A Guide To Driving A Camper In Iceland
Why book a camper?
What better way to explore a country famous for its waterfalls, active volcanoes, lava fields, natural hot springs and so much more than in a camper. Driving Iceland’s ring road in a camper was probably the best decision we made. It’s great for those who travel on a budget because accommodation in Iceland is not that cheap. However, even if you don’t travel on a budget I would highly consider driving the ring road in a camper. It’s simply the best way to soak up Iceland’s nature. Iceland’s weather can get harsh. No struggle setting up a tent in the wind or the rain. One night we watched a guy struggle for 10 minutes setting up his tent in some serious wind in the West Fjords. The guy almost went flying with his tent, quite the sight. After laughing for a little bit we went to help him and had to hold the tent down with 3 people in order to set it up. Right after, we were warm and cozy cooking our hot meal out of the elements in our cozy camper. What we like about it as well is that you can do everything on your own terms. No reservations that limit your freedom to explore the country.
Best season to travel in a camper
We went in September to Iceland this is also the best season in my opinion. Most camping grounds are still open and are a little cheaper. Most rental companies also offer discounts if you’re not travelling in high season. Another advantage is that Iceland is less crowded than in the summer months. The weather is almost the same as in the summer months, as a matter of fact it was even better when we were there we were told by locals. Ofcourse the summer months June, July and August are great months to drive a camper as well. It all depends on what you want to see and do in Iceland. Even the colder months like October, November, March, April and May are possible but most of the campground facilities will be closed. However, on a lot of campgrounds you can still stay overnight for free but you won’t have access to showers, kitchen or toilets.
When to book your camper?
It’s best to book your camper well in advance with Iceland being such a popular destination in recent years. I would suggest trying to book at least 3 months in advance.
How much does camping and food cost?
Camping in Iceland is really cheap compared to any other accommodation. You pay around 1400-2100 Kr per person (€ 10-15 pp) for a camping spot with shower, toilets and kitchen. However not every campground has these facilities so it’s best to do a little research if you need any facilities.
For food you have different options. There are some really expensive supermarkets but these are mostly tourist traps. I would suggest shopping at Bonus (cheapest) or Kronan whose prices can be compared to other prices elsewhere in Europe.
Which rental company to choose?
We did some research on different rental companies and Cozy Campers caught our eye. Their campervans simply look amazing. Compared to other rental companies their interior is the most comfortable and modern by far. Their price is relatively low compared to most other rental companies considering what’s included. They come with a collision damage waiver that make you only liable for damages done to the vehicle up to a maximum of 2500 euros but this can be extended with other insurance packs which are listed on their website. We suggest to take the gravel protection as well because damage done by gravel is very common in Iceland. Their campers come with a small fridge, heating system, gas stove, cooking cutleries and a sink with running water. The camper also has two extra batteries where the fridge and heating system is connected to so you don’t have to worry about ending up with a dead battery.
We decided to book the smallest camper because it fitted our needs and was the cheapest option. We were a little scared that the bed would be a little too small to sleep comfortably but in the end we slept great every single night. The bed had a thick comfortable mattress and they also provided really warm sheets which was necessary considering the Icelandic weather. 😉
The only disadvantage of the “Cozy 1” camper was moving our luggage to the front seats every evening to be able to make our bed but we got used to this after the first few days.
Where to shower and go to the toilet?
You can pretty much shower at most of the campgrounds. Sometimes they charge like 50-100 kr for it which is like 50 cents. You can also shower at most of the public swimming pools as well. So as you can see showering should not be a problem. As far as toilets go you can find them along the ring road and almost at all campgrounds. If you decide on driving in the West Fjords it might take a little longer for you to find a toilet. If you really need to go urgently in Iceland’s sacred nature it’s only logical to clean up after yourself in order to preserve Iceland’s beauty. 😉
Some other tips for a great road trip
Use maps.me to navigate around the country. We found out that maps.me does a great job showing us the way. You can select a location but also famous spots, restaurants, camping grounds, viewpoints and so on. Maps.me also let you download maps beforehand so it’s not taking up all your mobile data.
Bring a power invertor to charge your electronics. If you’re into photography or you brought a laptop or drone along a power invertor might come in handy. If you decide to travel with Cozy campers you also have the option to rent a power invertor for 20 euro.
Buy enough food but not too much. It’s best to buy food for a couple of days at Bonus when you’re in Reykjavik. It might take a while until you’ll find another Bonus or Kronan. However, keep in mind that the fridge is quite small so try to buy food that will last a while. Things like hot dogs, salad spreads and bread, freeze dried meals and so on will give you meals for a couple of days but won’t take up much space.
Do not forget a phone holder so you can use your phone as GPS. Unless you want somebody else to hold your phone the whole time a phone holder comes in handy so you can use your phone as GPS.
Do not forget a AUX cord unless your car has Bluetooth. This is probably the most important thing because what’s a road trip without music, right? 😉
You can clean your camper for free at N1 gas stations. Everywhere in Iceland you can get water for free so you can find these bristles with a hose attached to them at the N1 gas stations to clean your camper.
If you’re interested in a road trip with a cozy camper you can find their website here: https://cozycampers.is/
They are amazing 😉