Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have an ambitious goal for my FJ. I want to meet up with a friend (next year at the earliest) who moved up to Alaska a couple years ago and go camping with him up in his new bayou (we're from Louisiana).

I want to piece my FJ to accommodate this trip from Louisiana > Alaska (some nights camping, some nights visiting family and street parking my rig a night or two), pretty much an overlanding rig set for weather that will progressively get colder (not freezing as I plan to go in the Alaskan summer). That's the ultimate goal for this rig, but I will also be using this rig to head to events and further south to do beach camping as well.

I'm starting with a bone stock 2008 TT with 163,xxx miles. So far I'm planning -

General fluid maintenance -
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Radiator fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Differential Fluid
General wear and tear items -
  • Brake pads
  • Brake rotors
  • Belts
  • Battery (having trouble cranking in the morning in this 80 degree weather) OEM Toyota again or Odyssey?
  • Tires (waiting on the DTD eBay $100 off $400 deal to come back) 285/75/16 General Grabber ATX or Cooper ST Maxx
  • Spark plugs
Upgrades -
  • Suspension - 2.5 Toytec front, Toytec rear struts with 650 springs, SPC UCA's
  • Headlights - Either just HID bulbs or projectors
  • Roof rack - Waiting for the Expedition One roof rack pre sale
  • Front bumper - Waiting for the Expedition One President's Day sale
  • Winch
  • Roof top tent - ARB for the cost most likely
  • Hi-lift jack
  • Drawer setup in the rear of the FJ cargo area
  • On board air compressor (either under the hood or where the OEM jack is)
  • Snorkel
What I'm mainly looking for are suggestions as to what else should be maintained/prepped/upgraded before driving from Louisiana to Alaska with the end goal of camping? I'm trying to stay in a budget of $10,000 total for everything. I'll be doing all of the labor myself, as I have access to an in ground rack on weeknights and weekends. I don't have the budget for fancy stuff but certain things I'm willing to put more of the budget towards if it's important (like suspension). I also usually buy things on sale so suggestions as to what other sales to hold out for would be great as well.

Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,801 Posts
When i bought my FJ . the reason behind it was to make the Alaska drive . And i am doing that . But i also am doing a Bunch of other things as well with it . I went to Cruise Moab , Going to the Rubithon (most likely Not going to run the Rubicon just yet ) maybe just poke my toe in a little LOL . Then Its Back to Moab to wheel with the Big Dogs before making my way to the FJ Summit . From there its The Sierra Trek . Then the Rubicon for MCR .. I try and take it out at least 1 day a week just running logging roads or what ever i can find . My Fj is set up with alot of the same parts that you are looking to get . It is very capable . one thing i would suggest is Rear Lower Links and lower link skids . I also run FJtoyman shock skids . the 2.5 rear shocks are not cheap . . Rock Sliders are a Must . with Tires and suspension you are going to be real close to the half way mark of your budget . i have a ARB under my hood i just installed and i am happy with it so far . Not alot of real estate in the rear of the FJ .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,485 Posts
I think your list looks great. I'd skip the snorkel personally but don't let me stop you. You'll also want recovery gear for sure, spare belt and other spare parts you can think of. Set of tools, bug spray, knowledge of the workings on your vehicle which you'll gain in the garage weeks before hand hopefully.

Rock sliders and lower links are in case you plan to do some rock crawling but if your sticking to the roads I'd go without.

I would not go OEM Toyota battery BTW. None will last like the original as dealer replacements are generally cheap junk. Do yourself a favor and get a real upgrade via a deep cycle AGM marine battery and voltage booster.

Also you can add USB outlets if needed, fridge would be very handy. Awning? Tire plug kit? Portable battery jump starter? Medical kit? Bungees and straps for the roof rack (who knows if you might have to put things up there midway thru). You'll end up using all those little pieces of gear stuffed away in your storage drawers often.

Most of all just have fun! Most of us would love to do something like that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,801 Posts
And to add . Some sort of Fuel tank . the range of the FJ is not the best .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,983 Posts
If you plan on crossing the border with firearms ( handguns ) know that they are prohibited in Canada, they won't get in , and you either if caught( you know you need to cross into Canada to go there, right ? ) . You can cross with hunting riffles and ammo , if you declare them at border. You need a Passeport and no criminal records... DUh, i know, but i have US friends that still don't know this...

