Opting for a 4x4 camper is a great idea. Not only are these types of vehicles extremely fuel-efficient and budget-friendly, but they are also one of the best ways to experience Iceland. Think about it. You have all the freedom in the world because you're not tied down to hotel reservations or a set itinerary. You pretty much come and go as you please and drive as little or as much as you want to. When you're ready to lay your head down for the night, you pull into one of Iceland's many well-equipped campsites and convert the back icle into sleeping quarters. What could be better than that? If you're ready to rent a camper van and drive around Iceland’s Ring Road, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about 4x4 campers.
When deciding whether or not your camper needs to be a 4x4 vehicle, there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself. Before making the decision, it's important to decide exactly what your Iceland itinerary encompasses as well as when you are coming. If you plan on driving around Iceland's Ring Road during the summer months, your camper van definitely does not need to have 4-wheel drive. You'll be encountering paved roads and mostly pleasant weather conditions. If however, you plan on exploring Iceland’s Highlands or any other territory with F-roads, then 4x4 campers are mandated by law. The unpaved, gravel roads in this part of the country are nearly impossible to navigate with only a 2WD (plus it's illegal).
Another factor to take into account is the time of year you decide to come to Iceland. While there are the occasional freak snowstorms in June, the summer months of June, July and August have relatively nice weather. If you're coming outside of that time, especially in the winter (November through March) I highly recommend renting a 4x4 camper van. Winter driving in Iceland is no joke. Lots of precipitation combined with low temperatures are the perfect cocktail for slick, slippery, icy roads. Snow falls, and then it freezes, solidifies, and stays there. Your camper van will already have taken basic precautions like studded snow tires. For an added layer of safety, a 4x4 camper is your best bet. You'll have much better control over your camper and have an easier time regaining control if heaven forbid you hit a patch of black ice.
Yes! You can absolutely drive camper rentals on F-roads. As I mentioned before, the only caveat is that it has to be a four-wheel drive. As long as you rent a camper that is a 4WD you’ll be all set. Driving on Iceland F-roads isn't contingent upon whether or not you have a car, camper van, or motorhome. The type of vehicle really doesn't matter. The important thing to keep in mind is whether or not the model you rent is a 4x4. Camper, just like motorhomes and car rentals in Iceland come in a wide variety of makes and models. While all three types of vehicle 2WD and 4WD options, it might be hard to find a four-wheel drive motorhome to rent in Iceland. If you're looking to experience our backcountry and F-roads with a home on four wheels, stick to a 4x4 camper rental in Iceland.
You've decided that you do want to drive on F-roads in Iceland and go to places in the Highlands like Landmannalaugar or other hiking areas. It's important to know the different models of 4x4 camper that are available, such as the Mercedes Marco Polo, VW California, VW Crafter, or other 4x4 campers. Please note that crossing rivers is forbidden in many camper van models, regardless of whether or not it has a 4WD. You will encounter many unbridged rivers in Iceland’s Highlands. As a responsible renter and driver, it's up to you to find a crossing point where there is little to no water.
Many Iceland camper rentals already come with CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) insurance included. Depending on your route and itinerary, you may also want to consider getting Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP) as well as Gravel Protection (GP). SCDW (Super Collision Damage Waiver) coverage is another option for rental insurance in Iceland. Regardless of the type of insurance coverage you opt for, you or someone in your party will definitely need to have a valid credit card. All of the campervan will take this information as a guarantee for your rental.
I hope this post clarified some things about 4x4 campers and cleared up any questions you may have. If there's something we didn't answer, feel free to leave a comment or send us an email. And if you're ready to start thinking about which campervan model is best for your Iceland adventure, take a look at our vehicles and check out the specs. Happy camping!