How to Plan a Motorhome Adventure in Norway

Norway is a fantastic destination to explore with a motorhome.  Driving through Norway’s stunning landscapes in a motorhome or campervan means every turn reveals a new amazing sight to explore. This country is perfect for road trips with a mobile home: from the awe-inspiring Atlantic Road to the dizzying twists of Trollstigen, you’ll find plenty of sights to see in Norway.  However, before you plan your road trip and motorhome rental in Norway there are some things you need to know.  Let’s get planning!

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Interested in this kind of adventure in Norway with a motorhome? Pack wisely, respect nature, and get ready for one of the best campervan road trips in Europe!

Planning your Campervan Journey

As you can imagine, embarking on a campervan adventure through Norway requires thorough planning. This includes selecting the right vehicle size and mapping out the routes that will lead you through the places you want to see.

When it comes to scenic drives on your road trip with a motorhome rental in Norway, this country’s roads are a dream; so you need to plan exactly what you want to see so you don’t miss anything!  It is also essential to book your motorhome as far in advance as you can to guarantee your preferred model is available, and to get the best deals.

When hiring a campervan or motorhome make sure you review the rental company’s policies regarding insurance coverage, driver requirements, mileage limitations, and any additional fees. 

If you plan on bringing your own motorhome to Norway, make sure you are aware of the regulations regarding bringing a vehicle into the country, as well as any International Driving License requirements and time limits on your stay in Norway. 

Check if your existing insurance policies provide coverage for campervan travel in Norway, and consider getting travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellation, and roadside assistance in case you break down. 

This article about hiring a campervan for a road trip has lots of tips about hiring a campervan or a motorhome.

Incredible Scenery on a Norway Motorhome Adventure
Incredible Scenery on a Norway Motorhome Adventure

Suggested Norway Motorhome Routes

There are plenty of things to see in Norway while travelling around in a campervan or motorhome, from amazing fjords to some unique natural and cultural experiences.

Decide on the places you want to visit and plan your route accordingly. Consider the distance between destinations, driving times, and attractions along the way, as well as rest stops and places to spend the night.

Here are some recommended routes to consider:

  • Scenic routes: The Atlantic Road and Trollstigen offer dramatic twists and turns against the backdrop of Norway’s raw beauty. The Atlantic Road has been called the world’s most beautiful drive 
  • Wildlife spotting and coastal camping: As you navigate the coastal regions, keep your eyes peeled for the rich wildlife – you can see eagles soaring high up, moose hiding in the dense forests… And even whales and polar bears if you go far enough up North.
  • Fjord cruising and Northern Lights viewing: Don’t miss the chance to cruise the fjords, where towering cliffs meet crystal-clear waters. And, if you’re venturing north, the sight of the Northern Lights in the clear Arctic sky is an experience that should definitely be on your radar.

Where to Go in Norway in a Campervan

Lofoten Islands

Known for their dramatic peaks, stunning fjords, and picturesque fishing villages, the Lofoten Islands offer incredible scenery and ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and wildlife watching.

Norwegian Fjords

The fjords of Norway, including Geirangerfjord, Nærøyfjord, and Sognefjord, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and offer breathtaking views. Campervanning along these fjords provides opportunities to explore charming towns, waterfalls, and glaciers.

Northern Norway

Beyond the Arctic Circle lies Northern Norway, where you can experience the midnight sun in summer and the northern lights in winter. Explore destinations like Tromsø, Senja, and Nordkapp for unique landscapes and outdoor adventures.

Norway’s National Parks

National Parks like Hardangervidda, Jotunheimen and Rondane offer incredible scenery from vast wilderness in Hardangervidda, Norway’s largest National Park, to mountain peaks in the “Home of the Giants” in Jotunheimen National Park.  Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and wildlife spotting in these incredible natural locations.

