Today I sat down with Dave, fabricator extraordinaire here at Adventure Trailers, and picked his brain about some of his favorite builds over the years. After talking through a few different builds, one build in particular came to the front of his mind. It involved a Nissan Xterra…
In order to understand the build, we must first understand Dave. Back in the day, most young kids delivered newspapers on bicycles for a job… but not our Dave! During elementary school, Dave built bicycles and sold them to his friends. From there, Dave expanded his scope of work to include motorcycles, cars, and then picked up welding when he was 16; which makes sense coming from a young man with a certified welder for a father! Fabrication is Dave’s art and he loves expressing and challenging himself with each and every build here at AT. Below are some pictures of Dave in all his glory!
On a brisk Tuesday morning, the following conversation took place:
Lolo: What kind of vehicle did you work on?
Dave: A 2003 silver Nissan Xterra.
Lolo: Can you name a few components that went into the vehicle? And after those tasks were completed, what else was left to be installed or fabricated?
Dave: The customer frequently ventures out to isolated locations and needed a vehicle to serve as a home on wheels. A few of the components we installed included a Rancho suspension, a National Luna dual battery system, a kitchen set-up with an AT combo slide, stove, Engle fridge, and a custom skid plate that held the water tank, water pump, and air compressor. After those tasks were completed, the water fill and vent needed an inconspicuous place to be installed.
Lolo: What were some of the priorities the customer had in regards to the build?
Dave: The customer carries a lot of camera equipment because he is a professional videographer. The customer had requested that the water fill not be installed on the outside of the vehicle because he was concerned someone might tamper with his water supply. To make the project more complex, the customer did not want the water fill on the inside of the vehicle in case of a spill or leak onto his valuable electronics. So, the question became, “How do we execute these installations so that neither the water fill nor the vent is on the inside or outside of the vehicle?”
Lolo: What was so special about this build and how did it challenge you?
Dave: The challenge came in to play when the water fill and vent needed to be hidden. That is why I put the water fill and vent behind the driver side tail light. I made a hinge mechanism so that the tail light could swing out in order to get to the water port. This alleviated any potential issue of water being tampered with while simultaneously eliminating any potential leaking inside the vehicle.
Lolo: About how long did it take you to install the water fill and vent?
Dave: The whole process only took a couple of hours. Once I figured out I could put the water fill and vent behind the tail light, it was quick to do.
This example of fabrication was something that had never been done before at the shop and was a personal first for Dave! Dave is the man!
For a more extensive write up on other key features of the vehicle, check out this article by Christophe Noel: http://expeditionportal.com/featured-vehicle-2003-nissan-xterra/
Written by Lauren “Lolo” Sherwood
Photos by Scott Brady