I can't help but wonder what everyone is expecting. My experience is like this: I bought a 2007 gimpy bus from Sharp. 22' stem to stern. Gasoline. Somewhat less than 200,000 km. All things being equal I figure it has that much left to go. That's probably 10 years or more, and more than I'm likely to ask from it. I paid $1500. There were 3 or 4 there to choose from. I picked the one with duallys. I looked up the market value. Something like $8000 USD. So I can't quite see how everyone is having such a hard time finding a bus for cheap. It took me no time at all. 2 phone calls. Maybe I got a lemon. Time will tell. Wouldn't be the first time. Nor would it be the end of the world. You can try like hell to win and still lose. For me it's like the song said, 'if you want your boomerang to come back first you have to throw it.' If you can't find a bus my advice is to relax and let go. You're probably trying too hard.
Rust. This is Canada. Cars rust. It's something you get used to as life wears on. Maybe around here they use more sand than salt. Brandt Haldimand Norfolk. I wouldn't know. I don't think the rust on mine is tragic. Most of the body is aluminum. That 'rusts' too in its own way. I'll deal with it using fibreglass and Bondo. I think I'll do a rattle can camo paint job. It's not worth trying to a 'good' job. The point of the adventure is what is outside the bus. Not what's inside and not what the bus looks like from the outside. Maybe I'm the odd man out in a group of people who want to be 'bus proud'. Different strokes I guess. Good luck to you all.