A Happy Campers campers rental in Iceland is a tremendous way to enjoy a road trip in Iceland. We chose to circumnavigate the Nordic country on their legendary Ring Road for our trip (update, we have now driven the Ring Road twice in both directions, both times with Happy Campers). Of course, with any trip, the key is to pick the right provider, tour operator, hotel, and activity.
That’s why we decided on Happy Campers and could not have been happier. We have now done two separate road trips with Happy Campers, and will continue to road trip with them if we visit Iceland again (and we will – because it’s stunning!) They have one of the best reputations for Iceland camper van rentals, and it’s easy to understand why after renting a camper van from them.
An Iceland camper rental removes some headaches around a road trip and offers greater flexibility. They’re also economical to travel around Iceland as they combine your transportation, kitchen, and accommodation.
However, that doesn’t mean a Happy Camper Iceland is cheap by any means – just affordable by Iceland standards! Iceland is one of the most expensive countries to travel to, and you want to ensure your dollars go as far as possible. If you want to rent a campervan in Iceland, here’s why you should consider the family run Happy Campers!
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Is Happy Camper Rentals The Best Iceland Camper Van Rental?
The best Campervan Rental Company in Iceland?
Happy Campers Iceland was one of the first companies to offer kitted rental vans in Iceland starting in 2009. It may not seem that long ago, but since 2009, a lot has changed. It’s brought about dozens of new companies, including familiar faces like corporate car rental giants offering their own version of a camper van.
Happy Campers is still family-run by Icelanders; you can find the whole family involved. We were checked out by the Sverrir or the “Happy Boss.” While his son was responsible for setting up our booking, another picked us up from the airport. Although the company has grown, they still represent their family core values.
Their main office is a short drive from the Keflavik Airport, and they offer a free shuttle to and from the Airport. You’ll definitely want to take advantage of that, because taxis from the airport are not cheap! We paid nearly $30 for a 7 minute taxi ride when we arrived late at night.
Once at Happy Campers guests can pick up their campervans. The check-in process is super smooth; they take the time to review guest travel plans in Iceland and make helpful suggestions. That gives you plenty of time to go over any last-minute questions you may have about routes, campsites, activities, or features of the van. (Here are some of our tips)
Customer service is a real highlight here, and we trust that they’d be sure to amend any issue that may arise. They’re very much a family business and something we really appreciate when booking.
The Happy 2 Campervan
We’ve now traveled Iceland twice with Happy Campers, both times in the Happy 2. Our van came with everything we could need for a camping trip around Iceland. The Happy 2 is one of their larger model camper vans and can drive four people and sleep two.
With only two of us on the trip, we had plenty of space for our ten-day trip around the Ring Road. Three people could sleep in there, but it would be a squeeze, and it’s really more ideal for two. If you have more than two people it’s best to bump up to their Happy 3. If you plan on camping around Iceland like us these are our top Ring Road trip tips.
The Happy 2 can either be a manual transmission Renault Trafic, or an automatic. With so many Americans visiting Iceland, more and more campervans are now automatic.
The Renaults are larger vans, but it is still manageable. I had no problems driving the vehicle as I’m a confident manual driver.
Music is important on any road trip, and the vehicle has an Bluetooth, an MPS CD player with a USB/auxiliary input to hook up your phone so you can play all your travel music!
Happy Camper vans are equipped with a dual battery system that allows for you to have a running fridge and heater. The heater fan operates off of the battery while the heat is generated by burning diesel fuel in your tank. The vehicle is equipped with a solar panel on the top to ensure it stays charged.
Almost all Happy Campers come with a tablet that gives the Happy App and free unlimited WiFi. The WiFi was so good that we were able to stream 4k movies at night! Bonus of booking with Happy Campers!
A welcome feature of the vehicle is the inclusion of CDW insurance. This, combined with our travel credit cards’ insurance, gave us peace of mind while driving on Iceland’s roads.
Our Happy Kitchen
Both of our Happy Camper vans came equipped with everything we needed to make a basic meal. Kitchens change slightly based on van model, but overall you’ll be able to cook things like pasta, rice, chicken, and oatmeal very easily. The kitchen boxes were equipped with a pot, pan, and a full set of dishes for four. You’re also given a camping stove with a few bottles of Butane (more than enough for our ten days of camping).
The only thing I would highly recommend bringing for yourself is some way to make coffee. We brought an Aeropress, but a French Press will do too. Happy Campers gives very basic plastic mugs, but if you’re a coffee lover like me, make sure to bring a coffee thermos to keep your drink nice and hot.
A large cubby system with drawers had enough room to store all of our dry food and cooking utensils. It offered enough cooking space for basic prep meals and cook, but I would opt for a table and chairs outside in the summertime for more room.
Each vehicle also includes a sink with running water. Water is easy to find in Iceland as almost every gas station has hoses to wash your vehicle and top up water tanks.
