This aerial view shows parking sites for luxury RVs next to the dog park at Hilton Head National RV Resort. PHOTOS COURTESY HILTON HEAD NATIONAL RV RESORT

The much anticipated Hilton Head National RV Resort, in final preparations here for a February grand opening, is now taking online reservations for check-ins starting on Feb. 1.

Through Jan. 31, there is very limited opportunity to make a reservation at the resort, with only 20 sites available. This “soft opening” is offered so that new operations staff can become adjusted to the new facility with real guests on property.

During this time the clubhouse and care/lounge, with its arcade, store, and fitness facility, will be operational for limited hours – along with the heated pool. The adjacent Hilton Head National Golf Course is fully operational, and other features, including the dog park, playground, basketball and pickle ball courts, will be open.

Bill Palmer, president of Scratch Golf LLC, which owns the RV resort as well as the adjacent 18-hole championship golf course, said he expects “our RV resort will soon be among the top-rated RV parks in the entire South because of its high-quality facilities and amenities, coupled with its unique location between historic Old Town Bluffton and Hilton Head Island’s numerous oceanfront attractions and recreation opportunities.”

Located alongside Bluffton Parkway, less than one mile from the bridges to Hilton Head Island, the RV resort is spread over 97 acres. It will offer 341 rental-only, landscaped RV sites. It is designed to complement the award-winning Hilton Head National golf course, built in 1989.

Kathy Chittenden, the resort’s general manager, said the large concrete motorcoach sites will have full hookups with 30/50 amp service. She said every rental site has WiFi, HD cable and a fire pit. The resort is open to all Class A, B and C motorhomes, 5th wheels, and all towables 18-feet or more that are less than 10 years old.

In addition to the 18-hole championship golf course, which is a rare and much-desired amenity in the recreation vehicle world, the RV resort features include: 

Multi-Purpose Clubhouse: The expansive clubhouse facility includes an open-style casual bistro with indoor-outdoor seating and full-service bar that looks out to a beach-access pool. Here, there is a fireplace with TVs, plus a retail store that’s part mini-mart and pantry.

It also includes a fully equipped fitness center with cardio and strength machines, a deluxe arcade with Skee-ball, air hockey and the latest video games. Outside, there is a basketball court, bocce court and pickle ball courts, plus an outdoor event stage nearby.

Water’s Edge: An exclusive, adults-only enclave of the resort features panoramic views of a large lagoon and the golf course. It boasts an intimate pool with adjacent oversized hot tub, sundeck, fire pit, and private plush cabanas for rent. An intimate clubhouse features a service bar, lounge with wide-screen TV, and card room plus private individual showers and laundry.

Dog Park: Because a large majority of RVers travel with dogs, the resort has gone all out to serve dog owners. An all-grass, 1-acre park provides two totally fenced-in and separated areas, plus dog-agility apparatus, a water-misting system and sun shading for the dogs to relax. Additionally, there is a state-of-the-art dog washing station with elevated washing tubs so dogs can be bathed at a comfortable height.

Beach Access Pool and Lazy River: The main clubhouse looks out to an 8,500-square-foot beach entry pool that gradually increases from ankle deep to 5½ feet at its deepest point. There is a tiki bar at one end and a centerpiece island with colorful chaise lounges for sunning, plus a dozen pool-side cabanas. A 400-foot Lazy River flows from the main pool and passes beneath a waterfall bridge. Spray loops and wet-deck springs will delight small children.

Children’s Playground: The playground is designed for kids to unloose pent-up energy after a long drive. Swings, slides, shoots and climbing apparatus appeal to youngsters, while toddlers have their own ground-level merry-go-round, spring riders and a playground cottage to explore.

Walking Trail: The resort has its own 2.1-mile pathway system. It winds in and around the entire 97 acres so guests can walk or jog as long as they wish. Its pressed stone, concrete surface is 4 feet wide and easy on the feet. Bicycles can use the pathway system, but golf carts are not allowed.

Paved roads run throughout the park and, as the park matures, Chittenden said there will be generous landscaping, including live oaks and other large specimen trees.

Reservations for the soft opening beginning Feb. 1 can be made only by phone at 843-0707-4800 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information visit

Longtime Lowcountry resident Kingston Rhodes is a veteran freelance writer.