Howdy! My question may be the same as some on here and I apologize, but our use is possibly different than many of you.
My wife and I have 2 amazing boys (ages 11 & 7) with a rare mitochondrial condition that affects their physical and cognitive abilities. They currently use manual wheelchairs for their mobility. For years I've been researching vehicles large enough to accommodate their growth and finally decided a shuttle bus with a wheelchair lift was the way to go. After recently having a friend start a fundraiser with a GoFundMe campaign, another friend offered the suggestion of a short bus that we could convert to meet our needs. Both of our boys are medically incontinent, so I have spec'd floorplans around what we've coined a Life Assist Table, which is in fact an adult changing table. This table is an absolute must for us as we travel back and forth from Waco to Houston, TX to see their specialists every few months. We're a very active family and also travel all over the state of Texas to camps and other events. With no place to stop and change them with dignity, we are creating our own rolling public space!
With that background in mind, my question is this. Our local school district is auctioning six 2007 IC buses with wheelchair lifts that were used solely as SPED buses. All of the buses have mileage from 116K to 127K and all have the VT365 engine. I have been doing my research and understand this engine is not looked kindly on unless it has been bulletproofed. I've also read how many of you wouldn't touch a bus with this engine at all. If purchased, we fully intend to bulletproof the engine if not already done by the school district, which I highly doubt they have.
The auction is ending soon and I always like to know what I'm potentially getting myself into, especially with the stress of already raising 2 special needs boys. Based on what we intend to do with this bus; not overtaxing it pulling trailers and not converting it into an RV with tons of extra weight, please provide honest feedback on what we could expect to see in terms of issues. Thank you!