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codybutz
10-23-2011, 04:23 AM
I'm not sure if this is a crazy idea or just not worth the money and time, or if anybody has ever tried it, but would it be possible to take a 2wd chinook/ sunrader camper shell and put it on a 1st gen tacoma platform? I see a lot of the 2wd campers for sale or sitting and going to waste. And I'm sure we are all aware of how rare the 4wd versions are. After dreaming over the 4wd toyota campers for a while now I was just wondering what anybodies thoughts or opinions were on the matter.

java
10-23-2011, 04:39 AM
i believe one was grafted onto a tundra a little while ago, and sold bfore it was finished, but it tured out looking good. it was on here.

wheresmikeys
10-23-2011, 03:25 PM
Throw enough time and $ at it and it will work. I have thought about that often. It would be pretty awesome. I have also wondered if maybe just turning a chinook carcass into a slide in for the Tacoma, might be the way to go. If you do it, you have to post pics of your build

NothingClever
10-23-2011, 04:06 PM
What would be the advantage over a newer camper (pop-up or hardside) that simply slides in?

codybutz
10-23-2011, 04:43 PM
I guess there would be extreme advantage, if at all any. I do see a lot of the 2wd rv's selling for next to nothing tho. The rv's you can pass through the truck cab and camper shell. and since its a hard side rv, arent you allowed to have passengers in there also? I don't totally dislike pop up campers just dealing with canvas issues and having to set up and take down in nasty weather is less then fun. More or less I was just thinking out loud here I suppose. Does anybody have the link for that tundra build mentioned above?

codybutz
10-23-2011, 04:46 PM
http://www.brian894x4.com/images/KenTrinderbandit1.jpg

This would be ideal and I have found out that the maker of this is based in Indiana,(Bonanza Coach Bonanza Coach Corp.). Monday I will be trying to contact them. Ill post up what I find out.

NothingClever
10-23-2011, 06:01 PM
The rv's you can pass through the truck cab and camper shell. and since its a hard side rv, arent you allowed to have passengers in there also?

You're right....I forgot about that obvious advantage. I'm not sure why I forgot since that's a handy feature my wife reminds me that she misses from our Westfalia days (we have a pop-up on a pick-up now). That'll be especially handy for you in Illinois where the fall/winter/spring weather can be pretty brutal. Best of luck with your project.

4xdog
10-23-2011, 06:41 PM
The Tundra conversion was being done by Irbis Offroad in Aurora, Colorado. There are a few images still on their website.

http://www.irbisoffroad.com/about-us-2/
http://www.irbisoffroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/DSC07596.jpg

Ruined Adventures
10-23-2011, 07:07 PM
http://www.brian894x4.com/images/KenTrinderbandit1.jpg

This would be ideal and I have found out that the maker of this is based in Indiana,(Bonanza Coach Bonanza Coach Corp.). Monday I will be trying to contact them. Ill post up what I find out.
Me want.

Toyotero
10-23-2011, 07:25 PM
That would be awesome! Like this, but cooler.
http://www.toyotamotorhomes.com/91_4x4_chinook.htm

http://www.toyotamotorhomes.com/914x4chinook/LaborDay05%20007.jpg


IMHO, if just 4WD camper is your goal, you could do a SAS/Trans&Xfer-case on the Chinook Hilux and have it.
http://store.4wheelingplus.com/proddetail.asp?prod=110003-1&partner=froogle

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/5861/canvazuttripaprilmay211.jpg

Granted, that won't have the creature comforts of a Taco with coil sprung front suspension and the power/reliability of the newer engine, but it'd be unique.

codybutz
10-23-2011, 09:54 PM
Toyotero, You just enlightened me to a new creature. If I could find one of those I'd be sold! I actually am use to solid axles up front as I have a strictly jeep back ground and I just recently purchased my first Yota. But a Hilux Chinook you say...... Me Likely.

Ruined Adventures
10-23-2011, 11:17 PM
Such a cool vehicle...me want, really bad.

more 4x4 Chinook porn (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/43157-Award-Winning-Toyota-4x4-Chinook-Camper!!?highlight=toyota+chinook+4x4)

EDIT: I did a search and found a clean 2wd Chinook (http://stcloud.craigslist.org/rvs/2603463256.html), a nice 4x4 chinook (http://www.toyotamotorhome.org/classifieds/listing/1347/1986_Toyota_Odyssey_4_x_4.html), and a project (http://www.toyotamotorhome.org/classifieds/listing/1348/Chinook4x4.html) for sale...there's a photo album showing the 2wd to 4wd chinook project (https://picasaweb.google.com/108505826807986726641/Chinook#5643483177578220306) swap. Pretty interesting.

tanglefoot
10-24-2011, 04:35 PM
The frame-on campers do have the advantage of extra space because they don't need to fit inside a truck bed. They can use the full width of the body all the way to the floor.

