I am thinking about buying a half length school bus from a local school district, or at least their contractor. The bus is a 2003 Freightliner, Seating capacity of 36(According to their records 48 ), Body style: Thomas, Diesel powered with 91000 miles. I was wondering what I could expect as far as repairs? I realize this is going to be a difficult question to answer, but will I have a difficult time finding people to repair this engine? How difficult is it to get a laptop to talk to the onboard computers? Is there special software needed or open source alternatives? Anyone have any advice?
Unfortunately I cannot legally drive this thing until I get it reclassified as an RV. The process of getting it reclassified is pretty straight foreword in my state, supposedly and I estimate it would take a weekend or two to satisfy the minimum requirements. My plan was to do the minimum, then get it reclassified so I will be legally able to drive it, then finish the conversion. Is this a sane plan or am I likely to run afoul of some sort of bureaucrat?
Last question, does anyone have any experience with Espar type of heaters? I would like to install this or something like one of these. Do these things use forced air? What kind of clearance around the unit do I need to prevent fire or burns? Can I put ductwork on it's output and bury it in a closet? My intention is to not use propane in this vehicle. Are there other heater manufacturers that would be better suited? Does the vehicle have to be level for the heater to work correctly?
Thank you for your time,