Thanks for the positive notes everybody. I've already learned so much from all of you in the time that I've been researching this plan.
As far as the CDL is concerned, no, I'm not planning on using it for commercial purposes and will be registering it as an RV when I am able. But...I understand Alaska law to read that any vehicle over 26,000 gross and with air brakes requires a Class B CDL. Plus I have to be mobile and may have to drive it to another town before I meet the qualifications to register as an RV. So if I have to leave the area for a winter job before she's painted I want to at least be legal to drive a school bus. The fewer laws I can break in the meantime the better and I could always use the CDL later. As far as living in it for winter...I am trying my hardest NOT to live in it this winter, that's just pushing it too close. I am hoping to nail down a job with a housing agreement and have the winter to get the bus ready for next summer. I currently work in the woods 6 days per week and have no access to phone or internet much less the bus, so just 1 day a week to work on it right now.
I agree, the underbelly storage is an awesome feature. I'm thinking water, gray water and propane for that area since I will be storing quite a bit of potable water. However, I will have to insulate and possibly warm that area as well, expecially if I stay in the interior during the winter. Apparently propane stops flowing properly at around -25 and Healy, AK can get down to -50/60. Not the time to lose heat.
The loudspeaker does have a mic jack inside but no mic yet, in fact I can flip a switch between the outside loudspeaker and the inside ceiling speakers...pretty fancy.
The floor plan is still a few days out. I'm playing with 2 really nice designs and I'll probably have some questions along the way, but really it comes down to what I do with the 'living room'. I have a design in mind for a really nice couch/dinette/coffee table combination that would really open up the front half of the bus so I've got to do some playing around with that.
I was able to do an overall inspection last weekend and everything is in good shape except for the outer radiator (transmission cooler?), 2 radiator hose fittings and 2 tires. The last State of Alaska inspection was just last year and everything appears to be solid but the radiator will definitely need repaired or replaced. The hoses might just need a new fitting or some more teflon tape. Tomorrow I will begin these repairs and also start on filters and fluids. More to follow!!