I would bring spare parts like spare belt, tie rods, ball joints ( not that those parts are not available everywhere, but it will be faster if you break down and get to a mechanic, to have them in hand )

Which way are planning to come up ? Through the prairies, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan , or through British Columbia ? Also know that the gas up here is expensive... Right now it's around 1.30 to 1.45$/L that's about 5.30$/g for regular...Get some Canadian money if you don't want to get screwed on the exchange rate, or a good no exchange fee card.
 

·
MOAB SUPERSTAR
Joined
·
5,918 Posts
Agree with all above answers, and would add: swap transfer case fluid and do a brake fluid and coolant flush. How are your pulleys and serpentine? Water crossings (would guess there’s lots of that in AK) tend to upset OE open pulleys. I have Gates pulleys and no issues. Also one of my favorite mods for my annual cross country drives is replacement side mirrors - TrailToys super wide angle...zero blind spot and huge sarety advantage IMO
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,831 Posts
I would step back and reevaluate the list and separate what you truly need vs want for this trip.

One thing to consider is - gravel. You will see a lot of gravel, gravel is a *****. Gravel = dust.
Coilover covers on the front
Shock boots
Rad Rubber engine bay rubber
Snorkel would be good to elevate the intake out of the dust.
 

·
A-Team Moderator
Joined
·
9,048 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
All really great information! I actually did not know about the no DUI's to get into Canada, never even been out of the country. I have time to mull this over and piece it together as I go, but everything here is laying a great baseline to work off of. Also lots of stuff I didn't even think of, dust covers, pulleys, Canadian money, etc.

Thank you all for the help! I'm mostly a lurker, but if I can get things moving into motion, I'll update this thread. Time to start a spreadsheet with estimated costs and allocating my budget around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I have an ambitious goal for my FJ. I want to meet up with a friend (next year at the earliest) who moved up to Alaska a couple years ago and go camping with him up in his new bayou (we're from Louisiana).

I want to piece my FJ to accommodate this trip from Louisiana > Alaska (some nights camping, some nights visiting family and street parking my rig a night or two), pretty much an overlanding rig set for weather that will progressively get colder (not freezing as I plan to go in the Alaskan summer). That's the ultimate goal for this rig, but I will also be using this rig to head to events and further south to do beach camping as well.

I'm starting with a bone stock 2008 TT with 163,xxx miles. So far I'm planning -

General fluid maintenance -
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Radiator fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Differential Fluid
General wear and tear items -
  • Brake pads
  • Brake rotors
  • Belts
  • Battery (having trouble cranking in the morning in this 80 degree weather) OEM Toyota again or Odyssey?
  • Tires (waiting on the DTD eBay $100 off $400 deal to come back) 285/75/16 General Grabber ATX or Cooper ST Maxx
  • Spark plugs
Upgrades -
  • Suspension - 2.5 Toytec front, Toytec rear struts with 650 springs, SPC UCA's
  • Headlights - Either just HID bulbs or projectors
  • Roof rack - Waiting for the Expedition One roof rack pre sale
  • Front bumper - Waiting for the Expedition One President's Day sale
  • Winch
  • Roof top tent - ARB for the cost most likely
  • Hi-lift jack
  • Drawer setup in the rear of the FJ cargo area
  • On board air compressor (either under the hood or where the OEM jack is)
  • Snorkel
What I'm mainly looking for are suggestions as to what else should be maintained/prepped/upgraded before driving from Louisiana to Alaska with the end goal of camping? I'm trying to stay in a budget of $10,000 total for everything. I'll be doing all of the labor myself, as I have access to an in ground rack on weeknights and weekends. I don't have the budget for fancy stuff but certain things I'm willing to put more of the budget towards if it's important (like suspension). I also usually buy things on sale so suggestions as to what other sales to hold out for would be great as well.

Thanks!
My Vote is with the suspension lift kit upgrade plus with spares.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,983 Posts
All really great information! I actually did not know about the no DUI's to get into Canada, never even been out of the country. I have time to mull this over and piece it together as I go, but everything here is laying a great baseline to work off of. Also lots of stuff I didn't even think of, dust covers, pulleys, Canadian money, etc.

