Roaming Paradise: RVing Bliss in the Outer Banks of Coastal North Carolina

Table of Contents

outer bank camping options (tent, cabin, rv, etc.)Outer Banks camping options are incredibly diverse and well-rounded. They range from high-end glamping resorts, quiet beachside RV parks to modest public campgrounds that accommodate all stripes of campers. This post reviews the top 10 best Outer Banks campgrounds and RV parks based on user ratings, facilities, and proximity to activities.


We will also share an overview of the Outer Banks region, some fascinating facts, top things to do, as well as some FAQs. Further, we will reveal the precise location, no. of sites, nightly rates, and standout features of every top Campground in Outer Banks.


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Introducing the Outer Banks + Fascinating Facts

 

Nestled off the coast of North Carolina, the Outer Banks are a string of barrier islands stretching over 175 miles from the border of Virginia. They separate the Atlantic Ocean from the rest of the mainland by around 30 miles. Their vast open beaches, sand dunes, water sports, shipwreck diving sites, iconic lighthouses, and wild horses make them a very compelling holiday destination.


The islands that make up the Outer Banks are: Bodie Island (northernmost, extends south from Virginia), Roanoke Island, Hatteras Island (longest at 50 miles), and Ocracoke Island (southernmost and only reachable by ferry or boat).


Fun Facts About the Outer Banks

 

outer banks campgroundsHere are some fascinating facts about the Outer Banks:

  • Outer Banks is frequently abbreviated as OBX.
  • The Outer Banks is nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic because it has over 3,000 sunken craft off its shores.
  • The Wright brothers took their famous first flight here.
  • It’s home to America’s oldest unsolved mystery. In 1957, the first English settlement in North America disappeared mysteriously, and to this day, no one is sure what happened to them.
  • One of the world’s last remaining populations of purebred Colonial Spanish Mustangs lives here.
  • The islands were a pirate’s playground, with the most notorious raider being Captain Blackbeard.
  • It has the nation’s tallest lighthouse—Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
  • It’s the birthplace of broadcasting and the first US Weather Bureau station.
  • A station in the Outer Banks was the only place in the US to receive the Titanic’s distress message.
  • The Outer Banks population is 57,755, and around 5 million people visit the islands each year.


Things to Do When RV Camping in Outer Banks


campgrounds in outer banksThe Outer Banks have an astonishing variety of activities to keep you occupied for days. Here are the top things to do in this seaside playground:

  • Discover the Highest Sand Dunes on the Entire Atlantic Coast – At Jockey’s Ridge State park, visitors will enjoy hiking through and sandboarding 100-foot high, shape-shifting sand dunes. Other pursuits include kite flying, hang gliding, and swimming on a beach with super shallow water.
  • Explore the Untamed Beauty of Cape Hatteras National Seashore – Stretching over 70 miles long, this natural gem lures visitors with its vastly secluded beaches, picturesque lighthouses, maritime forests, and rolling waves.
  • Take some History Lessons – Head to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills and see the site of the first flight. Next, visit Blackbeard Museum to learn about the exploits and exhibits of a legendary pirate. Also, add The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum to your itinerary. Finally, don’t miss the longest-running outdoor symphonic drama about the mysterious Lost Colony.
  • Climb a Lighthouse – There are 6 towering lighthouses in the OBX. Start with Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. At 208 feet, it’s the largest brick lighthouse in North America and one of the most famous in the world.
  • Scout for Wild Horses – Around 100 wild mustangs gallop free on the beaches north of Corolla. Legend has it that their ancestors swam ashore from Spanish shipwrecks in the 16th century.
  • Marvel at the Sea Creatures in North Carolina Aquarium – Situated on Roanoke Island, this site showcases maritime species like jellyfish, gators, sharks, sea otters, eels, and rays. You can also enjoy kayaking tours, fishing, and crabbing.
  • Dive into Aqua Sports – The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a world-class destination for kiteboarding, parasailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, surfing, and jet skiing. Kayaking, canoeing, and swimming are also popular.
  • Reel in a Big One – The OBX is the capital of big fish. Book a deep-sea fishing charter to catch majestic tuna, swordfish, gaffer, mahi, and wahoo. Jennette’s Pier is an excellent year-round platform for anglers that don’t want to board a vessel.
  • Tuck in Local Cuisine – Indulge in fresh seafood and Outer Banks specialties at waterfront restaurants and seafood markets. Don’t miss local favorites like OBX-style barbecue, shrimp and grits, crab cakes, and clam chowder. Prefer to cook your own meals? Here are some one-pot camping meal ideas.
  • Have Family Fun – For more family-friendly activities, check out First Flight Adventure Park, H2OBX Waterpark, Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, and Children @ Play Museum.
  • Spend a Day at the Beach – Of course, you can head straight for the unspoiled sands of Outer Banks. Some of the best beaches are Corolla, Coquina, Old Lighthouse, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Ocracoke, and Kill Devil Hills. For pet parents, Duck Beach is the most dog-friendly.


