Happy Campers vs. Go Campers – Iceland by Camper Van

One of the best ways to enjoy Iceland is to rent a camper van and spend the day driving from sight to sight while spending the night in one of the various campsites that can be found all over the country. If you are planning a trip to Iceland and you are thinking about going this route, there are a few things that you need to know about traveling this way. If you want to get that information, look at my post about tips for traveling by camper van. If you are interested in knowing which camper van is right for you, I have a comparison of two of the bigger and more affordable companies that can be found just outside of Reykjavik, Happy Campers and Go Campers.


Both companies use the same type of van for their smallest version of a camper, the Nissan        . It is really funny to get in the driver seat of both vehicles and have it feel exactly the same. They do have all the bells and whistles that you need to drive comfortably and safely, but as soon as you get in the back of the vehicles, the organization of them change dramatically.

Happy Campers tries to make the back of their camper vans to feel like a mobile home. On the side behind the driver’s side they have a couch that at night can be folded down to become your bed. Underneath this, they have some storage space that they claim is easily accessible, but this is not the case. The lifting and lowering of the couch becomes a chore if you store the wrong stuff in this part of the camper van. The side behind the driver’s side is where they have the kitchen area. This consists of a sink, more storage space for dishes and pans, a place for the stove, and the refrigerator. It takes up a large portion of this side of the van, and if we used the couch more, it would have been a comfortable way to cook. Unfortunately, there never seemed to be enough space in this camper van. We spent a lot of our time moving stuff from the front of the van to the back of the van depending on whether we were driving or settling down for the evening. Granted we took too much of the extra, such as the bedding, a table, and chairs which we should have scaled down on, but I think that the way the van was organized, we would have had to continued to do this with our stuff anyways.

Go Campers went for a more stripped down approach. The kitchen equipment is located in the very back and you have to open the back doors to access it. It definitely puts it out of the way, and as long as the weather holds out, it is a great location for this stuff. Unfortunately, this was not the case while we were in Iceland, and it made cooking in this camper van a little bit of a chore. Still, most of the campsites have kitchens that make for easier cooking, so the fact that we used the kitchen so little made this one a better one for the overall organization of the van. The bed is folded up and placed on top of the kitchen equipment. When bed time rolls around all you have to do is pull the bed out, climb on in, and get some sleep. Our stuff became a little disorganized in the back because there is a huge open space in between the back and the front where we put all of our stuff. The bed just covers up all of this stuff, so there was never a need to move all our stuff from the front to the back every evening.

Though they both had their flaws, I do believe that Go Campers organized their vehicle better than Happy Campers make it the better choice in this category.


Let me start off by saying that being a six foot two man, living in a camper van for three weeks will never be a comfortable experience. With that in mind, I still got some wonderful nights’ sleeps while on the road. This was due to the fact that we rented sleeping bags with the van, and did not rely on the duvets that they gave us with this rental. I do believe that this was one of the most important things that we did on our trip to make it more comfortable, but it did add to the overall cost with both companies.

The front of the car was comfortable for both vans as well, and both were organized the same way. They both had nooks and crannies that allowed you to put all of the important stuff that you needed while driving, and there was not much difference there. It was the beds and the movement in the van that mattered when we stopped.

In the case of the Go Camper van, there was a lot more freedom of movement and I did not feel as cramped inside. There was also a lot less of the moving stuff from the front to the back as we prepared for either driving or the night. They did only supply one door to exit the van at night, so if the person sleeping on the left had to get up in the middle of the night to use the facilities, they were forced to wake up the other person which was a poor design. The bed also had wide open edges on either side that I some times felt threatened that I will fall off. The heater was in a more wide open space though which allowed for more access to the heat, and the lack of windows made it very dark in the land of the midnight sun.

