Pop quiz: why does North Carolina attract so many RV enthusiasts year after year?
Well, while there may not be one major reason, consider three of the top selling points of the Tar Heel State when it comes to RV camping:
- The Great Smoky Mountains, which boast tons of outdoor activities, up-close encounters with wildlife and amazing photo ops
- North Carolina offers a truly unique taste of the South in terms of local food, culture and climate that can’t be replicated by its neighbors
- The state is incredibly friendly to RVs and campers of all shapes and sizes, where you’re traveling solo or as part of a family
For those thinking about planning a trip, you’re already on the right track. That said, we have three quick pointers for you to consider before you set out on your next adventure. Whether this is your first RV trip or you have years of experience under your belt, these tips are all totally fair game.
Do Homework on Your Ideal Campground
Many campers are disappointed that they can’t camp at glorious hotspots like Smokemont National Park. That said, you can get pretty darn close with a bit of planning. There is a certain satisfaction in boondocking and I would love to share with you this Ultimate Guide to Boondocking!
And on that note, there are tons of awesome campgrounds sprinkled throughout the state such as Camp Hatteras, Creekwood Farm and Indian Creek.
But remember to mind your location in terms of what you want to do as there’s a massive difference between hubs like Raleigh versus totally rural North Carolina. As you’re mapping out your must-sees, ask yourself:
- Do you want to stay closer to the mountains?
- Do you want to stay closer to civilization and nightlife like you’d find in downtown Asheville?
- Do you want to stay someone totally remote and away from the crowds?
There is no “right” answer in terms of where to stay. Either way, services like Outdoorsy can help you find an RV rental where you’re looking to stay in the likes of Asheville or somewhere smack dab mountain country.
Safety First When Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Although RV campers can’t actually stay on the Appalachian Trail, access is only mere miles away depending on where you stay.
The North Carolina leg of the Trail is worth experiencing even if you only trek it for a mile or so. No matter how long you spend on the trail, safety should be a top priority. This is especially true if you plan on hiking alone, as there are a number of cases out there of travelers getting lost despite being close to civilization.
When in doubt, just make sure you have extra everything packed in terms of food, clothing, and tech that will allow you to get in contact with someone in case you get in trouble.
And on that note, be mindful that North Carolina at large has a very diverse climate. Summers can indeed be brutal as the state is part of the South. On the flip side, those staying near the mountains are no strangers to snow. Layering up is a smart idea, especially if you’re mountain-bound.
Be Aware of Bears
There’s plenty of majestic wildlife to check out while you’re in North Carolina, especially the elk that regularly roam the Smokies.
Of course, you should also be aware of the state’s variety of bears which aren’t shy to approach RVs and tent campers alike. As always, keep your food stowed away and try to avoid traveling solo in the backcountry if possible. You probably don’t have much to worry about but
If you haven’t trekked through North Carolina via RV, you should make it a top priority ASAP. With these tips in the back of your mind, you can make that awesome trip a reality sooner rather than later.