Toby Smith

Toyota Hilux MK5 – FSH – Expedition – Camping Canopy Project – Single Cab

Selling my beloved and impeccably maintained Toyota Hilux MK5.   

Quick sale as there is an imminent new addition to my family so I am buying another Mk5 but with 4 seats this time. 

Please… no time-waster or dreamers or ambitious hagglers.   Vehicle is available for inspection and/or purchase on Saturday evening (in Cambridge) or Sunday (in Shropshire – Church Stretton).   Drop me a message to confirm address and time.

This truck is perfect for a small business, fun,  film-crew, photographer, fishing, camping out or that road-trip to Morocco or Svalbard. Read on, buy, enjoy and send me a post-card.

Excuse the essay, I will miss my truck dearly and want you to know what you are buying into, write an epitaph and not have excuses or surprises during sale.

A few scratches and dings but for the age you will struggle to find a tidier single cab.

£2500 or nearest offer.

Toby Smith – 07967 039788 – toby@shootunit.com

Why should you buy a Hilux MK5 and what is the history of this one?

For those not in the know. These are the last of the Hilux’s built in Japan with the old style rock-solid body-work, chassis, suspension and bullet-proof, simple effective engineering. They were the first with the renowned Toyota 2.5 D4D engine and before the same engine blocks were over-complicated and reliability ruined with electrical management, USB connectors,  dodgy injectors and cardboard panels of the new models. 

Top Gear, the Free Syria Army and Game-Keepers are not wrong. This is the toughest best built 4×4 (not much) money can buy. Land-Rovers look cooler but this will also do 80 on the motorway without interrupting a conversation!

As a post-2001 D4D this model is also fully compliant with the current emission restrictions in central London and as a commercial vehicle everything is fully tax-deductable from your business. It will sit at 80 on the motorway and only drink 25 MPG doing it.

Purchased at auction from the Environment Agency 5 years ago (with 135K mileage) who maintained this truck at a Toyota Dealership.    Immediately upon purchase the truck was given a new professional under-body clean and professional Waxoyl undercoat by Rustmaster in Herts.   

Anything else?

I also fitted it with a Gemini 2 immobiliser/alarm with 2 x Key-Fobs, sensors in cab, x 2 doors, bonnet and tailgate (disconnected). 3 x Original Toyota Keys included.

I have since owned and serviced the truck exclusively at Enfield Garages with both  Toyota recommended, and surplus winter and summer services. Almost every MOT has passed without even an advisory. In the 60K miles I have owned the truck, it has never broken down or skipped a beat.  Timing belt was changed as a precaution at 135K at purchase.

Mileage is high at 199K but with the engine and drive train impeccably serviced I would be confident in 300K+.

Tyres are 4 x matching Yokohama Geolanders (only 5K miles old). Road legal spare under the chassis and I will also include a 6th wheel (fitted with newish 4×4 Continental Tyre) and another Dunlop X tyre if you wish. Truck comes with aftermarket bottle jack, wheel spanner.

What’s that thing on the back?

I am a landscape and commercial photographer. This truck has only seen very light infrequent off-road use for site access, has only rarely towed light trailers.  I designed and built the frame on the rear for photography adventures in Scotland, Ireland and beyond. Its not flawless but it is functional and warm! It was designed so as not to attract attention to thieves. No stupid winches, snorkels, exterior jacks or solar panels here…


The canopy on the truck is a home-built pine frame, wrapped and reinforced with aluminium truck components and 1.5mm aluminium sheet.  The roof is tread-plate as a vantage point for my photography and landing drones.

Both the canopy and rear tub are insulated everywhere with 50mm King-Span and Wool-Felt for sound and heat insulation. The lower tub is lined with solid 15mm marine ply and all timber has 3 x coats of yacht varnish. Canopy is bolted to rear-tub with x 4 – 15mm bolts and washers.

The overhang (above the cab) is hinged at the front so the !entire roof! lifts by 4 foot at the rear and hinges from 2x car jacks that I fitted in.  I designed the canopy as such so that there is a full double bed space crawl space above the vehicle (and over the cab) but also 7-foot standing space at the rear 4 foot of the tub. Fold out timber panels lock into place to secure the sides filling the gap between the raised roof and roof-line.  Designed so 2 x people can camp, change, cook in the back without emptying the truck of the gear!

If solo, or with/without popping the roof there is a fold down desk/bed for one and a bunk seat from a land-rover.  Think cup of tea and/or downloading images out the rain.

The canopy isn’t quite ready for the that trip to Georgia…

Panelled into the rear of the tub is an Eberspacher D2 Airtronic, LED lights and 240V hook-up.   The Eberspacher was fully functioning when last used (diesel version) the thermostat and controls are in the roof so you can turn on or off from the seat or from bed!

With the roof lowered the canopy is secured and water-tight.

However, please be aware, in 2014 this was a fully functioning water-tight camping set-up for 2. Since then the rear of the pop panels has been lost and the D2 has been disconnected from both the fuel-line and leisure battery. The D2 and the ability to “pop” and use the rear canopy are sold as seen as they will need a bit of DIY to bring back into full use.  TBH I only every used the D2 if it was -10C and I was soaking wet!   

Good Bits

Spotless and complete paperwork.

Never crashed.

Nothing major has failed or even grumbled on this truck.

Uses no oil.
No smoke even when cold.

Turbo and all running gear sounds clean.

Never seen deep mud, salt or sea!

Replaced alternator 10K ago.

Replaced clutch cylinder 15K ago.

There is no corrosion anywhere on this truck.

Transmission and all 4WD is A-OK. 

Site standard tow-bar with pin/ball hook-up and under-run bar. Electric for trailer are currently wedged/hidden in bumper to keep clean but are A-oK.

Decent Sony CD, radio head-unit with USBm remote and upgraded JBL speakers in doors.

Bad Bits – Being as honest as possible.

I have tried to be illustrative of some of the worst dings to the paint-work and bumpers.  They are minor and no paint broken. There is some lacquer peeling on one rear panel and also a fence-post rub.

2 small chips to Windscreen (not through lacquer).

The steering wheel is not mounted straight by 5 degrees. I bought it like this and the bolt to straighten in behind the air-bag!  Alignment etc all A-OK.

Missing front left mudguard.

Bit of pitting on steel wheels, no corrosion.

Slight vibration feedback in pedal on braking only. This does not register on the force-meter during the MOT (no advisory) nor effect brake balance. Mechanic has advised the rear brake drums will need replacing in next 5K miles.

The radiator could do with replacing if heading somewhere v.hot as the aluminium wafers are not all present. Temperature only creeps (and then only 2/3rd rises) if pushing really, really hard in summer. I.e Foot to floor fully loaded at 80 for an hour.

Worn drivers seat.

Canopy door needs 2 x Gas Struts. You can keep the broom handle …..

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