Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner
1 - 20 of 67 Posts

·
Premium Member
2011 Pro-4X AT
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Comments/Goal: Make it a weekend warrior to go roaming the West. The idea is to transform it into an off-pavement week-end camping vehicle just for me. (Example: I will not add a roof top tent as I'll be sleeping alone in it). Wild camping = need to be able to take rocky fire roads like Mt Patterson trail or Barney Riley trail. Bought this on Sep 17, 2020 with 104,825 miles, all stock Pro-4X.

Username: GED

Xterra's Nickname: leX
(Why leX? It can be "lex" as in Lex Luthor, or "le X" as in "The X" in French. And it rhymes with "Rex" which is the nickname of my buddy's Xterra: Rex & leX, kind of Right & Left).

Make: Nissan
Year: 2011
Model: Xterra
Trim: Pro-4X
Color: Avalanche White

MODS: (listed in an organized and easy to read fashion)

PHOTOS:
130236


132576
 

·
Premium Member
2011 Pro-4X AT
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Interior Mods:

The car was previously owned by an avid cyclist, and reeked of sweat. Thus my first interior mod:
- Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner - Corded. Was excellent at removing stains, dirt and stench. Felt like a brand new car with that new car smell after.

Since the car is a 2011, the first aid kit was ~10 years old. Upgraded with a more recent one that fits in the tail gate space with its wings on the side:
- Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Mountaineer First Aid Kit - 218 Pieces
130260


Keeping on with the safety spirit, added a fire extinguisher (based on the recommendations of @Shiftonthefly1 :
- Amerex B479T, 5lb Purple K Chemical Class B C Fire Extinguisher
130258


- AUXLIGHT DE3175 DE3021 DE3022 3175 31MM 1.22”Festoon Canbus Error Free LED Interior Light Bulbs 6000K Xenon White, Super Bright 6SMD Chips for Dome Map Door Courtesy License Plate Lights (Pack of 6) Replaced all four DE3175 interior lights with LED.
130261



- Interior Spare Tire. Yeah, that one is not a plus but a regression :( Since I have both now an extended differential cover and a bigger tire size (285/75R16), the spare tire no longer fits below the car.
130259


- Qiilu DC 12V/24V USB 4 Way Car Cigarette Lighter Socket Splitter Power Charger Adapter to get regular USB ports and more lighter sockets. Since the front 12V socket in the dash is always on, I plugged this one into the socket inside the armrest box in the middle as it is powered when ignition is on only.

- Arkon Heavy Duty Drill Base Mount for Note 9 8 iPhone XS Max XS XR X 8 iPad mini Galaxy Tab Retail Black. Mounted on the door so that it's cooled by AC and does not impeded corner vision.

- Garmin Drivesmart 61 LTMS with lifetime map updates, and live traffic updates through your phone.

- onboard air with a Smittybuilt 2781 and a MORRflate with opt. gauge.
 

·
Premium Member
2011 Pro-4X AT
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Exterior Mods:
- CIPA 49403 3 x 3 Corner Wedge Stick-On, those really help with folks in your blind angle.

- Amber Blinkers. I dislike red blinkers with a passion, so I went with:
130257

- KeylessOption Keyless Entry Remote Control Car Key Fob Replacement for KBRASTU15, CWTWB1U733 (Pack of 2). Very easy to program and dirt-cheap.

- ARB Bull bar Front Bumper (no recovery points).

- Smittybilt Gen2 XRC Winch 9500 lbs with hawse fairlead and 100-foot synthetic rope.

- custom aluminum roof rack

- Pro-4X decals:
130262

My buddy keeps talking of how good his "TRD pro" is with everything from the factory... :rolleyes: I need to remind him that the Nissan Pro-4X package provides the same trail fun (Upgraded shocks, skid plates, rear locker, and white gauges) for way cheaper.:D Used some 2-component clear coat spray can to make sure I could power wash the car without removing the stickers.

- Front, Right, Left & Rear LED light bars.

