Featured Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Xterra

Several weeks ago we posted a feature listing our picks for the top five overland options for 2015. Absent from the list, and causing a considerable amount of pushback, was the Nissan Xterra. As the author of that piece I concede that omitting that vehicle may have been an oversight. Over the last few years our staff at Overland International has owned a couple of Xterras and they have performed admirably. This gave us an opportunity to revisit this proven platform, and in particular one owned by our colleague Austin.

A 2003 Nissan Xterra, it might be one of the most comprehensive overland builds we’ve seen applied to this platform. Austin is a professional videographer and needed a vehicle to serve as his home base while shooting on remote locations. To that end, the James Baroud rooftop tent provides living space while a carefully chosen assortment of components and accessories have bolstered the truck’s off-road performance and durability. With guidance and work performed by the overland mavens at AT Overland in Prescott, this Xterra is head and shoulders above any other we’ve seen.



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Custom Water Tank

Water Tank Skid Plate

Water pump

Shower mixer


Air System

Extreme air Magnum air compressor

Custom skid plate


Dual Battery System:

National Luna

Custom second battery mount & plates



Shrockworks front & rear bumpers & swing away

Winch in front bumper

Bajadesign light in front bumper (ffot activated)

Shrockworks sliders & skid plates

LED reverse lights

Propane bracket & cylinder


Gobi Rack & ladder install

JB roof top tent moun

Fiamma 2.2M awning (custom mount)


Fridge & Slide

AT Combo slide

AT JK stove

Nation Luna Fridge

NL LED light rear glass



Rancho 2.5” lift

Ranch 9000 shocks.


Recommended books for Overlanding

Into Africa
by Sam Manicom
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Christophe Noel is a journalist from Prescott, Arizona. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.