Best Time to RV Camp in Outer Banks

 

obx campgroundThe best months to go camping in the Outer Banks are between March and May or September and November. Around this time, there are no crowds, campground rates are affordable, and the temperatures are mild. Summer sees huge crowds, higher prices, and the conditions are super humid and hot.


Can You Drive an RV to the Outer Banks?


Yes, the OBX can be accessed by RV from
several different points depending on where you’re coming from. The Bypass, also known as Croatan Highway and US Highway 158, is the biggest road on the Outer Banks. It will get you to the largest number of places fastest. 


Prefer to take it all in at a slower pace? Drive Highway 12. It’s a slim highway that snakes through the islands. It reveals diverse scenery from wetlands, beaches, and quaint small towns and has lots of opportunities to pull off and observe things.


In total, it runs 148 miles and involves a free ferry ride from Hatteras to Ocracoke Island. Even the largest RVs can access Outer Banks roads. The ferry is also spacious enough for big rigs.


Best Outer Banks Camping Options for RV Travelers

 

outer banks camping on beachIf you’re searching for the best RV camping near me in Outer Banks, here’s a wrap-up of the top options. They range from private getaways to public OBX campgrounds.


Overall Best Outer Banks Camping Option: Camp Hatteras RV Resort & Campground

  • Google Ratings: 4.3 out of 5 stars from 1.3k reviews
  • Location: 24798 North Carolina Hwy 12, Rodanthe
  • RV Sites: 400
  • Rates: $60 to $160 daily
  • Standout Features: Oceanfront sites, 3 pools, jacuzzi, sports courts, gear rentals, and beach access.

Camp Hatteras RV Resort is what RV vacation dreams are made of. It offers 1000 ft of ocean and sound access, a heated indoor pool, an outdoor pool, kiddie pool, a jacuzzi, and a marina with water sports rentals. Stay active playing tennis, basketball, shuffleboard, cornhole, or miniature golf. Kids will love the playground, plus planned activities and crafts.


Guests can also take advantage of bike rentals, a game room, cable, free WiFi, and a clubhouse with a kitchen. Other conveniences include 5 bath houses, 4 laundry facilities, a camp store, full hookup sites, concrete pads, patios, and paved roads. Your furry baby will have a dog park. In addition, the park has round-the-clock security.


Best KOA Camping in Outer Banks: Cape Hatteras / Outer Banks KOA Resort

 

  • Google Ratings: 4.4 out of 5 stars from 1.3 reviews
  • Location: 25099 North Carolina Hwy 12, Rodanthe
  • RV Sites: 314
  • Rates: $60 to $200 daily
  • Standout Features: Beach access, planned activities, and a pool.


If you’re hunting for the iconic yellow logo,
KOA Outer Banks is the ideal launch point for your OBX vacation. Lying right next to the beach, this coastal oasis offers gorgeous water views, and an astonishing variety of water activities. To keep your family entertained, there’s a resort-style pool, hot tub, jumping pillow, and pirate ship playground.


They also organize fun events like movie nights, tie-dye, rock painting, and a kids’ fun train. More highlights include a pavilion, cable TV, WiFi, snack bar, fish-cleaning station, golf cart rentals, firewood, and a large dog park. Sites are spacious and have full hookups. Indeed, this piece of paradise offers some of the best Outer Banks camping on the beach.


Best Public Campground in Outer Banks: Oregon Inlet Campground

 

can you drive an rv to the outer banks?

  • Google Ratings: 4.4 out of 5 stars from 791 reviews
  • Location: 12001 North Carolina Hwy 12, Nags Head
  • RV Sites: 107 (47 hookups)
  • Rates: $28 to $35 daily
  • Standout Features: Electric and water hookups, dump station, and sand dune hikes.


Oregon Inlet is another of the best
campgrounds in Outer Banks. This public getaway stands out because it’s the only campground in Cape Hatteras National Seashore with full hookups. Beyond the RV spots, it has tent campsites, picnic tables, charcoal grills, restrooms, and outdoor showers. 