- Battery powered powerful camping lights in hatch.
 

·
Premium Member
2011 Pro-4X AT
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Suspension/Wheels/Brakes:
SPC UCA: Specialty Product Company 25540 Upper Control Arms
Radflow Extended Coilovers
Eibach 1200.250.0600S. 600 lbs/in front coil springs
Notched upper shock support for UCA droop
Cam bolts
Nisstec extended stainless braided front brake lines

PRG Adjustable rear shackles- Adjustable with 1", 1.5", and 2" rear lift heights.
Custom rear leaves w +1000 lbs capacity
Bilstein 5100 shocks
Finned rear diff cover
Nisstec extended stainless braided rear brake lines

Freshly (June 2020) rebuilt differentials with 4.10 gears front & rear.

285/75/16 BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 10ply w 65% life left in them

4 new Tire Pressure Sensors
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,993 Posts
I did that but used my own wires, thinner/thicker. Not so hard.
Under the roof, inside, unplug the 12 inch harness. Up top, pull on the rubber grommet, help it, it pops out. Is not glued. Inside it wires are blob “glued”.
Use that grommet with your wires. Up to four 14 gauge wires with insulation, if you use that right angled grommet (great design but not much volume inside).

use relays , fuses

trying to use the stock 5-6 wires may be limiting for current. If you need 3amps no problem, 5 or more you may need thicker gauge wires.
 

·
Premium Member
2011 Pro-4X AT
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Setpower AJ40 42 Quarts Portable Freezer Fridge 12V Cooler, 0℉-50℉, DC 12/24V, AC 110-240V, Car Fridge Compact Refrigerator, for Xterra.

So, my goal is to convert the Xterra into a solo camping rig. Since the Xterra is kind of short in the rear end, my plan was to leverage the Nissan-only (per opposition to all the 4Runner / GXOR out there) of the folding flat front seat. I thought that was a great design that would provide with extended length to put my mattress & sleeping bag on top of it. However this front seat is a bit higher than the folded rear seat. Without having bought the Xterra, my plan was to put something to fill the void between the seat and build a small set of drawers in the trunk to reach the same height.

Enter the fill-the-void: it is perfect, fits there:
Setpower AJ40 42 Quarts Portable Freezer Fridge 12V Cooler, 0℉-50℉, DC 12/24V, AC 110-240V, Car Fridge Compact Refrigerator, for Xterra.




Here is how it fits with the rear passenger-side seat folded (I did not install the handles):
130250


As you can tell from this view, it reaches the same height as the front folded seat as planned:
130251


It fits well in the void, and there is room down below for air to circulate around:
130252


Here it is from the front:
130253

130254


How does the front seat looks when driving with that behind? Not that great, it's tight. Good for a small person.
130255


Here is how the seat base lines up with the gear selector so that you can see how advanced it is:
130256


However I recommend that you test your plans.
During my first night sleeping in the X, I did not have that fridge, so I improvised with a plastic bin that lines up to the rear seat and not the front seat. Upon comparing notes with my buddies (4Runner & GX) they mentioned that they could not seat in their car in sleeping mode: seat is too high/roof too low.
I realized that the Xterra has the advantage of having both a low seat (due to the removable bottom cushion) and a high roof (stepped up roof in the the rear) which makes it very comfortable to sit in it for getting dressed up in the morning.
So, I need to preserve that maximum height and the drawer-in-the-trunk plan is out, as will be this fridge which is now too high.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,037 Posts
@GED nice Xterra. I'm assuming you've seen the sleeping in the back thread, but if not, there's some great info there on setting the Xterra up for sleeping in:


When I have camped solo in ours, I just use this ubiquitous 8GL Action Packer method to make a nice flat sleeping area. I'll set a duffel bag or backpack on the folded down front seat, or sometimes the cooler. Usually I leave other items on the driver's side and just utilize the passenger side if I'm solo. I'm 6'4" and it works great for me. As you have noted, it's very nice having some headroom. I see lots of people building drawer setups and platforms and I always think how annoying it would be to not even be able to sit up inside; it'd feel like a claustrophobic coffin to me.

