Off-Grid at Cape Lookout with the Hike 100 FLX
Off-Grid at Cape Lookout with the Hike 100 FLX
Learn more about this rugged RV getaway in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
By: Austin & Kirsten Lawrence (@Adv4two)
One of our favorite getaway spots on the east coast is Cape Lookout National Seashore. This is on the coast of North Carolina, also known as “the Outer Banks” or “South Core Banks.” It sits between Cape Hatteras and Wilmington, NC. This area is rich in history, ranging from the once-inhabited Diamond City Historic Village to the 163-ft-tall Cape Lookout Lighthouse built in 1857, with its well-known black and white diamond-shape pattern.
About Cape Lookout National Seashore & How to Get There
Cape Lookout National Seashore is a remote barrier island and only accessible by boat, passenger ferry, or vehicle ferry (must be in a 4x4 capable vehicle). There is dispersed camping for tents, roof-top tents, smaller towables, and any 4x4 vehicle, such as the Winnebago Revel. The barrier island is approximately 20 miles long and camping is done directly on the ocean beach. The statement, “home is where you park it” definitely applies here.
There are two vehicle ferries in Davis, NC. The ferry most utilized with a towable is Cape Lookout Cabins & Camps Ferry Service, and the ferry rates are based on length of vehicle and/or towable and number of passengers. This info can be found on their website along with the option to make your reservations.
This ferry is easiest, due to being able to just drive on and off instead of having to back your rig off. Cape Lookout is very secluded, so you should bring anything and everything you think you may need for your excursion. This includes water and food as well as recovery gear. This is federally owned land and is managed by the US National Park Service. The NPS does sell gas and ice during their operating hours and there is a dump and potable water station.
Our recent trip was on Labor Day weekend 2022. We arrived at the ferry approximately 45 minutes early. This gave us time to pay for the ferry service and to air down our tires. Due to this being 100% beach driving, we air down to 18psi in the truck and camper tires. Airing down gives you a wider footprint while driving. As the Park Service says, “Don’t be a clown, air down.”
(Note: There is one air inflation station on the South Core Banks side at the NPS office and three air inflation stations at the ferry landing to be able to air back up your tires.)
The ferry ride from Davis to South Core Banks is about 45 minutes, and during that time you’re welcome to walk around the ferry. Once you arrive at South Core Banks, you’ll be guided off the ferry by Capt. Mack and his crew. Then you need to stop by the NPS office to get your beach driving decal and you can be on your way to exploring the uninhabited barrier island.
We love to setup camp on the southernmost end of the island because it is more secluded and takes us a little over an hour to get to “our spot.” No, it doesn’t take that long because of congestion or traffic but because we’re usually driving between 10-20 mph, plus we like to take time to stop and enjoy the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.
While we are there, we relax on the beach and pick up shells or ride along the beach and up into the dunes. A lot of folks we meet are surf fishing. We also love to visit the lighthouse. They open it a few times throughout the year for visitors to climb to the top.
Cape Lookout is really just a quiet place where you can peacefully listen to the ocean and waves while camping.
Why the Winnebago Hike 100 FLX is Ideal for Off-Grid Camping
With the Hike 100 FLX, setting up camp on the beach is a breeze. Depending on the beach erosion, we may have to utilize leveling pads on one side or the other to get level. We then chock the tires, unhook from the truck, and put the stabilizers down.
Being able to unhook from the Hike 100 FLX and leaving it behind as a basecamp is one of our favorite things about this towable. Once you’re unhooked, it gives you the ability to explore the entire barrier island. Some of the areas are a little too tight to get a towable backed up if you need to turn around, so leaving it behind in this case is the best idea.
With the FLX package (320 AMP hour battery, 200-watt solar panel, 3000-watt inverter, Truma Aventa A/C, Truma Aquago water heater, and Truma Vario Heat Furnace) included on our model, having somewhere to cool off is absolutely wonderful during the summer months. This is especially nice considering it has the ability to run off of the lithium battery power instead of having to plug the generator in to power the systems.
With the Hike 100 FLX having the electric camp-side awning and the batwing awning options for the rear and non-camp side, there’s the ability to get coverage for shade or from the elements when you need it. The batwing awning also has a side panel that can be used in several different configurations. One of those configurations is for coverage to make an outdoor shower enclosure, so you can just use the outdoor shower that’s built into the non-camp side.
We’re also impressed with the useable cooking space inside and out of the Hike 100 FLX. Inside, you have the ability to use the microwave/convection oven or the infrared cook top. On the outside, the camp side fender well box opens up and folds down to create a table so you can use your single cook top burner or flat top griddle.
When the rear doors are opened, the R/H door has a fold down table that we can use for our single cook top burner or Jetboil. There is also a propane hookup just behind the rear tire so you can hook your griddle to the camper’s propane tank.
The sleeping options are also a favorite of ours in the Hike 100 FLX. The 1316SB has the stowaway bed that raises to the ceiling of the camper when not in use to allow for more head room underneath. The couches have several different configurations as well. Options include having one or both folded away against the walls, as well as having one or both folded down to make the couches.
Another configuration is to fold them together to create a second bed. It doesn’t matter if you have the need for a second bed for sleeping or just need an area to nap and enjoy the sea breeze.
We are looking forward to more trips to our favorite off-grid spots!
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