Iceland ain’t cheap.
It’s no secret. Everyones know it. It’s literally one of the most expensive places in the world.
However, its mystic mountains and icy blue coastlines have been wooing in more tourists year after year.
Its raw beauty has totally trumped the fact that it’s stupidly spendy here. People don’t care. In fact, I kinda didn’t care!
I knew it was pricey and I would spend a pretty chunk of change here but after lusting after its beauty for years, I finally said fuck it, I’m going.
And guess what? I don’t regret it. Iceland is worth every penny!
But let’s not get hasty. I wasn’t throwing dolla dolla bills around like there was no tomorrow.
Trust me, I made sure to find the cheapest campervan in Iceland, I scrounged the net for the cheapest or even free Iceland campsites to post up at for the night, and I literally had ONE beer at a bar the entire time I was there.
I certainly shed a tear when I handed the money over to pay for the campsites in Iceland and I wanted to fill up and run while at the petrol stations since a quarter tank was almost the same amount as a full fill up back home, but I kept my composure. For the most part.
So while this crazy beautiful country will suck your bank account dry, I can help a bit!
Because I did find the cheapest campervan in Iceland to nab and I have your campsites in Iceland on the West Coast totally sorted for you so you can spend more time exploring rather than counting your Krona.
I Want the Best Campervan Rental in Iceland!
Of course, so does everyone else! Safety is important, value – for sure, and maybe even a dash of style wouldn’t hurt. Breaking down while exploring Iceland is not on the itinerary!
It Also Should Be The Cheapest Campervan in Iceland!
Yep. this is everyone else too!
But sometimes “cheap” and “best” don’t always play nicely.
It’s usually one or the other. If it’s the cheapest, it might not be the nicest or safest, and the best usually means you’ll have to pay more. This is life! *cue the sad faces*
So in an expensive place like Iceland, what does one do for getting the most bang for their buck?
Well, to be honest, we got one of the cheapest campervans in Iceland out there which I knew might not be the best…BUT I was desperate to save a few bucks!
So what happened in the end? Was I stuck with a junk vehicle? Did we break down a lot? Or did we get lucky?
The Cheapest Campervan in Iceland – KuKu Campers
Well, I think we got lucky! We went with KuKu Campers who displayed the cheapest prices we could find and they ended up being really great! A sweet bargain, that’s for sure!
Kuku Campers provided us with a pretty rad van with all the essentials already packed in for us.
There was cubby storage that housed all the dry food and the included dishware and utensils. There was spare space on the sides to store our clothes, and we rented things like a cooler and sleeping bags (a really nice and warm one!) that were clutch to have on this trip.
The van itself was a standard van which means it wasn’t scary to drive and was super smooth. We didn’t have an issue with it at any time, however, if we did, they did offer up numbers to call for help.
This is a reason why September is one of the best times to visit Iceland, the weather for a campervan is totally fine. The road conditions are still safe and the lack of a separate heating unit isn’t a big deal.
They were super nice at the office and answered all of our annoying questions as newbie tourists in the country and even sent out an email to all their renters when they found out a road was close to warn us. How sweet!
I thought I was going to be super uncomfortable in this van and that I’d be sleep deprived, but after a couple of nights, I was sleeping like a damn angel. Not sure if it was the warm sleeping bags or the winds rocking me to sleep that helped. Maybe both?
While I can’t tell you about any other camper company, I can say KuKu Campers did look after us well and were super easy to deal with. We even had an early flight out and dropped it off before they opened which was a massive help!
And again, they were the cheapest campervan in Iceland that I could find soooo, yeah. Is there much else to think about?
We’re also not alone, if you check out their Facebook page, you’ll see tons of other fans love their vans.
How Much Does the Cheapest Campervan in Iceland Cost?
It still isn’t cheap! But it’s the best you’ll find. Here are there rates. We literally chose the cheapest campervan in Iceland, so campervan A and we went in September so we got the low season rate.
