Crossing small streams
We here at AB Car rental do not recommend that you try crossing any rivers glacial or otherwise in theToyota Rav4
However it is 4x4 vehicle and as such it can be used to cross
small streams. Driving into an Icelandic river should be avoided
at all costs, the rivers here in Iceland can be treacherous and the
river beds can become undriveable very quickly. We are referring
to when you wish to cross a more modest type of rivers which in general would fall under small streams.
Bear in mind one very important thing!
ANY driving/crossing of rivers, streams, lakes, ponds or seawater devoid any and ALL insurance you have on the rented vehicle.
The best way to cross a stream after you have found a suitable spot to cross is to go on foot across the intended path. If the stream is not crossable on foot it is unwise to cross it on a non modified jeep (i.e. if you are not in a large, modified jeep you will not make it across on a small unmodified SUV).
River crossings on all major highland roads are marked
but due to the nature of the ever shifting riverbeds the
markings of a river crossing should be taken as a
guide, you need to cross it on foot before you drive
across to make sure you are following the best
The rivers in Iceland can be divided into 2 categories,
clear water streams and glacier rivers. Glacier rivers
are particularly tricky and can be quite elusive that is
the amount of water and force can change quite
dramatically over a short period of time. Due to the
ice melting faster on the glacier during daytime you will find those rivers have the least amount of water in the morning, gradually increasing in size and strength as the day follows.
Another factor to bear in mind is that precipitation has effects on the size and strength of rivers in Iceland and you can sometimes see a visible difference within 30 minutes.
When you come to a marked river crossing look closely at the proposed crossing. When you look upstream you will see where the water starts to break of the river bed and further on downstream as well. The best place to cross is where the water uppermost place in the crossing where the water looks the most unruly. Where the river looks calm you will find the deepest part of the riverbed, not to mention there can be quicksand in those spots. Now saying that it´s best to cross where the water breaks uppermost in the crossing be aware that you can encounter large stones, up to boulders if you are not careful, hence, WALK the crossing before driving over it!
Now that you have found the best spot to cross and have walked the intended path, it´s time to get in your vehicle and perform the actual river crossing. Put the vehicle in 4 wheel drive and first gear BEFORE you enter the water, do not change gears in the water. Once you are in the river you are committed to use the gear you are in until you are back on dry land. The best way to drive a vehicle under most circumstances over rivers is to drive diagonally downstream. This way the current will help with pushing of the vehicle over the riverbed and onto dry land as well as if you drive the vehicle upstream you are giving the motor an unwanted bath which can result in it stalling. The air intake of the engine has to ALWAYS be above water or you risk damage to the motor.
If you follow these directions or others similar to this one you should be able to cross small streams.
Here is a video that shows you what can happen if you try to cross a river that is not soutable for the car you are driving.