First post here for me. A little background to set the stage. I currently travel in a 26 foot Airstream full-time with my family (wife & 2 kids ages 5,2) and work M-F remote from the rig. The Airstream is very nice but we find its not really laid out how we want and are inspired to build out a bus to maximize space and enjoyment. I'd also like to further my skills to repair and maintain our rig. I am a complete bus newbie and need some advice from those of you much wiser than I about how to start this process.
I've been looking at Govdeals and public surplus but am overwhelmed. Any other places I should be looking?
1. Ideas for bus models / years / engine-tranny combinations?
We would prefer to be between 30 to 35 feet so that we can more easily fit into state/county/etc campgrounds and to make boondocking a little easier. We've heard that being 40 feet makes it tougher to find spots.
We want to tow a Jeep with a 6K GVWR
I prefer not to have to deal with DEF so I think a model year less than 2010 is what we're looking for.
Prefer the bus is not so old that its hard to find parts, etc.
Doesn't have to be a school bus. Would consider city/transit bus as long as it has enough ground clearance for forest roads to boondocking spots.
I think I prefer a flat nose rear engine bus.
We primarily live in the west and will do mountain driving somewhat regularly and want to be able to make it over passes.
2. Any ideas where we would be able to do the build?
We don't have a permanent home anymore and family and friends aren't an option as none of their properties are suitable.
Would prefer to be in a place that is nice-ish year round.
I'd like to do a lot of the work myself but am not against hiring help for things that are above my skill grade, which is not that high at the moment. It would be nice to be near someone that has some expertise so that I can learn from them.
Thanks for your thoughts and time!!!