I went through the same selection dilemma with the TC, TT, and 5th wheel. But I have a limitation you don't, my 1996 Dodge CTD doesn't have the carrying capacity that your truck has. I only have a 8,800 GVWR that limited my selection somewhat. Hence I tried to find a solution that most closely matched my truck.
I'm very satisfied with the combination. For me, it's more about the features than size. For instance, my couch has really been a standout feature. Some of the smaller TTs or 5th wheels didn't even have a couch long enough to stretch out on. Let alone the convenience of a cassette toilet. The funny thing is I can tow way more than I can carry but couldn't get the same features in the larger unit compared to the TC.
My truck/camper combination provides all the features I need, in a very livable size, while delivering good economy (17.5 mpg at about 70 mph). Yes, I probably would have considered something larger had I had the truck to carry it. But, it would have meant more weight, aero drag, and less economy. Plus, sometimes the mechanical systems get larger and might not be suitable for the smaller portable generators.
My logic also was that I could sell it if didn't work out. And that sure crossed my mind while I waited for Rex to build my camper. Would my idea work or would it be a bust? I never owned a RV or truck camper before. So this was a real experiment to say the least.
Now, I have confirmed my original assumption. I can live very comfortably in a very small, fully equipped, and self contained space. And my space is probably one of the smallest hard sides available. I am very satisfied.
I'm currently doing the same thing, living in my TC 5 nights a week. I've been doing this over 60 nights so far and everything has worked out very well. Here are my experiences.
I decided to purchase a new camper because I couldn't find used TCs with the features I thought I wanted. Then, based on the good reputation on this board and others, I contacted Northstar and spoke to Rex Willet. Rex really helped me put together a terrific camper that was quite a bit different than I originally thought I wanted or needed for pseudo full timing.
I did look at travel trailers and 5th wheels but didn't find a vendor that was as helpful or with the range of options as Northstar. I felt the TC simply fit my total needs better, easier transport, more energy efficient, and so on. YMMV.
I ordered a very well equipped 8.5 Adventurer. A couple of the features Rex pointed out were the floor plan and cassette toilette. Boy was he right. I do have a couch and it works great for me. I can easily stretch out and watch tv after dinner without laying in bed. The cassette makes it easy to dump. I also have solar, 2 AGMs, and dc refrigeration so I don't worry too much about spoilage no matter the power situation.
Speaking of power, my needs are very low. I have a Coleman Mach Polar Cub a/c that draws only 8 amps (according to their literature). I can easily run it on a 15 amp breaker or 2k generator as long as I don't run anything else big like the microwave. I just turn off the a/c, warm something up, then turn the a/c back on when I'm finished. I do not have a 30 amp service where I park, only 15 but it works OK. Again, YMMV.
And speaking of a/c, boy oh boy have I needed it this summer! I'm located in east Tennessee (maybe close to the OP) and we've had one week at 100F and above. Two of those days were at 107F! This was well above the design spec I gave Rex but the camper came through it just fine. I found that the Polar Cub would maintain a 15F difference with the outside temperature while on the low cool setting. I also have the thermal pane windows.
Where I park doesn't really have any shade but I have everything else, power, water, propane, dump station, etc. because I stay in a RV storage facility. It is gated with security cameras. I take the camper off the truck and let it stand on the jacks. Very stable and hasn't been bothered with some high wind situations.
I looked at several parking options but this was the best value by far and most convenient. I'm able to leave the camper in a secure facility and not have the fuel milage penalty of the camper when I travel back home. I have a state park nearby but they're not very accommodating for full timers or taking the camper off the truck. And my wife pointed out something, most people go to state parks to recreate and I'd be there for a different reason, work. It's just a different dynamic, YMMV.
One thing that has surprised me was how much I watch TV. Originally I didn't plan on installing one even though I purchased the antenna and bracket with my camper. I do enjoy the local and national news in the evening. I guess I get about 10 channels over the air. I also use a Verizon MiFi 4G router for internet and email. Both give me something to relax with after work and a hard workout.
Even in a small space I have been able to incorporate my hobbies. Sometimes it takes a little creative packaging but it works for me. My hobbies are important to me because they take my mind off being away from my wife during the week. We're only about 3 hours apart but it still is apart. We still like each other after all these years!
My camper has been an excellent housing solution for my work week. I'm comfortable and very low profile. I don't feel I've given up anything and in fact feel I've gained because my camper is far more cost effective solution for me than an apartment. We weren't interested in permanently relocating because we like our house and retirement isn't too far off. My due diligence indicates I'll recover the cost of my camper in two years compared to an apartment. I hope your experience is the same. Good luck.
I just purchased and installed a 16" Naxa LED HD tv (NT-1506). It operates on 120v or 12v, comes with both plugs. The power consumption is 24 watts according to the specifications. I'm very happy with the size and picture quality. The sound is a little thin from the set but can be easily wired to external speakers. I have it connected to a Jack antenna. The tuner seems quite good with this combination.
I paid about $115 from Amazon. I know you said you didn't want to buy on-line but I had no problems. Came very quickly with no damage. I'm very satisfied. The size is a good fit for me.