The Happy Camper van did have windows which made for a feeling that you weren’t staying in a cave. They did give you some blinds for the windows to make the space dark during the evening, but they did not close well enough and you could never make it dark enough at night. The bed also fit in almost perfectly to the back of the van with the kitchen adding a nice space to put your stuff at during the middle of the night. The bed was a little skinnier which sometimes caused some struggle for the fight for space at night, but it was still big enough for a good night sleep. The door on either side of the van made for easier entrance and exit access which was great for the middle of the night as well.

For the most part, either van had some flaws with its design which made it difficult to completely get comfortable, but that is part of the appeal of traveling this way in the first place. Despite this fact, I would still give the edge to Go Campers but it made things a little more simple to move around in which was much appreciated after a long day of exploring Iceland.


Both companies did a great job when getting us to our camper vans. They had somebody come and pick us up from our hotel and take us to their office so we could go through the paperwork and start our adventure. Both companies did not do a good job of getting us back to where we needed to go after we dropped off the van. Basically we were on our own, except Happy Campers did supply a shuttle once a day to the airport which was nice. Otherwise, we needed to pay for a cab which are ridiculous expensive or to work our way to a bus stop with all of our gear if we wanted to get anywhere. Both companies are not located in central locations with Happy Campers being the further out of town, but they are located closer to a bus stop. Figuring out this problem would be nice for both companies to figure out because it was a struggle both times to make it where we needed to go.

As far as the people helping us out and making sure we understood what was required of us, there was one that I felt more comfortable with. Happy Campers were more willing to answer our questions, and had a more warm and inviting office that when we left, and made for a better overall experience. They were a bigger company with more vans, but that did not take people away from giving us the help we needed when we needed it. At Go Campers, it felt like we were rushed through a little more, and it wasn’t because both places weren’t busy. They both had about the same amount of customers, and employees to help out those customers, but Happy Campers took that little extra time to make sure we were ready to head out on the road than Go Campers did.


Of course, this is a really important thing to consider before renting a van especially in a country where things are really expensive to begin with. Considering you are getting the same van for each company, and both of them gave us coupons to N1 gas stations for free coffee, there is not a lot to say about the differences but the bottom line.

As of July 2022, Happy Campers 90 Euro a day/ Go Campers 129 Euro a day. Both include heaters, and kitchens. They both had strong batteries that would allow us enough power to run those heaters and kitchens when we needed them. So if I was just looking at the cost, Happy Campers are obviously the choice to go with.

Extra Perks

Both companies have a list of items that you can rent with the van that can supply you with the experience that you are hoping for. These can be anything from camping chairs, French coffee presses, tables, coffee mugs, and bedding. You can get wifi as well, but we found that all we needed was a SIM card at the airport when we first arrived, and had enough GB of data to make it through a three week trip with some even left over at the end. The prices between items were very comparable between the companies, but there is something you want to keep in mind when you add these extra bonuses. Whatever you rent, you have to carry around with you, and that will take up precious space in these vans. So before you keep adding on the comforts of home, thing about the size of the item, and if you will really need it. There is nothing more annoying than spending each night rearranging the whole van so you can be comfortable. With that in mind, Go Campers recognized this and would warn people if they kept adding things that would make their vans more crowded. Happy Campers just kept on adding it on to the bill and pulling it out from the supply.

They both had a pantry of food left behind from other campers that you could grab for free. This was a great perk, and an easy way to get started on our trip. Happy Campers’ pantry had more of a selection but this was probably because of the size of the company as opposed to Go Campers.

Happy Campers also gave free gas for the camp stove which was a life saver. The stoves were not always needed though because many of the campsites had a kitchen with a stove that you could use instead, so I do not know how important this really was.

Happy Campers also had a stack of flannel blankets and allowed each customer to take two for free. This was a great perk, and we used those blankets on a regular basis, and felt the absence of them when they were gone.


Once again, both companies were great, and which ever one you choose, you will not be disappointed about it. It really comes down to what is important for you when you make the choice. For me, personally, it came down to how comfortable I was in the van. With all things put into consideration, I would lean more towards using Go Campers again in the future rather than Happy Campers. Because of the organization of their van, it was easier to move around in, and I enjoyed my experience with them more because of that.

