Skip to Content

Progress Report on our Private RV Land in Tennessee

| Updated Jun 20, 2023

We're making great progress on developing our private RV land in Mid-Tennessee into a private retreat that we can camp on whenever we want and for as long as we want!

In fact, we're carving our three RV pads. One for ourselves and two for guests.

We bought five acres at the Woodlands at the Buffalo River near the town of Linden, TN in November and we just released a detailed video documenting the improvements we've made so far, what we still need to do, and what we want to do next.

Click below to see:

The timeline of our private RV Land development:

progress on our private rv land
Our 600 foot driveway and one of our three RV camping sites

The Woodlands is a 3,600 acre development of Mid-Tennessee wilderness being sold off in large, multi-acre parcels. We bought this land just before Thanksgiving 2021, closed on it in early January, got all the permits we needed for it, and have been working ever since into turning it into our camping dream.

The biggest challenge we have faced has been Mother Nature and the weather. Rains and even a couple of very rare snowstorms threatened to delay some of the work, though the team from Phillipi Excavation from nearby Waverly, TN was able to get in and clear and mulch trees, trench for the water lines, construct a septic field and install a large septic tank.

Truthfully, we were amazed at how hard these guys worked. In other parts of the country, it takes months to get projects like this done but as soon as we got the permits, they were on the job, sometimes showing up at sunrise to get a task done before winter weather moved in.

Their expertise, particularly that of Jonathan Staci, helped save time and money by doing things right the first time.

And I have to also note how amazed we have been about the ease in getting the permits. I needed permits from the city of Linden for water, the county of Perry for the septic system, and the local Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative for my electric hookup (coming soon).

I kid you not here: I got all three permits, going to three different offices in Linden, in less than an hour. The inspections that were needed for the septic system were done the next day. We have been so pleased with the welcoming and cooperative spirit we encountered from the local governments, something we have not experienced in other parts of the country where we needed to deal with government agencies.

Want to catch up on the story of our private RV Land?

To catch up with the story to date, here are links to what we've previously reported:

What we've done so far in developing our private RV Land at the Woodlands:

Progress Report on our Private RV Land in Tennessee 1
one of our three water hookups. That's a frost-proof spigot

Here's the list of what we've done so far:

  • Carving out the driveway
    In consultation with the excavating comany and Woodlands supervisor Jim Comes, we constructed a 600 foot circular driveway that runs off the county road that fronts our property back into an area we wanted to use for the RVs. Trees were removed and mulched and a durable survace of crushed rock and gravel was laid down.
  • Developing three private RV parking areas
    We marked out and leaveled three different areas to park RVs. For ourselves, we made one back at the center of the driveway. We also cleared areas at either end of the curved driveway that can be used for guests.
  • Water hookups
    From a tap in the city of Linden's waterline on the edge of the country road out front, we trenched a water line to the back of the lot and then installed three frost proof spigots for the RV parking spots.
  • Installation of a septic field
    Perry County officials supervised and inspected this in collaboration with the excavators. This involved clearng some more trees at the eastern end of the RV spots.
  • Installation of a septic tank
    We opted to install one large enough for a three bedroom home. While we have no plans to build a permanent home and are not required in any way to do so, we may, someday, want to build a bardominium-stye permanent structure.

This has all been done in less than three months. When we bought our property, the sales team from Tennessee Land and Lakes, the developers of the Woodlands, told us that we would be pleasantly surprised by how fast things would go once we started.

We were a bit skeptical. But everything has gone exactly as they predicted, maybe even faster.

But we're not done yet!

What still needs to be done on our private RV land at the Woodlands

Progress Report on our Private RV Land in Tennessee 2
Some trees had to be removed and mulched

In terms of utilities, the only one still lacking is electricity.

And that won't be for long. The right of way out front has been cleared and in late February, crews were installing telephone poles and running electric wires down our street.

They should be out front of our property in just a couple of weeks. Then we will tap into a transformer and run wire back to the RV camping areas. We will have 20, 30, and 50 amp pedestals at each site.