The Coastline

Explore Norway’s coastline, including southern destinations like Kristiansand, Mandal, and Stavanger, or head further north to Trondheim, and drive along the coastal route (Kystriksveien) towards Bodø. Prepare for sandy beaches, charming coastal towns, and watersports like kayaking and surfing.

Oslo and Surroundings

You don’t have to leap into nature to enjoy campervanning in Norway.  Begin your campervan adventure from Oslo and explore the surrounding areas, including the Oslofjord region, forests, and lakes. Visit attractions like the Viking Ship Museum, Holmenkollen Ski Jump, and the Oslo Opera House before heading out into the countryside.

A Motorhome Stop on the Norwegian Coast
A Motorhome Stop on the Norwegian Coast

Where to Camp in Norway in a Motorhome

When it comes to your camping options, they can vary widely; from secluded wild camping spots to organized sites with all the amenities. The choice is yours, but remember to book these in advance where you can, especially during high season as popular sites can fill up quickly.

Wild Camping

Norway is a great place to explore with a campervan or motorhome as the Norwegian “right to roam” means you can camp (including in a campervan or motorhome) anywhere in the country as long as you are at least 150 metres away from the nearest inhabited house or cabin.

If you want to stay for more than two nights in the same place, you must ask the landowner’s permission, unless you are in the mountains or in very remote areas.

However, in some popular tourist areas (mainly during the summer) there are restrictions on free camping due to the number of people visiting so make sure you do some more research if you plan to visit busy areas like Lofoten in Northern Norway and some places in Fjord Norway.

Remember you will need to have enough water for your wild camping trip, and only empty grey and black water (toilets) and other waste in designated areas.  

Check campervan apps such as iOverlander and Search4sites to find campsites and free camping options that others have recommended.   

While it is a good idea to plan your journey, keep flexibility in mind. Norway’s natural beauty is unparalleled, and you’ll probably find a majestic fjord or tranquil forest you want to explore or spend more time in. So, don’t be afraid to change your plans once in a while!

Campsites

There are lots of campsites in Norway which have facilities for campervans and motorhomes, whether you just want to empty your waste and top up water, or to stay for several nights to enjoy the area with all the comforts of a campsite.

Visit Norway has some tips for camping and motorhoming in Norway, as well as some recommendations for campsites in Norway.  You can also ask your Norway motorhome rental company for advice and recommendations.

Motorhome at a Campsite in Norway
Motorhome at a Campsite in Norway

What Kind of Campervan or Motorhome to Hire in Norway

There are lots of different types and sizes of motorhomes or campervans that could work well for your Norway campervan adventure.  When thinking about what would work best for you there are several things to consider before you rent a campervan. 

Some things you need to think about include:

  • how many people are travelling in the vehicle
  • if you will be camping at campsites or wild camping
  • how experienced you are in campervanning and driving abroad
  • what kind of terrain or roads you will be driving on
  • what facilities you would like
  • your budget 

Here are some options for the kind of motorhome or campervan you might choose:

Campervans

Campervans are compact and easy to manoeuvre, making them ideal for navigating Norway’s narrow roads and tight spaces. They typically offer basic amenities such as a bed, small kitchenette, and sometimes a toilet/shower although facilities vary quite a bit. Campervans are great for solo travellers or couples seeking a budget-friendly and hassle-free option for driving around Norway.

Compact Motorhomes

Compact motorhomes offer more space and amenities compared to campervans but are still relatively easy to drive and park. They typically include a sleeping area, kitchenette, dining/living space, and bathroom facilities. Compact motorhomes are suitable for small families or groups of up to four people, and can also be great for solo travellers or couples who want more facilities than a campervan.

My campervan Mabel was really a compact motorhome, with a built-in toilet and shower and full kitchen facilities.  This was perfect for me travelling alone and provided everything I needed, including for doing wild camping, but was also really easy to drive.

