A DIY, Toyota Tacoma pop-top camper, built with basic tools.
The International Harvester Scout is one of the most iconic off road vehicles in US history. Aside from the early Ford Bronco, very few classic ‘SUVs’ are as recognizable and loved. With a removable hardtop and folding windshield, the Scout had many of the quirks found in the Jeep Willy’s -albeit a spot more comfortable, depending on who you ask of course.
This 2001 Toyota Tacoma SR5 is located in Vacaville, CA. It is a 4WD model with solid front axle swap. A set of 17" Raceline beadlock wheels with 35" Nitto mud terrains are suspended by 12" Fox remote reservoir shock absorbers. The bed is covered by a Snugtop soft camper shell with custom LED lights, and has a large custom center drawer.
Toyota Land Cruiser Pickups are not readily available to American Citizens. This is mainly because they're simple, reliable design could never meet the emissions requirements of vehicles sold in the United States. New Land Cruiser pickups are harder to acquire still. However, after years in foreign nations around the world witnessing first-hand what these vehicles are capable of, I knew I had to have one.
From the start of this build, I knew I would need a dual battery system. For this, I selected a Genesis Dual Battery kit with Dual Odyssey Group 34 PC1500's. This would provide more than enough power to handle the auxiliary lights, inverter and a fridge. Thanks to Genesis' YouTube video, installation went smoothly.
I got the idea to build a 4WD ambulance after seeing a Unicat Terracross, but they were far too expensive. So, I did a lot of research on what would be a good donor vehicle to base my build off of. I ended up looking at older ambulances with the 7.3L turbo diesel, a true workhorse that could run on pretty much anything, and get serviced practically anywhere in the world. On top of that, ambulances have a full 2.2" thick aluminum box on the back -perfect for building off of.