Hi, thanks for your extensive reply. I'll reply to each point individually.
Once again, the Universal Answer comes to mind: It Depends.
The actual questions should be, and the one that I am working on answering for myself, is:
1) Where do I want to go? Meaning, how open vs. restricted are the routes and terrain? A Mog by itself is pretty nimble, albeit large, but the bigger the rear appendage, the more that width and height of the body start to restrict where you can go, what you can access. Now that I have an RW1, I can safely go to more extreme places that I didnít feel comfortable doing in my F250. BUT, I have already figured out that I have also cut myself off from some routes, particularly in the Colorado mountains. Why, you ask? Many of the old mining roads are below treeline, and are not maintained. The foliage has been scrapped away to the extent of Jeep clearance, and can get brutal, if not impassable, for something much wider and much, much taller. On my recent Utah trip, I barely made it through some tight cedar patches, then had to wipe the top corner of the firebody on an overhanging sandstone formation to get through and continue my route. If the Sahara is your destination (like in Atlas promo shots), size doesnít matter.
Yes, I totally agree. This is sort of why I'm more interested in hearing what people say about their dimensions and what they've experienced. I.e comments on the lines of "Our is XYZ high, but it's restricting us a lot" or "We made ours a bit wider at ABC, and we regret it".
The ideal camper is like the ideal ladies shoe; comfortable and roomy on the inside, but sleek and stylish on the outside. Maybe in camper terms, it's small and nimble, but you get the point.
Our initial plan is Europe, if we venture further it should still work. However, I would definitely like to go up the mountains and admire the views and make it down to the secluded lakes and coves to relax.
2) How comfortable do I want to be? A related question is, how important is weight and windage, for highway travel? Again, you must make your own decision and strike your own balance. One approach is to max out volume, but if size is critical, then you need to consider some sort of pop-up (which is where I am at in my own ruminations).
Yes, we're quite settled on what we need. How to make the Tetris pieces fit, is another level of the game.
We've sort of narrowed it down to being comfortable, but we do not expect "luxury indoor living". We'd like to be outdoors as much as possible, but we're very aware of that bad weather or work might see us spending a lot of time inside. Therefore we'll need at least to places to set up "office" (laptop, papers, external disks, etc), and we're probably going to require an arrangement where one can sleep and the other one can be working on the laptop. So no bed that lowers down over the "office" is possible. The work situation will probably require a lot of electricity, so we're also currently dealing with trying to figure out that puzzle. On the back of that, we'll also probably go for induction cooker as the addition shouldn't be that much (famous last words?). We'll also need toilet and shower.
Trying to avoid any complications like pop-tops and such.
3) On a pragmatic note, do I envision an Atlas sub-frame, which lowers the camper about 3Ē, but does necessitate wheel well intrusions into the camper floor? For me, thatís a yes; the kit is on my shop floor now.
I'm getting more and more aware of this. That extra 3" / 7.5cm (or 10cm) would be very useable.
My own intent is to mess with the truck for at least another year (partly $ driven, so to speak), and then start by laying out more from the inside, rather than from a given shell. I suspect that I will be trying hard to minimize volume. One thing I am really starting to point towards is to limit overall width to that of the 365ís, no wider.
Sounds like a sound plan. And by 365's you mean tyres? Or?
I presume you have gone through the required reading list?
Kreitpiel- camper (build thread)
Iain_Unimog (build thread)
IridiumMoon (dropped out of sight since he completed his camper)
Lostintheworld (the blog, not so much the questions posted)
Yes, met IridiumMoon at the Stratford-upon-Avon Adventure Overland show, and had a poke around in his high-quality build. I've even emailed him a few times to ask about his box material. Very helpful, much appreciated.
Wading through Iain_Unimog's excellent build thread at the moment too. So much to absorb.
I think I've missed Krietpiel's thread, much go hit the search button, thanks!
And Lostintheworld, I'm trying to keep up with Wabi-sabi, but he's posting so much! Thanks!
I've seen/heard of them before, but thanks for the link. They've got some dimensions there that I've now added to the spreadsheet.
Bottom line, you do have a blank sheet. Just need a program, and that is more on you.
One other thought: I'd probably decide on the appliances, batteries, PV array etc, etc, that I thought I wanted, and start by seeing how I could arrange them in a theoretical volume.
Yes, blank sheet, limited budget, time... don't know. Good point re applicances. I'm hoping to be "blocking" them into a 3D modelling software to get an idea of how to fit the pieces.
Thanks for your reply! Much appreciated!
On to answer the next ones...