With that electricity run, we get something else: Fiber Optic Internet. That is astounding to me. In an area surrounded by 3,600 acres of wilderness, I'll be able to work remotely from our private RV retreat at gigabit Internet speeds.

After the electricity is turned on, we'll be all done with the utilities and have full hookups at each site.

Then, we plan to pour concrete for our main RV site. Since the guest spots won't be used as much, we may hold off on paving those until we see how it goes.

What will we do with our private RV Land?

Progress Report on our Private RV Land in Tennessee 3
We are really enjoying the process of turning our private RV land into a camping retreat for ourselves and invited friends

Enjoy it, that's what. As often as we want and for as long as we want.

I have to say, in the few short months we've been in the area, we have fallen in love with Middle Tennessee and the town of Linden.

Linden, with a population of about 900, has been named one of Tennessee's most charming small towns. When we're on the land on Fridays, we head into town (a short drive from our property) to have dinner and catch the entertainment at the Commodore Hotel and Cafe.

Owners Mike and Kathy Dumont bring in musicians, singers, and songwriters from Nashville and surrounding areas every week. It reminds me a little of the famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. At the Commodore, you're right next to the artists as they play and the hotel has become a warm and friendly gathering spot for us.

Progress Report on our Private RV Land in Tennessee 4
The Commodore Hotel and Cafe is our favorite meeting spot in Linden

Speaking of Nashville, it's only 90 miles away. Our son, Scott, and his family live there, so having our own spot at the Woodlands makes it really easy to visit them. Plus Nashville is an amazing town, right in entertainment, shopping, and cultural activities. It is also one of the fastest-growing cities in America with rapidly increasing property values.

Linden proudly calls itself part of Nashville's Big Back Yard, and we expect those rising values to spread our way.

But, ultimately, it's the property itself that most excites us. The air is clean and the night skies awesome to behold.

Our land is deep in the woods. Wildlife abounds (no bears, though!). It's peaceful and pristine and the nearby Buffalo River (five minutes from our driveway) is one of the best kayaking waterways you'll find anywhere. Plus it's renowned for smallmouth bass fishing.

With the recent boom in RV ownership and camping, it is very challenging to find places where you can go and be sure of finding a camp spot without making reservations long in advance.

Having our own private RV land gives us peace of mind. We always will have a spot. Guaranteed. Besides, we have never been big fans of commercial and many state park campgrounds. They're just too crowded.

Our five acres give us lots of elbow room. We doubt we will even be able to see our neighbors, or them us. It's camping the way it should be. But we'll have full hookups.

Will we rent out our private RV land to other campers?

We could if we want to. There are no restrictions about this.

This is our land and we can use it our way.

Indeed, several of our fellow landowners at the Woodlands have told us they do plan to rent their private RV land for camping.

But we don't think we will. Renting turns it into a business for us. And we are busy enough.

Instead, we plan to offer it to friends to come and camp with us. Already a friend and his family will be camping there on the 4th of July.

For more info on the Woodlands at Buffalo River:

If you are seeking more info on the Woodlands, go to the developer's website at

On March 19, 2022, they will be having a one-day showing and sale of the various properties. Appointments are needed.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-02-26

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

4 Responses to “Progress Report on our Private RV Land in Tennessee”

February 26, 2022at10:45 pm, Thomas Stapleton said:

Mike and Jen,
The progress looks great. They really did put your septic and water in very quick! Thanks for the great update.
Tom and Deb


February 26, 2022at9:08 am, Paul Roberts said:

Wow, you are making great progress at a rapid pace. Will the fiber route to each of your three spaces or just one location and then a super fast WiFi signal broadcasts locally.
I enjoy you posts, but there are so damn many ads interspersed that it’s hard to read.


February 26, 2022at8:01 am, Bev Parkison said:

Very exciting! Sounds like a beautiful place to get away! I have enjoyed following your journey getting it developed. Enjoy your time there.


February 27, 2022at7:08 am, Dennis Palmatier said:

From land purchase till done roughly how much total cost


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top