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Capturing Landscapes in a ‘16 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road

“I remember coming up to a sandbar and it was probably 100 yards long, and you had to cross this to get on the trail to continue on. I was by myself and wishing I had 4WD. It sucked. I didn’t want to risk getting stuck, so I turned around and found another way. I told myself, my next car will be 4WD.”

For photographer, AJ van de Water, the decision to purchase a 4WD vehicle came from necessity. He had grown frustrated with his ‘01 4Runner, which was costing him countless amounts of money for constant repairs and was only 2WD. Despite having a few modifications such as a 2-inch lift and 32-inch Toyo Tire RTs, the vehicle just wasn’t capable enough for what AJ wanted out of his SUV. The hunt for a replacement began, but the process proved to be disheartening.

Initially, he set out to find a TRD Pro version of the Toyota 4Runner, but didn’t realize how difficult it was to acquire due to the high demand and dealership markup. After searching for his dream vehicle, he thought he had secured one that was due to hit port, but that fell through. After growing frustrated with the process, he sold his current 4Runner and bought another vehicle for work.

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Tread March/April 2019, Crossing the DARIEN GAP, Top 10 Experiences, Pick up BED-Gear, And More....