This has been keeping me up thinking about it.
I took my cousin along to check the mechanics out because he works on heavy equipment all day for a construction company. He seemed to think the bus was a steal at $2500. The cheaper buses in the area ($15k to $2K) were brands he didn't recommend due to lack of easy-to-find parts and/or bad experiences keeping things running at the shop. He specifically said stay away from the GMC trucks because the vehicles he's dealt with had reliability issues.
Unfortunately, he's out for the weekend, or I'd have him post all the technical details. But if I understood him correctly, roughly $1500 of the "repair" costs for the International were for 6 brand new tires (not retreads), which was something I
wanted for long-term safety's sake. The rest was for tuneup, fixing whatever was going on with the turbo charger (which he said was sounding a little funny), and two other items that I don't remember right now. He also wanted to get a better look at the kingpins. I remember that those are very important, but am still fuzzy about what, exactly, they are and what they do.
Don't get me wrong. Except for lack of speed, the bus is travel worthy. The extra money I am willing to throw at it is to ensure long-term reliability. I'll be living here, after all.
He said he could put a different transmission in to get a better top end speed. My concern is the added expense over and above the aforementioned items. But considering I want to go coast-to-coast - several times - being limited to 53mph tops is neither realistic nor safe on highways.