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Camper van or hotel/rental car in September

Trying to decide between a camper van in early September versus staying at hotels (or airbnbs) and using a rental car. Somebody on Tripadvisor said they'd never drive a camper van in Sept due to weather, wind, and closure of campgrounds. Any thoughts? We want to go as inexpensively as we can, but we're friends, so don't want to be unhappy traveling! Thanks!

Posted by
6572 posts

If you want to travel inexpensively the best way to do it is to avoid Iceland altogether. But, yes, avoid a camper van in September. It can get very windy and strong winds can blow camper vans off the road. Also, camping outside official campgrounds is illegal.

Posted by
273 posts

I went to Iceland in September 2018, and drove the ring road. I thought about tent camping, renting a camper van, etc. I was trying to see how cost effective I could keep my lodging, as I was by myself, which is always more when calculating cost per person. Ultimately, when I considered the weather in the north of Iceland, I decided the tent camping was not an option, due first to weather and secondly to logistics (knowing there.would be days I would want to be in a hotel or some other lodging). When looking at the camper van option, I compared it to staying in hostels (something I'd never done), and ultimately ended up with a combination of half of my nights in hostels, and half in hotels. I was truly and wonderfully surprised at how clean, and even private, some of the hostels were. I also met so many really interesting people staying in the hostels that I never would have encountered otherwise. Most of the hostel options I looked at had several different options of room type, from single to multiple occupancy. You can also choose same gender only or coed, depending on your comfort level. I will say, I never once felt uncomfortable in any of the places I stayed. There were many options available.

I did stay in hotels near Myvatn and in Reykjavik, but that was a matter of choice, not availability. One of the places I read about often in terms of a place to have a drink or listen to music is the Kex Hostel in Reykjavik.

I also rented a car for the drive around the ring road, but dropped it off before my final two days in Reykjavik.