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The Outer Banks of North Carolina: The Bucket List

Readers report their favorite campgrounds and experiences from the Outer Banks of North Carolina; one of the best places to go truck camping on the East Coast.  That is, if you survive the ferry ride.

Outer Banks North Carolina Camping

Perhaps the scariest truck camping experience we have ever had actually happened at sea.  After the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Truck Camper Rally, we caravanned with a half-dozen fellow truck campers to the Outer Banks.  This was an after-rally tradition that Angela and I greatly enjoyed.

On this particular year, our goal was Ocracoke Island.  To reach Ocracoke, we had to take a ferry ride with our truck camper rigs on board.  You can imagine loading six truck camper rigs on a ferry and then venturing out into the ocean.  What could go wrong?

Rainy Rocky Ocracoke Ferry Ride

Well, the skies had grown dark and threatening on our way south.  As we drove onto the second ferry, the wind began to pickup, and the seas started to churn.

Crazy Ocracoke Ferry Ride In Rain

A few miles out, that ferry was seriously rocking.  As the ferry chugged forward, increasingly large waves broke on the sides spraying salt water across the rigs in spectacular fashion.  We never really felt like we were in serious danger, but this was no pleasure cruise.

Ocracoke Island Campers Ocracoke Campground

When we arrived in Ocracoke, we traveled to the National Park Service Ocracoke Campground.  Since we were off-season, the place was nearly empty, save for a few brave tenters and a smattering of other RVs.  Without prior reservations, we were able to camp in consecutive campsites.

The grey stormy skies remained for the remainder of our short stay, and the temperatures dropped.  In mid-April, the Outer Banks can be spring perfect, or perfectly miserable.  At least there were no mosquitoes, or no-see-ums.

Ocracoke Island Howards Pub And Raw Bar

As a group, we enjoyed dinner one night at Howard’s Pub and Raw Bar just a few miles down the road.  During the day, we parked our rigs adjacent to the Ocracoke Island Visitor Center and walked the small town.

Ocracoke Island Walk With Duck

Exploring the streets, houses, and shops with our friends was by far the highlight of that trip.

4th Flight Wilbur Wright 1903

During a different year, Angela and I went truck camping on the Outer Banks by ourselves and visited the Wright Brothers National Memorial.  As an entrepreneur and enthusiast of history and aviation, the talk presented by the Park Rangers was deeply inspiring.  If you are anywhere in the vicinity, I would highly recommend at least two to three hours at the Wright Brothers National Memorial.  Angela and I loved it.

Another Ferry Going To Ocracoke Island

Above: The second year with the Northstar, the ferry ride was much calmer

From experience, you will likely need bug repellant, sun screen, and a high tolerance for unusually incessant wind in the Outer Banks.  It’s the only place where our water heater pilot light was blown out by the wind, and we’re not the only ones who have had that experience.  Why do you think the Wright Brothers went to Kitty Hawk?  Hint: it wasn’t the Spring Break babes.

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