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RV Camping in Norway: A Beginner's Guide

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Once forgotten, Norway nowadays is becoming a more and more desired destination. Beautiful nature and great hiking trails are attracting hundreds of tourists every year. The airline tickets’ low prices are tempting and travel agencies are competing in offers. Every trip becomes easy when booking an organized trip, you have everything set up, hotels booked for a certain time, hiking routes chosen and you know exactly where you will be and what you will see every day. Doesn’t that sound a bit limiting? Especially in such a country like Norway, where every corner there is some miracle of nature waiting for you to explore it? What if you had the freedom of traveling around Norway, anywhere you wanted, seeing anything you wish and driving as much as you are able to? This sense of freedom and fulfillment of traveling is what camping in Norway gives you. This is the best choice for your trip in Norway giving you the possibility of seeing as much of our magnificent country as possible. Where to start your planning though? We will help you out with our guide to camping in Norway. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s start preparing for the adventure!

A motorhome going down the road during the camping in Norway trip

Best wild camping in Norway: General rules

A motorhome rental in Norway is freedom, and unpredictability which gives you a real taste of adventure. Especially during the midnight sun where you get more daylight time to see even more. This kind of traveling attracts many tourists, with different necessities. For some, it is the best way of outdoor recreational activities and for others, the best way to relax and cut off from the hustle of the cities. There is no other way to spend your holidays with the family that gives so much joy. Camping is also the best way to save some money on accommodation and is definitely cheaper from organized tours. To spend this time in the best possible way, it also requires a certain preparation and good planning. The question which keeps coming up is, are you allowed to do wild camping in Norway? It is a very good question though and really worth exploring.

If you are dreaming of camping where there is only you and nature, we have good news for you. In Norway, everyone has the right to roam as everyone has the right to access to nature. It comes from the old tradition from 1957 called Allemannsretten. You just need to follow some rules. First, and the most important one is the common sense. Leave nature as you encountered it so others can enjoy it as much as you did. All the rubbish has to be collected after you camp.

You can camp and spend the night under the open sky in open space anywhere in the countryside on the uncultivated land. You need to remember that you are obligated to keep at least 150 meters (492 ft) distance from the nearest inhabited houses. You can then camp freely anywhere you wish for one night. If you would like to camp in one place for more than one night, then you will need permission from the landowner. This does not apply though if you are camping in some remote places like the mountains. There are some exceptions and you are not allowed to set up camp in national parks and all the places where you can find a sign forbidding  RV camping.

Tourist on their wild camping in Norway with spectacular view on a lake surrounded by mountains

If you are planning to camp with your RV in a forest, there is another very important rule to remember! Between 15th April to 15th September, it is forbidden to light fires near the forests.

You must as well remember that although camping in an open space is giving so much freedom, you need to leave the spot as you encountered it. Emptying the toilet and dumping gray water is strictly forbidden and can only be done in the designated places. Use your common sense when choosing the spot for your camping excursion, especially with a motorhome. Do not go on cultivated land as you will damage the vegetation and all the hard work on the owner of this land will be in vain.

Wild camping in Norway Fjords

Norwegian fjords are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the world. The landscapes here are unique and when traveling around the massive mountains, glaciers and powerful waterfalls, you get the impression it is out of this world. You can feel like you are on another planet. No wonder that it became so popular among tourists and many would like to do their RV camping among Norway fjords.

Of course, apart from Rv rental, you will also need to be equipped with some basic camping gear so you can start your adventure freely. Make sure your rental includes sleeping bags and gas burners as these are the essentials for your trip around Norway. Most of the RV rental companies in Norway offer additional camping gear like kitchenware, so you can cook during your journey, bed linen, gas bottles and other useful stuff you might find in handy during the trip. The vehicle you rented for your trip through Norway will become your home for these days. Make sure it meets your needs and you have everything so you can travel worry-free and be comfortable at all times.

Wild camping in the fjords might seem a bit difficult sometimes, so you might end up spending the night on a campground eventually. The roads here are right at the bottom of the mountains and in most places give no space to set up camp. For camping with an RV, you will need to find an open space. Remember that if you go up into the mountains, some of the spots can still be covered in snow, rocks, and ice. If you’ve already found a spot but you are not sure if you can camp there, you should go to the nearest campsite so you can be sure.

Do not bother with booking your spots at each campsite for your camper. Most of the campsites in Norway do not even take reservations in advance. You just need to show up, choose the spot and set up camp.

The campsites in Norway have many facilities like toilets, showers, wifi, and even a kitchenette you can use to prepare your meals. Some of the campgrounds in Norway have a reception with someone always present  to welcome you. Others though are open, so you can just enter, choose a spot and set up shop. It does not mean though these places are free of charge, eventually, someone will come to collect entry fees. This is where a camping card comes in handy.

The camping card Norway

There is something which will make your RV camping in Norway even easier and more pleasant. I am talking about Camping Key Europe (CKE). Some of you probably saw it somewhere with a different name - Camping Card Scandinavia. It was primarily valid in Norway, Sweden, and Finland and in 2012 was replaced by the Camping Key Europe. This card will give access to around 250 campsites in Norway. With this card, your check-in process at the campsites will get much quicker and easier. Additionally, you will be able to enjoy other benefits with your CKE, like ferry and restaurant discounts, and even some entrance to various activities.

A family camping in Norway with an RV near the lake with the mountains in the background

The greatest benefit of this card is that you are as well able to use it and enjoy a discount even during the off-peak. This does not apply to many of the camping cards offered in Norway, some only offer discounts during certain times of the year. You can get up to a 20% discount when using CKE. It also includes third-party insurance covering up to 6 passengers, without extra fees, also for any accidents at the campsites. This is a great opportunity for those who do not plan to hire any additional travel insurance and at least in some part, you will be covered by the insurance of your Camping Key Europe.

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