I give you credit, you are doing your homework! As you have read on this forum, everyone has an opinion....some similar, some opposite.
It's not that you can't live in an AS in the freezing conditions of NJ, but, do you want to keep up with everything necessary to remain comfortable in those conditions? keeping the propane bottles filled, keeping the water and sewer lines from freezing, keeping yourself from freezing.
I have been a full-time RVr for over 10 years. Although I try to stay in more temperate weather, part of that time was in extreme tempratures.....WY in the winter, and AZ in the summer. Having traveled in the AS and SOB (can I say '83 Avion 34'?), the SOB has much better insulation in both cold and hot weather extremes.
The winter-living was much more difficult, but, not impossible. I used the heat tape on the fresh water, and only dumped the sewer when it was full. I used Vornado heaters in the living room and bed room when at most campgrounds, and the KozyWorld gas heat when I was paying the electric bill.
I would suggest a visit to the campground you are considering, and talk with the management. Some have time limits on your stay and age limits on the RV and/or occupants. If you are concerned about the safety factor of an RV park, stop by the local police station and inquire.
As far as which trailer....it sounds like you prefer being more minimal. Check out the floor plans on-line, and visit you local dealer. AS has a smaller unit with a front bed, mid kitchen/dinette, corner bath, and a desk. (smaller is easier to heat, and easier tow with a smaller vehicle).
Keep doing your homework, and best of luck with your adventure. I do not think there is a right or wrong answer to your delima, only the best for your situation.