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11 Unforgettable RV Camp Spots on the Big Island of Hawaii

Published on March 23rd, 2019 by Camper Report
This post was updated on April 28th, 2021

Hawaii offers some of the most beautiful scenery experiences in the world. There are beaches, hiking trails that lead to the tops of volcanoes, and a diverse culture you won’t be able to find anywhere else. You will feel on top of the world (literally).

Most RV camping spots in Hawaii are more rustic and do not offer RV hookups, drinking water, or showers. The views and experience make up for the lack of hookups and water, so just plan accordingly when considering if any of these Hawaiian locations are right for your next RV adventure.

If worse comes to worst, the ocean is the world’s biggest bathtub.

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1. Papalaua Wayside Park

Address: Honoapiilani Hwy, Wailuku, HI 96793

Located in Maui, Papalaua Wayside Park gives you a front-row view on some of the most beautiful scenery Hawaii has to offer. With the beach right next to you, it can be perfect for learning how to surf, teaching others or even practicing your own skills.

Even though there are no reserved parking spaces for RVs, there is plenty of space to fit larger motorhomes such as class B or C.

Right on the coast of Maui, you will have access to kayaking, boating, snorkeling, surfing or just splashing around in the ocean. The park is open five days a week, closed on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s, so keep that in mind when planning your trip.

There are no showers, water stations, or RV hookups (RV hookups are harder to find anywhere in Hawaii). The park does provide restrooms, thankfully. Papalaua Wayside Park provides open picnic areas and BBQ’s for a fun night grilling dinner by the coast.

2. Hedonisia Hawaii Eco-Community

Address: 13-657 Hinalo St, Pāhoa, HI 96778

Located in Pāhoa, Hedonisia Hawaii Eco-Community is a small communal lodge in the depths of Hawaii’s jungles. This is a great travel experience to start off your Hawaii trip. It campsite holds many Hawaiian attractions such as Volcanoes National Park, Kehena Black Sand Beach, and Hilo Bay.

When planning on coming to Hedonisia Hawaii Eco-Community keep in mind that there are no RV hookups offered, and no pets allowed. There are 13 RV sites that you can park in and enjoy the features of Hendonisia, such as their outdoor showers, strong cell phone signal, hikes, jungles, and views.

You can payfor your stay here, or volunteer with the ecotourism plan!

Hedonisia Hawaii Eco-Community is the perfect place to get in touch with your inner nature side. The Hawaiian rain forest provides a perfect place to bond with mother nature and appreciat the beauty that comes with it. This campground is advertised as “eco-friendly and eco-feminist” which might be exactly what you are looking for.

Hendonisia is a great community of people who are kind and work together. Everyone at Hendonisia works together to make meals, memories and provide a fun environment for every guest who stays there.

There is a daily fee for staying in this campsite, but for a few hours of volunteer work on behalf of Hedonisia’s ecotourism program, you can stay without a fee. It is sure that you will create some great memories, see and experience the natural beauty of Hawaii and be able to get some volunteer hours as well if you stay here.

3. Malaekahana State Recreation Area

Address: 56-020 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762

Located in North Shore, Oahu, Malaekahana State Recreation Area is the perfect pace for some world-renowned surfing. They offer some of the best camping accommodations, amenities and activities in all of Hawaii.

Malakahana offers something for everyone, whether that be sleeping under the stars, in a tent, or your RV. There are 74 campsites here that offer a wide selection of spacious areas that include picnic tables, water spouts, and fire pits. There are no RV hookups or utilities offered but showers are offered.

In order to stay overnight, you must have a permit, and keep in mind that camping is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

While staying at Malaekahana State Recreation Area, you might wonder what else there is to do other than surf. Here you can kayak, swim, and stand up paddle.

If you want to spend the majority of your time camping in the water, this might just be the place for you.

4. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park

Address: 96-884 Government Road, Mountain View, HI 96771

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park is located on the east side of Hawaii and is known for being one of the most popular RV parks on the Big Island. What makes this campground so unique is that the beaches are covered in black sand, hence the name Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park.

Many who stay or visit this campground see many sea turtles and Muscovy ducks on the black sand, which make their experience unforgettable.

Though there are no RV hookups, you are able to back your RV or camper right up to the campsite to begin your stay. There are lines of coconut palms that fill the campground and provide not only beauty but also shade.

This campground has black sand!

There are 12 RV sites with outdoor showers, strong cell phone signal, and bathrooms. There are no pets allowed in this campground, so keep that in mind when planning your trip!

If you have never seen black sand before, this campground is a must. The black sand is made of basalt and created from lava flowing into the ocean. If you happen to see turtles basking on the black sand, it is important to note that you must stay 15 feet away from them at all times.

Swimming is common at this beach but can be dangerous because of how rocky it is. The beach has a large amount of underground fresh water that flows through it, is very cold and almost gives the appearance of oil and water when the fresh and salt water mix!

If you plan on camping in Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park it is important to know that you cannot take any black sand or volcanic rocks from the area. Legend says that if you take the sand, you will be cursed by the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele until it is returned.

Whether this is believed or not, it is respectful to follow the rules of the campground while staying there.

5. Namakanipaio Campground

Address: 1 Crater Rim Drive, Hawaii National Park, HI 96718

Located in Volcano, 4,000 feet above sea level, Namakanipaio Campground offers a rustic camping experience within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Like many other RV campsites in Hawaii, you can drive right up to the campsites, which is convenient.

This park consists of many open and grassy areas with a few trees.

In order to stay here, there is a one time fee to enter the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The fee is $25 per non-commercial vehicle, $20 per motorcycle, or $12 per person walking or on a bike. The entrance is valid for 7 consecutive days and you cannot stay longer than that at one time.

