RV Rental John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir, NC

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As one of the largest reservoirs to straddle the North Carolina – Virginia border, John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir has become a must-visit for anyone renting an RV nearby. Encompassing an impressive 55,000 acres, it's not hard to access the reservoir from almost anywhere in southern Virginia or the northern regions of North Carolina. Interstate Route 85 bisects the eastern portion of the reservoir, making it an easy hour-long drive away from Raleigh, NC, and two hours from Richmond, VA. When you’re approaching the reservoir from the west, make a beeline for South Boston, VA, a handy gateway town to these vast waters.

Also known as Kerr Reservoir to the locals, John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir was built in 1952 as a means of flood control and hydroelectric power generation. Though its primary use remains, the reservoir is better known for the myriad of recreational opportunities that it presents. From bass fishing to jet skiing, leisurely hiking to wild swimming, it’s all up for grab when you rent a camper near John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir.

Discover John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir


Getting Outdoors

You won’t be able to resist getting out and about on the water during your John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir camping trip. In fact, with countless boat launch ramps scattered along the 800-mile shoreline, boating is one of the best ways to explore as much of the lake as possible. With plenty of open waters boasting an average depth of 30 feet, water-skiing, jet-skiing, and wakeboarding have become some of the most popular types of watercraft here. Anyone camping at John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir with a kayak or canoe can also take advantage of the reservoir’s many coves and inlets, which are perfect for a day of exploration. Just watch out for the many sailboats that utilize the lake’s channel winds!

John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir is also well known throughout the eastern states as an excellent fishing spot. The main draw is the thriving number of largemouth bass that populate the waters, though crappie, striped bass, catfish, and white perch can also be reeled in here. When you’re motorhome camping nearby, arrive early in the morning to avoid the crowds and find a prime spot along the shoreline or far out in the deeper waters, where the larger fish lurk. Do note, that anglers can use a fishing license from both Virginia and North Carolina to fish from John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir.

Should you rather stay on dry land, consider spending the day at Kerr Lake Recreation Area. Together with boat ramps, fishing piers, and picnic facilities, the park is home to several short walking trails for those with an RV rental near John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir. Visitors can choose between the Big Poplar Trail, Kerr Lake Track Trail, or Plantation Trail, all of which cater to any ability level. Afterward, why not cool off at one of the many swimming beaches that sit along the banks of the lake. Do bear in mind that there won't be any lifeguards on duty, so swimming is at your own risk.

Camping at John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir

An abundance of campgrounds sit along John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir’s shoreline and provide travelers with scenic, RV-friendly sites. Satterwhite Point Campground is a good option for folks coming from North Carolina. Sitting on the reservoir’s southern shoreline, this primitive, yet comfortable campground offers visitors sites with partial hookups, a potable water connection, and an onsite dump station. There are also modern restroom facilities, including flushing toilets and hot showers, that are available to use for an additional fee. As well as enjoying close access to a quieter side of the reservoir, campers here have easy access to some local recreational trails.

When you’d rather a campground with full hookup facilities, The Tabaco Farm is the only campground in the area to offer them. Sitting slightly more inland, those setting up camp with their RV rental here will need to drive for around ten minutes to access the water. Along with water, electric, sewer, and cable hookups, the campground also equips its sites with picnic tables and a grill. There are no communal restroom facilities here, so consider staying elsewhere if you aren’t traveling in a self-contained unit.

Exploring the Area

Don’t miss the chance to visit the charming town of Durham while RV camping at John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir. If you’ve ever wanted to get up, close and personal to lemurs, one of the most endangered mammals on earth, pop into Durham’s Duke Lemur Center at Duke University. Since it was established in 1966, this center has been rehousing and rehabilitating lemurs to protect them from going extinct. The general public can visit the institute by appointment only. There are ten different tours to choose from, which range from a general tour around the premises to walking the lemurs themselves!

The Nasher Museum of Art is also part of the same university complex and worth a visit while you’re nearby. Along with 13,000 pieces of artwork from global and regional artists, the museum boasts a collection of 3,000 Pre-Columbian artifacts, including Mayan pottery and Peruvian textiles. During the holidays, the museum hosts a range of family-friendly programs, including live music shows and interactive workshops. These have been extremely popular in the past, so don’t forget to book your space in advance!

When you’ve only got time to visit one attraction while you’re in Durham, make sure it’s the Museum of Life and Science. Through a variety of indoor and outdoor exhibitions, this museum offers children a captivating and hands-on space to develop an interest in the natural world. Within its 84-acre large grounds, children and their parents can explore one the east coast’s largest butterfly farms, learn about dinosaurs on the pre-historic walking trail or watch rescued black bears at feeding time.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds


  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • Kerr Reservoir Trail, NCKerr Lake State Recreation Area, NC
  • Panhandle Multi Use Trail, VAOcconeechee State Park, VA
  • Beaver Pond Trail, VAOcconeechee State Park, VA
  • Tutelo Birding Trail, VAOcconeechee State Park, VA
  • Mossey Creek Trail, VAOcconeechee State Park, VA
  • Old Plantation Trail, VAOcconeechee State Park, VA
  • Big Oak Nature Trail, VAOcconeechee State Park, VA
  • Warrior's Path Trail, VAOcconeechee State Park, VA
  • Bear Swamp Trail to Dam Site Loop Trail, NCMedoc Mountain State Park, NC
  • Summit Loop Trail, NCMedoc Mountain State Park, NC

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