top of page

Nissan Xterra | The Amazon Built Overlander For Everyone

On todays video, we take a closer look at the 2008 Xterra we have on the channel. This Xterra is an SE model, highest trim level available when it was new, just prior to the release of the PRO-4X debut in 2012.

Skip to the end for the feature video (but don't forget to come back for some bonus rambling here too).

**** if you do watch the video, I was plagued by mosquitoes the entire time, flying into my mouth and attacking me from all angles. You will hear me slap my arms and head and try to hold my breath as I think I ate about 3 of them during filming. The things we do for you!****

Our Xterra is "built" for "

overlanding" on a budget, because that is really all you need (yes, I know, you are welcome to have more!). Over the years some of us have invested tens of thousands into our rigs and honestly, we always move on after to something new. There is something about sinking too much money into something that it also prohibits you from fully enjoying a vehicle.

Honestly, I have never driven a car harder than right before I sell it. I don't mean abusing it, I mean really testing the limits and enjoying it. It is right at that point where you know you are about to move on to "something better" that you relieve yourself of the restraint you had from fear of self-inflicted damages and push the boundaries of the possible.

Now, after rambling on about that for a paragraph like some old-fart has-been, I can honestly tell you that to enjoy something to its limits, you need to not care too much about it.

Finally. Ending the rambling and moving on to the point of this article, let's get into the meat and potatoes of it, shall we?

First of all, the Xterra is honestly some of the best value for money out there. Easily able to get to 300,000 or 400,000 MILES on the original engine, there are just a few common issues (which we address in our videos) that need monitoring. I also find it funny that many people compare them to 4runners. I myself have been guilty of this, but, it is not an accurate comparison. The 4runner of this period was different in many ways, but we can agree they are both 4x4 where equipped and both at least 5 seaters capable off-road. Now, let's move on.

Something about those chunky lines always draws me in to the X.

amazon overland Xterra 2nd gen
Xterra hunting rig overland build


Removing the side steps makes it look taller, if you are over 5ft tall this doesn't hinder entrance and exit, but, be warned, you will wear the seat cushion faster as a result. Especially if you are a little extra doughy yourself like me. It is an easy modification that takes 10 minutes, unless like me you had to use a Sawzall. Then it will take 3. Thank you very much North American rust.......

A set of now discontinued (previously about $315 per tire in this size from a major retailer) Falken Rubitrek Tires in stock 265/70/17 do the trick of allowing for air-down-ability and make the X off-road-peace-of-mind-able. I normally air down to 18 PSI after advice from Ken, back when we used to cruise the mountains in his lifted Hilux and he taught me about the joys of dirt roads (not as broke-back as it sounds, OK?). Back on point, I love these tires, I know Falken dropped them to focus on the Wildpeak AT3's but these are a joy in every road condition. If you have them, enjoy them while you can!

Also on this topic, this is the only X I ever owned with functioning TPMS sensors! WOOT!!!!

Amazon Overland Xterra
Xterra 17in rims wheels tires stock size

Rago Fabrication ($89.95 USD plus shipping, about $160 CAD all in) fender bolt mounts and Auxbeam ditch lights ($79.99 on The mounts are American made, and while not cheap, they are worth the price. Alternate options include drilling your hood (which I have done on a previous X) and universal mounts. Neither ever sit flat thanks to the body curves. Do it the right way and go Rago.

Amazon Overland Xterra
Auxbeam Ditch Light Review

There is a million reviews of Auxbeam lights on the internet. For good reason. So let's just say this, they work well for the price and here is the evidence

Amazon Overland Xterra

Vevor awning 8X8' ($189.99 on I didn't yet set it up, but will update this post when I get round to it, only the once at home during installation. No, this is not your ARB 4 season awning, yes, it will only be so good in strong wind, probably going to tear pretty easily, but if you are careful with it, and use it accordingly, it is a great 3 season sunshade/rain cover. ***this was sent to me for free as a sample, but since then the company stopped replying to my request for information and as such, I will review it sponsor free*****

BONUS GEAR. Never hit the trail without communications. We do have a SPOT G4 and Garmin INREACH but for listening to loggers trucks, these BAOFENG radios are the best. I hear there are some risks, but if you don't transmit out and only listen, I don't see the issue. I have been able to stay safe multiple times on tight winding roads thanks to these. Just remember, listen only, do not call out on them. The BaoFeng UV-S9 should cost you about $50 online, I got mine local with accessories for a bit more than that, but it was pre-programmed for BC logging roads.

Reminder, logging roads are there for the forestry guys, first and foremost. Show the respect you should and they can be great people. Be a loser and get treated accordingly.

Amazon Nilight 2.5IN projectors ($55 on and H1 6K HID bulbs ($80-$200 depending on choice) + Morimoto control module all work well to give an OE look with modern light output. See more on this on our channel in an upcoming DIY/HOW TO video

Amazon Overland Xterra
Xterra projector headlights LED HID H1 retrofit custom

Summary, we love the Xterra for its awesome under-dog-ness, easy of enjoyment (CHEAP!) and we are going to continue the mods on this one for some time to come. Subscribe to the channel and join the mailing list here to stay up to date on future content, we cannot wait to bring you more!


Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page