Explore America's Campgrounds
Sandy beaches, shallow-water sounds and some of the best surfing on the East Coast draw visitors to the North Carolina coastline. The Outer Banks, a strand of barrier islands, support small towns as well as long stretches of undeveloped oceanfront. If you head there in your RV, you'll find quite a few family-operated campgrounds, a few with resort amenities and outdoor activities inviting enough to lure you out of your rig no matter how attached to it you may be.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
While not technically RV parks with all the bells and whistles the name implies, the four campgrounds the National Park Service operates on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore are open to RVs. The campgrounds have large, level spots, but no hookups other than shared water spigots and dump stations. Campers share modern bathrooms and separate shower houses with cold water showers, but the water temperature at the shore is typically warm. Camping at the national seashore provides easy access to paddleboarding on the Pamlico Sound, surfing, ocean beaches and fishing piers.
Commercial Cape Hatteras RV Parks
If full hookups are a must-have, look into several oceanfront campgrounds on Cape Hatteras that cater to RVs. Kitty Hawk RV allows only travel trailers, fifth wheels, Class C campers and motor homes. All sites have electrical, sewer, water and cable hookups as well as Wi-Fi. There are no bathhouses, so your rig must be self-contained. Cape Hatteras KOA in Rodanthe has a seasonal swimming pool, hot tub and sauna, bike rentals and a miniature golf course. Ocean Waves Campground in Waves, North Carolina, has a pedestrian path through the dunes to the beach. The campground has large, paved RV sites with full hookups, a swimming pool and a game room.
The Sparkling Crystal Coast
Less famous than the northern Outer Banks, the Crystal Coast includes Cape Lookout National Seashore, Fort Macon and miles of uncrowded, sandy beach. RV camping on Cape Lookout is limited to North and South Core Banks. You'll have to do without hookups and will need to pay for ferry service to reach the camping areas. A favorite with scuba divers because of the clear water and abundance of shipwrecks, the area also draws surfers and sunbathers. Sites at Camp Ocean Forest Campground have full hookups including cable; the campground has a dump station and laundry room. With 325 sites, Holiday Trav-L-Park Resort is one of the larger RV parks on the coast. You'll enjoy go-karts, a convenience store with a wine shop, an arcade and full hookup sites. Both RV parks are in Emerald Isle.
Fishing, Rowing and Hanging Ten
Wilmington, the largest city on North Carolina’s coast, has a 2-mile-long Riverwalk along the banks of the Cape Fear River. Outfitters in the area rent canoes and kayaks, lead fishing expeditions and give surfing lessons. Pet-friendly Winner’s RV Park in Carolina Beach, a short walk from the Atlantic Ocean, has 21 full hookup sites with cable and Wi-Fi. The Winner family also operates Winner Fishing & Cruise Boats at the Carolina Beach Marina. While neither is oceanfront, Carolina Beach State Park on the sound side permits RVs but does not have hookups, and SeaMist Camping Resort has a private beach on Shallotte Inlet and full hookup sites.
- National Park Service: Cape Hatteras National Seashore
- National Park Service: Cape Hatteras National Seashore: Campgrounds
- Kitty Hawk RV
- Ocean Waves Campground
- The Crystal Coast: Scuba Diving
- Camp Ocean Forest Campground
- Holiday Trav-L-Park Resort
- Wilmington, N.C. and Our Island Beaches
- Winner’s RV Park
Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.