Camping in the south vs north.

mainahman

All the worlds indeed a stage
Oct 2, 2009
604
I really had no idea! We don't have that type of thing up here..I'm sure that's a bit unpleasant!
 

Travelhoveler

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2011
2,337
I lived in Maine three years and would rather sleep naked through May and June outside in black fly and mosquito season there than I would to wander fifteen feet through tall grass here infested with chiggers. Not only do they burrow into your skin, they lay their eggs there, and then their larvae eat their way through to the opposite side of your ankle to escape.

Now multiply by sixty or so as we say, "betcha can't get eaten by just one."
 

tntom

Active Member
Sep 20, 2009
122
We typically camp in the Smoky Mtns in East Tn. BUT when when don't it is usually at Defeated Creak in Smith County between cookville and Nashville. Big open campsites. All have water and electricity, about half with sewer. Located on a lake so would be great for your kayaking.
 

mainahman

All the worlds indeed a stage
Oct 2, 2009
604
Hello fellow viking owner!! Lakes is where we like to camp. so we can swim, kayak, and i can get up really early and "try to catch dinner" although i usually end up eating that emergency chicken i packed just in case. That sounds like a lot of places here. We don't need no sewer connections, no bathroom on board, just Water and electricity. Were really starting to whittle down the areas in which we are looking for houses. Right now, Smyrna. La Verne, Chapel, Mount Juliet, Mount Pleasant, and Joelton are winning. Im actually really looking at being south of the city, just so i don't have to drive through the city every day to get to Franklin. id say were fairly "renecky" up here, its not unusual to see a 4 wheeler with someone on a mattress "surfing" behind it around here. Were fairly rural, so i like that in Chapel hill/ unionville, and Mount Pleasant. Im making a trip down in April to house shop, and whittle down my house list to make an offer on one.
 

dcfan99

Member
Oct 7, 2012
20
Watch your schools down south of Franklin. Smyrna/LaVergne is an easy commute to Franklin and has Rutherford County schools which are good. South of here, if you can stay in Williamson County School district (that would be Spring Hill, Thompson Station) then you are set - but further south (out of WCS) I would be a bit concerned. You will not have the urban issues you have in Metro Nashville, but lack of access/funding issues. We have adopted Common Core in TN so schools are going through a lot right now trying to adapt curriculum to meet the new standards and testing requirements. Williamson Co boasts one the highest school ratings in the state and has 2 nationally ranked high schools (Ravenwood and Brentwood). Check out the TVAAS scores at the state DOE website for the schools serving where you are looking. I am a teacher so if you have questions about schools here as you are looking feel free to PM me and I will do my best to point you to the right info.

Mount Juliet, Mount Pleasant and Joelton will be terrible commutes for you as all would take you right through Nashville. I would plan on more than an hours commute during rush hour from any of those locations. Our traffic really stinks right at rush hour because our road systems are inadequate through town for our booming population and we have almost nonexistent transit.

Back to the camping, our favorite "easy drive" camping from this area is on Center Hill lake at Edgar Evins State Park. The camping is really neat - because you camp on a wooden deck hanging out over the lake. You have easy access to the marina where you could put in your kayaks or rent a pontoon etc. The sites all have water and electric and there is a dump station. We are about one hour door to door from here. You can reserve through the state park system.

You should check out the TN State Parks. www.tnstateparks.com
We really do have one of the best state park systems in the country.
 

mainahman

All the worlds indeed a stage
Oct 2, 2009
604
Yea were keeping an eye on the school districts as we start to whittle down properties available, and what is doable. If i can stary south of the city, ( Lavergne, Symrna, Chapel Hill Unionville, Mount Pleasant) that seems to be a lot better. Our budget at this point isnt getting us into Spring Hill, as much as id love to! ive got co workers that live in joelton, and it would be nice to be close to them, but if its a nightmare every day, then im not into it. Im spoiled here to be a 25 minute drive from work. I know i cant afford that there for sure. Nothing in my price cap of 100k or under in Williamson County, short of Fairview might have a couple.

That sounds really cool to be camping on a wooden deck hanging over the lake!! Like really lake side!!
 

Travelhoveler

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2011
2,337
Mount Juliet, Mount Pleasant and Joelton will be terrible commutes for you as all would take you right through Nashville
.

What? Why would anyone from Mt. Pleasant go through Nashville to get to Franklin? It would be about a 30 minute commute, and they would even skirt around the edge of Columbia.

Many of the Maury County schools are very good; however, I would not put the Mt. Pleasant ones in that category.

You must live in Snooty Brentwood.

I wouldn't even think of living in Brentwood. I'm in East Nashville.
 

mainahman

All the worlds indeed a stage
Oct 2, 2009
604
Mount pleasant says about 45 minutes for a commute on google maps. I've got a budget of about 100 grand, so most of the safe places in Nashville proper, Brentwood and franklin proper are out. How are the schools in mount pleasant?
 

