That helps steer the conversation....Certainly understand your viewpoint. And I do believe a lot of folks can "over build". However, a lot of people also have big plans and sometimes can execute them and other times life happens and are not able to.
To give some additional background and some of my thoughts.
- There are areas I would love to see but are a long ways to drive. So, I would like to plan for something that is road worthy (long highway trek) to get where we want to go but be able to handle some off-road too (not real extreme rock crawling or mud bogging).
- Can double as a daily driver.
- I do have a wife and 3 kids (family of 5), so daily driver needs to accommodate 5 people.
- We have a suburban 2wd for our family travels. But I would like something that me and my sons (or me and a friend or two) could take.
- Don't really see sleeping in cab unless it's just me.
- Kind of thought maybe a 4 door small truck might be a good option. Would give the versatility of having a pick up when home, can accommodate 5 people for in town, can have a shell or bed cover for gear when traveling, be smaller and lighter for off-road driving.
I would go look at the mid-size double cab trucks with the entire family and see how it goes. My guess, especially with the kids growing, that 5 people in a non-full size truck cab will be tight, especially for long trips. I would however look at the new Chevy Colorado ZR2 package...with or without the diesel. That is about the 'most' you can get in a mid-size truck in the USA right now out of the box. Add a hidden front winch mount and you would basically have something that would do just about everything in the USA except maybe breeze through the Rubicon Trail.
I would probably say a short bed 4-door full size truck would be about the right fit, but you will just have to suck up the daily driver bad mileage.