The Perfect Chinook – 4×4 Diesel


Its a 1985 4×4 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.

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.

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 back…new exhaust, overhauled drive train and drive line, overhauled axels, beefed up brakes, rebuilt turbo and motor including a new head and rings….you 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.

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.

This was all found here on the Mountain Project

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