Updated: Jan 30, 2020
Packing up your belongings and hitting the road in a campervan is a travel bucket list item for many. They dream of endless days with the freedom to roam mixed with moments filled with laughter and tons of amazing memories. One of the best things about Iceland is that it’s a country that seems made for road trips. This is why campervan rental is so popular. But can you drive everywhere in Iceland with a campervan? And can you drive on F-Roads with campervan? This is an excellent question, so let’s jump right in to find out.
What is an Iceland F-Road?
Before get can to talking about navigating F-Roads via Campervan, let’s first clear up exactly what an F-Road is. If you’ve been planning your road trip to Iceland, this is probably a term that you’ve come across already. It’s something unique to Iceland that first-timers need to know about. F-Roads are basically mountain roads. The letter F is short for “fjalla” or “mountain” in Icelandic. These roads are closed during most of the year (typically September to June) due to dangerous conditions. Due to landslides, flooding, uneven terrain, melting or freezing snow and other natural phenomena, these roads become impassible or downright unsafe. So for most of the year, they are not accessible to drivers.
From mid-to-late June (and sometimes as late a July) the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration deems these roads safe enough for people to travel on them. There’s a catch though. Because these roads are unpaved and many are made out of gravel, you’ll need to use a 4WD vehicle. This isn’t just me giving you advice; it’s actually legally mandated. It the the law here that anyone driving on the mountain roads of the backcountry and Highlands must do so using a 4x4 car, SUV, or campervan.
Can I drive on F-Roads with a campervan?
So now you’re probably thinking, “wait, so this means that campervans have 4-wheel drive”! Not so fast. Not all campervans come equipped with 4WD, so really it depends on the model of campervan that you rent. You can drive on Iceland’s F-Roads with a campervan if you opt for a VW California, a Mercedes Marco Polo, or another similar type of vehicle. If your campervan only has a 2WD, then unfortunately, you can’t travel on the backroads of Iceland’s Highlands.
Campervan models with 4WD
There are quite a few campervan models with 4WD. After all, car manufacturers know that adventurers taking a trip in a camper don’t necessarily want to stay on the beaten path. Let’s talk about two of the most popular 4-wheel drive campers: the Marco Polo and the California.
The VW California
These leisure vehicle feature not only spacious interiors but come with an expandable tent right on top. You don’t have to worry about setting up your tent or driving tent spikes into the ground. The VW California's expandable roof and kitchen-on-wheels will make eating and sleep and easy part of the journey. You’ll enjoy driving with comfort and convenience and make all of your hippie road trip dreams come true with this ideal choice.
The Mercedes Marco Polo
Another 4x4 camper with an expandable roof tent, the Marco Polo will have you traveling in luxury and style. This vehicle actually sleeps up to four, with a foldout bed for two in the main cabin. You’ve also got a kitchen and dining area all within a compact space. You’ve also got tinted windows for maintaining your privacy. The well-equipped kitchen and modern interior will have you never wanting to return home. The Marco Polo makes and ideal rental vehicle for exploring Iceland via campervan.
Can I Drive on F-Roads in Iceland With a Campervan?
In a short answer, yes. You can absolutely drive on F-Roads in Iceland with a campervan. You just have to make sure that your rental is a model like the Mercedes Marco Polo or VW California that has 4-wheel drive built in. Otherwise, you can’t take your campervan on Iceland’s mountain roads. You’ll need to rent an SUV or another similar vehicle.