So as the title states, I am brand new to the bus conversion community and am possibly going to be getting into the scene very soon. I found a 2008 Ford E-350 Cutaway 6.8L V10 for a steal near me in central New York. It has 230,000 on the chassis and a new engine with approx 70,000 miles on it. It seemed to drive and shift just fine I have been watching Youtube videos and reading up on this forum about what I'm getting myself into but I still have a lot of questions for the community. I hope some people that have been in my situation see this and can help me make some decisions.
I am a 20 year old student working in NY for the summer but I go to college near Pittsburgh, PA. I am looking into an off-grid home to save on cost of living and to use on adventures when I am not in school. Also having this would greatly open my options as to where I can go after or instead of college. I am not tied down to where I can find a cheap apartment. The whole idea seems very interesting to me and something that I really think could be an option for me. Here are some pics of the bus I'm looking at:
My questions about this are this (and I apologize if there is a lot):
Are there any problems I should look for with this era Ford and the 6.8L?
How easy are these to convert? Any major problems or reasons that people don't build these out often?
Does anyone have a layout they used on this style bus that works well?
What is the existing insulation like on these buses and is there room to pull out the ceiling to add insulation? Is insulation even necessary in these?
The AC does not blow cold front or rear in this bus. Would a refrigerant recharge fix this?
What would the classification of this bus be? Right now the license plate says commercial. Could I get that changed since I won't be using it commercially?
Has anyone added plumbing for shower/toilet/sink in one of these? Where would I begin to understand how I would go about this?
I'm sure I'll have more questions to add to this but if anyone could help by providing some answers or tips or any sort of direction for me I would really appreciate it.
ALSO, If any bus/van dwellers live in the upstate NY area and want to provide me with some one-on-one insight that would also be fantastic. Anyone that knows of a place I can store the bus and work on it would be even better. Thanks everyone!