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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Toyota Unveiled the TacoZilla at SEMA – And I Want One

Toyota Pressroom 

We all know that we got to see some cool trucks at SEMA last week. However, this year I think most companies outdid themselves.

Toyota teased a desert racer Tundra, and as we first reported last week, the TacoZilla – a retro-styled truck bed camper on a brand new extended cab manual 3.5L V6 Tacoma.

But the TacoZilla retro camper van was the coolest one of the bunch. 

The TacoZilla a Modern, Retro Camper Van


Toyota Pressroom 

Aside from the looks, this mid-sized truck will provide all the creature comforts someone needs for national or even global overland.

If we skip the fact that this is a manual Toyota pickup painted in the classic Toyota pickup colours of the 80s we can see the rest of the things that make this truck special.

First, the camper and truck are one structure, unlike a normal truck bed camper which sits separately in the bed of a truck. 

On the outside, we can see some great-looking Toyota wheels wrapped with aggressive General Grabbers, a snorkel, rock sliders, and a cool exhaust that exits through the side of the camper. 

The Camper Itself 

Camper interior of the TacoZilla retro camper van

Toyota Pressroom 

The structure of this beautiful retro camper van is made from aluminum to help keep the weight hanging out the back and high up low. 

Being based on a mid-sized truck you would imagine that the camper will lack some amenities due to its size, but you would be wrong.

Step in and you will realize that people that are up to six feet tall (and more) can easily stand without bending over inside. 

Camper interior

Toyota Pressroom 

Furthermore, you have a double bed directly above the vehicle cab, a sink and stove, a small couch with a TV and table, and even a toilet and shower.

Tell me this wouldn’t make an insanely comfortable overland tourer! 

The Truck Underneath the Retro Camper Van

The truck itself appears to be a manual model that has been fitted with all the TRD Pro goodies. Underneath we can see TRD pro skid plates, TRD Pro wheels, upgraded suspension, a lightbar, and a winch. 


Toyota Pressroom 

Inside we can also see some unique leather seats and the best part is the camper can be accessed through the cab as the whole setup is one unit.

Interior of the TacoZilla retro camper van

Toyota Pressroom 

Underneath the hood, you will find what looks like a dual battery setup that will keep all the electrical amenities running while you are stationary.

Underneath the Retro Camper Van

Toyota Pressroom 

Can It Go Off-Road?


Toyota Pressroom 

From the accessories mentioned above, one would suggest that this retro camper van can go off-road, and to some extent it certainly can. 

However, as this is not a pop-up camper, and it does protrude to the sides a lot, I would say that the abilities of the truck are limited. 

The added height and weight will make the vehicle feel tippy, which can be an issue on off-cambered trails.

Additionally, all the weight at the back will lead to reduced weight onto the front wheels on inclines which can reduce grip.

So, Who is This Retro Camper Van For?

TacoZilla retro camper van

Toyota Pressroom 

This is the perfect setup for someone who wants to embark on a global or long-term national expedition and needs a truck that can go down a somewhat challenging trail while also remaining extremely comfortable to live out of.

Planning on driving from Alaska to Argentina? Well, now you know what your tool will be. 

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