Either way, Iceland is a great adventure, and you will want the right camper van for yourself to make the most out of that experience. I know this will not cover everything, but I hope it helps you out a little bit when you make that important decision when flying off to Iceland for that adventure.

7 thoughts on “Happy Campers vs. Go Campers – Iceland by Camper Van”

  1. I like Go Campers best for general comfort but if it’s a toss-up between the two, I would go with Happy Campers. Seems they stand by their name by making customers happy before leaving on the journey.


    1. They both are good companies, and that is a great reason to go with them. If I had to do it over again, I would go with Happy Campers, and do the upgrade in size just to get that comfort of level that I really missed otherwise.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What about Cozy Campers? Any thoughts on them?
    Also, the idea of not having windows and having to basically cook outside is what turns me off Go Campers. One more question..Do the campervans come with rearview cameras? I’m planning a solo trip on the ring road in June.never driven a campervan before. I’m not sure which size campervan to choose but I know I like comfort and being able to move around..I’m hesitant between the Nissan and the Renault Traffic..any advice is much appreciated.


    1. I am sorry I was not able to drive in a Cozy Camper van so I cannot speak to that, and as far as I remember, the camper vans did not come with rear view cameras. It is not like you need them much though because there was always plenty of space to maneuver around. As far as windows are concerned, I understand your point, but considering that it never gets dark outside during June, it was nice to be able to have the low light situation when sleeping. It is something that you would want to consider if you have trouble sleeping in light areas.


  3. Thank you for your reply, John.
    If I would choose between the two companies it would also depend on the drop off times at the airport with someone present to check the campervan. I’m very hesitent dropping off the camper and having to find out later they may have charged me for damages I’m not responsible for. Read a lot of stories on Tripadvisor and Trustpilot. It’s always challenging planning the right camper or car and hotel and reading reviews can be daunting. About the rearview camera: Backing up in those vans, is the view obstructed? I’d hate to back up in a ditch, rock or even worse someone standing there. I’m currently researching the Car+Hotel/AirBnB/ guesthouse option but I find that to be redundant to a certain extent. You’d still have to drive from one place to another. You’d still have to stop at certain places to get some sleep. For meals you can still either go grocery shopping for several days and eat out of the car/ van or eat somewhere (not cheap in Iceland!). Only difference is a possibly comfy bed/showers and toilets. My head hurts 🙂
    Any advice, tips will be greatly appreciated for this first time visitor


    1. Hari,
      The best advice I can give you is that you should go into it the trip as an adventure because it will definitely be one. I’ve been to over forty countries in the world, and Iceland was easily the most memorable one I’ve been to. At times Iceland was challenging, but it was also beautiful, and exciting. The weather did not always work with us, but we were always able to make it work. In the end, it was fun, and I would go back to do it all over again. The campsite where you have to park usually have great facilities where you can find a nice warm shower, and a place to relax with other travelers, but I would mix it up with a guesthouse or hostel along the way to break up the van a bit. We ended up cooking a lot on the trip, but found some great places for fish n’ chips (a must out there), and a couple of nice meals. It helped keep us in our budget while out there. We also bought our a couple of bottle of alcohol in the airport when we landed. This way we did not spend as much when we went out to eat, and we could still enjoy a drink from time to time. The companies I talked about in this post were not at the airport, so I cannot speak to how about the drop off times there, but both companies were very friendly and were not out to cheat us. I would say both of them would treat you fairly. I would go for comfort with the van because you will spend a lot of time in it. My wife and I commented that we would have probably done one size bigger if we could do it over again because spending three weeks in a van can get cramped. We also never had a problem backing out of a spot. I still do not recall if they had a back up camera or not, but it was never an issue for us. They did have nice rearview mirrors that allowed us to see behind us, and we just took our time when leaving a place. All in all, Iceland is an amazing location, and you will have fun. I hope you enjoy you trip out there. If you have any specific questions, please keep on asking them.


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