Your time estimates sound about right. Most of us take in the neighborhood of two years.
You shouldnn't have any trouble finding your RE bus. You're looking for all the usual ammenities I presume. This should be interesting four months at a time.
You can set it up for basic living as soon as you get the seats out. Good time of they year too, since it will only get warmer. I found it easiest to live in half the bus while working on the other end.