Mabel the Motorhome Wild Camping in a Forest Car Park
Mabel the Motorhome – My Campervan or Compact Motorhome

Medium-sized Motorhomes

Medium-sized motorhomes offer increased living space and amenities, making them suitable for larger families or groups. They typically feature separate sleeping areas, a larger kitchen and dining/living space, and a full bathroom with shower facilities. Medium-sized motorhomes provide a balance between comfort and manoeuvrability on Norway’s roads, although some roads may have weight or height restrictions for bridges and tunnels.

Large Motorhomes

Large motorhomes offer the most space and amenities, providing a comfortable and luxurious travel experience. However, large motorhomes may be more challenging to drive on Norway’s narrow roads and restrictions on weight or height can cause problems, so they probably aren’t the best choice for a Norway motorhome.

4WD Motorhomes

If you plan to explore remote or off-the-beaten-path areas in Norway, consider renting a 4WD motorhome or camper. These vehicles are equipped with four-wheel drive capabilities, allowing you to access rugged terrain and adventurous destinations so they are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore Norway’s wilderness areas.

The Best Time to Go to Norway with a Motorhome

The best time to visit Norway depends on what kind of activities you want to do, and how confident you are with the weather, which can vary from glorious sunshine to several feet of snow.

For example, if you brave Norway in winter, you’ll find a transformed landscape with snow everywhere, perfect for skiing, snowshoeing, and seeing the magical Northern Lights. However, you’ll need to prepare for the cold and shorter days and make sure your campervan or motorhome is equipped for cold weather camping and driving in icy conditions.

As spring blooms, the snow melts away, revealing fresh greenery and a lot of opportunities for wildlife encounters. This time of year is ideal for those keen to explore Norway’s vast fjords without the summer crowds, and similarly, Autumn can be another lovely time to visit Norway.

The summer is the busiest time to go to Norway with more traffic on the roads and campsites can fill up – but the weather is usually good.  Each season in Norway has different benefits for those driving around the country in a motorhome. Make sure you do your research in advance, and I’m sure you’ll have an unforgettable time whenever you decide to go!

Green campervan in front of a cold lake in Norway with snow-covered hills beyond - Cold Weather Brings Extra Challenges for Campervan Road Trips
Cold Weather Brings Extra Challenges for Campervan Road Trips

More Tips for Your Norway Motorhome Trip

Packing Your Motorhome

Remember to pack appropriate clothing for varying weather conditions, including warm layers, waterproof jackets, and sturdy footwear. Don’t forget campervan essentials such as sleeping bags, pillows, cooking utensils, and toiletries.

Before hitting the road, stock up on groceries, drinking water, and camping supplies. Consider buying food and other essentials in larger towns or cities where there are more options (and probably lower prices) than in more remote areas.  

Respect the Environment and Local Communities 

Adopt eco-friendly habits as much as possible, such as using biodegradable products, practising minimal-impact (leave no trace) camping, and supporting conservation projects. Your actions will help preserve Norway’s pristine environments for future generations.

Camp responsibly and take the time to engage with local communities whenever you can. For example, if you go to Lapland and Northern Denmark, you might want to visit the Sami, an indigenous population with their own unique traditions and amazing culture to explore.

Safety Precautions

Make sure you have emergency supplies such as a first-aid kit, flashlight, batteries, emergency blankets, and a basic toolkit, as well as a reliable communication device in case of emergencies.

Familiarize yourself with local safety regulations, and keep updated on weather conditions.  Check weather forecasts regularly, especially if you plan to travel in remote or mountainous areas. Be prepared for changing weather conditions and adjust your plans accordingly.

Internet connectivity may be limited in remote areas so download offline maps to navigate (maps.me is great for this) and consider purchasing a local SIM card or eSim for your phone to make sure you stay connected.  

In any case, although not for everyone, a camper van trip through Norway can definitely be one of the most intense experiences in your life. If you’re attracted by this kind of adventure and do your planning I’m sure you won’t regret going to Norway with a motorhome!

 

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