Hey folks. I am new to buses and conversions but I'll be jumping in with both feet very soon. . . I'm in Seattle and would love to see a conversion in the flesh. . .Name?? -
Welcome to the madness! Busnutitus is incurable, but it can be controlled - with the right coach.
That being said, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
It's very, very easy to buy a bus, but extremely difficult to sell a mistake!
With five aboard, seriously consider what are known as "entertainer" coaches - those that are set up for touring bands. Many have sleeping arrangements for 8 - 12, more than you need, but easily adapted. The Nashville, TN, area is home to most of the leasing companies that provide these coaches to the entertainment industry.
DO NOT waste your time, money and effort starting from scratch. In today's lousy economy, there are fantastic deals available that would only require some remodeling to suit your needs.
Buy the NEWEST coach you can afford, even if it stretches your budget a little. Look especially for a coach with the Series 60 Detroit or ISM Cummins mated to an Allison automatic, primarily for ease of obtaining service nowadays, but also for driving pleasure - especially around town.
It's a lot easier to get into various places with a 40-foot coach, but with three teens, a 45-footer would give you more living space.
Are you planning on towing a vehicle for running around while parked? Make sure it can be "flat-towed" behind the coach - trailers and tow dollys are an absolute PITA.
Finally, in order for us to better help you with sources for both parts, service, rallies and other busnut stuff, please take a couple minutes and fill out your "Forum Profile Info" which you can access by clicking on the "Profile" tab above. Once that screen pops up, click on the link in the LH menu and follow the prompts. If you include a signature line similar to mine below, it will really help. Who knows, you might just discover a fellow busnut nearby!
FWIW & HTH. . .