A new hope.

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Matthew Reed

Rank IV

Advocate II

854
Georgia
First Name
Matthew
Last Name
Reed
Say hello to my new overland build!

My Cherokee has been growing more and more unreliable and it has gotten to the point where it spends far more time in the garage than it does out on the road. It was an awesome project and I had a lot of fun with it but unfortunately the time has come to move on.

Last week I purchased a 2018 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x. I searched for about a month to find exactly what I wanted and the waiting paid off. I ended up skipping the luxury package as I felt I didn’t need the leather seats or sunroof and I would’ve had to pay $4-5k more. The cloth seats in the Frontier are pretty comfortable and hold you in nicely. I can always upgrade to leather down the road if I want to. The real struggle for me was finding one in the color I wanted. Lots of frontiers came in silver, white, and gray. Any of the colors you would think are desirable are pretty hard to come by but I did eventually find one 2 hours away in arctic blue and I jumped on it! For those unfamiliar the Pro-4x is 4wd and comes with a factory E locker in the rear and bilstein suspension.

The mods have already begun. I mounted my hi lift jack in the bed and added a tonneau cover I picked up used for $40. It’ll work for now but eventually I will be upgrading to a hard camper shell. Unfortunately the bed is too short to make sleeping in it impossible, but with a hard shell I can mount my ARB awning and room to camp like I did in the Cherokee. Pics incoming!
 
Last edited:

alexdnick

Rank IV

Advocate II

Nice lookin rig.

This was something I was looking at but in my area they were scarce and I ended up going with a Colorado. Hope it lasts you hundreds of thousands of miles!
 
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Matthew Reed

Rank IV

Advocate II

854
Georgia
First Name
Matthew
Last Name
Reed
Nice lookin rig.

This was something I was looking at but in my area they were scarce and I ended up going with a Colorado. Hope it lasts you hundreds of thousands of miles!
I was able to find plenty of frontiers but Tacoma’s and Colorado’s were in short supply. Especially off-road oriented ones. Most of the ones I found were 2wd work trucks.
 

Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

4,000
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
Wow Matt, I'm outta my league here with all the new rigs streaming in to OB. Nice to know there is some prosperity out in the country. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for you and jealous as hell at the same time. It's gotta be nice to have a rig that shouldn't need a bunch of mechanical work and always exciting to have a new rig, new smells and new comfort. I have a dumb question. I don't have a truck, I have a SUV and so put my jack on my roof rack. Why wouldn't you mount your big jack on the inside tailgate, so that you don't have to unload everything to get to it when you need it. Just let down the tail gate and there it is. Where you have it , as neat as it is, seems to be the last place I would want my jack in an emergency. Happy Trails Matt
 

Matthew Reed

Rank IV

Advocate II

854
Georgia
First Name
Matthew
Last Name
Reed
Wow Matt, I'm outta my league here with all the new rigs streaming in to OB. Nice to know there is some prosperity out in the country. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for you and jealous as hell at the same time. It's gotta be nice to have a rig that shouldn't need a bunch of mechanical work and always exciting to have a new rig, new smells and new comfort. I have a dumb question. I don't have a truck, I have a SUV and so put my jack on my roof rack. Why wouldn't you mount your big jack on the inside tailgate, so that you don't have to unload everything to get to it when you need it. Just let down the tail gate and there it is. Where you have it , as neat as it is, seems to be the last place I would want my jack in an emergency. Happy Trails Matt
I did consider that, my only issue is that doing that would make it more difficult to load and unload everything else. When I eventually get a bed cap I will most likely change the mounting setup but for now I think it works. When I’m going camping a rarely go down a trail that would require the hi lift and when I’m doing any serious off-roading I usually don’t have the rig full of gear. As of yet I’ve never actually had to use the jack so I’m good with it’s location. On my Cherokee it was mounted up in the roof basket which is something I will most likely do once I have a cap with some rails on it.
 

Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

4,000
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
I did consider that, my only issue is that doing that would make it more difficult to load and unload everything else. When I eventually get a bed cap I will most likely change the mounting setup but for now I think it works. When I’m going camping a rarely go down a trail that would require the hi lift and when I’m doing any serious off-roading I usually don’t have the rig full of gear. As of yet I’ve never actually had to use the jack so I’m good with it’s location. On my Cherokee it was mounted up in the roof basket which is something I will most likely do once I have a cap with some rails on it.
II assume you are talking about heavy slide in objects and the jack being in the way of that. I can accept your good logic, especially with your off road experiences. I don't even remember the last time I needed my jack for tire repair. I mostly use it when working on the car to get my fat ass under the car :-/
 

Matthew Reed

Rank IV

Advocate II

854
Georgia
First Name
Matthew
Last Name
Reed
II assume you are talking about heavy slide in objects and the jack being in the way of that. I can accept your good logic, especially with your off road experiences. I don't even remember the last time I needed my jack for tire repair. I mostly use it when working on the car to get my fat ass under the car :-/
Haha. Same here. On the Cherokee I can get to almost everything under there without even using a jack, but it’s always nice to have just in case. I have lots of plans for this rig and I’m sure the way I have things mounted and stored will change many times over, as they have with my Cherokee.
 

Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

4,000
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
Haha. Same here. On the Cherokee I can get to almost everything under there without even using a jack, but it’s always nice to have just in case. I have lots of plans for this rig and I’m sure the way I have things mounted and stored will change many times over, as they have with my Cherokee.
Experience helps a bunch, you don't seem to be short on it. Good luck and have fun. Lanlubber
 

Matthew Reed

Rank IV

Advocate II

854
Georgia
First Name
Matthew
Last Name
Reed
Well it’s been a whole two weeks and I’ve got a lift kit incoming. Oops.

Found a 2” lift used locally and figured I couldn’t go wrong with the price. The approach/departure angle on these trucks isn’t great so this should help a bit.

