10 TRD Off-Road Tacoma Builds

3rd Gen Tacoma With FORM Headlights, Bed Rack & ARB RTT

We Asked 10 TRD Off-Road Owners About Their Top 5 Mods

Hey guys! Welcome back to another Taco Tuesday! If you missed last week’s TT, we looked at camper shells/toppers/caps for the Tacoma.

This week, we asked 10 TRD Off-Road Tacoma owners why they chose this trim level over any of the others.

Why Buy A TRD Off-Road?

2nd Gen Tacoma With Total Chaos +2 LT, GFC Topper, KMC Wheels

The Tacoma TRD Off-Road (OR) was purpose-built by Toyota to conquer pretty much any terrain you throw at it, even in stock form.

The TRD OR package comes with a good amount of off-road tech compared to a standard SR5 4×4.

These extra features (in the 3rd Gen) include Multi-Terrain Select, Crawl Control, a rear locking differential, “upgraded” skid plates, and off-road-tuned suspension. Another notable feature of the 3rd Gen TRD Off-Road is black plastic wheel fenders. This helps easily distinguish a TRD Off-Road from the other trim levels.

Now if we are talking 2nd Gen, in 2014, they received the read locking differential, DAC, and A-Trac.

So why not just get a TRD Pro with all the features above, plus better suspension, tires, and wheels? Well, that is simple, MONEY!

Many owners end up building their TRD OR Tacomas into much more capable trail rigs than a stock TRD Pro. Even with mods, the final cost is still usually less and leaves some cash left over for camping equipment, etc. I always recommend a TRD OR over a TRD Pro if you don’t really care about the exclusiveness of a TRD Pro. Or, if you plan to swap out suspension, wheels, and tires anyway.

Now let’s see what made these owners choose a TRD Off-Road Tacoma for their trail rigs!

1. Jim Bob Barnett: 2014 TRD Off-Road

Super White 2nd Gen Tacoma With GFC Camper & GFC Superlite RTT

Top 5 Mods

  1. Total Chaos +2 LT
  2. Custom rear shock tower w/ through the bed brace & 12″ 2.5 King IBP rear shocks
  3. Relentless bumpers
  4. 37″ KM3 tires
  5. Go Fast Camper (GFC – not pictured above)

Why The TRD Off-Road? What Do You Like Most About Your Setup?

I originally wanted a truck to carry dirt bikes and planned to buy a used Tacoma. However, when I got to the dealership, the used ones were only like $3-4k cheaper than a brand new one, so I bought this one.

I didn’t plan on modding it besides slightly bigger tires and a slight lift, and now we’re here. I like how versatile my truck is; it can run the Rubicon, slam out in the desert, and camp comfortably all on the same trip.

2. Nick Salsbury: 2019 TRD Off-Road

Quicksand 3rd Gen Tacoma With Sherpa Equipment Grant Teton Roof Rack & ROAM RTT

Top 5 Mods

  1. Sherpa Equipment Grant Teton roof rack
  2. Roam Vagabond RTT (standard 2-3 person)
  3. KC HiLites fog/rock/ditch lights
  4. Desert Does It Seat Jackers
  5. Falken Wildpeak MT tires

Why The TRD Off-Road? What Do You Like Most About Your Setup?

I chose the TRD OR because I knew I wanted the rear locker and 4×4 long-term for when we do need it, even if it’s not every day.

I also knew I wanted this color specifically because I came from a Subaru CrossTrek and they had a similar color that I didn’t have. When Toyota launched Quicksand, I had to have it. I also love the form factor of the Tacoma. For us, a full size, where we live, is way too large so with two adults and a 50lbs dog it’s perfect!

I also love that we now finally have a dedicated adventure rig since I do daily it a lot for hikes and MTB stuff. Knowing we have one vehicle that is pretty much just pack a bag and go was always part of the plan. I am very happy about where the truck sits now, it’s always a work in progress though!

