After we left Ebenezer Park near Charlotte, we headed south to Aiken, South Carolina to stay with Hannah’s grandparents. They have a really nice house right on the golf course of a gated community – which we stayed in instead of Trudy. But don’t worry, she was parked out front. 🙂
It was a great week in Aiken. We spent lots of time with family. Hannah’s grandparents were wonderful with Calla and so generous with making food and entertaining us! It was great to see them spend so much time with Calla, and it was clear that they really enjoyed it.
I also carved out some time to do a little work on Trudy – a couple new interior 12v lights, new LED outside lights, a new kitchen faucet, and some new hitch hardware (tighteners and locks). Trudy even got a bath!
Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort
After Aiken, we headed southeast to Hilton Head Island. We had made reservations a few weeks prior at Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort (HHIMCR) based on reviews and pictures. And my goodness, they were spot on! The place is seriously gorgeous!
You pay for it, though – at $70 per night (+ 10% tax – ouch), it was the most expensive site we’ve had yet. I’d say it’s worth it, though.
Each site at HHIMCR is privately owned. The resort manages rentals and landscaping. I believe the owners get 50% of the rental revenue – which doesn’t sound like a bad deal.
There’s a beautiful lake at the resort with sites tucked in all around it. There are 3 types of sites – lakefront (anywhere near the lake), clubhouse (around the pool/clubhouse/gym/tennis area), and forest (everywhere else). We were in a forest site. The resort is exclusive to motorcoaches only, so you have to have a self-contained unit 18 feet in length or greater. The majority of the patrons have class A’s, but we did see one class B and a couple class C’s.
I’ve never been around so many nice motorohomes before. Many of them sticker for several hundred thousand dollars – some over $600k. I don’t know how you pack that much value into a motorhome, but apparently it’s possible. The frame must be some sort of gold alloy or something.
This resort is a well-oiled machine. It’s laid out nicely, perfectly manicured, and has great amenities – a nice pool and spa, a great gym, a nice playground, lots of tennis courts, and a clean and inexpensive laundry area.
However, the downside of that landscaping is the near constant hum of yard equipment – they even have a large gas-powered, self-propelled fan that they ride on that blows off the open sites. We found it to be fairly annoying at times.
This wasn’t our first time in Hilton Head, but it was definitely our favorite. We had basically no neighbors, and being in such a beautiful setting was great! To Calla’s dismay, we also rented bikes to take advantage of Hilton Head’s comprehensive bike paths. They’re really well kept and will take you all over the island.
We also met a full-time RV couple that are our age that actually just bought a lot at HHIMCR – Kim and Ryan of Sort of Homeless. We hung out with them a couple of evenings – it’s great to talk to others who are doing and dealing with the same things as we are! And it didn’t hurt that they’re really friendly and helpful people.
HHIMCR is somewhat inland compared to our other beachfront spots – Coligny Beach is a ~12 minute bike ride. Coligny Beach has lots of nice shops and restaurants, a great beach, and lots of places to walk or sit.
I was also able to start using the new flat top griddle we got for the Camp Chef grill. It’s AWESOME. It’s large (16″x 32″) and ~40 pounds of steel – just what you want for a portable RV cooking setup, right?
Ups and downs
The life of an RV is hard. Lots of changes in temperature, being thrown around on the road all of the time, and generally low build quality means that there’s nearly always something to work on. That’s how we ended up having the opportunity to add a new lawn ornament to our lot at HHIMCR!
Early in the week I noticed a little water on the floor by the toilet. After further investigation I found that the original toilet (a Dometic 210) was leaking from the sprayer and also from the vacuum breaker every time we flushed. And that water was dripping right onto a carpeted “box” behind the toilet that hid water and electrical lines.
New parts to address both leaks would have been nearly $70 with shipping. So, instead, I drove the hour to the Savannah Camping World and bought a new Dometic 310 for $160. The installation was pretty straightforward, though I will say it was also pretty gross. Anyway, we also ripped out the wet old carpeted box thing, so now we’ll have to figure out a new way to cover the lines. Or just leave it open – it doesn’t bother us too much.
We also found that an odd smell was coming from our living room A/C intake unit when it’s NOT running but the bedroom A/C unit IS running (the whole system is vented together). I figured something was plugged up or dirty, so I got on the roof, pulled the outer cover and the evaporator cover off to investigate. I cleaned the evaporator coil and the surrounding area with a toothbrush and vinegar, and that seemed to help. But, unfortunately the smell came back and is still around to this day! I need to buy a proper A/C coil cleaner and clean both A/C units thoroughly to see if that helps. Sadly, I’m sure there will be more to come on this topic.
HHIMCR was our favorite campground so far. We were sad to leave, but onward we must go.