I am extremely interested in doing a conversion and have a ton of somewhat general questions that I think could be of good use to other prospective people. If there's already a post that covers some or most of these questions, please let me know!
1) With so many different powertrain combinations, are there any that are known to be particularly bad or particularly good? Suspension, brakes, etc.? Is there a certain year that I should be buying after (i.e. bus technology got significantly better after 1995, so look for something after that)? Are there bus makers (International, Gillig, Chevy, etc.) that are more durable/dependable/reputable or easier to work on? Are there brands that have more parts available? I guess this question boils down to, what would be the ideal bus to buy if you could find it?
I'd be most interested in something that I could travel in semi-frequently and go long distances in without worrying too much. Based on what I've read, I think that points me towards a diesel, but beyond that, I'm not really sure what things in the above list I should be searching for. I know I like the look of the dog-nosed and would want to have a door on the back of the bus, and am thinking that a 40 footer would be nice.
2) How many miles are too many miles? What are some other warning flags to look out for (sketchy reasons why it's for sale, etc.)? I definitely don't want to deal with rust
3) Is there a service that anyone has used to do an inspection on a bus that is too far to travel to inspect in person? Would it just be better to inspect a bus that has high potential in person no matter what? If so, is there a thread dedicated to what to look for when checking out a potential bus?
4) After buying a bus, do you need a Commercial Driver's License to drive it to the place you're going to work on it? Has anyone paid someone with a license to do this for them? Same thing for taking it to get registered as an RV.
5) What dictates which license a driver would need to have to operate the vehicle after the registration is changed to an RV? Length, # of seats originally, etc.? (I assume this varies state to state - I'd need to know for AZ and NM).
6) I've been looking on govdeals.com and publicsurplus.com for potential buses. Are there any other that are commonly used? Since this is close, has anyone bought a bus from Canyon State Bus Sales (http://canyonstatebus.com/product-page/)?
Good experience? Good price?
Really appreciate any input you can provide! Also, feel free to discuss anything you think might be useful to someone who is thinking about buying their first bus and doing a conversion!