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Hello everyone-

Yes like maybe a lot of you I have always wanted to build a 4x4 chinook. Four years ago I rebuilt a 89 pop top jayco truck camper as a graduation gift to take a trip to the ocean. The project was fun and I learned a lot, but I sold the big ford diesel 7.3 and camper and down graded in life for a few years so I could finally start a 4x4 chinook build.

I am trying really hard to document every little step of the way so maybe it will help someone else or just for a good read. Most of this build project will be done by myself and faithful sidekick Woodrow (dog). At times I need some help with lifting, transporting or keeping motivation high, so those friends and family will all get to go on some sort of adventure when its done.

Enjoy the photos. I plan on keeping this post updated until finish project.

1978 chinook "clam shell" camper bought in Kalispell, MT- $300.00 - picked up in state wide snow storm in a field!

1980 toyota pickup with rebuilt 22r 4 speed manual, good runner, bought in Columbia Falls, MT- $1,300.00 towed home (bozeman)

Everything must go, roof leaked, front windows leaked, basic fiberglass work, all new stuff, bigger windows. O ya I should tell you I grew up in an auto body shop, so I have some basic knowledge of this stuff, but I'am always learning. Thankfully my dad is still painting cars so he will get his time to shine when it comes to final paint job!

Big plans for this one

hope people enjoy watching this build.

if you don't like it move on and hate somewhere else

Let the fun begin!

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Edited by radbot
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pulled roof off, very heavy, pushed truck in garage, rigged up a weird pully system to take camper off and push truck out. roof needs replacing so gutted it, and rebuilt with stronger wood frame glued, stapled and fiberglassed. next is wires, insulation, inside panel, fill outside holes and paint.

sorry if photos were too big on previous post

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Nice job Radbot, looks like you know what you are doing. Nice view of the mountains. Look foreward to more of your progress.

I wish I lived a lot closer, I'd be over every day. Nice project.

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Nice! Two of my favorite things...A Chinook, and a first gen 4x4.

Your photos make me happy to be in the SW, instead of Montana right now though...

I'll definitely be checking out your progress.

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Nice work. Looks like you're a glutton for punishment. I tore up two Chinooks and seemed to have the same problems you've had. Especially weak sagging roofs. But both mine had floors that were slumping something awful where they extend past the frame sideways with no supports. I added 6 foot wide aluminum C-channels to both mine.

Oddly - I've got a 1978 pop-up Chinook on a Chevy Blazer 4WD and that roof has never slumped. Called a "Blazer Chalet" and the RV part was made by Chinook. I spent three years working on it along with putting in heavier axles and a V8 turbo diesel. Kind of disappointed with it when all done. Best fuel mileage at 65 MPH is only 16 MPG. I was hoping for more. My stock 91 Dodge diesel 4WD truck with a pop-up roof camper on it gets 17 MPG at 70 MPH.

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This looks like it's going to be a super build. Your Chinook coach started out as one of the empty commercial van models. Got the bigger back door and little windows on the sides. Most of the Chinook camper models have big side windows. Looking forward to your progress

Linda S

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Sorry for the delay, long days and even longer nights in the shop. Thanks for all the post,



jdemaris- awesome photos, helps get ideas of how i am going to build a new frame for the drop down floor in the back of the chinook and also make a metal structural frame over the front/ also where it bolts to back of cab. There was someone selling a original chinook chalet in billings on craigslist for 15k looked really sweet.



linda s- you nailed my rig perfect!!! people useally look at me like im crazy trying to explain the model i got and how im excited because i get a blank canvas to work with! keep ya posted for sure.



I will attach photos soon, exterior is almost sanded prepped and ready for new windows and primer!



To keep everyones spirits up I saw this crazy unimog set up in bozeman yesterday! (wish i had his check book)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hello, I've got a 96' Tacoma 4x4 and I'd like to add a chinook pop up camper to it. Do I hav to hav a long bed? I've read the rear axle needs to go back/extend drive shaft and upgrade suspension. Also, should I be searching junkyards? ebay and anywhere else?
Ideas, thoughts welcome,
Thnks

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He's looking for a chinook shell to add onto his stock Tacoma. Let folks know where you are located. Leave a post on minitruckcampers asking for leads too. I'd look for a wrecked one

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Yah Sorry,

To b clear, I'd like to add an chinook campershell to my '96 stock Tacoma (It's a shortbed). It was my idea to try and find the shell n a junkyard or on the back of a non-op Toyota. I'm located n San Francisco. I came to the toyotaforum here to ask the experts,if 1;somebody had one laying around, and 2; if I was missing a glaring red flag concerning the joining of the pieces( 96' and the shell).

Thanks for the lead on the craiglist posting in Yelm Wa. I will follow up on that!

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  • 1 month later...

I think I kno those videos byheart. Galvanized knight, or sumthing. I think that he's in Canada....Anybody kno his email address?
I recently purchased a 76 chinook pop-up. Hopefully i can swap the shell (and front bench seat) into the 96' Tacoma 4x4.

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  • 1 month later...

sorry for the long delay of photos and progress. been busy at the home front fixing the house. Back at the project now. Next step will be to build new internal frame in camper for rear drop down and new frame for front of camper that hangs over cab.

Hope you enjoy the photos. Lots of progress on a limited budget!

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From Greg the site owner

system restricts image size to 8000 kb. You can have 15 images per post. Might be something weird about the pics or they might be too big.

From me

Just post multiple times to get all your pics in

Linda S

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I don't know exactly what you meant by "trouble", but...to get a lot of photos, you need to attach and upload them, one at a time, to your post. One by one. There is no way I know of to grab multiple photos and hit "upload" once.

If that's what you mean.

You just have to take the few minutes each to upload the photos, one at a time.

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thanks everyone. Ya when I was trying to upload the limited 12 photos at a time due to file size, after uploading photos three times in post I tried a fourth and a little message says You have exceeded your allotted disk space for attachments just to clarify my question earlier...

ill try adding all photos under files and photos.

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Oh, interesting...I haven't run into that. Not sure what the deal is.

I'll be watching this closely. It may never happen, but my dream camper is a Chinook pop top on a more modern Toyota, something with airbags and all that. But I'm done with big projects for a while.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone. trying to figure out how to get all the photos added. might just add a final photo hehehe. The project is 90% percent done, im calling it 90% because now I just have the interior camper part to build (cabinets, bed, and all that good stuff)

Reply to shibs question I would say a gutted pop top with out the roof weighs ~400-600lbs and the roof rebuilt with new wood and interior sheeting weighs ~150lbs.

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