Last summer I camped at the military campground which was right on the sand but not too close to the water. I don't have 4 wheel drive so it took a little more effort to get to the site. Of course I don't know how much of the effort was "lack of experience" related. I have a light weight TT.
Great choice for "Living within my means" and camping for one...
2011 Salem Cruise Lite 20RBXL & 2011 Toyota Tundra Dbl Cab
Camping History: 45 Trips / 133 Nights / 3736 Miles
Padre Island National Seashore allows beach camping. No hook ups, but has nearby water and dump station. It is free!! we had a 24 foot Winnabago ERA and had no problem as we stayed on sand area that was damp/packed. Really great experience. There were larger units there and I did not see anyone get stuck. That same area has a paved area with hookups.