Renting a car, campervan, or motorhome and making your way around Iceland’s Ring Road on four wheels is an unforgettable adventure you won’t soon forget. Once you’ve decided to embark upon this journey, there are some important decisions you have to make. In addition to planning your itinerary and deciding where you want to go and what you want to do, you also need to figure out the best vehicle to meet your needs. I’d like to focus on campervans and motorhomes because many people opt for this alternative. The freedom and flexibility of choosing this are quite appealing. So what’s the difference between a campervan and a motorhome? And what are the different amenities each one offers? What exactly are the advantages of campervan and motorhome rental over renting a car?
Why I Prefer Campervan and Motorhome Rental to Car Rental
There are a few different reasons why I think it’s better to have a house on wheels in Iceland. First, is the price. Iceland is expensive, and hotels are no exception. If you decide to rent a car, you’ll not only be paying for the car rental but also for a hotel room every night. Just accommodation alone, at least in places like Reykjavik, already costs more than the price of a campervan rental. You’ll save money, or at the very least break even, when you combine your vehicle with your sleeping accommodations.
Second, drivers like to have the freedom of traveling however many hours they want and then pulling into the nearest campsite when it’s close to bedtime. They aren’t tied down to a hotel booking in a specific town on a particular night. Having this flexibility appeals to many. It also comes in handy when Iceland’s unpredictable weather prevents you from arriving at your destination on time.
What’s The Difference Between a Campervan and a Motorhome?
For some, these two terms are synonyms. It doesn’t help that people often use them interchangeably. But they are quite different types of vehicles. While both are considered RVs (recreational vehicles), there are some characteristics that separate them. Motorhomes are considered the larger, more luxurious option for traveling. They’ve got large living spaces, multiple beds, a kitchen with a sink and food prep area, a dining/ recreation area complete the table and seats, and even a bathroom with a toilet, a shower, and hot running water. It’s literally a home on wheels.
Campervans, on the other hand, are miniature versions of this. They don’t have all the bells and whistles like a bathroom and shower. Only the larger models feature kitchen sinks with running water. The cooking area is also really scaled-down. Instead of a stove and possibly an oven, you’ll generally have a hot plate for boiling water or heating up soup in a pot and some sort of grill or griddle for cooking food. One of the main differences between a campervan and a motorhome is that in a campervan, you have to convert your sleeping area into the kitchen and dining area. Before hitting the sack, you unfold the beds and set up your sleeping bags. Then during the day you put them away and set up the seating and cooking zones inside the campervan’s rear. Relax and read a book, cook a meal, or just enjoy the view.
Both types of vehicles have a heating system to keep you warm at night while you sleep.
Campervan Amenities and Motorhome Amenities
There are dozens of options available on the websites of campervan and motorhome rental companies in Iceland. Here’s a short checklist for you to use when you are checking out amenities for your specific rental. Please note, not every model comes with all of these possibilities. This is more of a cross reference for you to know what your vehicle does and does not include.
- Sleeping bags, Linens, Pillows
- Stove, Griddle, or Grill
- Cooler or Mini Fridge
- Pots, Pans, Cookware, Cutlery
- Sink with Running Water (large models only)
- Camping Table and Chairs For Dining
- Webasto heater
- Convertible Dining Area
- Convertible Sleeping Area
- Seats and Beds
- Dining Table
- Linens, Pillows, Towels
- Crockery, Cutlery, Kitchenware
- Kitchen Sink with Running Water
- 3-Way Refrigerator (90 liters or more)
- Tank for Drinking Water (110 liters or more)
- Tank for Waste Water (95 liters or more)
- Toilet & Hot Shower
- Truma Heating System
- Cooker with Gas Hob. 2-3
Campervans are smaller and usually sleep two to three people. Larger models can sleep up to five. When renting a motorhome, smaller models start with two or three people, and the largest models sleep up to six.
Iceland Campervan and Motorhome Rental Amenities
As you can see, both motorhome and campervans have a lot to offer. Both are designed to make your travels easier, enjoyable, and more comfortable. Motorhomes come with more options, so they’re going to be more expensive to rent. At the same time, they will feel much more like a “home” than a campervan. Couples, small groups of friends, and people traveling on a budget are more likely to rent campervans. Families and anyone looking to have the creature comforts from home at their fingertips lean towards motorhome rental. Take a look at our list of amenities above and decide which is the right option for you. Then, all that’s left is to do is gas up, load up your playlist, and hit the open road in Iceland.