The modifications I make to my Xterra have purpose; most people modify for better looks, others for more ability.  I have a very distinct vision of what I want my Xterra to become.

It started with my old Pathfinder, I wanted something that was comfortable on-road but capable off-road, it needed to be able to carry enough gear for two adults to go camping comfortably for a week, maybe more.  Most SUV’s fit this description a bit but I wanted something that was perfect, it had to carry all my gear easily and be simple enough I could park, set up some chairs and a tent and have a campsite.  I knew what I had to do to get my Pathfinder into shape but then the Xterra came out, it was basically the same as the Pathfinder but with a few standard modifications that were what I already wanted to do to the Pathfinder.  Plus a few people that already had Xterras had modified them towards what I was trying to build the Pathfinder into.

I decided to ditch the 10 year old Pathfinder and get a year old Xterra.

Now I’ve been upgrading it to be the ultimate camping vehicle.  Something that can drive out of my driveway, go 1000 miles over highway, turn off onto a dirt road and go another 50 miles into the backcountry and set up a comfortable campsite away from everybody else.  No trailers, no stops, nothing to fix before hitting the trail; a stand alone vehicle that can take two people anywhere.  A perfect example is being able to drive over Elephant Hill and go camping deep in Canyonlands National Park, or the White Rim Trail of Canyonlands, or the Uinta backcountry.

Every now and then I’m bit with the bug to turn the Xterra into the ultimate offroad vehicle by modifying it to be able to keep up Solid Axle Vehicles.  Even going so far as to chop up and re-do the front end.  All I have to do is remember why I originally got the Xterra.  I also remind myself that even though I like to think I spend all my time off-road, 98% of my driving is on-road.

It’s slowly getting there, the Xterra can already do what I originally dreamed for it, now it’s just a matter of getting as much ability out of it that I can without sacrificing any comfort and ability on-road.

External Modifications



Bumper and Armor

Suspension and Wheels



Internal Mods

Radio and Navigation

Odds and Ends