When my wife and I sleep inside the Xterra, we use the same concept, using the rear seats folded flat and two Action Packers in the footwells, but we end up putting more stuff up on the roof, or even under the truck if it's appropriate to do so. I forgot the tent poles on our last trip, so we just slept inside and honestly it's in many ways more comfortable than in the tent. Definitely quieter and warmer.
 

·
Premium Member
2011 Pro-4X AT
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Added a standalone Garmin. I really like the interface, and maps are always fresh with free lifetime updates. I got:


The rearview camera is very easy to install. It clips on top of the license plate:
130264


Then you route the wire below the plastic top portion of the bumper towards the rear passenger-side light:
130265


I used two vampire clips to connect the camera power to the backup light wires, and screwed the wireless transmitter inside:
130266


The wiring is not very visible:
130267



And finally, here is how my GPS and phone holder look inside:

130268


As soon as I shift into rear, the GPS map makes way for the Rear Backup Camera view.
 

·
Premium Member
2011 Pro-4X AT
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@GED nice Xterra. I'm assuming you've seen the sleeping in the back thread, but if not, there's some great info there on setting the Xterra up for sleeping.
No, I had not found that thread. Thanks for sharing.

When I have camped solo in ours, I just use this ubiquitous 8GL Action Packer method to make a nice flat sleeping area.
I'm still stuck on the fridge idea, and awaiting a smaller 20-Qt fridge.

Very jealous of your folding front seat, stupid leather package:(.
Sorry to hear, Yeah, I had noticed that the leather removed folding front seat, so I specifically looked for a cloth Xterra. But at least, your leather is easier to clean, and looks nicer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,037 Posts
I'm still stuck on the fridge idea, and awaiting a smaller 20-Qt fridge.
Let us know how it works out. Are you planning on powering it while you're sleeping? I ask because I recently made an impulse purchase of a 20l Alpicool 12V fridge, which I have yet to actually use for camping.

It's a pretty neat little thing, but when the compressor kicks on it does have a pretty strong resonant kind of vibration. It is not really objectionable in a room but I think it'd drive me crazy to have that literally under my head when I'm trying to sleep. It would definitely wake me up. I'm sure the quality of these fridges varies and I may have gotten one that's not as well balanced, hard to say. The good news is that it's pretty well insulated so one could probably leave it off overnight without it warming up too much.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,993 Posts
I have a big Dometic/Waco 64L/quart and I would not keep it on at night due to sounds, vibrations, and I am right on it when sleeping inside.
This fridge has a Low/Mid/High setting for battery level shutoff, so that it doesn't drain your car battery.
Still I manage to drain my battery in different ways during daytime.

Electric fridges are great, I used to take 2+ week trips with a regular cooler and had to get creative on ice blocks/frozen 3 quart bottles for cooling, ice cubes become too messy and watery quickly. Regular cooler in Death Valley melted ice cubes in under an hour. That was my secondary cooler, strictly for cooling water.

My fridge has been doing great for about 4 years, it was around $700 back then but recently I saw a price for $1000+ ?
I called a repair center because I thought I had it go off and stop cooling, but turns out it wasn't getting enough current. The 18 gauge wire wasn't enough to give it the current it needed, so it just shut off -- powered by DC. When powered with an inverter (AC), it was ok. But then it wasn't sometimes?

So I had both power connections upgraded with thicker wires and relays. You need a relay beyond a certain current level, depends on how much your switch can handle, mine handles 5 amps, fridge wanted I think 6 amps, so play it safe and use 10 amp fuse and thicker wires.

Some fridges come with a strange looking tip on the DC connection, that's a clue that it needs more amps than the usual 1-3 amp electronics' needs.
Mine is also classified as a fridge/freezer, I never pursued the freezer part, I am happy with my 22-30 F setting, and when close to home I supplement the fridge coolness with frozen 3 quart (almost a gallon) frozen bottles that cool the inside when the car is off, and I help out with the fridge cooling while driving.

