We have a new truck!

July 2018 | Words by Daniel

A couple of months ago we tentatively started looking around at new vehicles - our Prado, as much as we loved it, was starting to get on a bit and there were a few things that didn’t quite work as well as we were hoping…

After a bunch of number crunching and research we finally made a decision about what to replace it with - meet our new (to us) Hilux!

It’s a 2013 Toyota Hilux SR5 powered by the awesome 1KD 3.0 litre diesel engine. When we picked it up it had done 52,000kms and is in amazing condition with a full service history from Toyota.

Why a Hilux? (Or more importantly, why a ute/pickup/truck)

Sleeping in the back of a station wagon has many upsides - away from the elements, quick setup, heaps of room - but it does come with a few downsides, namely complete lack of space to store anything in the boot. I’ve also been super keen to get a roof top tent after seeing a couple in person, but the thought of running that much weight up that high kind of puts me off running one on a wagon given we end up on slightly strange angles sometimes.

Having a ute tray gives us the opportunity to get a roof top tent and mount it (hopefully) inline with the roof and keep everything low and light. Come mid-August we’re heading up to Auckland to pickup our brand spanking new Feldon Shelter. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

The other reason behind picking a ute over a modern 4x4 wagon is their relative simplicity. Yes, the Hilux has a modern common rail diesel which are far more complex than the old injector pump, but they have far fewer electronics in the cabin and they’re still built strong for offroad touring.

Going from a coil sprung wagon to an unloaded ute with leaf springs has been interesting - the ride is a tad harder and and bouncy on New Zealand roads. Hopefully once we get a few things mounted over the rear the ride will settle down.

So what do we have planned?

At this point we’re planning a 2” lift, roof top tent over the tub, basic 12v camping setup and some proper tyres. And hopefully that’ll be about it! The goal for this build is to keep it super light, super simple and super reliable.

Watch this space!