Park Review – Tanager Woods RV Park

After leaving North Carolina, we headed south to the Charleston, SC area.  We had to be in Charleston for some doctors and lawyer appointments for Mark for his workers comp case.  As of this writing, we are still waiting for mediation to close the case which isn’t scheduled until March 31st.

When we looked at Charleston for an RV park we were a little surprised at how expensive the parks were for a monthly rate.  I guess we shouldn’t have been considering Charleston is a very active tourist area.  So we decided to browse further afield.

About an hour outside of downtown Charleston is the little town of Dorchester, SC.  A local family has a small (and I do mean SMALL) 12 space RV park (7 spaces are 30 amp only, 5 are 50 amp).  It was a bit out of the loop but the price was right so there we went. Located 1/2 mile down a VERY bumpy dirt road is Tanager Woods RV Park.

Map link to Location:  Tanager Woods RV Park location

We stayed here from the first of January through the middle of February.  And while it definitely had its downsides there are some nice things about it as well, especially if you like solitude.  Here is some info to help you make an informed decision about this park.

Small sign to show you are in the right place
Small sign to show you are in the right place
  • Location
    • Pros: Located about an hour outside of downtown Charleston (could be a “con” for a lot of people).  Surrounded by beautiful farm/forest land with all sorts of local wild life.  Lots of Civil War history in this area.
    • Cons: Getting to the park is relatively easy and they have signs that will guide you in.  Unfortunately, the last 1/2 mile you will travel is a ONE LANE ungraded dirt road.  It is very bumpy and you need to go very slow (5mph or less).  There is also no lighting so if you come in late at night you might think you are lost until you see the signs.  The closest real grocery store is in Summerville, SC about 20 minutes away.  Summerville has all the stores you can think of and has a cute little downtown area with lots of places to eat.  The RV park is really out in “the boonies” (which was ok for us) but if you want close by amenities then this is not the park for you.
Are we there yet? Nope.
Are we there yet? Nope.
What about now?  Still no...
What about now? Still no…
Ok... FINALLY arrived!
Ok… FINALLY arrived!
Like we said... small!
Like we said… small!
The office that's not really an office.  It's not used currently.
The office that’s not really an office. It’s not used currently.
  • Sites/Spaces
    • Pros:  Monthly rates are $450/mo (including electric) for a 30amp space at time of writing and $525/mo for 50amp (could be cheaper IMO considering the lack of amenities, see below).  We were able to get by on a 30amp considering it was winter time and we didn’t run an AC unit.  Daily & weekly rates are listed on their website.  The spaces are large and (fairly) level with all being pull throughs for big rigs.  All sites have water/sewer hookups.  All spaces include a picnic table but no fire rings or bbqs.  We stayed for 6 weeks and the owner only charged us for a half a month the last two weeks which was cheaper than the website stated so that was nice, all in all.
    • Cons:  There are no large trees so there wasn’t much shelter from the wind and it was very windy while we were there.  The sewer drop and the water hookups are pretty far away from each other so you will need either a long sewer hose or water hose or both.
Space #7 - our spot for January/February.  The last spot in this row and the best one out of the bunch.
Space #7 – our spot for January/February. The last spot in this row and the best one out of the bunch.
The view out our front "porch"
The view out our front “porch”
  • Amenities
    • Pros:  Lots of shady tree lined trails to walk. Pet friendly. They built a small (50’x50′) dog run while we were there.  There is a park host on duty.  Why, we have no idea, but he is there.
    • Cons:  There is NO CABLE, NO WIFI and NO LAUNDRY.  This is a bare bones park.  AT&T LTE signal is very good in this area and my Coverage? app shows great Verizon LTE as well.  You will definitely need to have your own internet coverage.
Trail to the large hay field
Trail to the large hay field
The end of the trail.. a very large hay field.  Lots of deer come here!
The end of the trail.. a very large hay field. Lots of deer come here!  Click on it to get the full version.
Hay bale study
Hay bale study
Covered patio(?) area
Covered patio(?) area
  • Pets
    • Pros:  Pets are welcome at this park.  Just remember this is a southern climate and with that you could have alligators in the ponds here – do not let your dog swim in them!  Do not approach alligators for any reason.  Also, when walking in the woods be mindful of snakes.  There are many poisonous varieties here.  See my “con” below that I touch on snake issues here.
    • Cons:   The camp host has two dogs that just LOVE to be outside and bark at the world.  It’s a tad annoying to say the least.  There are quite a few loose dogs in the area that like to wander through the park, including the owners dogs who are not very friendly with other dogs.  So just watch your dog(s) around them.  They like to come by and pee all over your stuff outside and knock over grills, etc.  Grrrr.  Also, both the camp host and owner carry side arms due to snakes and this was in January/February.  I would be worried to be here in warmer months and walking around.  But then again, I hate snakes! 🙂
The new dog run area - 50'x50'.
The new dog run area – 50’x50′.
Bench outside the dog area
Bench outside the dog area
Leading the way back from our walk
Leading the way back from our walk
  • Other thoughts:  The website states it accepts rigs that are only 15 years or newer.  That isn’t the case at all, considering they have two pretty dilapidated travel trailers that are parked here full time.  We had a great spot (space #7) and didn’t have to look at any of the rigs as they were all on our far side but be advised that is what is there.  If you are looking for a “brand new rig only” park, then this is definitely not it.  Most of the people here are nice but of course there is always one bad apple that spoils the bunch.  Our closest neighbor was very unfriendly and rude but we just ignored them so it was all good.
The view behind our rig
The view behind our rig
Spaces are good sized
Spaces are good sized
Don't believe everything you read
Don’t believe everything you read
  • AT&T & Verizon – the AT&T LTE signal is very good here.  According to my Coverage? app it shows a decent Verizon LTE signal as well.

