Chris and Kelly Ross were high school sweethearts.
Throughout high school, college, and into their 20s they’ve never been afraid to dream big!
After marrying in 2011, the couple realized that for the past four years they’ve done little more than move from place to place collecting “stuff”.
They realized they hadn’t been following their hearts.
That all changed in 2013 when Chris – a 3rd year med student – and Kelly – a part-time Environmental Educator and a full-time ceramic artist – purchased an aging Ford school bus and decided to devote their life to mobility, adventure, and a debt-free existence.
Chris and Kelly planned to convert the school bus into their home called The Just Right Bus!
After about 6 months of building, we moved into the bus and never looked back. The bus is our solution to the fear of living a life that we might regret, one that didn’t have enough adventure, enough excitement or enough happiness.
Andrew Odom: When exactly did you build your tiny house on wheels and is there one reason in particular that you did so?
Kelly Ross: We bought our school bus in March 2013 and it took us 6 months to convert it into our home. We’ve been living in the bus for about a year and have never been happier.
We were looking for a lifestyle that was sustainable, affordable and flexible. The bus is our solution to the fear of living a life that we might regret, one that didn’t have enough adventure, excitement or happiness.
AO: What are the size specs of your tiny house (size of trailer if applicable, square feet, number of stories, number of occupants, etc)
KR: Our bus is 35’x8’ on the outside with about 25’x7’ of interior living space, so just under 200 sq.ft.
The occupants are myself (Kelly), Chris and two dogs, Winston and Willow. Stella, the bunny, lives outside the bus in her own ‘tiny house’.
AO: How do you feel about the tiny house movement and being such an instrumental part of it?
KR: We’ve met some amazing people and great friends by joining the tiny house movement.
When we were building the bus we had a lot of support and encouragement from others in the movement and it blossomed into this amazing network of friends and inspiration that I now can’t imagine my life without.
I recommend getting involved in the tiny house community to anyone who is considering building a tiny home.
I have to say though that I never expected to be as involved in the Tiny House movement as I’ve become. I write about our lives in the bus regularly for our blog and several other websites and the feedback and support has been amazing.
When we were building the bus we didn’t really have anyone to turn to for specific questions and I’m proud to be able to provide some guidance to fellow bus converters who seek it from us.
A lot has changed for us in the past two years, but joining this somewhat crazy tiny house movement has only made us happier.
AO: How long do you expect to live in your tiny house?
KR: We don’t have a timeline for how long we will live in the bus. Although it’s certainly not a means to an end, we don’t see ourselves living in it forever.
Chris graduates from med school in a year and a half and we like the idea of living in the bus throughout his residency, wherever that may be.
We’re flexible though and willing to roll with whatever life throws at us.
AO: What one thing would you do differently or do you wish wasn’t part of your tiny house?
KR: I get asked this question a lot and I honestly still can’t think of a good answer.
We made a lot of mistakes and errors when building the bus but have since taken the time to go back and fix them.
For example, it took us almost a month to figure out how to make a jig so we could cut straight lines with our circular saw.
There was a steep learning curve but most of our mistakes were so early on they are long since fixed or covered up by trim or paint.
AO: Any closing thoughts?
KR: My recommendation is to make your home just right for you.
If you could comfortably live with a mistake like gap in your wall or crooked doorway then leave it. If you know it will bother you forever, then take the time to go back and fix it and sleep peacefully at night.
The beauty of building your own home is these are your decisions to make.
Their layout reminds me of this couple’ s bus. So open and bright.
Also, Skoolie.net has all sorts of information and build logs for bus conversions.
(Photos Credit: TinyHouseSwoon)