It’s easy to say a place really has it all, but when you’re talking about natural splendor seen from the driver’s seat of a recreational vehicle, few places have more than North Carolina. There’s a little something for everybody in the Tar Heel State, whether you’re looking for incredible mountain views, a trip to the beach, a day in the lap of luxury at The Biltmore Estate, or deep-woods camping where the trout are plentiful and the rock climbing is world-class. With so much to see in every corner of the state, renting an RV just might be the best possible way to see what matters most to you.
Deep river gorges. Massive stone caps. Breathtaking foothill views. Hundreds of miles of barrier islands. North Carolina offers one of the most diverse collections of natural destinations anywhere in the country. All of this adds up to one simple truth: The best way to see North Carolina is by road trip. With so much natural wonder in one state, an RV gives you the control to chart your own course while always giving you a place to stay after a day of sightseeing and fun in the great outdoors.
In Town Creek on the Little River, extensive archaeological efforts have taught historians and anthropologists much about the Pee Dee people, a unique cultural group that arose from the confluence of several native peoples local to North Carolina. The historic burial mound serves as the centerpiece of the meticulously recreated facilities of the Town Creek Indian Mound. Visitors can enjoy self-guided or, depending on the availability of staff, guided tours of the replicated townhouse, lodges, and mortuary on site. There’s also a nature trail to give you a look at the local flora and fauna.
Admission is free, making this a great day trip as part of a bigger RV tour of North Carolina. Norwood Campground is one of the closest RV-friendly parks to Town Creek, with Morrow Mountain State Park and Airport RV Park offering several options for an overnight stay. Learn more about Town Creek Indian Mound.
For those truly looking to get away from it all in the heart of nature, Uwharrie National Forest is a fantastic destination. As a designated Game Lands area, it offers some of the best hunting in North Carolina—though be aware that it requires a special permit in addition to your North Carolina Hunting license. Once properly licensed, Uwharrie is a great place for hunting, trapping, and fishing, and if you’re looking to work on your shooting skills, check out one of the on-site shooting ranges.
As a national forest managed by the USDA Forest Service, dispersed camping is allowed throughout the area. You’ll need permits to camp, so this is one destination where you will definitely want to get in touch with the Ranger District Office. There are trails and service roads stretching throughout the park, and the edges of these paths make for great camping, with plenty of room even for your RV—as long as you don’t mind boondocking it. Learn more about Uwharrie National Forest.
There is great RV camping to be found no matter where you go in North Carolina, from the Atlantic coast all the way into the Smoky Mountains.
These campgrounds are usually congregated around attractions, but you’ll find them across the entire state.
Asheville Bear Creek RV Park in Asheville, North Carolina is just a stone’s throw from The Biltmore Estate, Bear Creek offers concrete sites and wi-fi throughout the park. Come because it’s close to so much that Asheville offers visitors, and stay for mountain views just outside the door of your rented RV.
Camping World Racing Resort in Charlotte, North Carolina is a must-stay venue. Racing fans won’t want to miss a trip to the Racing Resort, which is located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Just two miles off Interstate 85, this is an accessible resort for a pit stop along a larger trip through North Carolina, or potentially a destination in its own right.
Brunswick Beaches Camping Resort in Sunset Beach, North Carolina is another great place. If your RV trip has you enjoying the coastline, you can’t do much better than Brunswick Beaches. Just down the road from Myrtle Beach, this resort is the perfect home base for a vacation filled with beach days and ocean fishing excursions.
These are just a few of the good campgrounds to stay at. If you’d like a full list of campgrounds in North Carolina, then you should check out Good Sam’s list of campgrounds.
North Carolina has a very diverse geography, offering RV travelers opportunities to experience quaint seaside villages and great mountain ranges. Your experience level driving by RV might inform your decision when it comes to how big of an RV to rent. Looking to enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway? A smaller vehicle might be easier to navigate in the foothills. Think critically about the right balance of comfort in your RV and the spaces you plan to visit.
Boondocking, also known as dry camping or dispersed camping, refers to setting up camp outside of developed campgrounds. It’s a great way to get some free space to park your RV after a long day exploring Virginia, but it also means going without common conveniences like restroom facilities or RV hookups. In Virginia, the RV community has the best luck looking to federally managed land, which often allows and encourages boondocking away from high-traffic areas. The National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US Army Corps of Engineers all manage land in Virginia, so check out their reserves and parks in the state. If all else fails, the Bureau of Land Management lands are always free to camp on, so look at Meadowood in Woodbridge if it’s on your route.