Our total cost for 12 nights: About $1500 USD
This total includes: Gravel insurance (costs extra per day), two sleep bags, one power inverter, and one cooler.
This total reflects a discount and the offseason rate! Unfortunately, yours might cost extra.
I’d also suggest grabbing their airport transfer offer or the FlyBus and walking 15 minutes to their shop. We grabbed a taxi and I regret all $125 USD of it. *sits in a corner and cries*
Campervaning and Camping in Iceland Tips
No shoes in the back.
At all. At anytime. For any reason. Never step foot with shoes back there, it’s a no shoe zone. You’ll understand why within 12 seconds of being in the country. It’s wet and muddy and you don’t want to sleep on that. We always left our shoes at the front seat.
Get organized on day 1.
Where are your clothes going? Where are your snacks going? Your equipment, should you have any? It’s a small and potentially messy space, nobody wants to spend their time in Iceland looking for a missing sock for an hour.
Rent the sleeping bags.
It gets realllllly cold and are you really going to buy or bring one yourself? If you’re going to be using one during your long trip and beyond, then go for it, if not, don’t be cheap. The sleeping bags we rented from KuKu Campers kept me alive during the cold nights (and this is Iceland in September, imagine real winter)!
Do you need a cooler?
Do you want to eat food that needs to be kept cold? Chances are, that’s a yes. You might as well get one. It’s not much to rent and we used it a lot.
TIP: We like our veggies but to save cash in two ways, we bought frozen veg. First, it’s cheaper, and second, it sort of acts like ice for a day or two!
We didn’t rent, buy or bring any because we already had pillow cases. If you’re curious as to why two simple nomads would carry a pillowcase, then you should read my travel hacks (HINT: it’s not to actually make pillows). Since we had pillowcases and nice fluffy winter clothes, we just made our own and it worked out perfectly. Plus, it’s one less thing taking up space in your van.
Grab a power inverter if you need to charge things.
We take TONS of photos and video and we have numerous cameras. We used that power inverter all day every day. You can charge while you drive so you don’t have to kill your battery at night. It was totally worth it! KuKu Campers had one to buy right there so we didn’t need to go out searching.
Fill up often!
If you see a petrol station, you stop and fill up! No questions asked. Petrol stations are pretty slim so if you’re only down a quarter tank and you see one, just fill up anyway.
Always have a full gas bottle and burner.
You can sometimes find half full ones at campsites. Just know, most campsites don’t provide stoves or gas. You need to bring your own. Most just have a counter to cook on. (PS – Your campervan comes with a burner!)
Grab the gravel insurance
You’ll be going down some gravel roads and even if you don’t, the parking areas and the campsites have a lot of gravel on them. All it takes is one vehicle going too fast near your van and kicking up gravel and scratching it. This results in a crappy situation where you’d get charged for damages.
Go with someone you love and can deal with.
No seriously, you will be in close quarters and this trip with someone that you’re only OK with will be disastrous.
Pay attention to road signs and road closures
Don’t mess with Iceland. When it says windy conditions, trust me, it’s windy AF. When it says road closed, it’s for a damn good reason. The terrain is treacherous. Don’t be a fool and think you’ll be fine and ignore the warnings.
Don’t be “that” asshole tourist
Yes, I’m talking about “that” one. The one who camps on private property, the one who goes to the toilet anywhere and everywhere, the one who trashes the campsites, the one who stops literally in the middle of the road to snap a picture, and the one who is rude to the locals… Don’t be that dude, dude. Be as cool as Iceland is.
Camping in Iceland – What to Know
You must stay in a campsite!
Camping in Iceland has changed. The days where you can pull off on the side of the road or pitch a tent anywhere and camp on other people’s private property are done. They were not happy with how people treated their land. I wouldn’t be either if I went out for my morning walk only to step on human poo and see a tumbleweed of chip bags and toilet paper.