They offer a few extras such as a grill, picnic table, coffee press, and chairs for an extra charge. Since we traveled in the Fall with low temperatures and we’re not big meat eaters, we didn’t add the grill or picnic table. However, I’m sure they’re an awesome addition to your trip in the summer months.
Update: When we returned in the summer we did grab a table and chairs, but didn’t use them often as the weather was still very wet.
A Happy Bedtime
The Happy fold out bed was more than large enough for the two of us! The bed converts from the back seat area that fold flat. When not made, it provides plenty of seating space to relax, eat dinner, and watch a movie. Come bedtime; it’s easy to convert and takes less than a minute to set up your bed.
Honestly, we found the bed to be a little firm and uncomfortable, though in our Happy 2 it at least felt like a Queen size bed. I would recommend a camping pad and a cheap comforter to make the bed your own if you have extra space in your luggage. A comforter is provided, as well as a blanket, but they aren’t the best.
The pillows provided are also cheap and lumpy and badly in need of an upgrade, if you are fussy about your pillows definitely pack your own!
A welcome feature is a heater at night. In the Fall and Spring, temperatures often dip below freezing, so a cozy van is amazing! We even used the heater a few times in June in Iceland when we returned on another trip!
Seasonal Iceland camper rental
Happy Campers Iceland camper van rental is now open year-round and does offer winter rentals for their fleet of camper vans. This means they switch their rentals over to winter tires, which is super important in the winter. Winter tires are proven to significantly increase traction and stopping power on ice and snow.
If seeing the Northern Lights is on your bucket list, finding a better way to chase them will be tough than a camper van. This will allow you to drive away from cloud cover if it appears and to hide out in your toasty van away from light pollution while you wait for them at night.
Winter rentals benefit from cheaper rates. While we haven’t used the camper van in the dead of winter yet, we did rent during October and found the Webasto heater kept us toasty at night. Another safety note, Happy Campers offers 24/7 emergency assistance, and each rental is equipped with GPS tracking for quick location.
The winter rentals also have a warm winter kit to help out in a bind. This means you get sleeping bags, jumper cables, rope, a shovel, and a flashlight. Granted, we’d recommend you bring your own sleeping bag, warm clothes, and a headlamp if you plan to visit in the winter.
A Few Happy Camper Iceland Van Rental Tips
- If you haven’t yet, head to our comprehensive post about our time on the Ring Road and camping tips there.
- Check our guides if you’re planning on doing the Golden Circle or Reynisfjara black sand beach.
- Don’t wear shoes in the back of the vehicle; they can get dirty fast. They provide a dustpan and brush, so make sure to use them often to keep the van clean. We also picked up wet wipes, which helped keeping everything clean for two weeks as well.
- Bring your favorite coffee roast and an Aeropress if you’re like us and love good coffee. We picked up local beans at a roaster in Reykjavik.
- Make sure to check the weather forecast and pack the right clothes for Iceland. This website is where you get the most reliable weather forecasts around Iceland.
- Stick to simple one-pot meals. It makes for easy preparation and cleaning up. Also, ensure you get all your food from the Icelandic grocery stores. Restaurants are really expensive in Iceland.
- Don’t fret over a shower if your campsite doesn’t have one or it’s closed! Icelandic swimming pools are affordable and a wonderful experience. Just be prepared for casual nudity! Check out our other Iceland travel tips for more info.
Our Overall Experience with Happy Campers Iceland
We had a great time with our Happy Camper and felt it really gave us the freedom we wanted to explore Iceland during our time. It’s something we all want when exploring the great outdoors. We loved that we could stay out exploring until 11pm if we wanted, and then drive to a campsite for the night. We could pull over at whatever random viewpoint we wanted for dinner, and never had to stick to any schedules.
Happy Campers picked us up for free from the airport, had our vehicle ready, and waited. It was an easy pick-up (and drop-off), and we were on the road in less than an hour. We were off to explore the country for a quick stop at an Icelandic grocery store! Our first journey around the country took ten days, and our second road trip around Iceland was 13 days – a perfect amount of time. Just enough time to fall into the rhythm of things, but not too long to curse living in a van!
Although many are bummed to learn you can only stay in campsites in Iceland, we found a plethora around the country. Many shut down in the low season months but leave their basic facilities open and allow for free camping. This relieved some of the stress of making it to an open campsite by nightfall, as we don’t like driving at night.
Each day we’d wake up in a new spot and make our way on our own time. Some days we covered a lot of ground while other days, we only drove 100km because we stopped so frequently to go for hikes, relax, or take photographs.
The idea of a campervan is to disconnect and make some beautiful memories. Our memory had to be watching the Northern Lights from our “bedroom,” something we would not have experienced based in Reykjavik without a vehicle. What is going to be your memory in Iceland?
