Did you already know that my Toyota Tundra doesn’t really like to pull my RV? I think I have bitched enough about not having 4WD that if you read along at all, you know that no 4WD while boondocking has been a problem.
IF you call getting stuck in snow a problem…
Or if you call getting stuck somewhere on a flat dirt road a problem…
Or if you call not being able to get up a gravel driveway a problem…
Or if you call not being able to get up a small hill to boondocking a problem…(May 2018, Salida, Colorado.)
Failed to get up a snowy road up a mountain this March in Utah as well. Even had chains on. (On the right tires even.) RRRRRRR!
I sure called them problems. So looking for a 4WD truck had been on my mind for quite a while. Since Camp Addict started paying off this summer, the time was right just last month to start looking.
And look I did. This is where the bats come in. I’m getting there…
What was out there to tow with? A bunch of BORING TRUCKS for sure. They are so… utilitarian.
Trucks To Choose From
Tacoma- this was the exception. Utilitarian and basic inside, but I LOVE THE OUTSIDE. However, my dreams have been crushed as I am not getting a smaller rig any time soon. Tacoma wouldn’t pull my rig well at ALL. Devastating.
Tundra- Today’s models bore me. So did my old one. I got it solely as a utilitarian truck- something to pull my house.
Ram? Pffffft. So no-frills.
Ford F-150? Again, fairly boring but can pretty easily accessorize and make ‘do-able’. (For me)
Chevy- No thanks.
Then there was the Ford RAPTOR. Woah.
It’s a suped-up Ford F-150. VERY suped up. THESE trucks were decked out inside! And looked much more badass outside. It’s really the only truck I have liked besides Tacomas. I was excited, but not about the price tag. I think new they start somewhere around 75K. 😬 Ouch.
So I kept looking, deciding, re-deciding, negotiating with myself, and changing my mind about what I should do for my next rig. (Have since decided to keep my Slingshot for a good year or more. I am digging it. And will throw solar on the roof.)
This July, I was parked in Edwards, Colorado.
I went to go look at trucks in Glenwood Canyon, about 45 min west of Edwards.
I hit the Ford dealer first, wanting to drive a boring old F-150 again. See if it flipped my skirt any more this time. (Not likely) I got a good sales guy. (Read: young, and wasn’t trying to “sell” me shit. Because THAT doesn’t work on me.)
I told him what I wanted to drive (F-150) and then casually asked if they had any used Raptors. His answer was “yes”. My insides tingled a little.
We turned a corner, and THERE. IT. WAS.
Ho- Lee- Shit. I mean, LOOOOOOOK:
Dude. I mean, Dude.
This thing was BADASS. Almost a little TOO much so. But, I digress.
Upon further inspection, It had everything I would have had to do to it to get it road-worthy… A cap, a rug liner inside the bed (to help keep dust out), tinted windows, 4WD of course, bigger tires/offroad tires, and night light bars for off-roading.
It was looking at me like “you know you’re getting me”.
“It just got here on consignment”. -Salesman
“I’ll take it off your hands”. -Me
And that’s precisely what I did.
Meet my new truck, “The Beast”!
Took it home a few days after first seeing it. Xferred all my stuff from the back of Tundra into my new 2014 Raptor, which has a lot more room. Also has a handy-dandy built-in step to make it easier to get into the back.
The only mandatory mod I did was I put in a bed slide so I can slide all the stuff OUT instead of crawling in or having to pull everything out. I loooooove it.
The Beast Shenanigans/Adventures. (So Far)
Wellll, it’s only been about two months, but there have already been a few things/adventures. A headlight was out. Ford took care of it right away using a third party place.
Got it fixed. Then had the bed slide installed at this same place. Then I took The Beast home. Got to meet the Slingshot.
There has been a muffler issue as well, but I fixed it myself.
No, seriously. I’m serious.
Washing The Beast
Well, I usually don’t wash my truck much. I live in dirt roads, so it’s pointless. Still, this maroon color REALLY shows the dirt so, more washing.
So I went to a few car washes.
Car Wash #1
The first place, a drive-through wash, was a fail. The guy running it asked me if I wanted to not wash the front due to the lights. I wasn’t sure so I said let’s not. Well, my tires didn’t fit well into the ‘guides’. It was major disaster, the truck did NOT come clean at all. We towel washed/dried if after to get it all right.
Car Wash #2
This time, I figured I needed a touchless wash. So I tried again in Salt Lake City. Took it to a touchless wash. Took me about 10 tries to get the green light to come on. Forwards, backwards, forwards, you get it…
FINALLY, the green light. Washing commenced. Then it ended. I waited for the dryer to come on. Nothing. Didn’t I pay for a dry?
So slowly I pulled out of the building. Something made me go outside to see how well THIS wash went. Here’s what stared back at me:
Well, that didn’t work, either. Guess I’ll be washing The Beast manually from now on!😂
Hey Bats- RUN!
On my way to the Bend Xscapers convergence, I hit what I thought was a HUGE moth. Not so fast.
I remembered seeing it in headlights, for an instant, and seemed like it went into my grill. Forgot about it when I arrived, after dark of course.
Next morning, my friend Tye sends me this photo: 😂
It wasn’t a moth. It was a BAT. How does one even hit a bat? Leave it to The Beast. I briefly considered calling the truck “The Batmobile”. But, it didn’t stick. Or work. Sad as it was, it’s also kinda funny.
The Lights On The Beast
Now, I didn’t get to try the night lights before I bought The Beast. However, once I did… HOLY SHIT MY PANTS IT WAS AWESOME!!! Listen to my annoying squeal below if you can tolerate it. See the MAGIC that is The Beast’s lights at night!
Off Roading: Daytime “Blues”
Now, the Raptor has a couple of downsides. The biggest one being that it’s 8 inches wider than any other truck out there. (Duallys not counted) This keeps me from getting into certain places. It’s also pretty long.
Therefore, it’s not the most agile truck out there to off-road in. But it’s MADE to off-road. Places like the desert or Moab I suppose. Not made so much for what I was doing with my Xscapers friends in Bend.
Example below, we couldn’t get up and over this CRAY giant steep pile of rocks:
I have a lot to learn! Still, all outings are fun.
Good Times To Come
Well, there’s my newest toy! (And tow vehicle, of course. It pulls WAY easier than the Tundra. This has a 6.2 L engine. V8 of course. I don’t even feel the trailer on mountain climbs.)
Welcome to my life, The Beast. May we crawl many more places I could never go with Le Tundra!