Keep this in mind when budgeting. Camping in Iceland will cost you!
Find value. Do they offer wifi, showers, and a kitchen or is everything extra and adds up to be way too much?
Sites cost from free (rare) to about $17 per person. This usually includes some or all of the following: A parking spot, a bathroom, a shower, a facility with a small kitchen or at least a shelter where you can cook, and maybe a weak wifi connection. Sometimes they charge extra for wifi or a shower or renting a towel…etc.
It’s a hefty price to pay considering what you’re actually paying for. Most campsites we found offered literally a cooking counter, parking spot, and toilet. I wanted to cry handing over that money.
Don’t forget, even Iceland in September can mean some sites are closed.
Don’t assume all of them are open, call beforehand. If you can’t call, ask, or assume the ones off the main roads will be closed.
Also prices will vary depending on if you’re campervanning or just simply camping with a tent. My prices are for campervanning.
Camping Sites in Iceland – The Best Campsites in Iceland (West Coast)
If you love my West Coast Iceland itinerary, then you’ll love this hot tip:
There’s a free campsite in the southwest!
We used the hell out of it. In my opinion, it’s the best campsite in Iceland because it’s free but it’s actually pretty decent too!
It’s called Gata Free Camping – here is it on the map.
It has a small hut with a sink you can use for cooking and toilets. The shower is $5.
The best campsites in Iceland that we found on the West Coast:
- Mosskogar– An Iceland campsite just outside of Rekyavik. There was wifi but only in the office. The shower is actually really nice and offers a massive head and fresh and super hot sulfur water BUT it’s outside… Just a tad bit nippy when you get out! There’s a greenhouse that has small cooking facilities. The owners are total gems. This was our first and probably our favorite campsite in Iceland!
- Husafell – The most northern Iceland campsite we used. Tons of parking, a little house with some tables and a stovetop, and toilets and showers. If you get there during the day you can pay extra to use their outdoor pool.
- Vik Camping – Surprisingly not many options in this popular area, at least not from what I saw. But this one was great and the most southern campsite we used. There’s an indoor kitchen facility and a large toilet and shower facility.
- Hellonsandur – We used this for when we were out at Snaefellsjoekull. There’s a small room you can use to cook in, toilets, and showers.
One thing to note, while camping around Iceland in September, you may come across campsites that are not manned but stay open or some that don’t keep track of the campers. This means you get to use the limited facilities and not have to pay!
Iceland Road Map for the West Coast
Here’s our Iceland road map according to the route we took. Including a tad of fun animation. If you’re curious about what’s on the route, just click the itinerary at the end of this post!
Hopefully, this was helpful for those after the cheapest campervan in Iceland. We had a lot of fun in our van and the freedom that campervanning and staying in campsites around Iceland gives you is unmatched!
Things I Bring Everywhere:
1. Power charger – I use this solar powered one. Never let your phone run out of battery.
2. Dry bag – I carry this bag everywhere. You never know when you may need a waterproof bag. Beach bag, rainy day purse, a savior to electronics, and an extra bag for groceries, shopping, or souvenirs.
3. Memory stick – Or perhaps an external hard drive if you take lots of RAW photos, to make sure all of your memories are kept safe and sound!
4. Cameras – No matter the adventure, I bring my GoPro. It’s so versatile and small! And for my more professional shots, my Canon Rebel is perfect. It’s a great all-around camera, read more about the travel gear I use.
6. Travel insurance – Never leave home without it. Grab a quote from Allianz or World Nomads depending on your travel style. I use Allianz but World Nomads is a popular second choice! Read more about travel insurance and if you actually need it.
Is camping Iceland and traveling around in a van on your list? Did you like any of the Iceland campsites listed? Save them! They were really good finds, promise.
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Mini Disclaimer: KuKu Campers did give us a discount on the van but every word is my personal opinion and is unbiased as ALWAYS and FOREVER <3