Nook & Cranny: 1976 Toyota Hilux Chinook

You would like to do a little camping this summer, but you don’t want it to be a big undertaking. Sleeping in a tent is OK, but maybe your destinations aren’t ideal for it.  You would like to be able to park, get some shut eye and get on your way.  A few modern amenities might also be welcome if you are spending some time on the road.  Find this 1976 Toyota Hilux Chinook with low miles here on eBay for sale in Ankeny, IA bidding at $3,600.

Anything roadworthy carrying the VW emblem is expensive and often too nice to use for a mobile flop house.  Many of the affordable domestic camper alternatives are either very big, horrible on fuel consumption or worn down to the nub.  With 20+ MPG capability, the footprint of a normal parking space and Toyota reliability, this may be just the ticket.

Whether you want to spend the night in the woods, a Wal Mart parking lot, your cousin’s driveway, or in front of a dive bar, this Chinook is up to the task.  No, you won’t be getting anywhere fast in this vehicle in stock form.  The 20R Toyota mill is said to propel it at about 65MPH tops.  Perhaps there are some easy engine upgrades that might get this rig to cruise comfortably at interstate speeds?  It looks like an AC unit is present and will make your journeys far more bearable.

Wooden floors are a welcome sight and a huge improvement over the shag carpets found in many such units of this vintage.  The simplicity of this camper equals fewer things to break and get dirty. Maintenance, repairs and winterization are time consuming and take away from the spontaneity and fun of RVing.  You could daily drive this unit and decide at work if you feel like going straight to the lake for the night.  Whatever you decide to do with it, this Chinook certainly makes less seem like a lot more.

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