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Renting versus shipping?

by belizeanbus Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 10:11 AM

We're just beginning to brainstorm a trip to Iceland. We would like to spend a few weeks touring in a smallish camper or motorhome. I've poked around online and found the prices for this in the summer months to be pretty outrageous (US$350-400/day). For 2-3 weeks we would be looking at something like $8000 which seems a bit excessive.

So, the question is, does anyone have experience shipping a vehicle to Iceland? We are in California, but it would be easy enough to drive to New York, or some other East Coast port. We have our own small motorhome that I doubt would fit in a container. The other option would be a full-sized van converted for camping.

And, what about importing? I wonder if it is an option to buy a van here - ship it there - spend our time traveling - and then sell it (profit or not) - and come home empty handed.

Any advice would be wonderful.

(I should add that we are two adults and three small children...)

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting versus shipping?

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Hi there sand welcome to VT........d:o)

    You would be better off just renting a car and staying in hotels/lodges. Twenty years ago, a container that big cost $6K, - it should be over $10K by now.. Further, back when Iceland was struggling to get some of the tourist traffic, there was a slew of people from Europe who would bring a group of people by ship, and unload a bus, camping gear, food AND gasoline, and these people would trapse all over the country leaving trash behind, but no money. Theyu brought EVERYTHING with them.

    Bad experiment that was.

    So there is a bad taste in the mouths of my people, with regards to people bringing everything with them. You would not know why people might be standoffish, andf you might think they were not as friendly as they are purported to be. Well, to be honest, the people would still treat you pretty well, but just know that they have been bitten severely by the "we want to travel through your country but we do not want to leave any money there....".

    In a recent study reported by CNN, Iceland is number one, as the friendliest nation towards tourists. We'd like to keep it that way........d:o)

    When you decide how you want to do this, we certainly have pretty much all the information you could possibly need.

    But seriously, shipping a vehicle to Iceland, is not going to be cost effective. You have to remember, any country that has a limited tourist season, the prices during that season are going to be higher than average. We have to make in four months what year-around tourist destinations make in a year.

    Make sense?

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  • Re: Renting versus shipping?

    by belizeanbus Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Hi there!

    Thanks for your insights. I hope you don't get me wrong. I am completely understanding of the tourism situation and have no intention of traveling to Iceland to avoid spending money. Inns were great when it was just my wife and I. It can be very inconvenient with a 7,3, and 1 year old. Even inn-keepers would often rather not see us coming! In all seriousness, though, we enjoy the camping thing and would like to pursue that avenue. Perhaps we will just end up with a car and tent - who knows... we're just exploring options right now. At any rate, our intent is not to avoid spending cash. And, for all I know at this point, the people renting the motorhomes are international companies anyway - that's something I would have to look into.

    At any rate, we recently rented a small motorhome in New Zealand and had a wonderful experience. I learned that some folks go and buy a van there only to re-sell it. In any case, I have rented vehicles in many parts of the world and never gotten the impression that the rental agencies had the best interest of anyone in mind, whether it be the renter or the local community. Perhaps I am jaded in my opinion.

    Nevertheless, you bring up an interesting point. There are many people around the world who overland, or engage in vehicle assisted travel, often by taking their own vehicle around the world. I never looked at this as a dis-service to a local economy. In my own family, we have the intention of doing in increments an around the world trip, but it will involve a lot of shipping back and forth. Iceland just presents a different set of questions in terms of doing this, due to it geographic location - that's why we thought we might rent there, or ship/purchase a vehicle other than the one we always travel in. Another thought was that we would ship our motorhome to Iceland, and then on to Europe, where we would store it with friends in Sweden until the next summer when we can continue our journey.

    Best,
    Jason

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    Re: Renting versus shipping?

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Thanks for responding. Please don't get me wrong, I was not suggesting that you were like what I described. Simply that we still have the memories of the "invasion" from back then.

    I completely get that the added expense considering the number in the group.

    Here is another factor for you to consider.........

    Iceland had what is known as The Ring Road, - which can be taken around the country. However, since you are considering several weeks, you would be missing a great deal of what makes Iceland unique, if you do not get off the Ring Road, and explore a bit of the incredible interior.

    And therein lies the the dilemma.

    Almost every road in Iceland, that is off the Ring road, is called an F-Road, and those roads are only for a 4X4. For instance, if you rent a car, and then decide to try an F-Road, it will be detected by the agency and you will pay dearly. Taking a "normal" or non4x4 on the F-Roads is an absolute nono. A 4X4 is required.

    There are bridgeless rivers to cross and such.

    You need to do some research and review a few websites on a regular basis to assimilate as to conditions. Here is an excerpt from a long response I have given in the past:

    If you do not want to do 4X4 off roading or F roads, you should stay mainly on the Ring Road. Here is some more information regarding the Ring, including a trip planner and a map of the Ring Road, with many highlites. Also a site for road conditions, and one for gasoline/petrol prices

    travel.yahoo.com/trip-map-15...

    travel.nytimes.com/2006/06/1...

    http://www.us.is/page/english

    http://www.vegagerdin.is/english

    gsmbensin.is/gsmbensin_web.p...

    I have a lot more information if you need.......good luck on figuring out what to do. Just remember, you will need a 4X4 type vehicle. Pleas be sure you have a GPS of some kind, and always ALWAYS, leave information with local authorities as to where you are going. Our rescue teams are constantly busy looking for wayward tourists, who thought they were in Jamaica........d:o)

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Renting versus shipping?

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    IMPORTANT, - the price of gasoline is per liter, NOT per gallon.

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  • Re: Renting versus shipping?

    by belizeanbus Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Wow! That's great information. Thanks a lot!

    I have read some of this before, so I have also been thinking of 4x4 options. As our plans solidify I may contact you for more specific advice, if you don't mind. This has been very helpful.

    Also, this is very preliminary - we won't be doing this trip until the summer of 2014! (I promise we will be very well prepared and not in need of rescue!!!) The 1 year old I mentioned will be born this summer!

    Thanks again!!!

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    Re: Renting versus shipping?

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Any time folks. No worries, you will have a great time.

    Sorry, but I gotta ask. Your screen name Belizian Bus.......?
    I am very familiar with Belize. I have spent a lot of time there and will eventually move there, in a year or two.......

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  • Re: Renting versus shipping?

    by mystydeb Online Now Mar 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    I cannot say much to the motorhome/car rental but I if you have a need for a Taxi....I have a friend who is very kind hearted and drives there so just in case you may want to take down her info. The company is Hreyfill and her taxi number is 185 :) Im sure if you tell her that I suggested her she would be happy. A happy driver is a good thing in any new country!

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  • Re: Renting versus shipping?

    by belizeanbus Online Now Mar 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Odinnthor:

    Sorry - I haven't been back to the site for awhile...

    Yes, the screen name is Belizeanbus, but not because I live in Belize. About a decade ago when I was a graduate student, my wife and I were travelling on a shoestring budget. I broke my foot on the journey and we made our way to a place called Dangriga in Belize, where we rented a little place on the beach and stayed local for awhile so that my foot could heal a bit. The experience was incredible and the people were truly remarkable. Belize is a special place for us, and the Belizean buses we got around on left their mark as well. We haven't been back since -there's simply too many places to visit.

    I don't think you could go wrong moving to Belize...

    Jason

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    Re: Renting versus shipping?

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Hey, thanks for coming back Jason. Yes, Belize can get under your skin. Dangriga is a nice spot to be sure. I remember when it was known as Stann Creek Town. Most people never get to the southern parts of Belize, fo' true?.....d:o)

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