Here's where I went wrong: my parents had RVs devoted exclusively to vacationing, after college the most I could afford was tent camping out of my hatchback, and when I finally got extra money a few years ago I bought the first small-ish 4x4 pure RV I could find that was really snazzy. Well, "old iron" Chalets sure are unique, but RVs are banned from parking at my apartment complex, I have to store it at my parents' RV lot across town and work on it there, it gets 9-10 mpg, and ya can't haul big things in the back of it like a TV, office chair, etc. It's camper, not good for much else.
Limited cash reserves and high gas prices cause me to conclude: I need to scale up my car camping ways, not scale down an RV idea. Ditch the tent, though, and find a 4 door 4x4 high/low range SUV, remove the back and passenger seats (temporarily), engineer a flat place to sleep, put in a tiny fridge, pack in the rest of the necessary boondocking camp items, and there you have it: something that goes much further up those Colorado Rockies dirt roads than my VW GTI, and is a place to sleep in overnight that bears and other scary varmints have a tougher time getting into. No need anymore to set up a tent in a downpour or put it away all soggy the next morning. After the vacation, the SUV could serve as a daily driver & "stuff" hauler for my upcoming freelance business.
Up to or even beyond 18 mpg would be very nice. Not overly annoying to drive between Phoenix and Colorado is a must. Considering my choices of moderate 4x4 roads, I'd think a slightly altered SUV would suit my purposes, if it can handle a receiver hitch carrier on the back to carry a 225lb offroad motorcycle. After a few days surfing through various Expo threads, a Land Rover Discovery 1 or 2, Nissan Xterra / Pathfinder, Isuzu Trooper, Jeep Liberty, Suzuki Vitara / XL7, and Toyota 4Runner more or less cover those requirements. I like the Suzukis for having such short hoods and better mileage, but I'd probably have to have to trailer or caster wheel the motorcycle, while the others suffer to varying degrees in mileage. Discos look really neat, but do no better than 15-16 mpg? Isuzus are the only ones where a diesel is an option? But a diesel may not be cost effective anymore considering the cost difference with gas...
Then there's the economic opportunity costs - insurance may be lower for one over the other, a lower priced Disco with worse mpg could still offset a high priced better mpg Xterra, for example.
All of this contingent on my sale of the Chalet. I'll be keeping a good eye on the "Expedition Vehicles for Sale" forum, finding something here may be infinitely better than the local Phoenix Craigslist. Y'all feel free to steer me toward something and away from others, let me know if I am overlooking a good choice. No little truck campers, please. To me, "motorhome" means being able to move from the driver's seat to the rest of the vehicle with no impediment. Not considering a rooftop tent, either.