Campers will love the stunning views of the surrounding coastal landscape, including sand dunes, marshes, and the Atlantic Ocean. The sounds of crashing waves will lure you to sleep. Notably, sites are paved, level, and back-in, and there’s no shade. While there, make sure you check out Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, just 20 minutes away.


Best Waterfront Camping in Outer Banks: Frisco Woods Campgrounds Inc

 

  • Google Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars from 720 reviews
  • Location: 53124 North Carolina Hwy 12, Frisco
  • RV Sites: 250
  • Rates: $70 to $100 daily
  • Standout Features: Oceanfront, large launching site for water sports, pool, and full hookups.


Located on the Pamlico Sound on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore,
Frisco Woods Campground is another stellar private RV camping option in OBX (not to be confused with the public Frisco Campground). It has a huge waterfront launching area for windsurfing, kiting, kayaking, canoeing, jet skis, sailboats, and small boats.


On amenities, there’s a swimming pool, free WiFi, laundry, fish-cleaning bench, dishwashing areas, and a dump station. Pick up ice, groceries, and beach supplies at the fully-stocked camp store. Further, they have kayak and paddle board rentals, free air refill, and 30-50 amp service for RV camping. It’s also one of the best Outer Banks campgrounds with cabins.


Most Affordable Outer Banks RV Park: Ocean Waves Campground

 

  • Google Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars from 323 reviews
  • Location: 25313 N 12 Hwy, Waves
  • RV Sites: 68
  • Rates: $55 to $75 daily
  • Standout Features: Beach access, dune access, and swimming pool.

Ocean Waves Campground is a nice, level RV park lying right on the beach. It has a small number of sites, making it ideal for RVers looking for solitude. And it’s hard to find better rates in a private OBX RV park. Take a dip in the sparkling pool, restock at the camp store, relax under the shady trees, or take a peaceful stroll on the beach.


Also, guests have easy access to sand dunes and a fishing pier. Choose between single and double-width sites pads. Some other convenient facilities are a game room, dog run, free WiFi, cable TV, hot showers, flush toilets, picnic tables, and paved roads. Notably, sites are pretty tight but can accommodate most rigs.


Best No-Frills RV Park in Outer Banks: Kitty Hawk RV Park

 

  • Google Ratings: 4.4 out of 5 stars from 149 reviews
  • Location: 3945 N Croatan Hwy, Kitty Hawk
  • RV Sites: 30
  • Rates: $70 to $85 daily
  • Standout Features: Direct access to the beach and full hookups.


With sites just 100 feet from the Beach,
Kitty Hawk Campground is another awesome place to settle near the ocean. It’s very quiet, clean and uncrowded. Although space is limited, you’ll still have room to open your awning and bring out beach chairs.


Campers appreciate the full hookups, super friendly staff, good cell signal, affordable rates, and excellent restaurants nearby. However, the campground has no showers, bathrooms, and the sites are all sand. 


Most Peaceful RV Park in Outer Banks: Sands of Time Campground

 

  • Google Ratings: 4.2 out of 5 stars from 102 reviews
  • Location: 40523 North End Rd, Avon
  • RV Sites: 57
  • Rates: $60 to $70 daily
  • Standout Features: Peaceful setting, full hookups, tent sites, and cottage rentals.


Situated off the beaten path in the Village of Avon (Kinnakeet),
Sands of Time Campground is a calm and serene place to park your RV. This OBX campground is within walking distance of unspoiled beaches, a fishing pier, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment.


Further, it’s just 2 ½ miles from Canadian Hole, a famous destination for windsurfers, kite surfers, and other wind sports enthusiasts. You’ll have long sites, full RV utilities, cable TV, hot showers, laundry, picnic tables, and a fish-cleaning station. You’ll definitely love the courteous and helpful staff. They also offer Outer Banks tent camping and cottages.


Best Outer Banks Campground for Aqua Sports: Rodanthe Watersports and Campground

 

  • Google Ratings: 4.8 out of 5 stars from 193 reviews
  • Location: 24170 North Carolina Hwy 12, Rodanthe
  • RV Sites: 25
  • Rates: $70 to $100 daily
  • Standout Features: Soundfront sites, watersport rentals, plus electric & water hookups.


Get away from the daily grind and unwind along the sound at
Rodanthe Campground. Visitors are delighted to camp next to calm waters and to have an impressive variety of water sports. You’ll have unmatched sound access for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, and fishing. 


