As Taylor was planning our trip around Iceland, she weighed the costs of renting a camper van against the costs associated with renting a car and having scheduled lodging each night. We agreed that renting from Kuku Campers in Reykjavik was the best option available.
Kuku offers 2x4 and 4x4 campers of various sizes. We rented a manual transmission category B vehicle. The diesel fuel Renault Traffic fits three people but is not a 4x4. (Iceland’s ‘F roads’ require 4 wheel drive.)
The van features: three cab seats, a fridge, a sink, counter space, a dining table that collapses into a bed, storage under the counter and bed, window curtains, and a heater. All in all, the van’s accommodations were nothing short of impressive.
The rental location itself also included a sharing shelf where previous renters left their unused food, kitchen items, gas canisters, and anything else they couldn't take home with them. We grabbed a few things and left some dish soap, paper towels, rice, cereal, and tuna fish.
The manual transmission vehicles are less expensive to rent than the automatics, but driving a stick was something I had to acclimate to. After a few miles of lurching between gears and a few stalls, we were cruising around the country. Our Kuku camper took us around the entire ring road, around the Snӕfellsnes Peninsula, and out to Borgarfjarðarhöfn with only a couple of hiccups.
The biggest hiccup we had was a flat tire while driving in the wind and rain. This setback was caused by two screws that decided to catch a ride in our tread. Although Kuku Campers provides complimentary roadside assistance for most incidents, it is the renter’s responsibility to repair or replace any flat tires. We weren’t far from a small town, and it only cost $40 dollars US to have the screws removed and have the holes repaired.
The only other mentionable issue was my failure to follow posted speed limits. It is entirely too easy to fly through the Icelandic countryside, and I was caught flying well over the 90 kilometer limit. The officer was polite, but it is required that a speeding ticket be paid on the spot. Three hundred and fifty US dollars later, I was paying more attention to the regularly posted speed limits.
The final note to be made about renting a vehicle in Iceland is that fuel is quite expensive. Traveling the ring road, the Snӕfellsnes peninsula, and out to Borgarfjarðarhöfn (roughly 1,000 miles) cost us roughly $350 in diesel.
The experience of traveling the country in a camper van was priceless. I recommend considering Kuku campers as an option if you wish to travel outside of Reykjavík for a few days or more. A camper provides the ability to pull up to campsites late at night and make meals in the back. This allows more time to spend exploring under the beautiful midnight sun.