Always been a pickup truck guy since I was about 12. I could appreciate a Formula 400 Firebird convertible but, deep down, what I really wanted was a Chevy Custom.
Bought my first truck, an early 70s 2WD HiLux (green, manual transmission, no radio) with a camper shell, shortly after graduating from college in the mid 80s.
Scrounged an exhaust system and spare tire from the junk yard. Rebuilt the engine. Recarpeted the interior. Naval jellied the rust spots. Pounded out and bondo'd the dents. Primed it. Built a "carpet kit" (without the carpet) in the bed. Took it on road trips. Great little truck except the guy who owned it before me had stripped all the smog equipment. Every two years, I had to find a mechanic who would "sell" me a smog cert in California (because of the rebuild, blueprinted and balanced, it ran clean enough but failed the visual).
Eventually sold it and bought a used 84 2WD Toyota truck (don't think they had a model name at that time). Light tan truck with a shell and a carpet kit already in it. Still a manual transmission, no stereo (got myself a boom box) and the famous 22R four cylinder engine. Got stolen twice. Didn't get it back the second time.
Lucked into a dark blue 86 2WD Toyota truck with a shell and a carpet kit that a friend's brother had given up on because it ran so rough. I took a chance and figured out it was basically the timing was way off (back in the day when you loosened a bolt on the distributor and rotated it). This one had an automatic transmission, a stereo and aftermarket wheels. Great truck for about three years but then my wife and I started having babies.
Somehow my truck turned into a minivan and pretty much stayed that way for the next 20 years or so.
Well, yesterday evening, I got back behind the wheel of a Toyota truck. Bought a white 2013 2WD 4Cyl Tacoma Access Cab (not PreRunner). My absolute first brand new vehicle.
I'm a pretty avid backpacker/camper. My prior trucks have served as base-camp vehicles and quick stop sleepers. That's pretty much what I have in mind for this one (in addition to being my daily driver). I'm not looking to do any serious off-road driving. I'm comfortable driving my vehicles on unpaved fire roads to get to a trailhead but I prefer to explore the wilderness on foot at a slower pace.
I'm planning on camperifying (my very own word) the bed. Probably by adding a shell and some sort of sleeping platform with storage underneath at minimum.
Been lurking here and on ExpeditionPortal for ideas. I'm sure I'll have a number of questions in the near future.
Just want to thank the community for all the info I've gained so far and look forward to your input as I get more specific with my planning.