My time here in North America is limited and i will probably leave sometime mid summer unless i can score a job and extend my stay here. Regardless i need a vehicle that will do well for extended road trips but also a way to live on the road. After my uni exchange finishes this winter semester i have to choose either to rent a place somewhere in vancouver or go nomad and live in my vehicle/outdoors or couchsurf. I haven't really done any cost analysis but i assume the latter would be cheaper in the long haul.
So far i've only considered buying a minivan like a Mitsubishi Delica or Mazda MPV (4wd minivans) where i can just convert the cargo area into a sleeping deck. These would be good for sleeping in at whatever time, no fuss setting up base, just park the van and get ready for bed.
The SUV option might be more flexible in offroading capabilities allowing me to explore more of the challenging terrain. However the cargo space is just a tad short for my liking (6.1ft) and i have already tested out lying in the back of a Toyota 4runner, Subaru Forester and Outback which forces me to sleep diagonally. The outback would have good mileage and be comfortable for long drives i'd imagine. But i'd imagine this wouldn't be comfortable for any extended period of time.
The last option is i could get a heavy duty truck with a camper shell at the back but somehow i just don't like the idea of the cabin booth being seperated from the drivers seat.
Otherwise i could just carry a tent and set up base every time but that might be an inconvenience.
Note, this vehicle will be my daily driver as well, so i'm not only planing outdoor roadtrips for snowboarding, hiking etc. But also roadtripping across the country to visit cities.
I have no experience in camping, 4wding, offroading, setting up tents so i guess the van option appeals to me the most. But i'd like to hear the opinions and suggestions you guys have to offer. I'm just wondering what is the best option for a complete rookie to the wilderness. Any input on related experiences will be appreciated. Also what would be the best vehicle for my situation?
Budget under $10k canadian inclusive of taxes.