How to Find the Best Camper Rental in Iceland
Updated: May 5
Exploring Iceland via camper van is an exciting and convenient way to see the country. Choosing the right camper for your road trip is part of the fun and a number of factors will come into play. You will need to consider the size of your group. Will you all fit comfortably into one camper or might you need to rent a fleet! Would you prefer a compact van or a larger more spacious motorhome?
You’ll also need to consider the time of year that you are planning your trip to Iceland and what you will need to take with you. Other factors are the distances and route that you would like to embark on and the various costs involved. Booking your campervan rental in Iceland in plenty of time will take the stress out of your planning process. There are a limited number of vehicles available on this distant island, so be sure to book well in advance to get the best choice. Especially so if you are planning a summer road trip.
Renting a campervan in Iceland is without a doubt one of the very best ways to discover the country on your own terms. In this article we answer many of the common questions that come up as people begin to plan their trip. Motorhome or camper van, winter or summer, whatever you choose you are sure to have an epic adventure. So buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Camping rental Iceland - Choosing the right camper for you
We have two different types of rental vehicle for you to choose between. Then within those two types there are a range of options. Firstly, our camper van rentals are vans of various sizes that have been converted into camping vehicles. They come equipped with beds and bedding, heaters and cooking gear. These vehicles are well suited to compact summer travel. Perfect to tour the golden circle in Iceland, the south coast or the ring road in summer. These campers don’t come with showers and toilets. However, the majority of Iceland’s campsites are really well equipped with bathroom facilities.
Secondly are our motorhomes. These are larger vehicles that come with built in kitchens with cooking equipment and refrigerators. They also have running water, showers and toilets. These are a fantastic self-contained option. You will have everything that you need in your motorhome and they offer full comfort. These are a great choice if you like your creature comforts and a little more space. They can also save you money as you can much more easily cook full meals in the fitted kitchens and spend more time in them in general.
Choosing the right size and model
If you’re camping in Iceland as a couple or two friends then we have a really easy van rental option for you. Our two-person, two wheel drive camping van is nice and compact, but still has everything that you might need. This is a great option for those who might be a little nervous about driving and manoeuvring one of the larger motorhomes. Driving one of these smaller vans is almost like manoeuvring a car, so you’ll be confident behind the wheel. Do consider that there is plenty of space in Iceland and the roads are much calmer and quieter than you are probably used to in your home country.
If you are travelling in a larger group, perhaps as a family of four or five then you will want to hire one of our larger camping vans. These campers offer bunk bed sleeping facilities, so you there may be arguments about who gets the top bunk! We have lots of different options available in both camper van and motorhome styles.
Should I go for a 4x4 camper?
If you are planning on driving on Iceland F roads you will absolutely need to hire a 4x4 camper. Our diesel van 4x4 range are all great options for these more challenging roads. Many more roads in the remote corners and the central highlands of Iceland need to be tackled by a 4x4 too. If you are planning on some extreme exploring, especially in the winter months, then these are a great choice. One thing to bear in mind if you are heading into these wilder corners of the country is staying stocked up with water, food and gas. Fill up the tank whenever you can and keep in mind that some petrol stations are unmanned. If you use one you must have a credit card to draw the gas.
What time of year should I visit Iceland by camper?
Choosing the right time of year for your camping Iceland adventure depends on a few different factors. The summer months are really the ideal time to travel freely around the country. All of the campsites will be open and many more roads will be accessible. You will also have the benefit of the midnight sun, so many more hours of sunlight for your sightseeing. There will be more business open too. There are some fantastic family run farm shops and cafes that only open their doors in summer.
There are not so many options when it comes to finding a winter Iceland campground. Many campsites, especially in the further reaches of the country, will close for the winter months. Some campgrounds will only open during the peak travel season from June to August. However, there are a growing number of campsites choosing to stay open year-round especially on the ring road and south coast.
One of the main benefits of camping in Iceland during the winter months is the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. With a camper van you’ll be able to follow the lights yourself and are much more likely to see them than on an organised tour. You will also enjoy the incredible beauty of winter with its snowy landscapes and low, golden sunlight.
Staying warm while camping in Iceland and what to pack
If you rent a camper in the winter months, or indeed at any time of year, you will need to consider the heating system in your camper van hire. You will also need to plan what to pack to keep you warm and dry whatever the island weather throws at you. The weather conditions in Iceland are notoriously changeable, so even in summer you should come prepared with warm and waterproof clothes. Motorhome Iceland’s rental vans and motorhomes are all fitted out with a webasto diesel heater. But when you step outside into the elements you are going to need to have plenty of layers and microfibers to keep you snug.
We recommend packing a worn in and comfortable pair of waterproof hiking shoes and plenty of changes of socks. You may not be able to wash and dry your clothes easily in Iceland so make sure that you have enough changes of clothes. Add to this the essential of a fully waterproof outfit. This includes trousers and a water and windproof jacket with a hood. To combat the wind chill some ski gear wouldn’t go amiss. Ski gloves, microfiber layers and snoods are all really useful items. The same goes for fleece hats and ear warmers. If you are prone to cold feet and hands you might even consider a set or two of hand, feet and pocket warmers too. Just for an extra bit of comfort when traversing that glacier or windswept beach.
Another consideration is what to pack it all into – a rucksack or a suitcase? It can be tempting and easier when heading to the airport to take suitcases. But remember that you will need to carry them with you in your camper. Large suitcases can be unwieldy and take up prime space in your motorhome, so definitely consider using a rucksack. It is a fine balance between packing economically and having everything that you need. When it comes to sleeping gear, all of our camper rentals in Iceland come with warm and comfortable bedding as standard. But a set of PJs and bed socks will keep you extra snug.