You could also build your own camper body on a Tacoma frame, along the lines of the Supercamper:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_QGuGZxz_RaY/StUdY9U6ZdI/AAAAAAAAAqU/afIoiLnoJt0/s400/camperdriver.JPG

http://www.thesupercamper.blogspot.com/

I don't think attempting to contact Bonanza will get you anywhere helpful. I don't believe they exist in any capacity these days.

I love looking at the custom projects but I went with a slide-in pop up and really like it. The retracting top is very nice for aerodynamics on the road and for squeezing under trees on the trail. The pop up is also more acceptable for parking in a neighborhood.

Martinjmpr
10-24-2011, 05:35 PM
Any modification is possible if you point the money cannon at the vehicle and squeeze the trigger.

I would ask, though, other than the 'cool' factor, what is the objective? The advantage of a slide-in like a 4 wheel or a pop-up tent shell like a Wildernest or a Flip-Pac is that they don't require a dedicated vehicle - slide the camper out or take the topper off and you are back to having a pickup.

The dedicated camper-vehicle is great as a camper but pretty crappy for anything else. Also, even with 4wd, you aren't going to go very far off-road in a vehicle that narrow and top-heavy.

To put it a different way, that weight and height of that camper is going to impose limits on your travels that 4wd and low range can't remove.

I guess if you live in the snowbelt and want a year-round camper, it could be a good thing, but there's a reason you don't see a lot of 4wd motor homes - no matter how many times the concept has been tried (and it has, many times), there really isn't that much of a demand for them because a 4wd motor home can't go that many places that a 2wd motor home of equal size and configuration can't go.

Seems to me if you really need the comforts of a motor home and the capability of 4wd,something like a Sportsmobile 4x4 van would get you further into the back country with fewer compromises (think, for a minute, about the point where the fiberglass body of the camper and the metal body of the truck come together, and then imagine the body flexing and twisting on a rough 4wd road. You can see the problems that would be very likely to occurr.)

Matto
10-25-2011, 01:03 AM
Very disappointed in this thread.

Reading the title had me thinking that someone was going to try to combine a Taco with one of these:

http://www.enemyforces.net/helicopters/ch47_chinook.jpg

</offtopic>

Martinjmpr has hit my concern on the head - depending on how you mount the body (and I've never seen one, so go easy on me if it's obvious) to the chassis, I would expect that it would flex against the cab in an offroad situation.

You could get around it by either separating the two with a flexible "conduit" between cab and body, or potentially by fixing them together as one entire unit. That, however, would probably tie you to using only 3 body mounts for the entire cab+body, which probably wouldn't support the entire arrangement. The former, though, might impact your legalities of having passengers back there, if it's not the same structure as the cab (which seems to be one of the main reasons you're looking to do it).

As mentioned, 2WD vehicles don't really have this problem - well, not enough to actually worry about it anyway.

Good luck though - "never let those who say you can't, distract you while you actually do".

Thanks!
Matto :)

austintaco
10-25-2011, 02:09 AM
I think Martin made some really good points. Cody, do you already have a Tacoma? I would search all over for a Wildernest, and see if that fits the bill. You can do some custom work to your tacoma's bed if you wanted to make it more "camperish", or just load and go and enjoy having a tent in a few minutes.

If you have some more cash, get a flippac or a pop up camper, but the wildernests can be found for a good deal if you are willing to drive.

willb
10-25-2011, 04:12 PM
Very disappointed in this thread.

Reading the title had me thinking that someone was going to try to combine a Taco with one of these:

http://www.enemyforces.net/helicopters/ch47_chinook.jpg

</offtopic>




Matto :)

No need to combine them, just park the Tacoma in the back!:)

tanglefoot
10-25-2011, 05:48 PM
I dunno, I think a small, Chinook-sized camper with 4wd and low-range has a lot of potential. I know the pop-up slide in on my 4runner has a lot more access capability than my parents' Toyota, 2wd class-C motor home. The 2wd motor home has been on sandy two-tracks and some places it probably shouldn't have been, but the pop-up 4Runner can get into the back-country sites on the forest-service roads that the motor home can't get close to. The lighter weight, low-range gearing, extra ground clearance and smaller profile make the biggest difference.

The pop-up 4runner is too clumsy and top-heavy to go where the less-loaded rigs go, but it has a lot of extra exploring capability compared with a 2wd motorhome.

codybutz
10-25-2011, 10:40 PM
As stated above by somebody, my main concern would be where the cab and fiberglass camper meet. Welding on more mounts to the frame for the camper would not be much of a problem. The only solution I came up with, would be to use that flexible accordion material you see on like the extra stretch busses, or between the back and front of an ambulance, sourcing it might be the tough part tho.

