View Full Version : 1st generation Tundra or new Tacoma for FWC?

12-10-2011, 04:45 AM
I'm looking to get a FWC camper and need to get a truck. I really like the size of the 1st gen Tundras and like that they have a V8. I can get an 05 or 06 for $15 - $20k. Should I be concerned about buying a truck that is 5 years old with 50 - 60k miles? I haven't bought a used car since I was a kid and I'm a little nervous about it. I only drive about 10k miles a year so could I reasonably expect this to last another 10 years and another 100k miles?

Another option is to get a new Tacoma. But the reason I like the Tundra option is that I can get the bigger Hawk, rather than the Eagle or Fleet.

I almost always travel by myself so maybe a Tacoma and Eagle or Fleet is big enough? I've never been inside a FWC so I don't know how much bigger a Hawk is.

Although cost is always a consideration, I am more concerned about getting the right truck. If a new Tacoma is the best option then I'll go for it. But if a 5 year old 1st gen Tundra will get me 8-10 years, then I might want to go that way which gives me a V8 and more room in the camper.

I'm going to FWC in a few weeks to check them out, but am interested in peoples thoughts on trucks.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

Note: I'm a Toyota guy and anything bigger than the 1st gen Tundra is too big for the trails I go on. So a new Tundra or Fords and Chevy's are too big.

12-10-2011, 05:26 AM
You can't go wrong with an 05-06' 1st Gen Tundra. With the updated everything on them compared to the previous years, it's a solid truck. The engine will last forever, ask the 100 series guys, 4runner people, and us Tundra people as well. The V8 will handle the load of the FWC better IMO. Although the Tacoma's are very nice! Aftermarket support is a lot better with the Tacoma's. I would say it's really up to you, go test drive both and see which you like better. Are you thinking of getting a Dcab or access cab in either the Tundra or Tacoma? I love my Tundra, it's about the same size as the Tacoma's, just with a V8!

12-10-2011, 05:54 PM
First, I think you're in the right ballpark for a solid, used vehicle for trails, extended traveling and the like. I'd buy a 1st Gen Tundra without hesitation.

Second, the camper...unless you have special needs such as storage for extra equipment, wetsuits, bicycles, etc or a closet for office attire, an Eagle or a Fleet should be more than sufficient space, I think. The Fleet is abundantly handy and comfortable for one person.

There's another thread around here where folks are talking about living out of a truck, etc. If it were only me requiring a living space, the limitation I would have living out of my Fleet would be storage for dress clothes, extra fitness clothing, gear and tools. If on a week-long trip, the Fleet would be great as I'm likely to only take running or swimming gear. Longer than that, bicycle gear and other stuff will start to crowd the Fleet. If I were to live full time out of a truck camper, I'd go with an Australian version of a Keystone on a full-size truck with a flatbed so that I can carry tools to do maintenance on a motorcycle which I would use to commute to work.

BTW, my experiences/observations are based on an '02 Taco with an '09 Fleet.

12-11-2011, 12:11 AM
I'm not sure the plasic bed on the new Tacoma would like the constant weight of a FWC, a lot of our customers have to get creative just with lumber racks, having to tie them into the frame, and the webbing at the frame mount area on the bottom of the bed wears out easily. I've had to remove at least one customers bed and fill in the worn out area with 1/2 inch thick 4"x4" spacers because the front had sagged that much. Like others said the V8 will also make you happier with the additional weight. I vote Tundra in this case.

12-11-2011, 12:15 AM
NothingClever - you have a Fleet? Is it on a Tundra or Tacoma? If Tacoma - do you feel it sticks out the sides to far? If a Tundra - is there a reason you didn't get the Hawk?

This is all good info everyone, thanks.

12-11-2011, 12:29 AM
NothingClever - you have a Fleet? Is it on a Tundra or Tacoma? If Tacoma - do you feel it sticks out the sides to far? If a Tundra - is there a reason you didn't get the Hawk?

This is all good info everyone, thanks.

My Fleet is on an '02 Taco. The reasons behind a Toyota Tacoma purchase were several....

1) reliability and minimal TSBs
2) OEM parts and aftermarket accessory availability
3) proven capability on rought track
4) simplicity (no traction assistance features)
5) manual transmission (which wasn't available on the Tundra except on the 3.4l engine which seemed underpowered for that much truck)
6) and because I found an '02 in '08 with only 30k miles on it for a real bargain.

If I had a Tundra, I'd DEFINITELY get the Hawk. There's no reason not to take advantage of the bigger bed space of the Tundy given the Hawk isn't that much more costly than the Fleet.

I was worried about the Fleet hanging over the side on my '02 Taco but it doesn't bother me at all, especially given the extra elbow room inside.







My wife and I are deliberating over an international trip and what vehicle & camper combo will be the right fit for us if we go as a family. One of our most economic options is to flatbed the Taco and then add outside storage boxes to the Fleet where the truck bed walls are currently. If we don't feel like forking over the cash for a new (to us) F250 and a Keystone (for the inside toilet and shower), then the Fleet would be a viable option although not the most preferable since we'll be cramped for storage of any extras (like some office atire which we need, snow skis which I want to take, a bicycle, snorkeling gear, etc).