Cliff notes: I'm looking for a vehicle larger than vw vanagon; wider than sprinter; lower, faster and less thirsty than fuso/npr; stealthier than small rvs or truck with campers. Need at least 9'6" interior length, 6'2" height and probably 6'6" width?
Long version: I've always wanted to be one of those oldtimers who just hangout at the beach and surf all day, and I'm getting close to just doing it. I'm trying to find a vehicle I can build up and use over the next few years for extended surfing trips, that may turn in to a life on the road. I may spend some time in the mountains, but don't anticipate needing much in the way of off-road capabilities or cold weather capabilities for that matter. And I'm trying to find something that would blend-in in an urban environment so that I could stealth "camp" anywhere and avoid campgrounds and rv parks. I just can't find the perfect vehicle - little help?
VW Vanagon -- Very stealthy since many people still drive them as daily drivers and if poptop is switched to permanent hightop, can sleep secretly upstairs. But overall just too small for my surfboards and bike inside and rear engine location really limits interior layout options.
Sprinter -- leading candidate, but too narrow for me to sleep across the back and I'd like to do one of those permanent rear bed with "garage" underneath layouts. Is there anything wider out there? (i also just can't get used to the look of the sprinter van for some reason: too narrow for its height i think).
Truck with camper or small RV -- too obvious as a recreational vehicle to allow for stealth camping. Are there any that can blend in?
Fuso/NPR custom build -- love the design of the earthcruiser, but don't need anything that hardcore. I also don't need a truck with such heavyduty chasis: Is there a lighter weight version of this type of truck that will have better fuel economy, and higher freeway cruising speed capability, and allow a 6' interior height without being so tall?
What I really picture is something like the Mercedes T2 or Vario. The size is just about perfect and its squarish cargovan nature would allow it to blend in like a commercial vehicle. Unfortunately, not available in the USA... (unless I bring over a pre-'87 and feel like always ordering parts from overseas.)
Is there something I'm overlooking that would be a good platform for a custom build to suit my needs? Any ideas appreciated.