We took a different approach, also recently retired and new to RVing. We wanted to make a minimal investment, to determine if we would really like the experience. We had a few goals: to enable extended traveling, sleep in our own comfortable bed, prepare our own fresh food meals, enable personal hygiene on board. We did not want to buy a dedicated tow vehicle; we wanted to use our existing vehicle. We live in rural snow country, so our ideal existing car is a Subaru, V6, tow capacity 3000#. Needless to say, this limited our available selection of campers, to fit our goals, and not use canvas.
We searched for nine months and found a 20 yr old Shadow Cruiser, Silhouette, 13' box. The table became a queen size bed and we placed a permanent quality futon mattress on it. We spent the first season refurbishing it; installed a new 2 way frig and roof 'super' fan. Dry wt is 1500#, and gross wt is 2500#. We have taken numerous trips of 4500 mile and 35+ day duration.
Is it perfect.....no, but we love it. We would enjoy an indoor table and a dry bath, but the step up in camper size would require a dedicated tow vehicle. We currently get 25 - 30 mpg not towing, and 18 mpg when towing, depending upon speed. We also find a sway bar essential.
We constantly turn heads on the road and in campgrounds, because of our tiny size. My wife calls it her doll house on wheels. We put a bike rack on the back of the camper, and our kayaks on the car roof rack. Kinda pushing the limits for a Subaru Outback, but it enables us to avoid a dedicated tow vehicle, when the camper is used for 6-8 weeks per year. We use it primarily in Spring and Fall, and stay home for Winter and Summer. It is not for everybody, but it suits our lifestyle.
Hope this helps you to some degree.