Having finished the construction of two houses and a workshop, having grown up over these years two children, I wanted to start again hikes, trips and kayaking.
Long ago, before my children and construction projects, every year I with my wife made self-contained trips on Pamir, Altai, Baikal, Tien Shan, Himalayas on bicycles or on foot. But with children we had to think about another kind of travelling. As a solution we decided to buy a pickup truck and make the canopy for it by ourselves. The choice fell on Toyota Hilux, cause it’s simple, reliable, passable and relatively inexpensive. As we are tourists with experience we are accustomed to autonomous campaigns with limited equipment. So the main requirement for the expedition car was not a bed with a kitchen and a shower, but simplicity and convenience.
After we made a list of requirements, I made a project in CAD, in which the design, layout and all mechanical components (loops, retractable rods) were defined.
I started the work in August, and without a heating in workshop, I had to finish everything before the November because of the peculiarities of working with polyester resins.
So, what I have created:
• Canopy with two main compartments (mono-top and drawers)
• canopy design in car style
• large side doors on gas springs
• drawers in the body
• rear bicycle carrier for 4 bikes
• 4-person tent on top of the roof and a tent around the car
• additional light bars in front and behind
• container for water
• a power roof to transport unassembled kayak
• minimum weight due to integrated design
• preservation of aerodynamics
Of course, in the manufacturing process there were some deviations from the project, but they were insignificant and did not turn into serious problems. That eventually allowed to meet the planned time.
And the result delights me. It became much more easy and convenient to travel. Soon we will go on our first long trip around Norway and test everything.