Official Toyota Tacoma Camper Brings Retro Chinook Look Back to Life

It delivers on the promise of a modern Chinook camper tribute.

byCaleb Jacobs|
Toyota News photo

Sure, old-school pickup-based motorhomes sound incredibly niche, but when so many people grew up with rigs like the Toyota Chinook camper, you see how nostalgic they can be. Most of those folks, Toyota included, have key memories of the classic truck with an adventurous spirit, which is what made this "Tacozilla" SEMA creation worth doing. Plus, it fits right in on the show floor with an LED light bar, a winch, and tons of swanky camping gear.

This overlanding 4x4 capitalizes on the Tacoma's capable underpinnings by adding a two-inch suspension lift, 33-inch General Tire Grabber X3s, and living quarters so plush that full-timing in it might not be so bad after all. Power is supplied by the usual 3.5-liter V6, which makes 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, though it's sent through a six-speed manual transmission instead of an automatic. That's one thing the aging Toyota still has going for it seeing as most other midsizers are auto-only.

Actual photos of the truck show more detail than the previously released 3D renders ever could, and I'm here for it. All the bodywork was crafted by Complete Customs in McKinney, Texas, who skinned the Toyota with aluminum and added a Lexan skylight for good measure. The inside's undoubtedly nicer than anything that was around 40 or so years ago—let's just say mom and dad's didn't have a 3D-printed dining table like this one does.

Complete Customs furnished the interior with teak flooring, a full bathroom with working hot water (!!!), and a kitchen that features both a stove and a sink. You might be surprised that all this can fit in something smaller than a full-size but, you've gotta remember, midsize trucks are a whole lot bigger than they used to be. When you're spending a lot of time inside one, though, that's not the worst thing, especially if you've got a family.


While you'll notice the nicely integrated Rigid Industries LED lighting, black plastic snorkel, and TRD-stamped skid plate up front, there are subtle touches that make the Tacozilla a more pleasant place to be. For proof, there's an additional Optima Yellow Top battery tucked away that's responsible for powering everything at the back half of the truck, and the fuel tank filler was completely reworked so fumes don't make their way into the camper. They apparently worked 100 hours on perfecting the rear door alone, showing attention to detail that's not always evident on SEMA builds.

This is, of course, a one-off. If anything, it can provide inspiration for your own overland build. Just remember that rigs like this don't come cheap, and adding live-in campers like this can easily skyrocket the price to six figures. Don't believe me? Check the classifieds for yourself.

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