Automotive

Toyota's stout, crazy-modular $12K tiny truck makes enticing mini-RV

Toyota's stout, crazy-modular $12K tiny truck makes enticing mini-RV
Carryboy Toyota Hilux Champ RV
Carryboy Toyota Hilux Champ RV
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Looking forward from the entryway, the entrant can see the dinette on the left, the alcove bed straight ahead up high, and the side-facing sofa on the right
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Looking forward from the entryway, the entrant can see the dinette on the left, the alcove bed straight ahead up high, and the side-facing sofa on the right
Shown here with lighter furniture trim, the Carryboy interior seating converts into one large L-shaped bed
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Shown here with lighter furniture trim, the Carryboy interior seating converts into one large L-shaped bed
Carryboy offers the option of the bathroom-adjacent sink with a counter to the right or a wardrobe
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Carryboy offers the option of the bathroom-adjacent sink with a counter to the right or a wardrobe
Sink + wardrobe layout
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Sink + wardrobe layout
A rear cargo box comes standard in black or white
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A rear cargo box comes standard in black or white
Carryboy's motorhome makes the small Hilux Champ a family motorhome
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Carryboy's motorhome makes the small Hilux Champ a family motorhome
The slide-out kitchen is a THB40,000 (US$1,100) option
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The slide-out kitchen is a THB40,000 (US$1,100) option
Carryboy offers the first mini-motorhome based on Toyota's Hilux Champ truck
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Carryboy offers the first mini-motorhome based on Toyota's Hilux Champ truck
This TJM overland touring camper setup was also one of the first Hilux Champ modules to launch
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This TJM overland touring camper setup was also one of the first Hilux Champ modules to launch
Carryboy extends its chassis-mounted motorhome to the new Hilux Champ
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Carryboy extends its chassis-mounted motorhome to the new Hilux Champ
The Toyota Hilux Champ is an extra-versatile small truck that works as a motorhome, pickup, business truck and more
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The Toyota Hilux Champ is an extra-versatile small truck that works as a motorhome, pickup, business truck and more
Toyota shows the Carryboy Champ as part of its multi-Champ Bangkok motor show exhibit
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Toyota shows the Carryboy Champ as part of its multi-Champ Bangkok motor show exhibit
Toyota renders the original IMV 0 concept as a ruggedized off-roader with a rear bench
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Toyota renders the original IMV 0 concept as a ruggedized off-roader with a rear bench
Toyota's original IMV 0 motorhome is a little more rugged and integrated than the Carryboy but overall the same style of chassis-mounted alcove camper
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Toyota's original IMV 0 motorhome is a little more rugged and integrated than the Carryboy but overall the same style of chassis-mounted alcove camper
The long-wheelbase Hilux Champ that underpins the Carryboy camper truck is actually a couple centimeters longer than the standard Thai-market Hilux Revo but looks smaller thanks to its strong, stubby nose
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The long-wheelbase Hilux Champ that underpins the Carryboy camper truck is actually a couple centimeters longer than the standard Thai-market Hilux Revo but looks smaller thanks to its strong, stubby nose
The Hilux Champ shows how it becomes a five-person mini-RV
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The Hilux Champ shows how it becomes a five-person mini-RV
Carryboy and Toyota give the Hilux Champ motorhome a vibrant Titanium edition
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Carryboy and Toyota give the Hilux Champ motorhome a vibrant Titanium edition
The Bangkok show model includes a rear bicycle carrier
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The Bangkok show model includes a rear bicycle carrier
The Hilux Champ does some delivery duty
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The Hilux Champ does some delivery duty
Toyota Hilux Champ food truck
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Toyota Hilux Champ food truck
The basic Hilux Champ comes with a flat bed box with droppable side walls
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The basic Hilux Champ comes with a flat bed box with droppable side walls
Toyota offers the Hilux Champ with several engine options, long- and short-wheelbase variants, and various available modules from partner upfitters
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Toyota offers the Hilux Champ with several engine options, long- and short-wheelbase variants, and various available modules from partner upfitters
Carryboy has its own booth at the Bangkok International Motor Show, but the Hilux Champ RV is on show at Toyota's booth
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Carryboy has its own booth at the Bangkok International Motor Show, but the Hilux Champ RV is on show at Toyota's booth
Indoor base camp with the Carryboy Hilux Champ camper truck
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Indoor base camp with the Carryboy Hilux Champ camper truck
The Carryboy Hilux Champ starts around THB 2 million
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The Carryboy Hilux Champ starts around THB 2 million
Daytime floor plan
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Daytime floor plan
Nighttime floor plan
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Nighttime floor plan
Carryboy Toyota Hilux Champ RV
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Carryboy Toyota Hilux Champ RV
Carryboy shows its Toyota Hilux Revo and Mitsubishi Triton motorhomes at the Bangkok motor show
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Carryboy shows its Toyota Hilux Revo and Mitsubishi Triton motorhomes at the Bangkok motor show
No standard screens, no standard radio and the most basic of trims: The Hilux Champ cockpit
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No standard screens, no standard radio and the most basic of trims: The Hilux Champ cockpit
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First sneak-peeked in late 2022, the Toyota IMV 0 concept grew into one of the most modular vehicles to ever see its way out into the sunlight. And it quickly transformed from rugged, little concept to production sub-Hilux mini-truck as the Hilux Champ. Thai motorhome manufacturer Carryboy has jumped off the Toyota's modularity to roll out a creatively configured alcove motorhome module that turns the little Champ into a roaming five-person micro-lodge.

Multipurpose utility embodied, the Hilux Champ is a compact single-cab pickup truck designed as an open foundation for commercial and retail buyers to build their ideal workhorse or play rig.