On the downside I got a quote on a camper shell for the truck and just about had a heart attack when I got to the price. I knew these things were expensive but this was over $3000! I guess I’ll keep waiting around for one to come up used.
 

Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

4,000
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
Well it’s been a whole two weeks and I’ve got a lift kit incoming. Oops.

Found a 2” lift used locally and figured I couldn’t go wrong with the price. The approach/departure angle on these trucks isn’t great so this should help a bit.

On the downside I got a quote on a camper shell for the truck and just about had a heart attack when I got to the price. I knew these things were expensive but this was over $3000! I guess I’ll keep waiting around for one to come up used.
I DONT BLAME YOU, there are a ton of used ones out there that will do the job. I've looked at a few for my truck but most are the low ones. I'd like to find one that is a little taller. Found a nice one on craigslist but it lacked a rear door. Checking it out the door cost more than the shell he was selling. I'll keep looking. In the past I've noticed some just laying on the ground. I stopped and asked if they would sell it. One man gave it to me with a missing side window and rear glass. I built a frame for it 6' high and made a chicken coop out of it. The chickens love it.
 

Matthew Reed

Rank IV

Advocate II

854
Georgia
First Name
Matthew
Last Name
Reed
I DONT BLAME YOU, there are a ton of used ones out there that will do the job. I've looked at a few for my truck but most are the low ones. I'd like to find one that is a little taller. Found a nice one on craigslist but it lacked a rear door. Checking it out the door cost more than the shell he was selling. I'll keep looking. In the past I've noticed some just laying on the ground. I stopped and asked if they would sell it. One man gave it to me with a missing side window and rear glass. I built a frame for it 6' high and made a chicken coop out of it. The chickens love it.
Yeah the cost on them is insane. My XJ was built with junkyard/used/eBay parts so looking at some of the costs for new parts hurts. Of course I buy new when it’s necessary, but I definitely try to pinch pennies wherever I can!
 

Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

4,000
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
Yeah the cost on them is insane. My XJ was built with junkyard/used/eBay parts so looking at some of the costs for new parts hurts. Of course I buy new when it’s necessary, but I definitely try to pinch pennies wherever I can!
That has been a thorn in my side lately, the cost of off grid- off road stuff is criminal. Some of the younger generation will pay the price from lack of experience but I really think the suppliers who flood the expo shows are ripping us all off. Why should a little refrigerator cost upward of $1000 ? Why are off road tires $300 ? It just is not justifiable to me. They want $800 for an off road bumper for my rig. I just am not going to fall into their trap. I will build what I need for myself or do without. The things made in Australia are double the cost of items made in the USA, why is that ? Sorry, I'm still pissed at watching the Expo 2019 video's and seeing everyone goggling over $15,000-$20,000 pull behind trailers not big enough for kids let alone adults. I remember when I could buy 2 houses for that price.
Money is not worth anything any more because inflation has eaten it up completely. Bah Humbug, the rich get richer alright !
 

Matthew Reed

Rank IV

Advocate II

854
Georgia
First Name
Matthew
Last Name
Reed
Did a little mod yesterday afternoon. Nothing exciting but I was at the local pull a part and I found a set of headrests out of an Xterra! Original Frontier headrest is on the left, Xterra on the right. The Frontier headrests rob almost all of the visibility from the rear window. The only reason I didn’t remove them completely is that the dog hammock I put in the back seats mounts to the headrests. Now at least I still have something if I ever have rear passengers and I can still mount my dog hammock without obscuring my vision. Picture doesn’t really do it justice, but the material color/design is very close to the Frontier.
100335
 

Matthew Reed

Rank IV

Advocate II

854
Georgia
First Name
Matthew
Last Name
Reed
And today’s project is done! I removed the lower wind deflector and added a second row hook to the front. Got it from the same Xterra I snagged the headrests from. Painted them red for a bit of flair and blacked out the chrome grill. Gives me a tiny bit more clearance in front of the tires at the cost of probably .2 mpg. 100350100351100352
 
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Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

4,000
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
Did a little mod yesterday afternoon. Nothing exciting but I was at the local pull a part and I found a set of headrests out of an Xterra! Original Frontier headrest is on the left, Xterra on the right. The Frontier headrests rob almost all of the visibility from the rear window. The only reason I didn’t remove them completely is that the dog hammock I put in the back seats mounts to the headrests. Now at least I still have something if I ever have rear passengers and I can still mount my dog hammock without obscuring my vision. Picture doesn’t really do it justice, but the material color/design is very close to the Frontier.
View attachment 100335
Much better me thinks. The high ones may be okay for what they are designed for (collisions) . I personally think they are a safety hazard because they block your view to the rear and side of the car excessively. I removed mine completely, even the front ones. If mine were like the small one you have I would have left them in place. I wear a brimmed hat (we all do in New Mexico) and it's impossible to wear a brimmed hat with head rests in place.
 

Matthew Reed

Rank IV

Advocate II

854
Georgia
First Name
Matthew
Last Name
Reed
Nice looking rig.... what’s next on the build agenda?
I have a 2” lift on it’s way that should go on sometime this week and then I’m not sure. I think recovery points should probably be my starting point. I don’t have anything in the rear of the truck so putting a trailer hitch on there will be a must. It would also be nice to have the ability to tow a small boat or trailer/camper once in awhile. After that I’ll probably be saving up and keeping my eyes out for a used camper shell to mount my ARB awning to. I hate how expensive they are new and would much rather buy a cheap used one and just have it repainted. I just need to wait around until I find one that fits.