3. Joshua Doolin: 2017 TRD Off-Road

Custom Aqua Blue Wrapped 3rd Gen Tacoma With Outgear Solutions HC Rear Bumper & Roam RTT

Top 5 Mods

  1. ADS 2.5 ARR coilovers
  2. @aztunepro Sport tune
  3. Outgear Solutions HC rear bumper
  4. Dobinsons leaf pack w/ greaseable zerks
  5. Lil B’s HC front bumper

Why The TRD Off-Road? What Do You Like Most About Your Setup?

I liked the factory rear locker, that’s a big help while on the trail. I also liked the fender flares not being painted, which I got used to on my 2nd Gen.

The touch screen and electric sliding window inside the cab are awesome too. They’re big improvements in terms of creature comforts from the 07′ that I had. I still think the 3rd Gen Taco has the most attractive front end on the market.

4. Will Holder: 2019 TRD Off-Road

TRD Off-Road Tacoma With 315/75/16 Nitto Ridge Grapplers, ARB RTT + Awning

Top 5 Mods

  1. Fox Suspension front & back
  2. FORM headlights
  3. 315/75/16 Nitto Ridge Grappler tires
  4. Diode Dynamics SS3 pods
  5. CBI bed rack

Why The TRD Off-Road? What Do You Like Most About Your Setup?

I got the TRD Off-Road for its 4×4 and rear locking differential capabilities. Some of the factory options that it comes with over the sport and SR5 models such as the black fender flares and terrain selector are nice as well.

I frequent trails and literally have never run into any issues. Most of the time, 4Hi is enough to get me through anything. Occasionally, the rear locker and low range get me out of sticky situations! If you’re looking to get into off-roading right off the lot, this is the model for you!

5. J.G: 2019 TRD Off-Road

Quicksand 3rd Gen Tacoma With Solar Hood Panel & Stealth Custom Series F5 Wheels

Top 5 Mods

  1. Dobinsons suspension
  2. Tacomapocalypse bed rack
  3. Stealth Custom Series F5 wheels
  4. Lensun Solar hood panel
  5. Tuff Stuff Alpha II RTT

Why The TRD Off-Road? What Do You Like Most About Your Setup?

I chose the TRD Off-Road because of its capabilities, extra options, rear locker, and Crawl Control. What I like most about my setup is the Dobinsons Suspension. I finally got it dialed in after a few trips through trial and error.

6. Brian Baldwin: 2020 TRD Off-Road

Voodoo Blue 3rd Gen Tacoma With Bronze Wheels & Bed Rack

Top 5 Mods

  1. Fridge
  2. Dual battery setup
  3. Rock sliders 
  4. Bed rack 
  5. RTT

Why The TRD Off-Road? What Do You Like Most About Your Setup?

I bought my TRD off-road because of its reliability and the long bed. I carry all of the extra firewood for the camping weekends and still have tons of storage space.

I’ve camped all over the Southwest and am hoping to head up to the PNW next year. Everything on my truck is functional and serves a purpose. The biggest mods that I’ve made that have had the most impact on my off-roading and overlanding have been my fridge, dual battery setup, sliders, and of course, my bed rack and tent.

7. Sary Ven: 2020 TRD Off-Road

Quicksand 3rd Gen Tacoma With AlphaRex TRD Pro Style Headlights & Snorkel

Top 5 Mods

  1. King Shocks 2.5 non-adjustable
  2. Deaver Stage 2 leaf pack
  3. SPC Adjustable UCA
  4. SCS F5 wheels | 16×8 | -25mm offset
  5. AlphaRex TRD Pro style headlights

Why The TRD Off-Road? What Do You Like Most About Your Setup?

I bought the TRD OR because of its rear differential locker. Don’t get me wrong, I initially wanted the TRD Pro, but I saved way more money with the TRD OR.

For the 2020 model, I’m able to adjust my driver’s seat (up or down), so I can see over my hood, and that’s a massive plus for me. Overall, I love my truck. It gets the job done and I will add more mods in the near future so stay tuned!

