... Did you investigate the tier below Unicat, say Atlas4x4, Woelcke, Langer and Bock, Urocamper or the other European camper builders, for a largely standard build?
We have two very good options locally, both pop tops, both on existing 4x4 mid sized truck platforms. Once I get the U1300L's axles sorted I'll work with them to see whether we can drop a largely standard camper onto an Atlas4x4 subframe. ...
Yes, I did a lot of research before deciding which route to take. Initially I looked at the Iveco Daily 4x4, and had quite an extensive exchange with the very helpful people at Travel Trucks in Brisbane, about buying a 'Scrubmaster' box from them and shipping it to the UK.
Then I looked at the slightly larger Fuso Canter. It was while driving one of these at a Mercedes demo day that I had a quick go in their Unimog, and was immediately converted
I was massively lucky in seeing, the very next week, a low-mileage, RHD, UK-registered U3000 on EBay UK. I gave up all thoughts of the Iveco or Mitsubishi, and bought the Mog immediately!
I recommend the Atlas 4x4 subframe: that's what I used to replace the original and extremely heavy cherry-picker version. Michael Dennig is a helpful bloke: all he needs to know is the wheelbase and chassis tube diameter, then the frame will just fit. Atlas can optionally supply it as an kit of parts to weld up locally, which might make shipping a lot cheaper. It's full of holes so relatively lightweight: I fitted it on my own, using a mini-digger arm as a crane, without any problem.
In the end, I went the bespoke route as I couldn't find an off-the-shelf configuration for two adults + one child on a SWB chassis, and weighing in at under 7.5 tonnes all-up. (7,500kg is the UK/EU driving licence break point below which no truck licence is needed.)
Also the self-build bespoke route meant I could have everything exactly as I wanted, all within the same budget, or less.
I took great care with weight: I weighed the bare chassis-cab, then kept a record of EVERYTHING which went into the build, as it went in. My last visit to the weighbridge confirmed it was OK... just!
With full fluids (200l diesel, 50l generator petrol, 342l water) and allowing for one spare wheel, 120kg of personal effects, clothing, food and tools, and a standard regulation driver of 75kg, it stands at 7,375kg. It's fine, especially is it's down-plated anyway: the 7.5t plate is only for marketing purposes, the technical max is I am sure greater.