Travelhoveler

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2011
2,337
I would personally avoid Mt. Pleasant; they have a terrible environmental record (attracting polluters, ineffective wastewater treatment, etc.). I also think the schools tend to underperform other Maury County ones. And do you really want to be behind a steering wheel an hour and a half a day?

If you look at a long commute, you'll spend more on gas and vehicle upkeep than you will on your mortgage at your level. You might want to consider renting for a while and aggressively saving so you can buy something else down the line. 100k doesn't give you many good options in this part of Tennessee.
 

dcfan99

Member
Oct 7, 2012
20
Travelhoveler said:
.

What? Why would anyone from Mt. Pleasant go through Nashville to get to Franklin? It would be about a 30 minute commute, and they would even skirt around the edge of Columbia.

Many of the Maury County schools are very good; however, I would not put the Mt. Pleasant ones in that category.

I wouldn't even think of living in Brentwood. I'm in East Nashville.

Sorry I meant a long commute. Mt Pleasant to Franklin would be a long commute. I think it would be at least 45 mins each way (although not through Nashville).

I would spend a little more money and get something in Williamson Co if it were me and my kids. Just offering advice based on my experiences in the area and with the schools.

I know lots of really nice people that live in Brentwood. :)
 

tntom

Active Member
Sep 20, 2009
122
I know several families in the mount Juliet/Wilson county area. They are all very pleased with Wilson County schools.
 

mainahman

All the worlds indeed a stage
Oct 2, 2009
604
Renting isn't an option with the animals, and with only 3 years to go in school I don't want to keep moving her around if we can't afford it. Mount pleasant really the furthest I an willing to go. We have found quite a few places in chapel hill and mount Juliet from research both school districts are pretty good. If also like to avoid driving through the city. I'm fine with a 45 minute drive. I've done it before for long periods of time. Plus I understand that in my price range I need to be about that far to get something of worth.
 

Travelhoveler

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2011
2,337
I would still avoid Mt. Pleasant on account of the environmental hazards, the poor schools and the long commute. Columbia is closer and has much better schools, some excellent.

Chapel Hill is nice enough, but it's small, and there won't be many choices. Marshall County schools aren't that great, but better than the worst in Tennessee.

With a 45-minute commute, you will be paying so much in gas and vehicle upkeep that you will end up offsetting any potential mortgage savings and spending more in the long run.

You might want to reconsider some of those locales, or count on spending a lot more annually to pull it off.

Have you figured out utility bills? Summers here will cost you what a Maine winter does.
 

mainahman

All the worlds indeed a stage
Oct 2, 2009
604
The budget is what the bank is willing to lend. If I could afford more I'd totally spend it to get closer. We've really got about 40 houses on our favorites list currently slowly whittling it down as we get closer to April. Chapel hill Smyrna and La vergne are my top areas as well. Also keeping an eye out for property in fairview as its Williamson county, but not as pricey as franklin and Brentwood. Also looking at a couple places in cheatham county as I have colleges there that I can carpool with.
 

mainahman

All the worlds indeed a stage
Oct 2, 2009
604
What kind of environmental hazards does mount pleasant have? Now you have me curious :)
 

Travelhoveler

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2011
2,337
Mt. Pleasant was, for years, the center of the phosphate industry. Plants like Stauffer pumped their wastes into deep wells, thoroughly polluting the groundwater. When the plants eventually closed, the city tried to attract other noxious plants and recruited major polluters like W. R. Grace and others. Their wastewater plant is so notorious EPA sentenced some operators to federal prison for coverups and cooked books; releases from the plant sterilized Bigby Creek all the way to its mouth. The town has been trying to attract industrial landfills in recent years. It's well-known for its high cancer rate and its terrible environmental record. Look it up for yourself, but you've been warned.
 

Jflyboym

Active Member
Mar 17, 2013
353
If you add AC and don't use it much it's better than not having it and being miserable in the summer. As others mentioned, summers in the south get pretty hot and humid. I live in southern Indiana right on the border of Louisville KY. The climate is very similar to TN. My daughter has Asthma and the AC helps a lot with that and makes things nice on a hot day. Some days it gets so hot that the kids can get to a point that it really is a health and safety issue for them and they need to cool off. When we tent camped a lot I got in a situation where the daytime temps were 99 to 100 F and the humidity was horrible. A nice camping neighbor let my daughter play with his kids in their TT so she could cool off. I'll never get in that situation again. AC all the way!

With that said, get ready for the friendliest most laid back campers I have ever seen. TN is a great state with lots of beautiful parks and campgrounds. People will probably wave at you even if they don't know you :) enjoy the state!
 




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