Please bear in mind that my responses are based mostly on folks who stay in RV campgrounds/mobile home parks not strictly mobile home parks.
Originally Posted by kaoskittie
...Does anyone know what CA laws are like for living in a skoolie in mobile home parks?
--Are they considered different from other motor homes, and if not, is there a point in the conversion that the change takes place, or is it just a statement-of-intent type thing?
--Are the regulations at the state, county, or city level? Or do the park owners make it up as they go along?
--How about doing the actual work in the rented lot space? Is this frowned upon?
A converted skoolie would be just like an RV... you should tag it as an RV... set up the plug for 30 amp (and you will probably end up buying an adapter plug because the one on your "RV" will be different at that particular park). CA has regulations that make it very difficult to toss someone out of a park. So you may have more trouble getting into one. Very few places will let you convert openly while in the park. Most will not let you convert covertly either.
...If worse came to worst, I could do the work on it while parking it in my mom's yard back east and crashing on her couch, but I am in CA now and I am happy here -- I want to find a job local to here to pay off my debt and fund the project.
You may be better off in your mom's back yard. Alternatively, you may be able to rent a shed or something that will allow you to park the bus, work on it AND live in it (with water/electric/sewer)... have you given any thought to basic hygiene while you are working on your bus?
You will only find the information you are looking for on forums where folks are repairing/rebuilding their vintage RV's. I know of one guy in CA. He was living in a Marina/campground while rebuilding an RV. His name online was Sanjay and he posted on RVingOutpost.com forum.