The insulation of these fridges is much better than the thin walled $20 coolers.

I have a lighted On/Off switch (with 6 other switches) that I see when I drive, so I know what's on/off, 1 switch turns all off (master).
Dometic also has a remote unit that would let you see/set temperatures as you drive, even though the fridge is up to 20 ft away. I never got it, mostly because I don't have a good permanent cabin spot, but it's great in theory.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,993 Posts
This is the successor of mine from 5 years ago, this is a less bulky 55L/quart, display on the side, but the hot air vent is not in a good spot for me here in the picture. Mine blows off the right side.
My lid is also reversible, my unit takes AC (like in garage power, or from power inverter) and DC (car battery direct) power.

Backcountry is a good place to buy, for something this expensive I would find the best price, I bought mine on Jet.com but that website doesn't exist anymore. I think I bought it on Jet but it came from Dometic through HayNeedle.com ... some expensive things come form manufacturer but it bounces off 1-3 other retailers where you paid (who pays someone who pays someone who pays the manufacturer).



130270



ARB looks great

but that side opening lid on 47L model is not something I would be happy with, opening it while driving... but their 63L/quart model looks great
Now I reach in as I drive, the Dometic is right behind me, the lid slaps onto a magnet to stay open, a push makes it slam closed.


AC connection (to home power, or inverter),then DC connection - looks strange, the other end must make it more clear to make sure you supply enough amps
65 lb. I think mine is closer to 50 lb, they don't like to be moved, even when empty.

Overdrive, the red switch, is when you want max performance, mine has it too, I used it, you don't want to start with a warm fridge and expect miracles (pre-cool it with frozen bottles/ home cooling, etc), but if you do, the Emergency Overdrive helps.
130271
 

·
Premium Member
2011 Pro-4X AT
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Setpower FC20 21 Quarts Portable Freezer Fridge 12V Cooler, 0℉-50℉, DC 12/24V, Car Fridge Compact Refrigerator, for Xterra.

My Setpower FC20 21 Quarts Portable Freezer Fridge 12V Cooler, 0℉-50℉, DC 12/24V, Car Fridge Compact Refrigerator has arrived.

130361


130363



It fits way better than the AJ40 in the sense that its top lines up with the rear seat folded and not the front seat top like the AJ40.
130364


With the fridge in the back, somebody 5'10" can seat up front on the passenger seat:

130365


Due to the slant of the front seat back and the hinge of the fridge, you have to put it this way for it to open:
130366


So far after a few minutes with it (and no trip),
Things I like:
  • smoother surface
  • magnetic latching
  • built-in handles (that don't add 3" on each side like on the AJ40)
  • light weight
  • very fast to cool down (a couple of minutes to go from 71F to 45F)
Things that could be better: probably small capacity of only 20 liters, no 110V AC adapter provided.

Since there is no AC adapter, and I also plan on a cheap dual battery setup to power the fridge and some camping lights, I got a:

130367


In order to get the FC20 fridge to be powered by this battery, I had to change the fridge's battery protection mode from highest down to lowest. I was impressed by how fast the temperature was dropping in the fridge while powered on that battery.

I'll do some tests to see if the battery can be some kind of an AC adapter for that fridge.

I like that the Rockpals battery does not need to power its AC inverter all the time. the 4 12V DC outlets are always powered, but not the 110AC ones. The Rockpals also has a built-in MPPT controller so I can hookup a solar panel on the roof directly (in replacement of the cigarette lighter charger)

==========================================================
2020Nov 13 update on both:

1) the fridge needs its own brand - setpower - of AC adapter that puts out 13.5V (not 12V). I first tried with a random brand and after a while, the fridge would die with an E3 error. With its own AC adapter or on the RockPals battery, it does not die.

