RV Trip in Iceland: A Beginner's Guide
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Planning your trip to Iceland might give you a headache. Especially if it is the first time you are going camping. The good news is that Iceland is a perfect place for a self-planned road trip and for camping. As we have already mentioned in our previous posts, you should not count on public transport if you wish to see a bit more than just Reykjavik and the Northern lights. There are of course companies that offer day tours around Iceland to the most common places like Landmannalaugar and the Golden Circle. As we do not have trains in Iceland, you will not get much farther then that if you do not opt for a car rental in Iceland. Most of the greatest attractions of Iceland are located away from the main city and having your own vehicle is a real blessing.
A better option would only be renting a motorhome for your road trip. It has additional benefits apart from having the freedom and the free will to choose what, where and when you want to go. In this post, we will give you some tips and tricks for your motorhome rental in Iceland. Grab a cup of coffee and read on.
Exploring Iceland with a Recreational Van: Benefits
Let’s start with the definition as usual so no one gets confused. What is an RV or motorhome? It’s really like a big sister of a campervan, which also has a compartment to sleep, a kitchen, a WC and shower. They are much bigger than campervans based on small vans like the Kangoo or Renault Traffic. You can read again about the differences between motorhomes and campervans here.
The size and space inside the motorhome is a great benefit especially if you are traveling in a bigger group. There are models suitable for up to 6 people so you will not have to squeeze everyone into the same bed.
Another main advantage is that you do not need to look for the public toilettes and showers each time as you already have it in your vehicle! This is a great thing if you are traveling with children.
As your kitchenette in your rented motorhome is big enough and equipped with all the necessary kitchenware and items, you can prepare your own meals instead of dining in restaurants. It will definitely help you save money during your trip.
Driving a Motorhome in Iceland: Get the best price
For those who travel on a tight budget or simply do not want to get rid of all their savings during one trip, we have some tricks on how to save some money. We already spoke about the way to get the good deals on your RV rental in Iceland. In the current one, we will focus on how to get the best price for your motorhome rental in Iceland.
1. Book in advance. This is the best way to get the cheapest price possible. Most of the RV rental companies in Iceland work quite similar to airlines. The earlier you book, the cheaper the price is. Simple! Check for any early-bird discounts. If you cannot find the information online, ask the rental company. It does not cost you anything and might result in a nice discount and in Iceland every penny counts!
2. Renting your motorhome directly at Keflavik airport after arriving in Iceland is not a good idea and will not help with saving money. The rental companies based there usually have higher prices and are hoping to sell to some desperate customers. Additionally, it might happen that there is a lack of availability, especially during the high season.
3. Speaking of the Devil. You should definitely book your motorhome way in advance. Renting campervans in Iceland is a bit easier compared to motorhomes. Those get sold out quickly and most of the rental companies are already fully booked for motorhomes by May or June.
4. Remember to check with your bank entity how your card will work in Iceland. Note that some charge you some extra commission for using your credit card abroad. Others have cards that give you some bonus for using it abroad. Use the right card this way.
Hiring a motorhome in Iceland: Tips and tricks
Those who will be camping in Iceland for the first time might not even think about some of the stuff we will talk about here. You'll find exploring Iceland amusing for sure but we want you to travel consciously and safely as well.
1. One should note that motorhomes in Iceland are available only during the summer months. Some RV rental companies rent smaller motorhomes for 2-3 people as well during some months in winter but in general, the big models for 4-6 people are only available until the end of September. This is due to the road conditions at that time of the year. Campervans in Iceland are available during the whole year long though.
2. Add extra insurance to your booking. Believe me that roads in Iceland are challenging and you want to explore Iceland worry-free regarding any damage. Some credit cards offer travel insurance for your RV rental. Check that in advance, read the conditions carefully and ask your rental company if they agree to decline the basic insurance included as a package.
3. Traveling around Iceland is an amazing experience. Remember though that even in summer months the nights can be a bit cold so make sure your rental has sleeping bags or duvets included. Some companies offer them as extras and we do recommend to add them so you can sleep warmly and comfortably. You will need a good night’s rest and a night of good sleep after a long day trekking.
4. If you are traveling in a larger group, we do recommend to get an Iceland Campingcard. You can read more about it here. It gives you a nice discount because instead of paying the campsites per person, you pay it per unit. Imagine that you travel in a group of six people. Instead of paying the price per night six times, you only pay it once per motorhome.
5. One should note that some of the areas in Iceland are quite deserted and you will not find any city or even gas stations for a long time. By saying the long way I mean around 200-300 kilometers (124 - 186 miles) even. Make sure then that you always fill up your tank whenever you have the chance so you do not get stuck in a remote place.
6. Always remember that safety comes first. As a reminder of driving in Iceland, read our article devoted safety tips while driving. Weather forecasts and alerts should be your best friend from day one of your trip.
7. All of you traveling to Iceland would like to keep those unique landscapes not only in your memory but also on paper right? You will want to make lots of pictures so you can then show your friends after you go back to your country. You will somehow need to charge the camera's battery right?
Note that in motorhomes in Iceland, you will only find a 12V cigarette lighter socket and a USB input in the newer models. You should think of getting an inverter so you can easily charge your devices inside the motorhomes.