I have one here in Australia. I travel towing a trailer with an aircraft...well an Aerochute. The trailer with all the stuff weighs around 750kgs I would suspect. I put electric breakes on it so it stops fine. Now you don't race around at 80pmh... 55mph is fine. I love the thing. The shell is made by Toyota or outsourced so all the windows have Toyota written on them. Its also fibreglass so its well insulated which is good here in Australia as I can sleep into th clate morning when the sun is hellish. It also has a huge heater above the drivers cabin for the living area so when you are driving along in winter you won't get a cold draft down the back of your neck from the living area and its warm when you stop. Well it is made for Japanese winters so that explains the good insulation and heating. So yes I would recommend this vehicle. I play music...loud...so I don't hear the engine. Its not a Rolls Royce but its comfortable enough be it a bit truck like. Well it is 4WD.I think this van has 4x4 rather than 4wd. Yes our Toyota Hiace also says 4wd, but it is actually more 4x4, and I think this one will have (literally) the same transfercase as ours.
So that means there should be a 4x4/4wd button somewhere, and I already see the low-gearing stick.
Ours has the 2L engine, this is the 2C. These oldskool diesel engines are very reliable, especially without turbo. But it also means they are very noisy, and not very powerful.
That didn't stop ours from going over all kinds of terrain, because it has low-gearing. I've driven over all kinds of stuff including soft sand. It did great.
When back on tarmac and having a highway or other road with higher speeds going up the mountain, you will be annoyed by the lack of power and your speed is going down.
This TownAce has even a smaller engine, and I would like to know how much it weighs. Also, if you are going to add lots of stuff (as you are talking about storage) it won't be great.
You should have a realistic idea about how fast you want to drive on the highway and how long you want to drive, because the engine noise can become annoying.
This one is looking really nice, and the price is not even that strange if you look at the Japanese market for campervans.
But if you would just take a normal van, for example a 4x4 van from Toyota or Mitsubishi, from that time, the price is a lot less.
I would think that in the US you could get a (converted?) 4x4 van for less, and build something in there.