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One of the coolest campers in the world was unveiled in 2021 as the Toyota “Tacozilla” camper. The Tacozilla stole the Las Vegas SEMA show when this Toyota-Chinook-inspired truck camper debuted. It was tastefully vintage-looking while maintaining a beautiful and elegant modern touch. Toyota did such a wonderful job on this truck camper that nearly two years later, many are still wondering if Toyota will actually make the Tacozilla camper. 

Updated: 7/21

What is the Toyota Tacozilla? 

Toyota Tacozilla camper SEMA against a white background
Toyota Tacozilla camper SEMA | Toyota

The Toyota Tacozilla is based on the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport pickup truck. Obviously, Toyota did a hell of a lot of customization to make this killer vintage-style truck camper come to life. 

“Tacozilla is an outstanding symbol of Toyota’s go-anywhere brand promise to our many owners who love overlanding and outdoor fun,” said Lisa Materazzo, group vice president of Toyota Division Marketing. “It’s going to be hard to miss Tacozilla, whether walking the SEMA show or at that campsite or off-road trail!”

Materazzo wasn’t wrong about the Tacozilla’s commanding presence. SEMA attendees gathered around in droves. The warm ’70s paint scheme, badass off-road treatments, and gold wheels (I’m a fool for gold wheels) made the camper stand out, which is saying something, considering this is SEMA we’re talking about. 

According to Toyota Pressroom, the Toyota Tacozzilla is 100% custom. Marty Schwerter and his team at the Toyota Motorsports Garage are responsible for this custom Toyota camper. “We really didn’t want it to look like a refrigerator on the back of a truck, so you’ll see it’s all rounded edges,” said Schwerter.

Is Toyota making the Tacozilla? 

vintage-inspired Toyota camper
Prototype Toyota camper | Toyota

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a path for the Toyota Tacozilla to go into production. Because of the camper’s custom nature, some aspects might not even be legal. Toyota says it like this: “[​​This] Vehicle is a special prototype project vehicle modified with non-genuine parts and accessories that may make the vehicle illegal to operate, void the warranty, and impact the safety and performance of the vehicle.” 

While prototype and concept cars are buckets of fun, there is a certain cruelty in them. If Toyota had never shown the Tacozilla, then we would never have known we wanted it. Without the Tacozilla, people looking for the coolest Toyota-based campers would have just been cool with finding an old Chinook. 

Has Toyota ever made a factory camper? 

Toyota, very briefly, made something beautiful and wonderful called the Toyota Chinook. This mini truck camper debuted in 1973 and only survived until 1974. The Tacozilla was clearly meant to be the Chinook of today

The Chinook camper used a long-wheelbase Toyota 4×4 pickup truck chassis to carry the fiberglass camper cabin. People have rebuilt a few of these rare campers, and it’s hard to argue that a cooler camper has ever been built. The concept Toyota camper could have stepped up to the plate, but regulations and laws win again.