Thank you all for the help! I'm mostly a lurker, but if I can get things moving into motion, I'll update this thread. Time to start a spreadsheet with estimated costs and allocating my budget around.
Just to be clear, your American money will be accepted, just that either you'll get screwed on the exchange rate or won't get any... And at 0.75 cdn/1us like it is right now, it starts to show.
 

·
A-Team Moderator
Joined
·
9,048 Posts
There's a Passport Card, kind of like a drivers license if you don't need a full stamp Passport book, that they issue for a little less money.

The passport card is a limited travel document, valid only for land and sea travel within North America (Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda). It cannot be used for international air travel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Passport_Card
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
I actually have the same trip planned, as a matter of fact, I was supposed to go last year. Elderly parent stuff ...... :frown I am just throwing my thoughts out there as there is no right or wrong ......... generally speaking.

I would stick to stock size tires for this trip. With the 285's you will take what I believe is the biggest hit on gas mileage next to the roof top tent. You will be driving a LOT of miles.

With that said, a "hard shell" RTT will also cut down on the gas mileage loss over a "conventional canvas type", as it is much more streamline.

The gas savings alone over a 10000 (possibly more) mile trip will somewhat offset the higher cost of a hard shell RTT. The "bad" tradeoff with a hard shell tent is the smaller size when it is set up.
Ease of setup and takedown should be considered as, at least for me, it is going to be a daily event. The hard shell tent wins here.

For what it's worth, a friend of mine did this trip 3 years ago. When he got back he made it very clear that he hauled "way to much stuff" and that his next trip up to Alaska would be with a rig "similar" to mine/yours.

As always, Your Mileage Will Vary (pun intended) :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Any updates?
I actually have the same trip planned, as a matter of fact, I was supposed to go last year. Elderly parent stuff ...... :frown I am just throwing my thoughts out there as there is no right or wrong ......... generally speaking.

I would stick to stock size tires for this trip. With the 285's you will take what I believe is the biggest hit on gas mileage next to the roof top tent. You will be driving a LOT of miles.

With that said, a "hard shell" RTT will also cut down on the gas mileage loss over a "conventional canvas type", as it is much more streamline.

The gas savings alone over a 10000 (possibly more) mile trip will somewhat offset the higher cost of a hard shell RTT. The "bad" tradeoff with a hard shell tent is the smaller size when it is set up.
Ease of setup and takedown should be considered as, at least for me, it is going to be a daily event. The hard shell tent wins here.

For what it's worth, a friend of mine did this trip 3 years ago. When he got back he made it very clear that he hauled "way to much stuff" and that his next trip up to Alaska would be with a rig "similar" to mine/yours.

As always, Your Mileage Will Vary (pun intended) :)
Sorry for the lack of updates, life started getting in the way of life ya know? haha

Below is the original checklist, updated with what's been done and the status of the rest.

General fluid maintenance -
  • Brake fluid - Completed
  • Power steering fluid - Completed
  • Radiator fluid
  • Transmission fluid - Completed
  • Differential Fluid - Completed
General wear and tear items -
  • Brake pads
  • Brake rotors
  • Belts
  • Battery (having trouble cranking in the morning in this 80 degree weather) OEM Toyota again or Odyssey? - Battery has help up fine for the last year, could be weak starter
  • Tires (waiting on the DTD eBay $100 off $400 deal to come back) 285/75/16 General Grabber ATX or Cooper ST Maxx - Completed (ended up with the General Grabber ATX in 285/75/16
  • Spark plugs - Completed
Upgrades -
  • Suspension - 2.5 Toytec front, Toytec rear struts with 650 springs, SPC UCA's - Completed (ended up with Radflo 2.5 front & rear w/ 650 springs)
  • Headlights - Either just HID bulbs or projectors - Completed (ended up retrofitting projectors w/ 50w HIDs)
  • Roof rack - Waiting for the Expedition One roof rack pre sale
  • [strike]Front bumper - Waiting for the Expedition One President's Day sale[/strike] - (scratching this idea for now)
  • [strike]Winch[/strike] - (scratching this idea for now)
  • [strike]Roof top tent - ARB for the cost most likely[/strike] - (scratching this idea for now)
  • Hi-lift jack
  • Drawer setup in the rear of the FJ cargo area
  • On board air compressor (either under the hood or where the OEM jack is)
  • [strike]Snorkel[/strike] - (scratching this idea for now)
This trip was supposed to happen this summer, but I ended up going to a spontaneous trip to Iceland/Ireland/England back in March 2019, so funds were eaten up with that (expensive) trip. I have since changed my plans to a winter trip, and after telling my family about my plans, my mother asked if she could come along. She's nearing 60 and has never seen the Grand Canyon nor Yosemite, so I figured she could come along; I mean who is going to tell their mother no?

