Well, new to us that is. 🙂 We have downsized to a 1986 Lance 900 series truck camper!
The camper is in great shape and all systems work! The only thing it doesn’t have is AC but it is wired to have an AC unit in it. At some point we will add one in.
Looking good on the GMC!
Inside is a bit dated of course. What can you expect from the 80’s? So, our mission is to totally update it and make it a bit more modern! And as we are leaving for South Carolina on July 25th we better get cracking!
What will we do for AC in the south? Well, we are just going to throw a window unit in it as a temp solution. Yeah, it will be a bit redneck-ish but better that than melting in the heat!
In the next couple of weeks we will be adding solar, repainting everything and generally just giving it a really good cleaning. There are some minor repairs to make but nothing that is too difficult.
We will get as much done as we can before leaving for SC and our daughters college graduation and will finish up all the renovations when we return in August!
Our plan is to leave our little off grid cabin before the snow flies (generally October) and then hit the road for the winter!
Stay tuned for our maiden voyage. Hopefully it all goes as planned but you never know with us. 😜
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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.
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.
Well, we finally did it! We hit the road full time! Woohoo! We’ve been waiting and planning for this day for nearly two years. So where did we go for our first trip? Well, since the holidays were upon us, we decided to visit our daughter who is attending university in Myrtle Beach, SC. That is approximately a 4 hour trip from where we were originally.
When we had made the decision on where to go, the next thing was to plan where to stay. We wanted to be close by our daughter, but all our research of the local RV parks showed they were *really* expensive – even for a month’s stay. We are on a budget and decided to look further out. Mark did a little research and found Carrollwood’s RV Park & Grapefull Sisters Vineyard!
Located about 30 minutes from North Myrtle Beach just across the state line in North Carolina, this little (22 space) RV park sounded perfect!
We stayed here for the month of December and while we enjoyed ourselves, I think it would have been nicer to be here in warmer weather! 🙂 Here is some info to help you make an informed decision about this park.
Pros: Located only 30 miles to Myrtle Beach, this little RV park is situated on a local Muscadine Vineyard which is owned by the family. Surrounded by beautiful farm land with all sorts of local wild life.
Cons: The closest real grocery store and gas station is 20 minutes away over the border in South Carolina. It’s an easy drive through some pretty farm land. It is out in “the boonies” (which was a PLUS for us) but if you want close by amenities then this is not the park for you.
Pros: Monthly rates are reasonable at $350 plus tax & electric (.12kwh) 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 very large, wide and (fairly) level with all being 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) which they charge an additional $24.99/mo for (no thanks). We got about 10 solid channels on our digital antenna just fine. All spaces include a fire ring and picnic table and some have bbq’s.
Cons: It rained (a LOT) while we were here and there are a lot of low areas that filled up with water. Drainage could be better but for the most part the sites are very nice.
Pros: Lots of shady tree lined areas and trails to walk, bike & hike. Very pet friendly! Laundry room has only two washers/two dryers but it is a small park ($1.50 to wash/$1.75 to dry) so that’s understandable. There is a bath house and a POOL! Also, there is a little general store with some basic RV needs and some food (expensive as you might imagine but handy). **They do have wireless internet but honestly it doesn’t work well at all. Goes out frequently and the signal strength is lacking and we were parked right across from an antenna. So don’t rely on their internet for work, etc.** They have propane on site for fill. There is a park host on duty.
Cons: They sell firewood to the guests here at $4/bundle. There are probably about 6 pieces of wood in each bundle. They do not allow you to bring in wood from outside locations. At the time of this writing they do not offer larger bundles at a discount.
Pros: Pets are very welcome at this park! They have a doggy park with a picnic table to sit at while the dogs play. 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, even in North Carolina, this is still 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.
Other thoughts: This IS a “kid friendly” park – there is a playground and pool though this time of the year (December) there were only long term people here. The beach isn’t far and there are tons of things to do within minutes of the park and the owner has three young children that I’m sure would enjoy playmates. There is a lovely duck pond and one big fat mother goose who looks after them all! Of course, the winery is a nice treat and they have wine tastings of their wine and have a cute little gift shop. Also, at this time of year there were mainly long term retired couples here. We were the youngest in the park by 20+ years! Everyone was very nice and welcoming though as RVer’s usually are. 🙂
AT&T & Verizon – the AT&T signal is very poor here and non-exisitant in certain areas. Unsure of Verizon but according to my Coverage? app it shows a decent Verizon LTE signal.
Overall, this is a beautiful little park with a great location close to Myrtle Beach that won’t break the budget. The owners are very friendly, it’s a well laid out park and the rates are reasonable if you plan to stay for an extended period. We really enjoyed our stay and would be happy to return! Below you will find some more photos in and around the park and winery – enjoy!