Re: Where to find a short shuttle bus?
I'm in the Detroit area and we also have lots of those shuttle busses running around. Sometimes the local transit authority auctions off a few of them and they generally go for about $2500 for a Ford E-450 cutaway with the 7.3 diesel engine. Mileage is usually in the low 200K range so the diesels do have a good bit of life left in them. Look for auction sites that cater to local governments in your area. Craigslist is another good spot to look. Prices are usually higher there but there are more busses available. Another option would be to call the transit authority directly and ask, ever so nicely, when they sell off their stuff. I haven't tried that method yet but I will before long if nothing pops up soon.
There are 21 and 24 foot versions of that Ford bus and for a single person the 21 footer would probably be adequate. I have done up floor plans for the 21 and can fit in a full size bed, full kitchen, and a dinette seating area. Problem with the 21 is that, except for the space under the bed and under the dinette seats, there isn't much room left for storage. The 24 footer has enough space for a couple of closets so that's the length I'm looking for. Being in Denver you'll need space for propane tanks for heating and deep cycle batteries for lights and stuff unless you can stay hooked up to shore power all the time. You'll also need some kind of water storage for washing up and cooking less you plan on doing all that outside of the bus.
Setting up a very basic shuttle bus wouldn't be too hard. Put a mattress on the floor for a bed, a porta-potti for the bathroom, get some cheap kitchen cabinets and a sink for the kitchen (sink drains into a 5 gal. bucket) and a hand-me-down sofa for the sitting area and you're nearly there. Keep some water handy in 5 gallon jugs and a camp stove for cooking and you've got the creature comforts covered.
Having spent many vacations living out of a standard GMC van I recommend against trying to live in one for any extended period of time. Living in one would be an adventure with a capital "A." And we all know how adventures tend to be very uncomfortable things.