It's getting more and more popular to rent a camper in Iceland and travel around the country in this affordable comfortable way. The campers come in all shapes and sizes, from really small ones that can accommodate 1-2 people to bigger ones that 4 people can sleep comfortable in.
There are a couple of things that you have to have in mind when you decide to rent a camper for your travels in Iceland. I sat down and made a list to help fellow travelers to make this decision.
Iceland is cold!
Make sure that you rent a camper in Iceland with good heating. I did my research and it seems like all the companies that rent out campers in Iceland have good heating in their cars. If you are travelling to Iceland during the summer (june-august) you should be fine around the ring road (route 1) but once you get closer to the center of Iceland or up in the mountains high above sea level there might be freezing cold during the night so make sure to check weather conditions and act accordingly. During the winter months the campers disappear from the roads since the weather can (and usually will) get really really bad. It goes without saying that it also gets really cold during the winter months so think wisely before taking this decision. Where will you be going? What is the weather like in that area during the time of your travels? How high above sea level are those places and is help near by if you have any troubles. Remember that safety should always come first!
Icelandic nature is not a toilet
Many Icelanders hate the camper scene in Iceland and for a good reason. Of course most of the people renting a camper in Iceland do everything "right" but when you have hundreds or even thousands of campers spread around the country you will always have a couple of messy travelers that defecate wherever they please and drive away. Flying toilet paper and poop piles are not what people come to Iceland to experience but in some places that's exactly what you get!
Upsides of traveling around Iceland in a camper
- Complete independence and flexibility, no rush to check in at a hotel.
- The comforts of a typical hotel room are with you 24 hours of the day.
- Cheaper than renting a car in Iceland and paying for a hotel.
- The weather in Iceland is unpredictable, if the weather takes a sudden turn for the worse, you simply drive somewhere else.
- No need to reserve a spot at a camp site. There are a lot of them and you simply show up. Most of them are well equipped with showers and bbq grills.
Simple rules to follow (from me personally, not by law)
- Make sure you park the camper in a spot where you are allowed to. I recommend using the many camp sites Iceland has to offer. There you will have access to showers and toilets. The camping card is a great option!
- Always, and I mean always, use a toilet if you are doing number 2!
- Respect others. Don't stop on the middle of the road to take pictures. It's not only rude, it's stupid and dangerous!
- Drive safe! Respect speed limits and don't drive a camper on a road in the highlands the camper is not meant to handle.
- Always leave the spot where you parked the car exactly the way it was when you arrived there.
- If you are not sure you can park the camper in a spot, find someone and ask permission. You don't want to be woken up in the middle of the night by an angry Icelandic farmer. Trust me on this one...
If you think that renting a camper is the right choice for your Icelandic adventures we teamed up with the company we thought were safe and reliable. Click here to rent your camper in Iceland.