LEITNER AMBASSADOR: KEN HOGLUND
If Ken Hoglund had bought a long-bed Tacoma, he might not be where he is today — an overlanding content creator and influencer. In fact, while Hoglund was growing up, he was a fan not of overland-outfitted trucks but of souped-up Civics and booming subwoofers.
When Hoglund bought his truck in 2015, he had no intention of becoming Instagram famous; he was just trying to take his kids out to explore remote parts of Utah.
On those backcountry expeditions, Hoglund would take pictures of the landscape and occasionally turn back and snap a picture of his Tacoma in the scenery.
The Tacoma build had humble beginnings, remaining unmodified for a very long time. Hoglund slept not in a fancy rooftop tent, but in a tent made for the bed of the Tacoma, which was just a bit too short for him. With his feet forced against the bottom of the in-bed tent, Hoglund would wake up to nearly frost-bitten toes.
After two years of freezing in his tent, Hoglund had enough. He sought out a bed rack so he could mount a rooftop tent to his truck. After what felt like endless research, looking for the best rack on the market, Hoglund discovered Leitner Designs and the Active Cargo System to which he mounted a CVT rooftop tent.
“As I've done more research and as I've used it, the Leitner ACS is the strongest rack on the market,” Hoglund said. “It's the only one that connects to the frame of the truck bed. In my opinion, it's the most well-built rack on the market for sure.”
This slight crack in the dam, so to speak, gave way to a great flood of modifications, including all-terrain tires and a full set of skid plates.
Hoglund spoke to us from the waiting room of his mechanic, where he was having wheel well reinforcements installed. Not surprisingly, Hoglund’s mechanic calls him “the poster boy for using your truck.” Looking at it, it’s an apt moniker.
Hoglund’s build has morphed over the years, as builds often do. Right now, he runs a GearPOD Dual, which gives him room to run an Universal Mounting Plate to which he’s mounted a propane bottle. On the other side, Hoglund mounted MAXTRAX on some more Universal Mounting Plates with an Expedition Essentials Quick Release.
Fully built for adventures, Hoglund is always on the go. When caught up with him, he’d just returned from a camping trip with his daughter for her birthday. They spend several days in the Uinta Mountains. And he was just about to depart for a trip along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with his dad.
Hoglund admits that with four kids and a wife, he probably should step up to a full-size truck. But he loves his midsize Tacoma too much to let it go.
If you want to follow along with Hoglund’s adventures, you can find him on Instagram @HoglundOverland.
Ken Hoglund’s Build List:
Platform: 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Offroad
Racks & Accessories
● Leitner Designs ACS Roof Rack
● Leitner Designs Roof GearPods
● Leitner Designs Forged Active Cargo System
● Leitner Designs Dual GearPod
● C4 Fabrication Overland Front Bumper with Full Bull Bar w/ Headlight Hoops
● C4 Fabrication Overland High Clearance Rear Bumper with Swing Arm
● C4 Fabrication Rock Sliders with Step Plate
● C4 Fabrication Full Skid Plates
● C4 Fabrication Offroad Rear Diff Skid Plate
● Heretic Studio Clear 40" Light Bar
● Heretic Studio Clear Ditch Lights
● Heretic Studio Amber 30" Bar in Bumper
● Heretic Studio Amber Fog Lights
● Heretic Studios Amber Chase Lights
● Alpha Rex Tacoma NOVA-Series LED Projector Headlights
● Alpha Rex Tacoma LUXX Series Sequential LED Tail Lights
● King Off Road Shocks OEM Performance Shock Kit with Click Adjuster
● Camburg Uniball Upper Control Arms
● Deaver Stage 3 Expedition Leaf Springs
● Archive Garage Shackle Hangers with Cross Tube
● Timbren Industries Rear Active Offroad Bump Stops
● Timbren Industries Front Bump Stops
● Falken Wildpeak 285/70R17 M/T Load C Tires
● XD Raid 17" Wheels
● Powerbrake X-Line 4x4 Big Brake Kit STAGE 1
● Nitro 4.56 Gears
● ARB Front Air Lockers
● Long Range Automotive 33 Gallon Gas Tank
● Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch
● (2) Waivan Steel Jerry Can
● (2) 95L ROAM Adventure Co Storage Boxes
● ARB Dual Compressor
● Expedition Essentials Bedside Compressor Mount
● Expedition Essentials Maxtrax Quick Release Mount
● Expedition Essentials Propane Bottle Quick Mount
● Expedition Essentials Powered Accessory Mount
● TRD Pro Grill
● sPOD Universal
● CVT Mt. Thielsen Roof Top Tent
● S&B Cold Air Intake
● Safari Snorkel
● Snorkel Upgrade Prefilter
● DECKED Drawer System
● Dometic CFX3 75DZ
● Alu-cab XL Fridge Slide
● MAXTRAX Recovery Boards
● Oil Catch Can