RV Park Reviews, SC

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.

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!

Time flies!

Oh my goodness!  My how the time flies when you’re having fun!!  I can not believe it’s been more than 2 months since my last blog post.  So much has happened in that time I don’t even know where to begin!  I guess it’s best to begin at the beginning. 🙂

As of December 27, 2012 we have been living full time in the RV.  We sold the last of our belongings, got everything moved out of the house and here we are!  We are in a beautiful spot that only has two other RV’s on it and includes a private island and water/marsh views galore!  We could not have chosen a better spot to start our adventure.  Since we need to stay in this area until our daughter finishes college we wanted something that was more private and I will tell you, driving around and doing a little research sure pays off!

We found this location strictly by chance.  It is just down the road from one of the most premier locations in the low country of South Carolina.  It is right on the May River and the surrounding marshland offers a large variety of wildlife!    Here are a few photos that highlight our new space:

marsh1 river2 river

We are very lucky to be where we are.  The local campgrounds do not offer much in the way of parking spaces (too close together!) and our current location allows us a very short drive to work.  Best of both worlds!

We were also able to build a deck at our space to make it more “homey” and to also get away from the dirt – we reused wood from an old deck at our house and it sure makes a huge difference!

deck3 deck1 deck2

I’m sure whoever follows in our location will be very happy to have this deck.  The best part is that it didn’t cost us much to build!

We haven’t posted much simply because we’ve just been living and working.  Saving money so when the day comes we can hit the road!  We’ve adjusted very well to living in such a small space and we find that it has brought us closer together.  Our animals love it as well – our cat Shine especially loves all the windows! 🙂

There is a lot more to share but I don’t want to drag this post out forever.  We have some new updates on the RV to share as well as the new toad we bought.  That will follow shortly.

Until then… happy trails!

Shelly & Mark ~ Boondock Or Bust!

General info

The great PURGE!

No, no… I don’t have an eating disorder, I promise!  Let me explain….

Every person who has ever made the leap into living in an RV will understand what I mean by “the great purge”.  When you live in conventional housing (i.e., “sticks & bricks”) we tend to accumulate things.  Things we need… things we think we need, if not now then later… and things we buy on impulse that we later say “what were we thinking?”.  But what we don’t realize is that all these things amount to a LOT of stuff over time.  And the bigger the home we live in the more we tend to collect.  It seems we humans have a desire to fill up whatever space we are residing in!

Obviously moving into an RV means getting rid of most of our non-essential belongings and some of the ones we *think* are essential as well.  Back in August, Mark and I decided it was time to do the first round of purging.  We didn’t have an RV lined up yet but we knew we had a certain time frame and we felt the sooner we got things gone the easier it would be when we did have the RV and could move stuff in.

So round one consisted of cleaning out the garage and putting everything we thought that had any worth on Craigslist and eBay.  Mark had a number of tools that he finally decided he could part with (that was a tough one, let me tell you!!) and those sold like hot cakes!  We also had a number of other items that went quickly as well (our boat, some sporting equipment, and some furniture).  It really is amazing what people will buy but we’re sure glad they did!

We also held back a number of small items and made a few piles for a garage sale, which we had this past weekend.  Mainly some other tools that Mark parted with (it’s like pulling teeth to get him to let go!! lol), some other small pieces of furniture, dishware, glassware, you name it!  Surprisingly we sold EVERYTHING!  And all for great prices!  I was extremely happy with the results money wise and the weird thing is, I felt this HUGE weight lift off my shoulders!  I couldn’t believe how liberating it was to sell all this stuff!

Needless to say I’ve turned into a bit of a “selling junkie”.  I’ve been putting other stuff on eBay and Craigslist that I didn’t think I could part with and find that it’s a lot easier than I thought.  I’ve been selling so much that Mark has had to slow me down a bit!  For some reason he doesn’t want to sleep on the floor or eat at the kitchen counter.  Hmmm!  🙂

The best part (besides the money) is that I am having FUN with it!  I like seeing my things go to people who will enjoy them.  Of course, we are also doing the donating thing too.  A lot of clothing and other items went to Good Will so that is always good.  We also took a truck load to the local dump.  We were truly amazed at how much “stuff” we have/had!  And trust me, there is still quite a bit to go.  I for one will be glad when it’s gone and we can move into the RV!

Even if you are not planning on living the RV lifestyle it’s a really good idea to do this sort of purge once in awhile.  The trick is to not fill those empty spaces back up once it’s gone!  Good luck with that! 😉

Until later…. Shelly & Mark