Campground becomes home to Goodwin



Sun Staff Writer

Tiny houses and minimalist living have become all the rage, but that is a lifestyle that many Timberlake Campground residents have been invested in for many years.

Timberlake is one of five campgrounds at the Barnett Reservoir. Camping areas are split between nightly rentals and monthly rentals. 

Greenville native and Timberlake Campground long-term resident Pam Goodwin made the move to recreational vehicle (RV) life back in 2006 and never looked back.

She and her husband decided to move to Timberlake Campground 13 years ago to be closer to their grandchildren. When Goodwin got a job offer, it was too good to refuse.

They decided to try RV living temporarily in an older motor home they already owned. Goodwin moved first, and her husband followed soon after.

When her second grandchild was born, she was ready to move to be closer to them.

“We had an older motor home then,” she said. “We came down here and got set up.”

They lived in the campground on a pad near the entrance of the camp for two years before settling into their current spot.

“All we knew about campgrounds was weekend camping,” she said. “You know, you go and then come back home.”

The couple loved the ease and fun of “camping” year-round and ended up deciding to do it full time.

“I told him, if we were going to do this full time, we needed something bigger,” she said.

So, they invested in a new, larger RV.

“Both of us were close to work,” she said.

Living in a compact space has been good for Goodwin, and the monthly fees are much cheaper than buying or renting a house.

“Cleaning house is simple,” she said.

One thing about the lifestyle that was difficult for Goodwin at first was storing photos, but she made space for them a priority.

Goodwin lost her husband in 2012. She retired the following year.

On any given day you can find Goodwin tending to her potted plants, which she has made into a makeshift garden around her outdoor furniture setup or riding around the area in her golf cart with friends.

“My friends and neighbors were afraid I was going to move, but I said, ‘No, this is home for me,’” she said.

Goodwin said she feels safe in her community and enjoys spending time with her neighbors and friends. Everyone on her street is either retired or works from home, she said.

“I love the scenery and the quiet and having my close friends nearby,” she said. “And I’m close to my grandchildren. So, I’m right where I wanna be.”

With her days free, Goodwin spends much of her time outside. Her outdoor area is her sanctuary, she says.

“We will all sit out in the afternoons and get together,” she said. “We will get out and ride in our golf carts and pick up neighbors. Sometimes we will go out in a friend’s boat and sit around and watch the sunset. It’s just a relaxed lifestyle.”

The location is good for her with close proximity to several restaurants and shopping.

There is a strong sense of community among the long-term residents at Timberlake. They cook out together regularly and have potluck meals at the office.

“You get to meet residents that you might not know, and that’s nice,” Goodwin said. “It’s been wonderful out here.”

Extended stay campsites at Timberlake are based on availability. Each campground is limited to a maximum number of extended stay sites during specific times of the year based on campground occupancy.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District’s office determines the max number of extended stay sites.

Some of the amenities at Timberlake include a recreation building with a TV room, laundry, outdoor tennis courts and a swimming pool; grills; picnic tables; a boat launch; full hook-ups; a comfort station; access to bike trails and disc golf.

There are nightly and permanent RV sites with water, electricity and sewer, or pop-up tent sites with water and electricity.

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