There are 16 RV campsites with no hookups. There are no showers offered at this campsite, only bathrooms, and running water. Pets are allowed to join you at this campsite, the cellphone signal is strong in this location, and there are picnic tables and barbecue pits offered at each campsite.

The stay here is relatively cheap, and not extremely crowded. It is a great place for star gazing because of how dark the campground gets at night. It is a great spot with much to do as it is located within a National Park!

6. Kulanaokuaiki Campground

Address: Mile 4, Hilina Pali Road, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718

Kulanaokuaiki Campground is a drive-up campground that is also located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. They offer driveways that are large enough to fit Class B RVs. This campground is at an elevation of 2,700 feet and is only a few minutes away from the National Park’s visitor center.`

There are 9 RV sites with no hookups or showers. Pets are not allowed, but picnic tables are offered at each campsite. This campground is known to be one of the best places to stay during your exploration of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

If stargazing is your thing, the stars get incredibly bright at night in contrast to the dark sky. You can even watch smoke form at the top of the volcano straight from your campsite.

Since this campground is off the beaten path, it is never crowded and usually pretty quiet, which campers seem to really enjoy.

7. Whittington Beach Park

Address: 95-5039 Mamalahoa Hwy, Naalehu, HI 96772

Near the town of Naalehu, on the south side of Hawaii, Whittington Beach Park is home to a popular golf course and bakeshop. This is one of Hawaii’s oldest parks with small tide pools and an ancient Hawaiian fishpond that is quite photogenic. Despite the name of this campground, there actually is no beach here.

Facilities that you should expect here include bathrooms, outdoor showers, and picnic pavilions however, there is no drinking water and no pets allowed. Camping is only allowed by advance county permit only.

Whittington Beach Park is home to the ruins of an old shipping port which can be fun for exploring. This campground is one of the most remote on the Big Island, which cuts down on tourist crowds.

There aren’t specific campsites, so you are able to park your RV and set up camp right off the main parking lot.

It is encouraged that you bring a camera if you visit Whittington Beach Park because of how photogenic it is. Pack a lunch and enjoy your day by this beautiful view!

8. Isaac Hale Beach Park

Address: 13-101 Kalapana Kapoho Beach Road, Pāhoa, HI 96778

On the east side of the Big Island and near the community of Pahoa you will find Isaac Hale Beach Park. The forests are thick and it is home to natural hot springs. The hot springs located here are popular tourist attractions that are warmed through underground flowing lava.

Not only are there hot springs, but when you need to cool off you can dip in the ocean right after. The best of both worlds. Isaac Hale Beach Park is a popular spot for boating and swimming activities.

There are 48 RV sites located in Isaac Hale Beach Park with no RV hookups. There are outdoor showers, strong cell phone reception and pets are allowed here. They are open Monday-Sunday from 7 a.m.- 6:30 p.m.

9. Kalopa State Recreation Area

Address: 44-3480 Kalaniai Road, Honokaa, HI 96727

Kalopa State Recreation Area is located on Hawaii’s north coast. The campground is only about 2 miles from the coast, but the elevation is over 2,000 feet. This is a very forested area and camping is welcome to all types of motorhomes or tents.

There are three RV campsites and no hookups. Showers are available, cell phone signal is strong and pets are allowed to camp here with you. There are free parking and cabins offered as well.

Because this area is so forested, it is a great spot to stay cool when you need relief from those blistering hot days. There are picnic tables at each campsite for enjoying meals as a family or group of friends. There is also a pavilion in the campground for large group gatherings.

It is recommended that you bring insect repellent and extra bags for muddy shoes and clothes.

10.  Ho‘okena Beach Park

Address: 86-4322 Mamalahoa Hwy, Captain Cook, HI 96704

Near the Hawaiian town of Captain Hook, you will stumble across Ho‘okena Beach Park. Ho‘okena Beach Park offers many beautiful views, ocean access and a concession stand for when those snack cravings get the best of you!

There are 18 RV sites available here with no RV hookups. There are no showers or pets allowed here, but you do have beach access, picnic tables, snorkeling, and the option of boat rentals. Ho‘okena Beach Park offers drive-up access which is very convenient.

Since this campground is on Hawaii’s west coast you can have guaranteed beautiful sunsets, so do not forget your camera if you stay here!

If you spend some time on the shore or in the water snorkeling you are likely to see some sea turtles basking in the sun, or fish in the water.

11. Mahukona Beach Park

Address: 55-1000 Akoni Pule Hwy 270, Hawi, HI 96719

Mahukona Beach Park is found on the northern tip of Hawaii. It is near the town of Kawaihae. There is a rocky beach found here with 22 campsites surrounding it. There are no RV hookups, no showers or pets allowed.

Mahukona Beach Park has the most amazing ocean views and snorkeling is very popular here because the water stays warm year round. There are also a few different nature trails along the coastline that you can explore. Even though there are no showers, there are clean bathrooms offered for your convenience.

There are a small number of visitors here making the crowds minimal. It might not be the fanciest campground, but its simplicity makes it stand out. The water is easy to get in and out of and it is enjoyable because of the warm water temperatures.

Related Questions

Is there free camping offered on the Big Island? A few locations that offer free camping in Hawaii are Laupāhoehoe Beach Park, Whittington Beach Park, and Ho’okena Beach Park.

Where are RV rentals located in Hawaii? There are several RV rentals available in Hawaii (you probably don’t want to try shipping your own RV to Hawaii for a trip, after all). The islands of Honolulu, Waialua, and Haiku all have RV rentals.

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1 thought on “11 Unforgettable RV Camp Spots on the Big Island of Hawaii”

  1. When was this article published? I am planning a trip for December 2022 and am wondering how current this information is.


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