This past weekend my family and I stayed at the new RV Campground Carolina Pines and had an amazing time. This was the first time in years that I have stayed in an RV campground and the first time ever for us to vacation together. Hopefully, this will be the first of many more to come.
Besides commenting on our experiences, I will also do my best to rate different aspects of the RV park. I'll be looking at the living quarters, entertainment, cost, staff, and location. These areas of interest are important to me when choosing vacation spots. They are also universally applicable, AKA reusable when rating future experiences.
Please know that this review is not a paid advertisement for any of the establishments listed. It is solely based on the experiences of my family and me.
When planning this trip, we wanted to make sure the five of us could stay in the accommodations for four nights comfortably. We ended up going with a tiny house-style cabin that had one bedroom, a loft, a bunkroom, a kitchen, and one bathroom. This ended up being the perfect size for three adults and two kids. In fact, it would have probably been ok for four adults and three kids.
Just because I said you can fit a ton of people in the cabin doesn’t mean it was luxurious. A downside of having that many people in a tiny home is that there aren't five seats on the couch or at the dining room table. The table had four chairs, and the sofa could fit four people comfortably as well. But fortunately, the close proximity of the living room to the dining room still allowed us to be together during meals and relaxing out of the sun. The areas were so close I could almost touch the sofa from the dinner table.
One of the things you may not think about but that I was concerned with was the air conditioner. In South Carolina, it can get insanely hot if the AC isn't working well. We were all surprised by how cool the three mini-split units kept the cabin. The place was actually pretty frigid until we turned the thermostat up about 5 degrees. Believe me, you will not have to worry about being cool here. After spending all day in the hot sun, the cool cabin was a welcome feeling.
Another favorite feature of the cabin is that the kitchen came fully stock with plates, pots, pans, cups, and anything else you would need to cook and eat. Minus the food, of course. If you have read some of my financial blogs on The Cyber Union, you know that we like to save money. The fact that you have a full kitchen at your disposal means you can save tons of money by bringing groceries and cooking. They even have a charcoal grill outside, ready to go for hot dogs and hamburgers.
Although the kitchen was mostly stocked, a few things were missing that you should bring. To ensure you can be self-sufficient and not have to run to the store, I would recommend bringing:
Moving to the outside of the cabin now. One of the areas of concern at RV parks is the space between you and the next lot. Most RV parks are cramped to keep it mildly. This makes sense from a business perspective, but for consumers, it sucks. Carolina Pines does a great job creating a nice buffer space between each unit or lot. My brother-in-law swears that for every two lots here, Ocean Lakes would have three campers squeezed in.
If I had to pick a few things to gripe about, I would say that they could do a little better with the general maintenance of the unit. A few bars were missing from the loft ladder, a wooden cover was missing under the bunk bed, and the shower seemed a little cramp. These little things didn’t detract much from the unit by any means.
Without taking costs into consideration, I would rate the Living Quarters 4 out of 5 Stars. It wasn't perfect, but it was way better than we expected.
I would rate the Living Quarters 4 out of 5 Stars
So far the living space is great but what is there to do at Carolina Pines? There are tons actually tons of entertainment options at Carolina Pines.
Free options include:
Paid Activities include:
Besides these activities, Carolina Pines offers a mix of events that change continuously. Events such as fortnight tournaments, musicians playing by the pool, yoga, street hockey, and movies by the pool. The staff does a great job of finding exciting activities for both the kids and the family.
In addition to the stuff on-premise, Carolina Pines also has a beach clubhouse. The park doesn’t sit by the beach as many of the other RV parks. It is actually about 20 minutes away. They offer a shuttle service that runs about every half hour.
At the clubhouse, which sits by the beach, you can either hang around the pool or walk over to the beach. The clubhouse has bathrooms and places to eat lunch in the shade.
As a tip, you are better off taking the shuttle to the clubhouse. At first, we thought you could park in the clubhouse parking lot, but you must use public beach parking if you drive. Save money and take the shuttle. You don’t want to get sand in your car anyway.
Overall I would rate their list of activities at a 5 out of 5. I like that Carolina Pines doesn’t try to gouge you with excursions once you get there, and they have a broad offering of activities to choose from. To add to the long list of activities, they will be adding a lazy river, and I can’t wait.
Overall I would rate their list of activities at a 5 out of 5
Customer service has always been a big thing for me. There is nothing that can ruin a good time like unhospitable staff members. Before COVID, I enjoyed taking cruise ships because they have some of the best customer service in the world (I know not super F.I.R.E. conscious).
I mean, Carolina Pines wasn't at cruise ship levels, but their staff was very courteous and eager to help solve your problems. I found it easy to approach and ask questions of the staff, and my brother-in-law seemed to be always chatting them up about something.
Most notably of the Carolina Pines Team:
Not much to say about the staff other than they did a great job picking employees and had enough team members to keep things running smoothly. I would rate the staff at a 4 out of 5.
I would rate the staff at a 4 out of 5.