NP Campground Review – Ocracoke Campground, Hatteras National Seashore (OBX), NC
A quiet and relaxed campground on the wonderful Island of Ocracoke in the southern end of Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks, NC
Link to campground here: Ocracoke Campground, Hatteras National Seashore, NC
Link to map location here: Ocracoke Campground, Hatteras National Seashore, NC
- Site Quality = 3.5/5
Basic, decent site quality here. Sites are arranged in 4 loops (A, B, C, D) all connected together. All sites are very similar-> flat paved sites varying in length from ~30-40 feet with picnic table and grill in each “sitting area”. Sites by the dunes tend to have better separation, plus they are angled to the main road (making it easier for big rigs to back-in), whereas sites on far end (nearest road) are somewhat closer together and mostly perpendicular to the main road. Dune-side is definitely preferred. No real road noise so all are quiet and relaxed, plus limited stickies/burrs so it’s comfortable to sit outside. No hookups but generators are allowed outside of quiet hours. Main ding? There’s limited vegetation, so not many sites offer privacy or protection from the wind.
Note/ You can’t book a specific site here (only a space), so you simply chose your campsite upon arrival and let the office know which site you want when you check-in.
- Facilities = 2/5
Somewhat odd facilities. Decent flush toilets, but the showers are lever-type cold showers (brrr) with just a small shelf for your stuff. Also located outside in stalls which are not completely closed so you’ll feel the breeze as you shower. On-site dump station and water (just across the street)
- Location = 5/5
You come to Ocracoke to experience the laid-back, relaxed Island vibe and this campground is in the perfect spot to do that. You’re only ~4 miles from town with a nice bike-trail that leads all the way in, plus you are next to a great beach (no cars!) and within easy drive of everything else there is to see on the Island. It’s a totally chillaxed place!
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
A great spot for doggie. Good space around camp and wonderful dog-friendly beach (no cars!) a short dune-walk away. Also very few few stickies/burrs (a common problem along the OBX) so it’s not too painful for paws. Polly loved it here!
Overall Rating = 3.9
BONUS ALERT = Camp on chillaxed Ocracoke Island only 4 miles biking distance from town!
Video Overview: Want to see it in living color? Watch our ~6 min video overview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-X40Enjyfg
Summary: We only planned one night at this campground, but ended up wishing we had planned more. Ocracoke is a little ~16 mile long Island that can only be reached by ferry, so it is remote and totally chillaxed, and the campground reflects that. It’s a very simple layout. Just 4 loops connected together with flat, paved sites (no hookups). Sites by the dunes tend to have better separation, plus they are angled to the main road (making it easier for big rigs to back-in), whereas sites on far end (nearest road) are somewhat closer together and mostly perpendicular to the main road. It’s pretty wide open throughout with only minimal vegetation so there’s limited privacy or protection from the wind, but the entire place feels very quiet and relaxed. Plus there’s a great little ~4 mile bike trail into town right from camp and a wonderfully pristine (no cars!) dog-friendly beach right next door over the dunes. Although it’s a very simple camp, we ended up liking this the most out of all the places we stayed on the Outer Banks. Great combo of decent sites, quiet and wonderful near-by town and beach. We’d totally stay here again!
Note/ There were only a few skeeters during our time here (late Oct), but I gather they can/do get bad in summer, so be prepared if you come earlier in the year.
Extra Info: Stable, good cell signal (2 bars Verizon LTE, 2 bars ATT LTE). 136 total sites, NO hookups. Sites cost $28/night (or $14/night if you have National Parks Senior Pass). Campground open third week of April through last week-end of November. On-site dump station and water (just across the street).SPONSORED LINK:
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Bill Orcutt says
The local town is good for groceries, horse back riding on the beach and ‘toe’ clamming in the bay.
Way too many ‘skeeters’ during the summer.
Great surf casting for blues, pompano, flounder and mackerel.
Yeah, we heard about the skeeters in summer. Thankfully not many around in late Oct, but we’ve heard they can be ferocious earlier in the year. It is indeed a wonderful little island. SO enjoyed ourselves here!
The shower isn’t a bath shower–it’s a place for swimmers to rinse off salt.
Well it’s listed as a regular shower (both on the campground map and on the NPS website) and I did actually shower in it. The local ranger also confirmed they are regular showers (we actually asked). Of course we may be the only ones who’ve ever used them as such 🙂
Sunny Harvy says
I am reading your post while n the ferry to Ocracoke! Will stay at this campground tonight.
