My wife, 3.5 year old son, mother and I are going to be driving completely around Iceland from April 23rd to April 30th. We were considering our choice of a sleeper van, RV, or car rental with AirBnB nightly stays. From a total expense standpoint, it looks like the cheapest option is the sleeper van, then the RV, and then the car rental with air bnb stays. Our concern is the bathroom sitiuation.... Are we going to be struggling to find bathrooms at this time of year, if we go the sleeper van route? Has anyone done this style trip with 3.5 people and how old did that get in a week? What are the showers like in campground facilities? Other than campground bathrooms, are bathrooms available near major scenic attractions, in towns, etc? Thanks in advance for any tips!
We visited in April 2015, but only traveled the southern third of the country, and were in a car, sleeping in hotels and inns, not camping, and two adults without a young child. Many of the scenic attractions are natural, undeveloped geologic features, and there weren't visitors centers or restrooms at the waterfalls, volcanic craters, etc. There were long stretches of road through unpopulated tundra, without frequent convenience store gas stations. More than one roadside stop for us to urinate was necessary, and without running water, you may find a supply of wet-wipes and Ziplock baggies essential. In Reykjavic, we never passed up a bathroom opportunity at restaurants and sights. Out in the country, folk museums and some sights had bathrooms, but it was somewhat hit and miss. We probably drank less than usual, as a preventative measure.
Hope your journey goes well, but beware of fast-changing road conditions. We witnessed a fatal road accident, when a dry road suddenly changed to black ice as evening approached. A car in front of us rolled and ejected passengers,
I have traveled around Iceland by campervan with my husband for two weeks and LOVED it. I have to say, though, that the thought of doing this with a kid and my mother might not be so fun. It will be cramped even if you get a bigger one. It also rains A LOT in Iceland and if all of you are relegated to the inside of the van it might be unpleasant. It does tend to be the cheapest option but I would be extremely hesitant to do it with a 3 year old and there is no way we would do it with one of our parents as well.
I meant to actually answer your question. Campground facilities were very nice. The showers were better/cleaner than what you would expect at a campground in the US (no idea where you're from or if that's relevant). There is usually a small fee to use the showers, however, it is required to shower before and after using things like Secret Lagoon, Mytvatn Nature baths and the local pools. We went to these as often as possible and showered there meaning we really didn't have to shower at campgrounds all that often. We usually found bathrooms available at attractions or gas stations every so often. We didn't have a problem with this.