The trip has now turned from a camping at state/national parks along the road to a road trip visiting iconic sites in the US with the furthest location being Huntington Beach, CA (we have family there and plan to spend Christmas + a few days there before Yosemite). The new plan is to drive from Louisiana > California and hit up a lot of sites along the way there and back over the course of 3 weeks (all I could get off from work in one chunk - 7 weeks off a year, already used half for the March trip). A rooftop tent is no longer needed, as my mother cannot handle the winter temperatures all night, so she's requested we duck into motels along the way.

tldr; Louisiana to [strike]Alaska[/strike] California in the [strike]summer[/strike] winter of 2019.
 

·
Forum Beer Miester
Joined
·
3,693 Posts
Sorry for the lack of updates, life started getting in the way of life ya know? haha

Below is the original checklist, updated with what's been done and the status of the rest.

General fluid maintenance -
  • Brake fluid - Completed
  • Power steering fluid - Completed
  • Radiator fluid
  • Transmission fluid - Completed
  • Differential Fluid - Completed
General wear and tear items -
  • Brake pads
  • Brake rotors
  • Belts
  • Battery (having trouble cranking in the morning in this 80 degree weather) OEM Toyota again or Odyssey? - Battery has help up fine for the last year, could be weak starter
  • Tires (waiting on the DTD eBay $100 off $400 deal to come back) 285/75/16 General Grabber ATX or Cooper ST Maxx - Completed (ended up with the General Grabber ATX in 285/75/16
  • Spark plugs - Completed
Upgrades -
  • Suspension - 2.5 Toytec front, Toytec rear struts with 650 springs, SPC UCA's - Completed (ended up with Radflo 2.5 front & rear w/ 650 springs)
  • Headlights - Either just HID bulbs or projectors - Completed (ended up retrofitting projectors w/ 50w HIDs)
  • Roof rack - Waiting for the Expedition One roof rack pre sale
  • [strike]Front bumper - Waiting for the Expedition One President's Day sale[/strike] - (scratching this idea for now)
  • [strike]Winch[/strike] - (scratching this idea for now)
  • [strike]Roof top tent - ARB for the cost most likely[/strike] - (scratching this idea for now)
  • Hi-lift jack
  • Drawer setup in the rear of the FJ cargo area
  • On board air compressor (either under the hood or where the OEM jack is)
  • [strike]Snorkel[/strike] - (scratching this idea for now)
This trip was supposed to happen this summer, but I ended up going to a spontaneous trip to Iceland/Ireland/England back in March 2019, so funds were eaten up with that (expensive) trip. I have since changed my plans to a winter trip, and after telling my family about my plans, my mother asked if she could come along. She's nearing 60 and has never seen the Grand Canyon nor Yosemite, so I figured she could come along; I mean who is going to tell their mother no?

The trip has now turned from a camping at state/national parks along the road to a road trip visiting iconic sites in the US with the furthest location being Huntington Beach, CA (we have family there and plan to spend Christmas + a few days there before Yosemite). The new plan is to drive from Louisiana > California and hit up a lot of sites along the way there and back over the course of 3 weeks (all I could get off from work in one chunk - 7 weeks off a year, already used half for the March trip). A rooftop tent is no longer needed, as my mother cannot handle the winter temperatures all night, so she's requested we duck into motels along the way.

tldr; Louisiana to [strike]Alaska[/strike] California in the [strike]summer[/strike] winter of 2019.
The OEM Panasonic battery isn’t available and I highly recommend the Odyssey, my solar panel failed in Texas and I didn’t discover it till I was on Hell’s Revenge in Moab even with my fridge maintaining 27 degrees day and night.

That Louisiana to Cali/Oregon trip is gonna happen for me within 4 years but not next year as I already have a sweet little adventure planned for August 2019. Please post pics as you make progress on your modifications and subsequent trip!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top