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Being a New RV Park Owner: How a Family Built a Park After a Trip to Tennessee

Jim Hanson was not planning on getting into the short-term accommodation business, but a family trip to Tennessee changed just that. Today, Jim and his wife own Tiger Mountain RV Park & Campground, a cozy family RV park in Oconee County, South Carolina.

The homey park in South Carolina’s Seneca City offers ten sites equipped with 30/50-amp electric, water, and sewer. It came to fruition after the couple and their four kids stayed at a small RV park close to Gatlinburg, Tennessee in late 2019.

After a few exchanges with the owners, the couple was inspired to build an RV park on their 5-and-a-half-acre land that had seven mobile homes for rent. Their dream progressed quickly after a couple of months of running numbers and planning things out. Soon enough, they found a buyer for the seven mobile homes. What came after was zoning and building codes.

While Tiger Mountain RV Park offers a stress-free environment for families with Lake Hartwell and over a hundred falls nearby, building it was far from relaxing—especially when the budget is very limiting. Just as things were going smoothly, Hanson faced his first hurdle: the entryway to his dream park.

Hanson shared that the driveway coming into the park did not meet the code of the Department of Transportation for RVs to enter and leave. He was then advised to build an entryway, but that too proved to be nearly impossible as there was not a piece of the property connected to the road where it would work.

Fortunately, the odds were in his favor. 

“Right when they told me that, the adjacent seven and a half acres came available—that would provide access to the main road; I would just have to build a long driveway. So I bought that land and we put about a quarter of a mile of paved driveway on the new property connecting to the property I already own,” Hanson told Modern Campground.

At this point, Hanson owns 13 acres of land with a newly-paved driveway leading to the property with the campsites.

The second hurdle was transforming their mobile home park into an RV park in the middle of a pandemic. The newly-hatched RV park owner faced one of the problems brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic: a shortage in supply.

Getting rocks was as smooth as butter, thanks to the rock quarry nearby. Buying power pedestals, however, proved to be a challenge for Hanson. 

Most campground owners, whether relatively new or have been long-time owners and are renovating, share the struggle of finding electric pedestals for their properties. For the Seneca RV Park owner, it took 11 months of waiting.

Good things come to those who wait, and with his patience, the process of transforming the park was well underway. His resourcefulness played a big part too. Hanson shared that he did most land grading and underground utility work himself.

He also told Modern Campground that he plans to tap into the glamping side of the business by adding glamping tents, tiny homes, and cabins soon. As for facilities, Hanson is looking into adding an on-site vegetable garden for his guests.

Because the hands-on owner is very much involved in building the park, he plans to build the tiny houses on his own, with each having a bath facility as the no-contact park currently does not have a bathhouse.

“I have a workshop on the property so I can build all of those tiny houses or those little cabins on-site and do it myself, “ Hanson said.

“For a husband and wife operation where we don’t have major outside financing, anything I can do myself allows us to expand—and probably expand quicker than if we had to go get private contracting to come and do all that stuff,” he added.

The park is expanding with additional six sites underway. There are hopes to offer around 25 to 30 campsites by next summer, seeing that the wooded property is nearby Clemson University. Hanson said that college football fans, families visiting for orientation or graduation, event-goers, and more are welcome to stay.

There are also recreational opportunities such as hiking in nearby trails, visiting the lake directly across the street, or going to the public boat ramp and marina within a mile and a half.

When asked what his message was for aspiring park owners, Hanson said that enjoying the process is important.

“There’s going to be a lot of hurdles in the way. There [are] going to be things you have to figure out that you may not have an answer to. Even in the process of figuring that stuff out, find ways to enjoy it,” he said.

With his resourcefulness, creativity, and persistence, Hanson was able to make his family’s dream come true, transforming a seven-unit mobile home park into the roaring Tiger Mountain RV Park.
To know more about Tiger Mountain RV Park, visit their website by clicking here or reach out to them by phone at +1 (864) 952 1020.

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Mia Rain
Mia Rain
February 15, 2024 12:50 pm

It’s remarkable how the family is creating a sustainable experience with a vegetable garden and personalized tiny houses. It shows a genuine commitment to providing a unique and memorable stay for their guests.

March 20, 2024 8:53 am

Isn’t it amazing how this family turned their land into the stunning Tiger Mountain RV Park? It’s like a story straight out of a movie! Their hard work paid off, creating a paradise for travelers by Lake Hartwell. What a journey from a dream to a beautiful reality!

April 14, 2024 6:24 pm

Isn’t it inspiring how this family tackled challenges building their RV park? They went green with solar power and partnered with attractions for guest perks. That’s dedication and creativity at its finest!


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Being a New RV Park Owner: How a Family Built a Park After a Trip to Tennessee! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/south-carolina/being-a-new-rv-park-owner-how-a-family-built-a-park-after-a-trip-to-tennessee/