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Custom Toyota Chinook
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Jun 24, 2011
I wanted to show off a few pictures of my truck and see what else people are doing for their climbing rigs. Let's see those covered wagons!

Rock Climbing Photo: Quarter view of my truck
Quarter view of my truck

Its a 1985 4x4 Turbo Diesel Toyota longbed that has been converted into a camper by removing the bed and the addition of the pop-top camper off of a 1978 Toyota Chinook. This mod will work on just about any pick-up with the right wheel-base and cab height. All you need is to find an old Chinook, then take off the camper and then line everything up. I've seen old Chinooks for as little as 500$ on Craigslist.

Rock Climbing Photo: A particularly stylish old Toyota Chinook
A particularly stylish old Toyota Chinook

The rear glass and entire rear has been removed from the cab thanks to a Sawzall, permitting a pass through. Most of this work mating the two major parts was done by a friend in Calgary.

The entire truck was rebuilt from front to exhaust, overhauled drive train and drive line, overhauled axels, beefed up brakes, rebuilt turbo and motor including a new head and name it... its either rebuilt or new. All work done by Toyota with Toyota parts. 4 inch suspension lift with pro-comp gas shocks and add a leaf in the rear for heavy loads. It all rides on 385/75 Goodyear Duratracs on 16 inch alloy rims. Custom welding of bumpers and sliders done by the same friend in Calgary. The paint is a two part epoxy, the same they use to paint offshore oil rigs. The hood is flat black for glare reduction and its got 65% tint all around on the windows. The Canvas on the pop-top is in great shape and the camper shell itself is great, Chinook made those things bomber! There were a few important mods that were needed to improve the structural joining of the cab and camper....I can detail if any one is interested. I have about a total of 18k invested, not including my time.

Rock Climbing Photo: Side view of my truck
Side view of my truck

With the diesel, I average 20-22 mpg on the highway. I must say it is pretty gutless, so I don't try and win any races. You'll usually find me camped out in the right lane, sorry in advance if you're behind me on a big hill : ) It does however have plenty of low-end torque for rolling over shit that gets in the way.

I don't have any of the finished interior photos, but I'll post up when I get a chance. There's a three way fridge inside that runs off 220v/12v/Gas... It gets cold enough to keep the Mr Freeze pops frozen and it will run off a single 20gal gas cylinder for two weeks. I have the sink, two burner stove and an 80 litre water tank as well. All the surface appliances are recessed into the counter with covers so that I have lots of counter space when I need it. All the electrical system in the back as well as the stereo is run off a separate deep cycle battery that is hooked up to a battery isolator off of the alternator. There is a 600w inverter for powering computers etc... It has tons of closet and storage space and there is a couch that folds out into a bed with space for two and my big dog.

Future projects/dreams include air-bags for the rear suspension, solar panels and satellite internet for when I'm using it for work.
Rock Climbing Photo: The gutted interior before I finished ca...
The gutted interior before I finished can see the pass-through.
David Trippett
From Squamish, BC
Joined Aug 9, 2007
560 points
Jun 24, 2011 Bob Dobalina
Joined Jun 2, 2009
70 points
Jun 24, 2011
hahaha...That Element is rad! David Trippett
From Squamish, BC
Joined Aug 9, 2007
560 points
Jul 2, 2011
Nice work, David! Thanks for the nod - much appreciated!

It's good to have friends that can help with the trickier stuff - good on them!

MisterE Wolfe
From Bishop, CA
Joined Dec 5, 2007
1,205 points
Jul 3, 2011
That's badass. Certainly more functional than my Civic! Jon H
From Boulder
Joined Nov 24, 2009
13 points
Jul 5, 2011
That is a great truck! I'm a huge toyota 4wd fan and thats one of the coolest camping rigs I've seen. I'm jealous! I'd love to see some interior pics.

I'll have to post up a similar thread of my rig. (Not even close to being as cool though).
Wyatt H
Joined Oct 29, 2010
3 points
Mar 6, 2015
Hi. Considering the purchase of a '78 Chinook for $1,600. It's got 78k on it but in rough shape-lots of minor things but brakes, tranny, and engine are advertised as fine. It runs and is missing some parts which I wonder how easy they might be to replace. For example, the propane door is missing on the driver side of the camper shell. What do you think, worth it and how easy is it to get parts? Appreciate any advice.
Rock Climbing Photo: 78 Chinook
78 Chinook
Joined Mar 6, 2015
0 points

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