North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, NC

North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, NC

We really needed to dump our tanks last weekend (before heading to Merlefest) and The Fairgrounds is the closest full hook-up park (I feel like park isn’t quite the right term…). To say Raleigh is in need of a full service RV park is an understatement. Mebane has the closest full hook up RV park we could find, but it’s 46 miles away from our house. We could go to one of the campsites at Jordan Lake, but we really needed to clean out the tanks an that’s not easy to do just at a pull-through dump station.

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We’ve tried to find The Fairgrounds park a few times before, and it’s not easy. The area is a maze of loops with fields, ponds, horse barns, arenas, and parking lots. There’s also an RV parking area for the NC State stadium on the same road, so it can be a bit confusing. The GPS address is: 801 Youth Center Drive, Raleigh, 27606. Follow the signs for Horse Complex 7– You’re looking for the “newer sites on the hill”.

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There’s a tiny office building, but the sites are run by Fairgrounds Public Safely, and are first come, first served. Just call them when you’re in the area, they’ll tell you if they have availability and you show up, find your spot, then call them again so you can pay them. It’s $30/night — the bonus is you can check in and check out anytime within that 24 hours — they told us we could stay until midnight on Sunday if we wanted to!

There’s always something going on at The Fairgrounds — this weekend there was an Arabian Horse Show which we walked around and checked out. Typically there’s a car or boat show and sometimes a dog show, although it was super quiet the entire time we were there. Also, we’re regulars at the Raleigh Flea Market which takes place down the road, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you stay at the park over the weekend.

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Overall, this is a great place to stay if you want to explore the Raleigh area. It’s clean and quiet, but not fancy, and right in the city.

KOA, Charlottesville, Virginia

KOA, Charlottesville, Virginia

We’d rather stay in State Parks on the road, but when a last minute opportunity presented itself to attend my neice’s 3rd Bday party (pirate/fairy themed!) of course we’re going to do it! The only place available close to Charlottesville was the area KOA (9 miles from my sister’s house north of the city). It was one of the better KOA’s we’ve stayed in, but I think your individual experience here would vary greatly depending on which spot you get.

Spot #11.

Spot #11.

This park is located in a beautiful wooded area, but some of the spots have no shade, and last weekend it was in the 90s. We felt very fortunate to have gotten spot #11 — spaced well from the neighbors and very shaded, with a nice view of the woods.

The first row of spots seemed like winners overall, but I don’t know if they could fit larger motorhomes or 5th wheels, except in spot #12 where they crammed in a Prevost next to a little pop-up camper. I still don’t know how that thing fit.

Spots #12 and #13 would be great for two people camping together!

Spots #12 and #13 would be great for two people camping together!

The second row is all huge pull-through sites, but not a lot of privacy.

Center row.

Center row.

Center row.

Center row.

This KOA had all the regular things you’d expect in a KOA — a pool, playground and covered picnic areas, but most of these were on the other side of a little creek that separated the two, so you didn’t get any of the noise (genius!).

 

Fayetteville RV Resort, Fayetteville, NC

Fayetteville RV Resort, Fayetteville, NC

On our way back from Florida, we saw that the temperatures in Raleigh were supposed to be extremely cold in the next few weeks, so we decided it would be best to blow out the lines before putting it back in storage. We thought we’d give try the Fayetteville RV Resort a try since it’s about an hour from our storage garage.

This was previously a KOA, so it’s got all the things you’d come to expect from a KOA (pool, little cabins to rent, a store, full hook ups, level spots, propane) but I feel the new owners are really working to make it better. All the restrooms are being updated, they’ve obviously done a lot of work on the landscaping and overall, it’s a really nice park for a day or two.

Fulltime spots.

Fulltime spots.

They have a section for fulltimers in the back that doesn’t have as many trees as the front of the park, but the spots are still nice (definitely nicer and bigger than several spots we lived in while fulltiming).

Since moving here, we’ve definitely noticed a shortage of nice RV parks in the area (and by nice I mean clean and safe), so I’d definitely recommend this park if you’re traveling through the area and need to make a pit stop.

 

 

Huntington Beach State Park, Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina

Huntington Beach State Park, Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina

We wanted to check out at least one campground in South Carolina before heading home and Huntington Beach State Park looked perfect.

Spot #11.

Spot #11.

The park has 133 spots and direct beach access via several wooden paths throughout the park.

There are two beach paths leading from each end of the park.

There are two beach paths leading from each end of the park.

There are some pretty private spots like ours, or some not-so-private spots around the inside of the loops. There’s also a loop in the back with heavy tree cover (but further from the beach), and some tent sites.

Second loop of the campground.

Second loop of the campground.

On the grounds of the state park is also Atalaya, a Moorish-style house that was once the winter home of sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. You can tour the house for $2.

Panoramic!

Panoramic!

The beach here is also really beautiful — white sand, dolphins, pelicans and some great shells.

New Year's morning.

New Year’s morning.

 

Jones Station RV Park, Mebane, North Carolina

Jones Station RV Park, Mebane, North Carolina

For the first time almost 4 years (I think — time goes so fast) we found ourselves needing to winterize the Airstream, so we took one last trip to a full hook-up park to empty/blow out the tanks. Finding a good, safe, nice looking park is a little harder in the Raleigh area than we thought, but we came across Jones Station which has been under new ownership since January and looked good (note: they told us they were having internet problems, and their website seems to be up and down lately).

Spot #28.

Spot #28.

The park is located in Mebane, NC, an easy 46 miles drive from Raleigh, with a quaint downtown.  When you first see the park, it looks a little parking-lot-like, but only the first row is tree-less. We were in the third row, and you can see the nice trees and little lawn area. The owners are super nice and have had the park since January. They’re planning a second building phase even further into the woods.

Entrance to the park.

Entrance to the park.

The park is typically packed all the time — good for them, not great for campers looking for a full hook-up spot in the area, especially with really good internet!

Another shot from our spot.

Another shot from our spot.

Definitely take a trip to downtown Mebane too. There’s coffee (Reed’s), dinner (The Mebane Downtown Table), shopping Solgarden, Fifth Street Books, and a few bars.

Deke and Lu walking down the street in Mebane.

Deke and Lu walking down the street in Mebane.

Outside Dick and Jane's.

Outside Dick and Jane’s.

We had a great time here and will go back soon!