Sadly if this means solo "camping" on route then IMO you are making yourself just the target they are on the look out for, the more so as you are yourself solo. Use those Aries, the ones specifically for MH stopovers. Spend a few quid on an Aries guide and then a modicum of time planning for each upcoming night as the journey develops, that still offers some exploring but at reduced risk.
My first car was a Ford Zephyr MK2 followed by a Cortina MK2. Also had a Ford Anglia and Ford Corsair the latter was just a more luxurious version of the Cortina except that it had column shift plus a couple of American Fords with V8 engines. We leased a Mondeo in 2010 that had an automatic box. The automatic box or Powershift is without doubt the worst automatic box I had ever encountered. Eventually Ford took back the car and gave us a full refund less about one instalment. No more Fords since. Otherwise the Mondeo had all the toys you needed to make life comfortable although seats were not that great for comfort on a long trip.