Excellent! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Sheila Jamieson says
Big RV on a ferry! Have you done this before? Is it a flat fee for any RV or does it go by axles, length, weight??
Love following you guys.
S. J. Ancramdale NY
Yes we’ve taken our RV on multiple ferries, both on the West Coast (up in WA) and the East Coast. This particular ferry (Hatteras to Ocracoke) was free, but most ferries will charge you by total length.
Ray F says
I always look forward to your reviews. They are SO very informative, so a big thanks. Just curious as to how you find the weather this time of year out on these remote barrier islands.
Weather is AWESOME on the OBX this time of year. It was somewhat hot our first 2 days on the Northern Islands, but then it cooled down and we had nice, pleasant sunny days the rest of the time there. We DID get some wind (pretty common on the Islands), but it wasn’t so bad as to really bother us. Plus we had very few mosquitoes, a problem that I gather is quite prevalent during the summer months. Really enjoyed the weather in Oct.
Off topic, but I am brand new to RVing. Been and still am a boater but RVing sounded fun. I’ve been told you use a leveling jack pad and may have reviewed differing brands. Do you have a recommendation? My rig is the same size as yours.
Yes we do! Under the jacks we use pre-treated wood blocks. Under the wheels we use Lynx levelers. You can read more about our leveling choices here:
Our Lynx levelers have been one of our fav items in the RV and have lasted pretty much the whole time we’ve had them, with heavy use. We carry 4 packs now. Here’s more on that:
Anorher great review Nina. Thanks so much. I’ve camped there in a tent many years but haven’t been with the rig I guess because I wanted to see places I haven’t seen. I’ll put this on fir an October in the future hopefully.
Love your blogs. They are so well done!!
My wife and I are retiring next year. Looking at traveling full time across the U.S. for a year or two. It’s just the two of us and our small Beagle. Like the idea of a motorhome, Considering either a Coachhouse 24′ B+ towing a small car VS. 39′ Thor Toy Hauler with a Smart Car For Two in the garage. Would love to hear your thoughts especially because of your experience traveling in a 40′ rig. Thanks so much, Brian
The 39-foot tow hauler will feel MUCH larger than that snazzy little Class B. In fact it’ll feel even larger than our 40-foot motorhome. It all depends how you like you travel, but if you want to get into more public campgrounds (as opposed to private parks), I’d recommend the smaller option. We always (personally) wished we’d gone a bit smaller in size.
Yes I can see that. We will want to experience many places as opposed to stopping and parking at one place for say a month at a time.
Very kind of you to share your expertise.
Thank you so much,
Do you have suggestions for what to bring if you are tent camping? We are going in May. I’ve never been to obx or gone tent camping. I hope the skeeters aren’t out in full. What activities are around other than horseback riding?
I’d recommend bringing a good supply of anti-skeeter stuff (DEET, Thermacell), as well as a collapsible outdoor screenhouse (for chairs/hanging out). That should more than cover you for any skeeter issues. Other activities in the area are biking (there’s a nice bike trail that goes all the way into town), walking around downtown, visiting the Ocracoke lighthouse and museum, beach combing and fishing charters (if you like to fish).
Todd Tucker says
Recently found your site and LOVE it! Planning a family trip from Florida to Maine for next summer (2019). Can you tell me more about the ferry to Ocracoke? Was it crowded? Was there a long wait to get on it? Any stuff like that would be helpful. Thanks for all you do!
The ferry to Ocracoke was super easy!
We went from Hatteras and I think we only waited around 30 mins to get on. From Hatteras it’s free, and no reservations are taken. So you just show up and get in line. The ferry itself is an easy 60 mins ride.
If you’re coming from the “mainland” (e.g. Cedar Island) it’s a longer 2.5 hour ride, it’s paying and reservations are strongly recommended (for a larger RV, I’d say it’s an absolute “must”). We took that ride from Ocracoke side and it was also easy, but we did book ahead.
Here’s a great, very detailed post about the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry. It should answer all your questions about that particular route: https://www.outerbanks.com/hatteras-ocracoke-ferry.html
And here’s a good post about the ferry from Cedar Island, if you’re coming from that direction: https://www.outerbanks.com/cedar-island-ferry.html
Todd Tucker says
Thank you very much for the information!
Trey Colbert says
Awesome Review! We love the cape hatteras national seashore, absolutely beautiful. We just finished our travel trailer remodel and plan on parking it around the buxton area!