Overall, this little park is just ok but it suited our needs (once we got down the road to it) for the time we were in Charleston.  Probably not something we would come back to as their daily rates are on track with parks closer to Charleston, but the monthly rate was acceptable even with the lack of amenities and it allowed us some privacy and quiet.  It could have been a much better experience if the loose dogs were not allowed to run free and be destructive, tho.

Where are we going next?  Well… we are keeping that under wraps for now.  Until this case is closed we are going incognito.  😉  We will post our plans though when it’s all over!

Will leave you with a few photos from around the park.

Sun
Sun
Another hay field
Another hay field
Swamp! No swimming!
Swamp! No swimming!
Making tracks!  Deer tracks!
Making tracks! Deer tracks!
Beautiful blue skies!
Beautiful blue skies!

Park Review – Thomas RV Park, Hardeeville, SC

In the process of getting prepared to hit the road full time we spent 5 months at an RV park that was close to our work but yet still had some privacy away from the main town.  We chose Thomas-Hardeeville RV Park in Hardeeville, South Carolina.

Thomas' RV Park, Hardeeville, SC
Thomas’ RV Park, Hardeeville, SC

Map link to Location: Thomas RV Park

Here is some info to help you make an informed decision about this park.

  • Location
    • Pros: We feel Thomas RV Park has a GREAT location!  You are only 15 minutes from Savannah, GA and about 30 minutes to Hilton Head Island, SC.  Lots of things to do in either location! Great food where ever you go.
    • Cons: The downside is that there is not much in the way of grocery shopping in Hardeeville and you are better off going to either Savannah or Bluffton, SC to do your shopping.  There are many great restaurants in Savannah or Bluffton so you can really make a day of it if you wanted.  There are two little gas station/convenience stores about 1/4 mile away from the park though.
  • Sites/Spaces
    • Pros:  Monthly rates are reasonable at $375 plus electric (.10kwh) at time of writing.  Daily rates are listed on their website and they accept many of the RV clubs for a discounted rate (Passport America, etc).  The spaces are fairly large, wide and level with many pull throughs for big rigs.  All sites have 30/50 amps and water/sewer hookups.  They have basic cable (you must get a box at the office) free of charge.
    • Cons:  If you are staying for any length of time, request a site towards the back of the park.  There is a very busy road that goes right past the front of the park and road noise is an issue, IMO.  Also, the sites closer to the front do not have many trees and in the summer the shade is very nice to have.
hardrv3
Large level sites
hardrv5
Near the front of the park
  • Amenities
    • Pros:  Lots of shady tree lined areas to walk and bike. Very pet friendly! Has a decent laundry room that was recently renovated and has new machines ($1.50 to wash/$2.00 to dry).  They maintain the park very well and they are always willing to help you out.  This fall they provided free wood for the fire pits!  They are in the process of clearing out some wooded areas and making it look nicer.  There is a central gathering area with a small kitchen area and tables/chairs.  They held a crab boil this fall that was awesome and there is usually a gathering every month – just bring a side dish!  **They do have wireless internet and it works “OK”.  Don’t expect to stream HD videos or anything but it will definitely be fine for checking your Facebook page or working on your blog! 😉
    • Cons:  There is no bath house or toilet.  That is on their list of projects they will be completing soon but as of this writing it wasn’t available.  There is no camp host – you will need to call the owner if you need something taken care of.
The gathering area!
The gathering area!
Beautiful decorations for fall!
Beautiful decorations for fall!
Beautiful decorations for fall!
Beautiful decorations for fall!
A little local "flavor" added to the decorations!
A little local “flavor” added to the decorations!
  • Pets
    • Pros:  Pets are very welcome at this park!  They have even built a doggy play yard and a bathing area!  There are also stations throughout the park with doggy poo bag dispensers.  Pets are to be leashed at all times (except in the dog park) and you must pick up after your pets.  Only common sense of course. 🙂
    • Cons:  Not too much on the downside here.  Just remember, this is a southern climate and with that you could have alligators in the ponds here – do not let your dog swim in them!  Do not approach alligators for any reason.  Also, when walking in the woods be mindful of snakes.  There are many poisonous varieties here.
The dog park!
The dog park!
The doggy bathing area
The doggy bathing area
  • Other thoughts:  This is not really a “kid friendly” park in the sense that there is no playground or pool at the park.  The beach isn’t far and there are tons of things to do within minutes of the park but I have seen kids come here and they seem bored.
  • AT&T & Verizon – signals are decent with LTE coverage and great speeds.
Some walking areas
Some walking areas
Some walking areas
Some walking areas

Overall, this is a very nice park with a great location between the beach and historic Savannah.  The people are friendly, it’s a pretty park (especially at the back where we were) and the rates are reasonable if you plan to stay for an extended period.