If you’re one of the people who have their heart set on a campervan road trip, you’ll be glad to hear that there are 4-wheel drive campervan options available. But what is the big difference between a 2-wheel drive and a 4x4? Why should you even consider one? And which come highly recommended?
We answer all these questions and more in this guide. Discover everything you need to know about a 4-wheel drive campervan and how it can benefit you on your Iceland trip.
What is the Difference Between a 2-wheel & 4-wheel Drive Motorhomes?
The biggest difference between a 2-wheel and a 4-wheel drive motorhome is that a 2-wheel drive camper is driven by 2 wheels (more than likely the rear wheels), and a 4-wheel drive is when the camper is driven by all 4 wheels.
The Pros & Cons of a 4-wheel Drive Campervan
Like most things in life, a 4-wheel drive campervan has pros and cons. It’s important to know these, so you can decide which will suit you and your travel needs the best. We’ve created this handy overview, so you don’t have to:
- There are certain roads and routes that are only accessible with a 4x4 vehicle, such as the F-roads in Iceland. So, without a 4x4 camper, you might miss out on incredible landscapes, attractions, and activities.
- The saying goes, “two heads are better than one”. Yet, in regards to campers, it is “four wheels are better than two” when it comes to what gives you the best traction and grip.
- A 2-wheel drive camper has comfortability and convenience in mind. A 4-wheel drive camper still offers comfort and convenience, but with the added benefit of durability.
- You will often find that a 4x4 camper gives better gas mileage than its 2-wheel counterparts. This is because they are usually built on a truck or SUV chassis.
- With a 4-wheel drive campervan, you have more functionality options. They come with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos one can build in, add on or carry along with you on your journey.
- It becomes easier to tackle sudden and unexpected, as well as winter weather conditions without having to turn around. Need to cross a stream? With traction like this, you can. Need to drive in icy winter road conditions? With traction like this, you can.
- Whilst most 4-wheel drive campers will give better gas mileage, size still matters. Anything more compact will be less expensive gas-wise. So, if you want to drive around in a camper the size of a bus, your bank account better be just as big.
- The only reason most choose a 4x4 vehicle is that they intend to drive on roads and routes that are too rough to drive with a normal 2-wheel drive. And whenever insurance companies catch a whiff of more risk, they increase their insurance premiums.
- 4-wheel drive motorhomes are more expensive than their 2-wheel versions. That's because of all the added benefits, functionality, and features.
- Although there are 4-wheel drive campervans out there, they can be hard to find sometimes when it comes to buying one for yourself. When it comes to renting one, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one unless you’ve booked well in advance. Especially renting a 4x4 campervan in Iceland during the busy summer months.
The Best 4-wheel Drive Campervan Models
Thinking of buying or renting a 4-wheel drive campervan for your next trip? Then these are the ones you should be considering:
The Subaru Libero
Remember when we discussed gas consumption and size? Well, the Subaru Libero 4x4 camper is one of the most compact, and yet manages to offer surprising space. In terms of reliability, Subaru is also a trusted name when it comes to 4-wheel drive, so you at least get some peace of mind along with that hefty price tag.
The Winnebago Revel
The Winnebago Revel 4x4 camper is an all-rounder when it comes to 4-wheel driving. It has all-terrain tires, a raised suspension, and skid plates. Built on a foundation as strong as a rock (a Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis), you’re ensured of quality. This camper can sleep up to 4 people.
The Sportsmobile Classic 4x4
So, this one may look more like a 4x4 camper that’s meant to drive in the bush than on the Ring Road in Iceland, but when it comes to durability, you don’t need to have any concerns with the Sportsmobile Classic 4x4. Built by using a Ford full-size E-series, it is yet another brand name that instills trust. This one is for the adventurous at heart and who are planning plenty of rough and tough trips ahead.
The T3 Syncro
This 4x4 camper keeps things simple with a vintage look, but with loads of space and a stellar on and off-road performance. Due to a massive rise in popularity, owning a T3 has become somewhat of an investment today. The biggest drawback when it comes to this 4x4 camper is its viscous clutch. Luckily, various manufacturers now offer conversion kits.
The EarthRoamer LTI
The EarthRoamer LTI is a beast of a 4x4 camper that is built on a Ford F-550 chassis. With its touchscreen and other digital features, it’s definitely one of the 4x4 motorhomes that are keeping up with technology. It also has increased water capacity for those longer journeys in more remote regions (hello Highlands in Iceland!)
American Safari JXL Conversion
The American Safari JXL Conversion is a 4x4 camper still steadily rooted in old campervan traditions. Made from a four-door Jeep Wrangler, it has a pop-up split-level sleeping area with a dining table and a small kitchen (camping style). The pop-up feature and almost camplike setup make this a good option for those who want to use the camper for off-road holidays as well as solve their day-to-day driving needs.
A 4-wheel Drive Campervan: Should I Get One?
Well, ultimately, the only person who can answer that question is you. Take a look at what you enjoy doing on a holiday, decide where you still want to go, read those pros and cons again, and then consult your budget.
Luckily, you have a wide variety of trusted brands that can be found at campervan dealers as well as rental agencies like ours. But whether you eventually decide to rent or buy; your 4x4 camper adventures await!