If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
By Mark Stephens
Why this vehicle?
My wife liked it, that’s why. Seriously, though, within the next year we expect to start the blissful adventure of raising children; we began our life together with rock climbing, trail running, mountain biking, backpacking, and general camping. Our kids will enter the world doing the same things; we embrace the idea of teaching them to long for the endless immensity of wilderness, like Saint-Exupery says. We also started our life together in a 2002 Jeep Wrangler, so we need a vehicle with more cargo space and better comfort for long days on the highway or trail.
Behold, I give you our 2005 Nissan Frontier.
The late model Nissan Frontier exhibits several features that make it a viable choice for expedition and adventure travel:
With these key features, I have a solid starting point for building my adventure vehicle.
What it’s for, and where will we go?
Got my wanted poster stretched from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego
We have keen goals for visiting remote and charming places within the Southwest and Mexico with our children: El Camino del Diablo, missions of northwestern Mexico, the Baja Peninsula, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and the National Parks of Utah are just the major points on the list. A biking trip through Denali National Park – and with a kid in tow, mind you – will be the highlight of our 2007 Summer.
The four-door pickup truck arrangement appealed to our tastes, and satisfied our requirements for more cargo and passenger space. Simply put: it’s for hauling stuff to help us survive in style while visiting some interesting places. Now we are going to share all of the modifications and improvements to the vehicle in this build series.
What are we going to do to it, and how are we going to do it?
So far we’ve made these changes:
So far the goals I have are the following:
And these items are interesting, but not quite priorities:
Just as much, we are considering all options for mounting the Eezi-Awn tent. Currently we have two steel load bars spanning the bed to support it. While it is practical, it is not a very polished method. As the trips go by, we will eventually figure out what will be best.
So, follow along as I chronicle our build project for the 2005 Nissan Frontier.
Go to: Part One