Additionally, you’ll be a short stroll from a beautiful beach, fishing pier, skate park, and restaurants. You can rent kayaks, SUPs, surfboards, sailboats, boogie boards, skimboards, bikes, beach chairs, and umbrellas. Campers have electricity, water, and a small yard on every site. Further, there’s a bathhouse, WiFi, and firepits. Note there are no sewer hookups, and sites are pretty small.


Best Dry Camping in Outer Banks: Ocracoke Campground

 

  • Google Ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars from 371 reviews
  • Location: 4352 Irvin Garrish Hwy, Ocracoke
  • RV Sites: 135
  • Rates: $28
  • Standout Features: Right in the dunes of the beach, grills, flush toilets, showers, and water.


Nestled between trees and dunes,
Ocracoke Campground is one of the most beautiful natural camping areas in the OBX. While it doesn’t have hookups, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a good number of amenities. That includes grills, tables, flush toilets, drinking water, and cold showers. Parking pads are paved and level, and the roads are asphalt. 


RV and trailer maximum length is 40 ft. To relieve your tanks, there’s a dump station right across the street. There’s a paved bike path from the campgrounds into Ocracoke town 3 miles away. Thanks to its seclusion, it has a dark night sky perfect for stargazing. Notably, you’ll board a free ferry to reach this campground. Thankfully, the ferry has enough space to fit a large RV.


Best Outerbanks Camping With Unique Accommodation: Hatteras Sands Campground

 

  • Google Ratings: 4.3 out of 5 stars from 363 reviews
  • Location: 57316 Eagle Pass Rd, Hatteras
  • RV Sites: 60
  • Rates: $70 to $130 daily
  • Standout Features: Huge pool, clubhouse, and game room.


Resting picturesquely among beautiful canals and grassy fields,
Hatteras Sands Campground is a fantastic place to kick back and relax. Its sites can accommodate the largest rigs, and all spots have full connections, plus cable and WiFi. In addition, you can stay in cottages, cabins, or tents. There’s a host of water-drenched activities to participate in. Fish right from the beach, take a charter boat to the Gulf Stream, or launch your kayak right into the park canal.


Guests are pampered with an Olympic-sized pool and a large clubhouse with a lounge and game room featuring a pool table, video games, and puzzles. You’ll also be impressed by the air-conditioned bathhouse with hot water and laundry facilities. The beach is located just 5 minutes away, and you’ll be less than a mile away from 4WD accessible beaches. Also, there are great restaurants close by.


Other Top Outer Banks RV Parks

 

outer banks rv parks

Other popular Outer Banks camping options are Cape Woods Campgrounds & Cabins, OBX Campground, Cape Point Campground, St. Clair Landing Family Campground, North Beach Campground, and The Refuge on Roanoke Island.

 


FAQs About Outer Banks Camping

 

Here are some frequently asked questions about RV camping in Outer Banks.


What’s the Best Size RV for Outer Banks?


You can explore the Outer Banks in any size RV. However, a motorhome or trailer under 25 feet is a better choice as you can easily maneuver narrow roads and explore local towns. In addition, many RV sites in the Outer Banks are too tight for big rigs.


How Much Does it Cost to Rent an RV in Outer Banks?


The
cost to rent a travel trailer in the Outer Banks is $90-$125, fifth wheel $100-$175, campervan $150-$300, Class A $200-$400, and Class C $160-$225. Pop-ups are the most affordable type of RV rental in Outer Banks, starting at $75.


How Much Time Do You Need to Tour Outer Banks in an RV?


You’ll likely need around 3 to 4 days to enjoy the main highlights in all the Outer Banks islands. However, a week-long trip will help you take in the islands’ beauty at a more relaxed pace. While it’s technically possible to see the Outer Banks in a day, 24 hours isn’t enough to truly experience the OBX.


Is There Outer Banks State Park Camping?


No, Jockeys Ridge State Park is the only SP in the OBX and it doesn’t offer camping. Public camping can be found at the 4 campgrounds in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The nearest state park that offers camping is Pettigrew State Park.


Outer Banks Camping Options are Beautiful, Exciting, and Varied


The Outer Banks have a slice of something special for every type of camper. Whether you prefer upscale resorts, small family-owned RV parks, or no-frills public campgrounds, you’ll find a perfect place to unplug and unwind. Plus, there’s an outstanding range of seaside activities to fill your time. So, buckle up, pack your sunscreen, and embark on a journey to discover the magic of the OBX!