I do already own a Tacoma. Its an 03 with the extra cab( no third door). So cutting into the rear of the cab, I would loose those folding down seats, if you even want to call them that lol.

I do really like the flip pac, I looked at a couple for a jeep comanche that I restored. My reason for eliminating those where the fact you still have to set them up. I know its only minutes, but I plan on ski bumming out of this truck and set up in below freezing, no matter how quick would not be fun.

I am a welder by trade so making something custom would def. be in the cards but that would eat into the recreation time. Not to mention the 6 week old son:av-7: we just had takes up a lot of time, in a good way lol.

I think my solution now is to find a used contractor top like the A.R.E. with the double barn doors on the rear. Build a fold door prison style cot and figure out a heating solution along with some type of cook up. I could cannibalize an rv/camper for that. The only other neg. would be the lack of a toilet.

I also keep hearing about some surfer that built a custom camper, but ever link I find says all the videos of it being built are removed???

I also love that chopper posted above but Id rather get my hands on an old Bell Huey. :smiley_drive:

NorthernWoodsman
10-25-2011, 11:38 PM
^^^ Hey, did you read all of the blog? There are posts that have some good photos showing the build of the camper. I tried the videos and some are definitely not working anymore.

Here is the forst post in the blog regarding the build:

http://thesupercamper.blogspot.com/2006/09/super-camper-inspiration-concept-and.html

You might even try contacting them directly to see if they would send photos or the videos directly to you.

codybutz
10-26-2011, 12:31 AM
Hey thanks for the link, that is the first time I have seen the whole blog I found just random bits of it. I'll read through it and figure something out. Thanks again.

Ruined Adventures
10-26-2011, 02:48 AM
I also keep hearing about some surfer that built a custom camper, but ever link I find says all the videos of it being built are removed???
Not sure what you're talking about there, but G100 has a very cool surf/sleeper built from an ARE like you're talking about.

Check it out: Project T100 "Baja Explorer" (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/39774-Project-T100-quot-Baja-Explorer-Ver.-2-quot?referrerid=13589)

austintaco
10-26-2011, 03:43 AM
Cody,
Did you see the link I posted in the classified for the Flippac with the barn doors?

http://boise.craigslist.org/rvs/2645128856.html

I know what you just mentioned that you nixed the flippac idea, but it's got the barn doors that you were thinking about. Just saying..

codybutz
10-26-2011, 04:12 AM
Thanks, I actually did just see that. The biggest problem would be the distance, but i might give him a call tomorrow and inquire about it.

Martinjmpr
10-26-2011, 02:07 PM
I think my solution now is to find a used contractor top like the A.R.E. with the double barn doors on the rear. Build a fold door prison style cot and figure out a heating solution along with some type of cook up. I could cannibalize an rv/camper for that.

Nice thing about 1st gen Tacos is that it's pretty easy to find used toppers for them on craigslist. When I had my Taco I got two of them and the most I ever paid was $300.

I will say that if you plan on living in it, go for the high rise. They don't look as "slick" as the cab-high, but if you are over about 5'9" you will appreciate the headroom. I started with a cab-high and after my first camping trip, I switched to a high-rise fiberglass.

There are lots of great ideas for how to construct a nice sleeping platform right here on this board - it all comes down to how much time/money you want to spend but there are some fancy rigs here!


The only other neg. would be the lack of a toilet.

Well, for us guys, 50% of your bathroom needs can be taken care of with an empty gatorade bottle. Ask me how I know that. ;)

codybutz
10-26-2011, 06:11 PM
lol I would rather not ask you, I think I have a general idea.

I just read that blog about the super camper / surfer build. All I can say is WOW. That was one really nice build. They have it almost completely laid out, so it would not be hard to copy. But I do have ZERO experience with the resins and fiberglass. I could not do this type of project with as big of as a learning curve as I would need.

Here is an other idea I just had tho... What about building a platform for the rear on the frame and then building a box/ camper the same way that they build them for an UPS/FEDEX style truck with sheet and rivets and some ribbing for support?

NorthernWoodsman
10-26-2011, 09:34 PM
lol I would rather not ask you, I think I have a general idea.

I just read that blog about the super camper / surfer build. All I can say is WOW. That was one really nice build. They have it almost completely laid out, so it would not be hard to copy. But I do have ZERO experience with the resins and fiberglass. I could not do this type of project with as big of as a learning curve as I would need.

Here is an other idea I just had tho... What about building a platform for the rear on the frame and then building a box/ camper the same way that they build them for an UPS/FEDEX style truck with sheet and rivets and some ribbing for support?

This sort of sounds like you want to build a flatbed and then build a camper to strap onto it. Correct? If so, I already have an image in my head of what it could look like.

codybutz
10-27-2011, 01:31 AM
Id rather build it as one unit, that could be completely lifted off.