Runner at all times. While some may be overkill for daily driving or “Mall Crawling” as the wheeling community likes to call it when you’re not actually driving off-road, I prefer to be prepared for anything that comes my way. That’s part of the reason I drive a 4Runner: to not be caught off-guard by the weather, by terrain, or any other unforeseen situation (if I can help it). NOTE: The items listed below are the ACTUAL items I have. I have used every one of these personally.
- Safe Jack bottle jack. I prefer to use this over a Hi-Lift or a farm jack.
- Rotopax 3.5 Gallon Fuelpax. 3.5 gallons of fuel is an additional 40 miles of fuel. I’ve run short by 3 miles before (in another vehicle long ago). I don’t want that experience again.
- Military folding shovel (aka E-Tool, or Entrenching Tool). The e-tool I received was authentic. I compared it to my actual issued e-tool, and it’s identical. This is a great item to have just in case. If you ever go off-road, it’s likely you’ll need a shovel at some point. This one doesn’t take up much space and is actually tough and efficient.
- Fire Extinguisher. If you’re going to be out in the middle of nowhere and you have a minor fire, it can quickly escalate into losing your entire vehicle (and everything in it). Give yourself a fighting chance of saving your vehicle by carrying a fire extinguisher.
- Recovery straps/D-Ring (Bow Shackles). Recovery. You can’t do it without straps.
- Tree Saver Winch Strap. Even if you don’t have a winch, if you’re going to use a snatch strap to pull yourself or anyone else out, it’s always a good idea to distribute the force between two recovery points.
- Chock Blocks. If you’re going to be under your vehicle for ANY reason, you should always chock it. I’ve seen people seriously injured by moving vehicles.
- Hand axe. If you’re going on trails, especially lesser-driven ones, having a small hand axe may save you some pinstripes on your precious rig, or more importantly, allow you to clear an obstructed path.
- Survivorware First Aid Kit. Yes, it’s pricey. But one thing you never want to cheap-out on is first aid. This is gear that may be called on to save your life or the life of a loved one. This kit is very full-featured, well organized, and made of quality material with high-quality contents. I can’t recommend it enough. It also comes with a tourniquet (when you register your product with them).
- Tire Pressure Gauge. If you’re going off-road, whether it’s gravel, dirt, or sand, you should always lower the pressure of your tires to reduce the risk of getting stuck and to reduce the wear and tear on your tires.
- Air Compressor. If you’re lowering the pressure of your tires to go off-road, you’ll need to air them back up to go on the road. This air compressor does the trick quickly.
- D-Rings/Bow Shackles. You use these to attach recovery straps to your vehicle. These are highly rated and high quality.
- Winch Cable/Recovery Strap Blanket. This is safety equipment you should never recover without.
- Trailer Hitch Locking Pin. I keep a bow shackle recovery point on my hitch, and I’d prefer that nobody steal it, so this is a good option to lock it down.
- X-Bull Recovery Tracks/Recovery Boards. My son got these for me for Christmas, and while there are other options available, these are a good budget-friendly alternative. Will they be as tough as the high-end tracks? In all the testing I’ve seen, probably not, but they will get you out at least once or twice which will save you hundreds (or thousands) in recovery fees if you need to call in someone for help. Good insurance, if you ask me.
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