An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

...ask your questions in the appropriate forums BUT document your build here...preferably in a single thread...dates for updates, are appreciated....

An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby SCwood » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:44 am

Hello again tnttt! After completing B.O.B. (http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=66631) I haven't been around too much apart from BOB updates, but I'm back with a new build!

My father in law is in the process of selling his farm to retire, and one of the items on the farm he had to get rid of was an old nissan xterra that used to be my sister in law's. She ran it into a ditch one day and then got another car. It was driven around the farm occasionally until one day it stopped running and then sat rotting in the sun for about 5 years. It’s an everything must go situation so I was asked if I wanted a non-running SUV that had been sitting for years. Naturally, I said yes.

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My brother and I have a YouTube channel now and we put car-related stuff on there so we figured it could be a project for our channel. We just had to figure out what to do with it. After some debating we settled on making it into a mini-RV. This won’t be just any car camper conversion though. The core of the build is going to be gutting the xterra from the drivers seat back and making slide outs that come out the rear hatch. The first slide out will extend the cargo area so there’s enough room to sleep, and out of that will slide a kitchen. Then we have plenty of other unnecessary things planned like a roof deck and winches that operate the slide outs and some other things. Here’s a video where we brainstorm our ideas for the camper:



We’ve done a lot of work already to get the xterra running and ready to be made into a camper, but I figured now would be a good time to start a build thread because we just made it to the building part. But to get you up to speed here’s what we’ve done so far:

Rescue the xterra from the farm:
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Next we had to get it running. It turned out the fuel line inside the fuel tank had disintegrated and no fuel was getting to the engine. A new fuel pump and fuel line and we were good to go. Mostly.
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Got a bunch of parts from the junk yard to start fixing other problems like the abs module, a fender, washer reservoir, tail light, etc. let’s just say my sister in law was not so kind to this car.
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Changed the timing belt because we were pretty sure it had never been done. The xterra has 140k on it and its timing belt is supposed to be changed around 100k. Properly maintained these engines can last a long time.
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Started building! We’re going to use some atv winches instead of a single car winch because my brother thought it would be fun to try. We also made a new custom bumper with the build’s name in it! Sara is my sister in laws name, so SaraTerra it was.
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And here’s the video for making that:


That’s where we are right now. Next up we have to finish some work on the bumper, change the rear main seal, a ball joint, and lift it. After that I think we’ll be on to gutting the back and starting the slide outs.

If you’re interested in seeing everything from the start here’s the SaraTerra playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... ftzBWsol06

More to come soon!
Last edited by SCwood on Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby NevadaBlue » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:50 am

If I can figure out how to subscribe to this thread I will.

Looks VERY interesting. :D
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby SCwood » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:05 am

NevadaBlue wrote:If I can figure out how to subscribe to this thread I will.

Looks VERY interesting. :D


Thanks! We're excited about it!
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby tony.latham » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:16 am

That’s where we are right now.


This is fake. Your "shop" isn't a shop. It's over-the-top clean and organized. This can't be true.

:thumbsup:

Tony
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby SCwood » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:54 pm

tony.latham wrote:
That’s where we are right now.


This is fake. Your "shop" isn't a shop. It's over-the-top clean and organized. This can't be true.

:thumbsup:

Tony


LOL! Fake news, fake shops, nothing is real these days
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby NevadaBlue » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:52 pm

Now I have to go re-read ‘building B.O.B’. Too bad that some of the pics are on photobuckkkkt.
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby SCwood » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:25 pm

NevadaBlue wrote:Now I have to go re-read ‘building B.O.B’. Too bad that some of the pics are on photobuckkkkt.


Yeah, I wish I hadn’t used them. I fixed almost all the pictures about a year ago and took almost everything off photobucket. At the time some of them were fine but it looks like they’ve changed things again. I’ll go fix it again soon.
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby NevadaBlue » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:08 pm

I used PB for years. Never a problem except they always have had crappy website software. I finally gave up and deleted all my pics and albums and account when they started blurring everything. And, that HUGE stupid water mark. OMG, I really do hope they go out of business for stupidity.

I am reading the BOB thread now, thanks for it.
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby SCwood » Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:17 am

And we’re back! It’s been a little while but we found some time to work on this again. We had to do some more work to get the xterra to pass inspection, but it did! After that we went ahead and ripped out the back, because who needs that



And then we started on the floor- foam insulation skinned with 3mm ply. We’re using the same birch I used on BOB and I’m thinking we’ll finish it the same way.

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We also extended the floor over where the rear seats formerly went and took advantage of the extra space by building a little place to store things.

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And that’s it for now! I think the ceiling is up next and then probably walls. Just need to find some time to work on it!
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby NevadaBlue » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:16 pm

I hope you guys flushed the engine before and after the new radiator...

Watching! :)
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby SCwood » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:38 pm

We flushed it pretty good when we did the timing belt. Found a lot of gunk in there.

Thanks for watching!
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby rjgimp » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:49 pm

I'm with Tony. That shop can't be real...
-Rob


I hope to make it to a Procrastinators Anonymous meeting someday...
just as soon as the steering committee gets around to scheduling one!
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby Woodstramp » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:04 pm

Got an 04 gen 1 Xterra like that. It also quit. Loved driving the old girl, but those little munchkins get worse gas mileage than my huge crew cab Nissan Titan on the highway. :D About on par with my old 92 Suburban with a 350. It got 17 MPG on the highway.

Not to pick your efforts (and the new grill looks cool), but it does not look like much air will be moving through that grill. In Texas, more air through the radiator will be advantageous for that 3.3l.
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An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby SCwood » Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:49 am

Woodstramp wrote:Not to pick your efforts (and the new grill looks cool), but it does not look like much air will be moving through that grill. In Texas, more air through the radiator will be advantageous for that 3.3l.


I was worried about that too, and after building the bumper the engine started overheating. That was also the first time we drove it on the highway though. Turned out the radiator was clogged with goo and wasn’t cooling. She’s got a new radiator now and all is well in the cooling department!

A few updates:

Filled in the gaps between the foam, car, and finished floor with expanding foam:
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Finished the floor the same way as BOB- no stain and spar urethane.
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We installed a tongue and groove ceiling that spans the entire length of the car. The original plan was to keep the factory headliner in the driver section, but the wood was juuuust long enough, so we lined the whole thing.

We started with screwing a couple strips of poplar to the roof:
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And then used pl premium and some nails to secure the boards to the poplar strips (also added some insulation up top):
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Video of the whole install:


And that’s where we are now! Next is probably walls and figuring out exactly how the slide out is going to work. More soon!
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Re: An off-road micro RV build named SaraTerra

Postby Scotter » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:10 pm

awesome! we just sold our '03 a year ago. they're tough trucks...ours had 145k miles and was in our ownership for 15 years. never let us down aside from a dead battery because we left the lights on. not sophisticated, not great at any one thing, but it could go just about anywhere we needed it to.
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make sure you re-pack the front wheel bearings every couple years if its 4WD, and its probably time to look at the idler arm and pittman arm assembly in the steering. i'd also be certain to get new leaf packs for the rear axle...ours had softened up considerably at that age and would hit the bump stops a LOT with any serious luggage in the back. with your use the leafs will almost certainly be overwhelmed full time.

best of luck, looking forward to seeing what you do with it.
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