Walkaround Wednesday: Niel Cabrera’s 2021 TRD Pro Tacoma Build

Long Travel TRD Pro Lunar Rock 3rd Gen Tacoma

Niel Cabrera & His Long Travel 3rd Gen Tacoma TRD Pro

Welcome to Trail Tacoma’s second installment of Walkaround Wednesday!

In today’s segment, we’ll talk to Niel Cabrera and hear all about his impressive trail-built Tacoma. This is the kind of truck many of us dream about; an extensively built-out rig with 21,000 miles (and counting) of nothing but pure off-road adventure. Now would be a good time to make sure your socks are on tight because they’re about to be knocked off!

Vehicle Walkaround

Lunar Rock 3rd Gen Tacoma With LT & 37" Tires


Base Vehicle:

  • Year: 2021
  • Make and Model: Toyota Tacoma
  • Cab: Double Cab
  • Bed: 5 ft
  • Trim: TRD Pro
  • Color: Lunar Rock
  • Mileage: 21k


  • Nitto Trail Grappler M/T Tire – 37×12.5R17
  • Fuel Offroad Unit Beadlock D120 Wheels – 17×9
  • King 2.5″ Front Extended Coilover w/ Remote Reservoir
  • King 2.0″ Air Bump Stop
  • King 2.5 x 12″ Rear Shock w/ Remote Reservoir
  • Toytec 1″ Body Lift Kit
  • Deaver Suspension Expedition Series Leaf Springs

Other Drivetrain Mods:

  • DRT Fabrication Shackle Hanger Kit
  • DRT Fabrication Cab Mount Relocation Kit
  • Total Chaos Fabrication Sway Bar
  • Total Chaos Long Travel Kit (includes UCA & LCA)
  • Toyo-Steering Tundra Steering Rack Kit
  • JD Fabrication HOWE TC Pump Steering Kit
  • Nitro Gears – 5.29 gear ratio (Review)
  • ARB Front Air Locking Differential (Review)
  • ARB Diff Breather (Install & Review)
  • MarlinCrawler LCA Frame Brace
  • RCV Ultimate 30 Spline CV Axle Set
  • Powerbrake X-Line 4×4 Front Big Brake Kit (Review)
  • Powerstop Z36 Rear Brake Kit


  • S&B Filters Cold Air Intake
  • Magnuson 3.5L V6 Supercharger
  • URD 76mm Throttle Body Adapter
  • URD Power Extractor Pipes
  • URD Spec-U Exhaust
  • Toyota Tundra Throttle Body


  • RCI Offroad Rock Sliders
  • RCI Offroad Full Skid Plate Package
  • Southern Style Offroad Slimline Tube Bumper
  • C4 Fabrication Overland Series Rear Bumper

    Lightning & Electrical:

    • Rigid Industries 40″ Adapt Light Bar
    • Rigid Industries 30″ Radiance Light Bar
    • KC Hi-Ltes Cyclone V2 Rock Lights
    • sPOD BantamX Touchscreen Switch System
    • Off-Grid Engineering Dual Battery System
    • DC Power Inc. 270w Alternator


    • James Baroud Grand Raid Rooftop Tent
    • James Baroud Falcon 270-degree Awning
    • CBI Fabrications Overland Bed Rack
    • FrontRunner Outfitters Slimline II Roof Rack
    • ARB Elements Weatherproof Fridge/Freezer (Review)

      Recovery Equipment:

      • Warn Zeon 12s Platinum Winch
      • Warn VR EVO-10s Winch
      • Maxtrax MKII Recovery Boards
      • Rotopax 1 Gallon Fuel Container


      • Garmin Overlander Navigator
      • Garmin Tread Navigator & Group Ride Radio
      • Midland MXT275 Two-Way Radio
      • Icon Dual Band Radio


      • Paint Protective Film (PPF) Wrap
      • ARB Twin Air Compressor (Install & Review)
      • ARB Safari Snorkel (Install & Review)
      • Snorkel Upgrade Sy-Klone 9001 Precleaner
      • Rough Country Speedometer Calibrator (Review)
      • Raptor Lights

      Tell Us About Yourself

      Lunar Rock Toyota Tacoma With Long Travel & 37 Inch Tires

      I’m Niel Cabrera; I am the U.S. Vice President for Fisher Investments. We manage assets for some of the world’s largest, most prestigious institutions, including corporations, pensions, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, and many others. I am a part-time overlander, scuba diver, and foot camper.

