10 Tips for Camping and Driving in Iceland

We’re off to Iceland in a few weeks. Renting an RV and taking to the Ring Road for 10 days. Should be an adventure of a lifetime! Here are some tips I’ve collected.

RV rental in Iceland
RV rental in Iceland
  1. Hold on to the car or camper door!  The number one car insurance claim in Iceland is car doors being ripped off the hinges due to heavy winds.
  2. Bring disposable gloves for handling the “output” pipes.  If you haven’t used an RV before, you are in for a treat in handling the waste at dump stations.  Be ready to handle the pipes with ziplock bag full of gloves.
  3. Hot Dogs at the gas stations around Iceland are world famous for being great.  Fill up the tank and grab a snack.  Most have great WiFi too.  A home away from home.
  4. Be prepared for cold and rain.  Rain resistant ain’t going to cut it.  Pack some cheap rain proof gear.  The kind that makes you sweat but are truly rain proof.
  5. Bring a lot of power adapters and USB chargers.  Camera batteries will be pushed to the max, be sure to have a few extras.
  6. Sleep will be difficult – in the summer there is barely any night time and the howling wind will keep you awake.  Bring eye shades and ear plugs.
  7. Learn the rules of the road.  You’ll be confronted with all sorts of road obstacles including gravel roads, sheep in the road, one way bridges and one way tunnels.  Read up on the rules of the road, stay alert and watch your speed!
  8. Camp only in real campgrounds.  Despite what you might have heard, you can’t just pull over anywhere and camp.
  9. Visit the local pools and hot springs for showers.  Scrub to Icelantic standards of cleanliness, enjoy a soak in the hot spring pools and then shower again.  Just keep your hair out of the mineral rich water if you don’t want it to crack off later.
  10. Keep you eyes on the road.  If you can’t, find a safe spot to pull over.  Don’t block the road and be wary of ditches and soft shoulders.
Good grief! Who does this? Public hairdryers are not “pubic” hair dryers. Sign appear warning people not to dry their privates with the public hair dryers.
The six zones to wash well before entering a squeaky clean Icelandic pool. If you haven’t learned to clean yourself, this is a good lesson!

Some suggested products to pack: