5k: Pop Up Style: 1976 Toyota Chinook Camper

The Toyota Hilux pickup truck is one of those classics that is cool because it is the anti-Ferrari.  The Hilux is cheap to buy, cheap to own, reliable, slow and totally un-sporty – pretty much the exact opposite of something from Maranello, but somehow this makes it cool.  Who are we to deny the Hilux its moment of fame – in fact it could only get better if it was slower, more functional, more horrible to drive, etc…such as this 1976 Toyota Chinook camper for sale in Salina, KS for $6,500 via craigslist.  Tip from Rod S.

This Hilux started life as a simple Toyota pickup, but it was modified by Trail Wagons Inc. and branded with the Chinook name.  The Chinook brand was focused on smaller conversions and used the catchphrase “Chinook, The Sports Car of Motorhomes.” Sort of like being the fastest slug in the garden, but this automatic equipped camper won’t win a drag race with a kid’s Barbie Jeep.

Speed doesn’t matter when you own a Chinook pop-up camper because the experience is all about the useability of a sink, toilet, table and bed – all shoved into a small light truck sized package. A recent trend with these seems to be converting them to offroad duty by sliding the cab and body onto a later Hilux or 4Runner 4WD frame, complete with upgraded drivetrain, creating the ultimate compact Toyota expedition vehicle for two.

This seller does not include a photo of the camper top “popped up” but a quick google search finds a few and it does add considerable useability to the package while minimizing fuel economy and bridge clearance issues.  See a better classic family vacation mobile? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com