2) The RockPals keeps getting emptied way too fast, and is too slow to charge from the car charger. Take a whole day from 8am to 7pm to recharge to 75%, and during the night, it's gone. I need a bigger battery for what I do.

The fridge has resisted several days of trails where it was moderately shaken. Fits well in the passenger rear footwell. I can reach it and open it from the driver seat to grab a drink at a traffic light.
 

·
Premium Member
2011 Pro-4X AT
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Electrical & Lights part 1:

I've added a few lights:
Upfront, there is a LED Light Bar AUTO 4D 42 Inch Curved Led Work Light 350W with 8ft Wiring Harness, 35000LM Offroad Driving Fog Lamp Marine Boating Light IP68 Waterproof Spot & Flood Combo Beam. I choose this light because of its combo spot+flood and its curve, and its power: 350 Watts / 12 Volts = ~30A, aka the light rating that I had added (see below).
130996

After using it, it's an OK light that is wide and close. It's great for $69, but it does not match a Clearwater light.

I added four (2 pairs) of Nilight 60001F-B Bar 2PCS 18w 4" Flood Fog Road Boat Driving Led Work Light SUV Jeep Lamp. One lamp on the front left of the roof rack, one on the front right, and a pair on the rear of the roof rack.
130997


And finally four (2 pairs) of Nilight 8PCS 24LED Rock Light for Cargo Truck Pickup Bed Off Road Under Car Side Marker LED Rock Lighting Kit w/Switch White.
130999


That's a lot of light to command independently. I looked into switch panels.
Even found some with an image of an Xterra. In the end, I settled on this device:
8 Gang Switch Panel, DJI 4X4 On-Off LED Car Switch Panel Circuit Control Relay System Box Universal Slim Touch Panel with Harness and Label Stickers for Truck Boat ATV UTV Caravan Marine.
131000

That gives you 8 independent power lines with a compact switch panel to command them.
The description is inconsistent and says 100A or 60A. In the end it is a 60A total max device that offers 2 x 30A, 2 x 20A, 2 x 10A, 2 x 5A lines. Any of them can active as long as the total in use stays under 60A.

To install it, I first started with adding 12" 2-gauge battery cables to some Mofeez Bus Bar -3x1/4”Post,10x#8 Screw Terminal Power Distribution Block with Ring Terminals(Pair - Red & Black):
131003

The red positive +12V being protected by a 100A circuit breaker. That way I can have some devices always on from the battery, and some controlled by this panel. I bolted every device to an HDPE sheet that I velcroed to the cover of the fuse boxes in the engine bay.

131004


The 8-gang box can take its input from an ignition or accessory power source to be active only when the key is turned on. I lost my first battle with the passenger-side grommet and ended up wiring it to constant power for now.

To wire the main 30A LED light bar, I used some double sheathed 12 gauge wire. I lost my second battle with the passenger-side grommet, and was not ready to send that thick line driver side, and back, and through the roof... I also have an aftermarket roof rack that is very painful to remove and blocks the complete access to the roof. I ended up noticing that there is a hole at the end of the hood, and I wrapped all my roof wires into a split loom, then wrapped into all weather gorilla tape, and ran it outside on the passenger side of the windshield.
131005


At this roof rack corner, I used connectors for all wires: small ones and a big one. That way, the entire roof rack can be removed with all the lights bolted onto it.

The big LED bar and the side lights did not require any special attention when bolted to the rack. The rear ones however required some special longer mounts and to be mounted low and to the side in order to work both with the rear hatch closed or open.
131006


I ran the command wire of the 8-gang panel through the top of the driver side grommet and installed some labels. I choose this place for the switch panel so that the big LED bar control is close to the low-beam/high-beam switch:
131007


I used one pair of Niglight Rock lights above as real rock lights. Since there are four lights on each side, I used one in front & rear of each tire to light up the rocks and provide some kind of underglow. By default, Nilight only provides two feet between each light and that was way too short every time, so I soldered some 22 gauge wire extensions. I also replaced their poor adhesive with some real 3M VHB tape.
 
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top