Anyone run with a Honda Odyssey? (1 Viewer)

Jun 17, 2019
USA - New England
Anyone live out of a Honda Odyssey? I’ve been driving one since high school and it’s a 2009 model at 160k miles and still going. Although it’s clearly at the end of its days after a bunch of accidents. Still works and I drive it daily but it’s a senior now and ongoing repairs are going to start going up a lot the more I have it.

Yet I like it so much I honestly just want another Odyssey to use for van life. It’s more stealth and easier to park than a big van, I’m really familiar with it’s driving and am going for something of a minimalist build so am okay with not having the space to make something too bougie (couldn’t afford it anyway).

A lot of builds I see involve stripping most of the interior and insulating it. How necessary is this really? What’re trade offs if I don’t? I took a minute to look at the ceiling today and recognized I’d be messing with a lot of stuff if I rip up the ceiling (I have less worries about the floor).

Specific advice appreciated, videos and pictures too!
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Oct 5, 2018
What kind of maintenance are you looking at right now? If it needs a full suspension overhaul you can do it yourself for $500 or less plus an alignment. Are you mechanically inclined?

The accidents may be the real issue though if its real rough looking.


Mmmm . . . Taste the Ballast!
Nov 29, 2018
Boulder Creek Ca
There are a few van dweller sites around. Never heard one person say anything other than that it is very important to spend some money on insulation. That, from people who live full time in them.
Lotus Shaped Potato
Jun 17, 2019
USA - New England
what year is yours? looks like a pretty decent ride. what's the mpg like?
Mine is 2009! Honestly can’t remember if my family bought it used or new. I’ve never really tracked MPG, so I’d have to look it up. Not as amazing as a Prius not as bad as a big RV.
What kind of maintenance are you looking at right now? If it needs a full suspension overhaul you can do it yourself for $500 or less plus an alignment. Are you mechanically inclined?

The accidents may be the real issue though if its real rough looking.
TPMS light has been on for months, recently had something pop off the engine which was apparently an easy fix (Honda Shop didn’t even charge for it). Have had the check engine light go on and off a few times in the last two years but without a clear reason why.

It’s real rough looking oh yea. A bunch of giant scratches and gouges in it, one of the automatic doors is no longer automatic due to an accident a few years ago, front bumper sides are held on with screws and tape (failed inspection once from it hanging off). Whatever thingy is on the bottom of the bumper fell off at some point, made an irritating dragging noise for a while before we cut it off. A side panel has started to pull off, as well as parts of the rear bumper, some big dents and such.

Water tends to collect in the body somewhere during rain and slowly drain out over time. Honesty it’s great for avoiding getting robbed at least and hasn’t caught on fire yet.
Living in a van or Rv you are more exposed to the elements no matter what. It comes with the territory. You could try n throw money for heaters insulation and such things, but then you’re losing the fun & simplicity of the whole lifestyle. Living this way, at least for me anyway-was to downsize my life and adding more complication installations increase the frustration of needless stress..which you don’t need to add any more stress to your life, than there already is(or isn’t ). Not having a home base can wear on you as it..
But having that level of freedom and flexibility of living mobile, there will come sacrifice of discomfort you have to embrace—Extreme cold & extreme heat

Now I’m living in a ram Pro-master and after having the luxury of a high top I can’t imagine going back to something smaller as being able stretch and stand up is huge + living in a minivan put a strain on my back/posture but pros and cons with everything
Important to me is the downsizing and simplicity. I think honestly you make a good point regarding the added stress of the setup, not to mention cost. Some things are important IMHO for safety, like making sure heavy objects are secured (rather not have heavy shit flying forward if I get in a crash).

I think contextualizing it within my end goals is important too, as I want to develop further detachment from my body (not caring as much about being hot or cold). I think especially given mobility too it’s not like I’ll be trying to sleep in a snow storm, if at all possible. Honestly I was sort of mentally preparing to spend a few months of work. Yet I think it’d be helpful to identify essential needs and stick to those. Might still rip up the floor just to get a flat surface tho.


Apr 7, 2017
I had a 2008 Honda Oddysey - Goldmember - for about 1 1/2 years and she sadly bit the dust one night at 3 am on an on ramp. The Hondas do come with their technical quirks (transmissions and malfunctioning sliding doors to name a couple), but as long as they're cared for, they rock. They are also easy to find for sale under $2,000.

I don't know what climate you are in, but insulation of some form does come in handy for both heat and coldness. Even if it is just covering your windows with refletcix or thick cloth. But I also found that for the most part the interior pannels weren't too much of a hassle to open up, insulate, and close back up.

As for larger vans, some look more intimidating than they are. Astros, for instance, are giant minivans with a bit more interior space. Granted mpg isn't as good, but... *shrugs*

Whatever route you go for, good luck! :)


Oct 22, 2017
There were several Odysseys at the last few RTRs.

TPMS could be as simple as low air pressure, but could also be failing TPMS/valve. I think a new one was $30 for my tire. OBDii codes can be checked with a $10 bluetooth dongle that talks to your phone.


Jun 20, 2019
Chicago, IL
My 2007 Odyssey is well over the 100K miles mark and it seems like major repairs — as in more than $500 — are a near certainty every year. Still, no break-downs and easy to drive.

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