They can do so in or on the flatbed with drop-down walls or via chassis-mounted modules of their own making. The truck's deck, which measures 231 or 265 cm (7.6 or 8.7 ft) long in respective short- and long-wheelbase forms, even includes pre-drilled bolt holes for module mounting.

The basic Hilux Champ comes with a flat bed box with droppable side walls
The basic Hilux Champ comes with a flat bed box with droppable side walls

The Hilux Champ itself is well smaller than the Hilux in respective chassis-cab configurations but actually a few centimeters longer when both are equipped with a bed, measuring between 471 cm and 530 cm (185 and 209 in) long, depending on wheelbase. The Champ appears smaller because of its short hood, vertical face and single cab-only configuration, but it's built on the same platform and sized quite closely to the single-cab Hilux.

The Hilux Champ does sit downmarket from the standard Hilux, though, starting at ฿459,000 (approx. US$12,550) in the Thai market where it launched. The Hilux (Hilux Revo, as it's called in Thailand) starts at ฿584,000 ($16,000). The Champ has a very spartan interior with PVC seats, no screens and no standard audio system, reflecting its no-nonsense utilitarian purpose.

Toyota renders the original IMV 0 concept as a ruggedized off-roader with a rear bench
Toyota renders the original IMV 0 concept as a ruggedized off-roader with a rear bench

If you're looking at the tiny Champ and imagining it as the supple clay with which you could mold the ultimate adventure rig of your dreams, Toyota has been right there with you from the start. When it officially detailed the IMV 0 concept at the 2023 Tokyo Motor Show last October, it showed a concept alcove mini-motorhome and rugged overlander (above) as two potential use cases. A month later, it introduced the production IMV 0 as the Hilux Champ in Thailand and announced 11 available modules, including a motorhome from Carryboy and an Aussie-style canopy camper setup from TJM.

Carryboy and Toyota give the Hilux Champ motorhome a vibrant Titanium edition
Carryboy and Toyota give the Hilux Champ motorhome a vibrant Titanium edition

Toyota Motor Thailand has its Hilux Champ fleet out in full force at the Bangkok International Motor Show, which kicked off on March 27 and runs through April 7. That exhibit includes a yellow-accented gray Carryboy "Titanium" special edition Champ camper truck.

Beyond its vibrant special-edition look, the Titanium show model includes a lithium leisure battery, solar charging and a hitch bike rack. The motorhome has the same unique single floor plan as the base model, which begins with a vis-a-vis dinette across from a longitudinal sofa.

Looking forward from the entryway, the entrant can see the dinette on the left, the alcove bed straight ahead up high, and the side-facing sofa on the right
Looking forward from the entryway, the entrant can see the dinette on the left, the alcove bed straight ahead up high, and the side-facing sofa on the right

The dinette's rear seat slides backward at the push of a button and its table drops down to seat level to create a bed. This bed then combines with the sofa via a center mattress panel to complete an oversized L-shaped bed that takes up most of the floor area. Factor in the alcove bed below a dedicated skylight, and Carryboy's Champ mini-motorhome sleeps up to five people.

Nighttime floor plan
Nighttime floor plan

The space necessary for that big bed is available in part because Carryboy does not equip its motorhome with an interior kitchen block. Instead, it stacks an 80-L fridge and available microwave between the sofa and rear-corner wet bath. For those who want to do more than nuke frozen foods, it offers an optional sliding outdoor kitchen with single-burner stove, sink and stainless steel worktop.

The slide-out kitchen is a THB40,000 (US$1,100) option
The slide-out kitchen is a THB40,000 (US$1,100) option

Carryboy's motorhome houses a toilet and shower in the rear corner wet bathroom directly across from the entryway. The sink is located outside the bathroom for more flexible usage. A water heater comes standard, as does a 3-kW generator for supplementing battery power.

Carryboy offers the option of the bathroom-adjacent sink with a counter to the right or a wardrobe
Carryboy offers the option of the bathroom-adjacent sink with a counter to the right or a wardrobe

The Carryboy Hilux Champ motorhome also includes an available RV smart system with a touchscreen controller that docks next to the dining table. Campers can use the touchscreen to check battery and water levels, control the water heater, lighting and available air conditioning, move the electric-sliding dining seat rearward into bed position, and track things like electricity and water usage over time.

Other standard features include a 32-in smart TV, 360-degree camera,100-L water tank, power-retractable entry steps, rear cargo box, and rear ladder for roof access. At ฿2 million (approx. US$54,625), the Hilux Champ variant is the least expensive of the Carryboy motorhome lineup, which also includes Hilux Revo and Mitsubishi Triton truck models with the same floor plan.

Carryboy extends its chassis-mounted motorhome to the new Hilux Champ
Carryboy extends its chassis-mounted motorhome to the new Hilux Champ

Carryboy's Champ motorhome comes exclusively on the long-wheelbase Champ with 2.4-liter diesel engine and automatic transmission. Unfortunately, though it looks quite rugged and trail-ready, the Hilux Champ does not come with a 4x4 option.

If you're thinking there's the slightest chance of the Hilux Champ being sold in the US, maybe with the 4x4 system not offered in Thailand, we'll unburden you of those false hopes. The truck was purpose-developed for Asian markets like Thailand and there's about a 0.0 percent chance of it ever coming to North American showrooms. Even if Toyota did homologate it for the American market, it would be unrecognizable from its current perfectly simple, super-affordable, utilitarian form.

So, just another cool, little RV Americans can daydream about on the way to blowing hundreds of thousands on basic camper vans.

Sources: Carryboy, Toyota

View gallery - 30 images
4 comments
4 comments
Jezzafool
Loving that Champ!
PAV
I want one!
Tommo
Excellent design and a very fair price.
dcris
Perfect....Love the cross between the old top heavy truck campers and a camper van. Seems very drivable.