8. Jason Swencki: 2021 TRD Off-Road

Army Green 3rd Gen Tacoma With Westcott Designs Lift, Roof Rack & Sliders

Top 5 Mods

  1. Westcott Designs TRD lift
  2. Westcott Designs roof rack & sliders
  3. Custom bed rack for Retrax XR cover
  4. Method Race Wheels
  5. Baja Designs lights

Why The TRD Off-Road? What Do You Like Most About Your Setup?

I teach scuba and medical classes which requires me to get to places that are off-road. The Off-Road package had the options I wanted as well as the interior to handle the wear and tear.

Westcott Designs had the best gear and setup options in terms of function for what I needed to do to carry the scuba and medical gear as well as scuba and oxygen tanks. I love the ride and style as well!

9. Randy Esperanza: 2020 TRD Off-Road

Quicksand 3rd Gen Tacoma With C4 Hybrid Front Bumper

Top 5 Mods

  1. C4 Hybrid front bumper
  2. King Shocks
  3. 35” tires
  4. Falcon Seeker T8 wheels
  5. Baja Designs lights

Why The TRD Off-Road? What Do You Like Most About Your Setup?

It didn’t make sense to go with the TRD Pro since I knew that I was going to upgrade my suspension anyways. The TRD Sport didn’t have the rear locker, so the Off-Road made the most sense.

What I like most about my setup is my 35” tires coupled with the King suspension. Oh, and the Quicksand color is just absolutely stunning.

10. Randy Esperanza: 2020 TRD Off-Road Premium

Quicksand 3rd Gen Tacoma With Method 702 Bronze Wheels & Baja Designs LP6 Ligh Bar

Top 5 Mods

  1. King Shocks 2.5″ suspension
  2. Method 702 bronze wheels
  3. Baja Designs amber lights
  4. Prinsu roof rack
  5. Cali Raised LED rock sliders

Why The TRD Off-Road? What Do You Like Most About Your Setup?

I went with the TRD Off-Road because I knew I’d be swapping out the Fox Suspension with King Shocks and also wanted all of the interior and tech features in the Pro, so I made sure to get the Off-Road Premium and Advanced Tech packages.

After looking for my perfect truck for over a year, I ended up finding it 300 miles away in Arizona. I made the trek out to Lake Havasu and fell in love. It was everything I had been looking for in a Tacoma. Once I got it back home, I began the upgrades.

I took the truck to 88 Rotors in LA where I added King Shocks 2.5″ Suspension, Camburg UCAs, Method 702 wheels in bronze, and BFG KO2 tires. After that, I quickly added some rock sliders from Cali Raised LED and an ARB dual compressor in the engine bay to air back up after finishing a trail.

Those mods weren’t necessary for adventures but they definitely made a huge difference getting further back into some of the more technical trails. The 360-degree panoramic cameras that are included in the advanced tech package made crawling over boulders and hills much easier when I don’t have a spotter with me.

Final Thoughts

Super White 3rd Gen Tacoma With Diode Dynamics SS3 Pods & FORM Headlights

I hope that this week’s Taco Tuesday article informed you a little more about the TRD Off-Road trim level for the Toyota Tacoma.

Personally, a TRD OR is overkill for the Florida terrain that I live around. However, I live by the motto of, it’s better to have something and not need it, than to need something and not have it. I know that if I get stuck in sand one time and would’ve been able to get out if I had a rear locker or crawl control, then I would never live it down. That’s why I will never own a 2WD truck again. That’s a story for another time.

If you want to be featured for Taco Tuesday, submit your build through TrailTacoma.com/Feature. Next week’s Taco Tuesday will be featuring 2nd Gen Tacoma Roof Racks. We’re looking for sweet rides to showcase! If this is you and you love your setup, send in your details because we want to see it.

Thanks for reading guys. I’ll see you next week!

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