The Best Iceland Camper Van Rental?
Happy Campers vs. Go Campers vs. Kuku Campers
The companies break down into three steps, in our opinion. Happy Campers is likely the nicest company in Iceland, but their rentals also fetch the highest price than their closest competitor. Go Campers comes in right behind Happy Campers with a similar design and price point. They’ve clearly taken a close look at Happy Campers and emulated their design, using fridges, heaters, and running sinks in their vehicles.
Kuku Campers are extremely popular and the largest company in Iceland, but they’re also pretty budget. Their cheaper models include older cars with no heaters, kitchenware, or bedding. Other rental companies are Indie Camper and Wicked Campers (not very nice).
What is Included in the Happy Campers Campervan?
Our Happy Camper was equipped with everything we could possibly need for 10 days on the road. That included things like:
- Gas Stove with Gas
- Privacy Curtains
- Pots and Pans
- Plastic plates, cutlery, and drinkware
- Knife and cutting board
- 2 pillows
- 2 blankets
- You can pay extra for an inverter, chairs, a table, and BBQ grill.
Insurance on the Campervan
When checking out a camper van in Iceland, you have many options for choosing insurance. Happy Campers includes CDW as it is mandatory in Iceland. If you go with the standard insurance, your liability limit is €2500. They also offer packages that reduce the waiver, such as sand and gravel damage.
We went with the gravel insurance (both trips), but I found it a waste, as the roads were great in Iceland during June and October. Had we traveled during the winter and windier months, I believe it could have been more useful. Also, look into what your credit card covers for auto insurance.
Most American credit cards offer auto rental insurance as a benefit, and I recommend calling your credit card company beforehand to double-check what they cover. If you don’t have a credit card, it’s time to get one, as it’s an important part of travel banking.
Review Opinion: Should You Book a Happy Camper in Iceland?
Yes! Of course, we’re slightly biased as we had a two great experiences with our Happy Camper rental. The company is well run and clearly wants its customers to have a great time. Above all, we only find glowing Happy Campers customer reviews online.
This is how we know we’re not a fluke of having a good time in one of their camper vans. We even met many separate people in their vans who had booked for a second and third time because their first trip to Iceland was that great! They genuinely are the best campervan rental in Iceland!
What to pack for a campervan trip to Iceland
Remember that you’re traveling around Iceland in a campervan. The smallest models don’t leave a lot of room for a massive checked bag (although we had one, as we were on the road for a month prior to our Iceland trip, and it still fit in the van).
The obvious thing to pack is warm weather clothing, even in summer. A great option is to pack a duffel bag or backpack that has soft sides and can be stuffed under a seat.
Of course, always pack a down jacket, sweater, wool socks, and a travel towel. The towel is really important if you go to hot springs and public pools. We have a post on what to pack for Iceland if you want more clothes recommendations. It should also go without saying that Iceland is seriously photogenic, so you’ll want a great camera for travel photography.
Here are some things we’d recommend to make your campervan more at home in Iceland.
How Much Will an Iceland Campervan Rental Cost?
It depends on the season! In the summer, your rental car will cost significantly more than in the off-season months from October to February. Happy Campers offers low season, mid-season, and high season rates. So if you’re goal is to save money, book a car rental in the off-season. Here are some tips for getting a good deal on a campervan Iceland:
- The sooner you book, the better. Campervans, especially with the good companies, sell out fast.
- Do your research and go with the companies that have good reviews. They are often the ones who won’t rip you off for extra charges.
- Avoid peak season, which is late June-early September.
Pros and Cons of Renting a Camper van in Iceland
Pros of Campervan Living in Iceland
- Saves Money – since you don’t have to pay for hotels.
- Convenient – no need to plan out everything in advance
- Flexible – able to change your route whenever you want.
- Views – Never a bad view!
Cons of Campervan Living in Iceland
- Cramped – No doubt about it, a campervan with more than one person is cramped living.
- Showers/Toilets – It’s hard to come by toilets in Iceland unless you’re at a designated campsite. Showers can be hit or miss too.
- Weather – If you have bad weather, there’s no escaping it.
Plan For Your Trip
- Protect Your Trip: We don’t travel without travel insurance, nor should you. You never know what can happen while traveling, so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans.
- Find Cheap Flights: Sign up for Going (formerly Scotts Cheap Flights) to get notified when prices get low.
- Book a Rental Car: We use Discover Car to book all our rental cars! You can also read our top tips for renting a car abroad here.
- Travel Adapter: Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.
- Travel Backpack: We like the Nomatic Travel Backpack for our travels. Check the price here.
- Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always ALLBIRDS! Check them out on their site!
- Get a Travel Credit Card: We travel worldwide for free because we have leveraged our spending into points. See why you should get a travel credit card and how you can do the same with our favorite travel credit cards.