Bombarded with questions if their existing sites are big rig-friendly, South Carolina-based entrepreneurs and business partners Bill McLeod and D. Melton found a solution that addresses one of the most common questions that RVers inquire about: Big Rig Friendly RV Resort.
Just this month, the West Columbia, SC property finally opened its doors to campers.
“For the last few years, we’ve owned two other RV parks, and we always get phone calls from most people traveling up down the road. And one of their first questions every time they called our staff or managers, they would say, ‘are you big rig-friendly?’” Melton told Modern Campground.
Everything seems to have fallen into place because soon enough, McLeod and Melton were able to secure a spot for their new project. While creating a website for the property, the domain name “bigrigfriendly.com” was also available.
With an ideal location and website secured, the campground owners named the whole park after the premise.
“So when people call, they already know we are big rig-friendly,’” Melton shared.
Spanning 80 acres, the RV park that took almost two years to build was constructed to accommodate bigger rigs. Yet, McLeod and Melton’s reason for making a third park—despite already owning two—is to cater to the growing demand for more parks.
“There’s really a need in Columbia for RV sites. Most of the existing parts were full, and most of them have been there a while. So they can’t really accommodate the newer Class A RVs,” McLeod said.
The sites at Big Rig Friendly RV Resort are full hookup and measure from 75 feet to 120 feet, with most sites being pull-throughs. The areas in between the sites are also wooded, providing just the right amount of shade.
Campers, whether staying nightly, weekly, or long-term, can benefit from the park’s close proximity to I26 and I77 just 3 miles away. The SC farmer’s market is only a mile away as well.
At the moment, most of their guests are traveling nurses, but touring families and those coming in for graduation (the University of South Carolina just 10 miles away) stay at Big Rig too.
Upon completion of Phase 2, the campground will feature a total of 270 sites. Construction on one of the facilities, a structure that measures about 4,500 sq. ft., will begin next week. Once renovated, the building will house a camp store, laundry area, showers, exercise room, a gathering room for events, and more.
Soon, the RV resort will also be offering the Vintage Cruiser, an on-site RV rental on Airbnb.
When asked about how the pandemic affected the construction, the owners said it made the process slower and more expensive.
“For instance, our swimming pool. Every contractor said they’re over two years out on putting in any swimming pool anywhere . . . prices of materials [are] going up three or four times this normal cost,” Melton shared.
Still, the construction continues.
“The demand is still extremely strong right now,” said Melton, who also serves on the Carolinas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CARVC) board.
The owners anticipate construction for a pool to begin this fall and hope to complete it by next summer. A playground, pickleball courts, and an outdoor pavilion are also planned.
As for the impact of gas prices, Melton shared bookings are “extremely strong” even though the resort opened on May 1, when surging fuel costs have already been affecting the country.
For McLeod, while their nightly traffic could be affected, their monthly traffic could see the brighter side of the situation, especially with Big Rig’s proximity to industrial areas.
Ultimately, how much the increase in prices at the pump will affect the park is still to be determined, as per Melton.
Designed to accommodate newer and bigger RVs, Big Rig Friendly RV Resort is located at 336 Gardners Terrace Road in West Columbia, South Carolina.
The new RV resort is within minutes of three interstate highways, downtown Columbia, University of SC, Lake Murray, golf and tennis, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, as well as many hiking trails such as Congaree State Park Waterfront Park, and more.
For more information, visit https://bigrigfriendly.com/.
Featured image from Big Rig Friendly