After a good amount of research we learned that we had little chance of scoring/affording a Toyota Hilux (diesel) here in the States and an 05′ or 06′ 4×4 Tundra would be the ideal choice to pair with our pop-up camper. Based on reviews they are reliable, have the improved VVT-i 4.7 V8 and 5-speed auto-tranny, and are relatively easy to repair. Plus these were the last model years of the 1st generation. The Tundra’s reputation was no secret and we soon found out that we weren’t the only ones in the market for this particular truck. Demand for the 05 & 06 is high and people are willing to pay a premium compared to other pickups.
On a daily basis, we searched Cars.com, Autotrader, Cargurus, and Craigslist for the right truck at the right value. It was slim pickings and living in the D.C. metro area meant that most of the trucks we wanted to see required a long drive in traffic. Not that I don’t love traffic and the overly-obvious sales tactics of used car salesmen, but each trip required a stiff drink when we returned home empty-handed. Maybe we should just order one of these.
The day after Christmas I was topping off the camper battery at Jenna’s parent’s house wondering when, if ever, we would finally be able to drive our FWC into the adventurous places it was built for. The camper had been sitting in their yard for months without use. It was covered in a blue tarp with the jack stands on cinder blocks and a flooring foundation of 4 Lowe’s buckets. We had slept in it twice to test it out, but it looked abandoned now that winter had come. Jenna’s Dad often teased that he would stake out the camper with pink flamingos and empty beer cans to complete the trailer park scene we had created in his yard. I walked back in the house day-dreaming about my potential future….living on my fiance’s parent’s front lawn, wearing jorts, sippin’ bud heavy and flicking the butts of my cowboy killers into a plastic kiddie-pool….not too shabby.
Just then, Jenna snapped me back to reality saying she found a truck we needed to check out; and an hour later we were playing coy at the used Toyota dealership. This one checked all the boxes and the salesman was a good guy. Even so, it took a couple hours and the “walk-out” routine to get the price right. Another hour of paperwork and she was ours…Finally!