markopolo, thanks so much for the link to Greg's blog. I had tried to google for others who might using the NV2500 as a travel/camping van but had not had much luck since it's so new. Very helpful information there!
The new Sportsmobile NV conversions are nice, but after seeing their upcharge for Sprinter conversions (their site is how I first discovered "adventure van" type conversions), I'm sure they're not cheap. And unavailable except at western Nissan dealerships. They also offer very limited options with very few customizations on their NV conversions (unlike their Sprinter conversions which are very customizable) -- just wouldn't work for what we want to do. Like Greg, we want to do it "our way" and make it very custom to fit our needs.
I've looked at a lot of Class B and small Class C motorhomes online and just haven't found anything that fits the bill except very pricey Sportsmobile or Outdoor Van Sprinter conversions (over $100K finished). Since we know we'll never get out what we put into it, we don't want to spend nearly that much.
The reason we hope to carry our "toys" inside rather than in a trailer is to avoid becoming a bigger/longer vehicle, keeping it easier to park, find sites we can easily fit into, and travel about. In addition to state parks and national forests, we plan to visit towns and cities and rent the occasional cottage for a month or so in our travels, so being able to easily fit into driveways and parking spaces is a must. And my husband is super handy, great with all things electrical, and has already worked with similar 12v systems in our (former) sailboat, so it will be a fun and challenging project for him!