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Land Cruiser - The Truck I Never Knew I Needed

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

I never knew I needed a Land Cruiser until I got one. I had always had my eyes set on a Tahoe as my mom had a few growing up. Little did I know that exploring this vast, awe-inspiring country would later in life consume every part of me and you can’t get where I want to go in a Tahoe.

After wheeling the Frontier for a bit, I knew I needed my own truck to take on the trails. My husband and I traveled to North Carolina to check out Smokey right before Christmas in 2019. I remember pulling up and seeing the immaculate, two-toned rig and thinking that it’s the most beautiful truck I’ve ever seen. All the way down to the cream interior that looked brand new, I needed this truck. We did a quick walk around, inspected the service records that the previous owner had kept track of and hopped in the LC for a test drive! Now, I know slow cars. My first car was a 1996 Infiniti I30. So I knew the LC would be slow, but DANG! I was not prepared for just how slow. Some will say I tend to drive a little fast so this would be a little adjustment for me. Boy was it so worth it!

It wasn’t long, two weeks maybe, before we got the LX450 in 4lo. Our first little trip was down towards the Alapaha River just to see her in some different terrain other than the highway. Two months after that we were prepping Smokey up for our first trip to Utah! You could say things escalated quickly! Mods and upgrades came fast and it really jacked us up to spend as much time out on the road as we could. From that trip on it was full send. Across the Southeast and as far out West, I wanted to see every crevasse this country had and I wanted to do it all in my Land Cruiser.

We knew I needed some extra storage and a place to throw dirty recovery gear on the trails, so we started off snagging a Bowfin Cruisers roof rack. It locks in perfectly to the rain channels for a snug, quiet fit all while accentuating those 80 series body lines. Then came time to beef him up, so that’s when the 35” Cooper Discoverer ST/MAXX shoes were thrown on Ole Smokey. What pairs nicely with some new 35’s Bronze #701 Method Race Wheels. Earlier when I said it was full send, I mean full send. We were across the country in no time. Hitting gnarly inclines on the slick rock in Moab, camping in the breathtaking canyons shaped SO perfectly over thousands of years and exploring trails at the highest elevations that leave you speechless. Absolutely speechless.

I could never leave out the East Coast though! There is something so special about knowing you are one of the first people to see the sunrise while looking out of our CVT Rooftop Tent camping on the OBX. Though sand gets everywhere, it’s an experience like no other. Rock crawling, mud sloshing and epic, historic views, Tennessee defiantly has it all! While I haven’t been up towards the Northeast you can bet I already have those beautiful trails mapped out on Gaia waiting for me.

There is one thing for sure. I know the confidence I have in my rig, with or without all the bells and whistles. Any terrain I am faced with I know that I have everything needed to get me up and over. I just need a little PWR sometimes! (IYKYK). It also helps having my team outside the truck hyping me up every time and my spotter helping me along the way. Every obstacle, every state, every friend I meet along the way, Ole Smokey is going to be around in my family for a long time! And who knows, there may be another one in my future!


  • Tuff Dog 2” Lift

  • Bowfin Cruisers Roof Rack

  • CVT Roof Top Tent

  • CVT 99” Awning

  • 35” Cooper Discoverer ST/MAXX

  • 16x8 Bronze #701 Method Race Wheels

  • WARN Winch

  • Old Man Emu Steering Stabilizer

  • SPC Lower Control Arms

  • Marlin Crawler Steering Upgrade Kit

  • Slee Front & Rear Bumpers AKA “The Short Bus”

  • Bora Wheel Spacers

  • Iron Pig Skid Plates

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