      I’ve had my truck for 4 years and I went with the TRD Pro model because it had a lot of items I liked out of the gate like the 360° cameras. I also knew I could sell my wheels tires and suspension as I replaced them and recover most of the difference in price. The resale value for the TRD Pro was also very good and helped me make my decision.

      How Do You Use Your Tacoma?

      Long Travel Tacoma With Big Tires & Body Lift

      My Tacoma is a dedicated overlanding/off-road truck; I don’t use it for daily driving unless I just want to have fun. This Tacoma only sees off-road use through mud, water, and rocks. I haven’t really faced any challenges with the Taco, it’s built very well, and being that it’s a Toyota, so far, it’s held up very well.

      Why Did You Choose A Tacoma?

      3rd Gen Tacoma TRD Pro Off-Road & Overland Build Review

      When I bought the truck I knew exactly what I wanted because this was my 5th truck; I had 2 full-size and 2 midsize trucks before this current build. I needed a truck that was nimble enough to fit through tight spaces and built with the best quality possible because I wanted to get to very remote places with minimal possibility of breaking down. I also needed a good overlanding platform that I could build a reasonably extreme off-roader from.

      I looked at the Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, Jeep Gladiator, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Xterra, and Toyota Tacoma. I landed on the Toyota because it was the best all-around truck in the group in my opinion: best quality, resale, lots of aftermarket options and I also loved how it looked. 

      Tell Us About Your Build Process

      3rd Gen Tacoma TRD Pro With Rear Shock Relocation Long Travel

      First, I leased a Tacoma for a year to make sure it was the right choice because the build was going to be a huge investment. I put the leased Tacoma through the coals and it did better than I thought. 

      That’s when I went and bought my TRD Pro and have slowly modified it since. It’s a process of continuous tweaking here and there. Every trip I make, I come back with different adjustments I want to make, and slowly but surely I’m simplifying what I take with me, especially on solo trips.

      What’s Your Favorite Mod? Least Favorite?

      Lunar Rock Tacoma With C4 Fabrication High Clearance Rear Bumper

      My favorite mod is the Magnuson supercharger; no explanation necessary. Another favorite mod is my rear winch setup – I’ve used it more than my front winch to pull folks behind me out.

      My least favorite is my C4 fab rear bumper; it’s very functional but also very heavy. I probably should’ve gone with a lighter-weight rear bumper.

      What’s Next For Your Tacoma?

      Long Travel 3rd Gen Tacoma - Rear Axle Droop/Flex

      I’m in the process of weighing what I need and don’t need at this point. I’m finding that there is such a thing as “overdoing it” so I’m simplifying my build. My next adventure is a two-week overlanding trip north of GA.  

      Final Thoughts

      Lunar Rock Tacoma Build With Total Chaos Long Travel & 37" Mud Terrain Tires

      I really admire how Niel ended this interview, reflecting on the importance of changing only what you’ll use and nothing that you won’t. It’s the same idea as one of my favorite overlanding mantras: “Your build isn’t finished when you put the last thing you need on it. It’s finished when you take the last thing you don’t need off of it.”

      A huge thanks to Niel for sharing this astounding build. If you want to see how this rig performs on some of the toughest trails out there, head on over to Niel’s Instagram page (@tacomakoma). Join us next week for an interview and feature with the owner of another sweet trail-built Tacoma!

      Interested in having your own rig featured in a future installment of Walkaround Wednesday? Click here to submit your build!

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