Caravan and Camping Parks Only, Is there a need?

Submitted: Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 15:59
ThreadID: 100621 Views:2700 Replies:9 FollowUps:8
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Cant help but notice the downsizing of the traditional Caravan and Camping areas of popular tourist parks over the last decade or two. Seems that most of the better parks in the better locations, i.e. Coastal, are utilising more and more of their prime space to cabins and units at the expense of caravan and camping sites. Now, we cant stand in the way of progress and we probably cant begrudge the Park owners from making an extra buck, obviously there is more money in cabins than sites, however as a side effect, "Tourist" Parks are now attracting a different demographic and as a consequence are installing more family friendly facilities to keep the kids entertained. I cant help wondering, does this extra infrastructure come at an extra cost for the caravan dweller? I have heard reports of up to $50 per night in the high season for some of the popular Coastal parks. At last report there is something like 350,000 grey nomads wandering this great country and still growing, so is there a need for
Caravan and Camping parks only without all the jumping castles, tennis courts and all the other stuff that maybe we don't use but have to pay for?
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Reply By: goddosglory - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 16:25

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 16:25
caravan parks are not only there for the grey nomad...where do you think the grey nomad came from...from holidaying in caravan parks with there parents...with wonderful memories of great times and meeting like minded people..parks with facilities give parents some free time to enjoy there holiday. as well as the kids.. kids introduce parents to each other...creating activities for families to get together and in some cases forging life long parents took me camping on the murray river when i was young...and i find myself subconciously heading there whenever i can
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Follow Up By: Mazdave - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 16:40

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 16:40
I think you are missing the point. I am not suggesting caravan parks are only for grey nomads, what I am suggesting is caravan parks for caravans and camping only and not the cabins which are squeezing out the avialable sites for vans. There may not be a demand, but thats the reason I posted, to find out.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:09

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:09
One of these days, God willing, you may understand where Mazdave is coming from.
Now as much as I love dogs, listening to Fido barking his head off because his owners left him in or tied to the van next door is not something I should have to put up with. However if I choose to use a "dog friendly" park then I will just have to put up with it. So why should all parks have to be dog friendly?
My 6 grandkids ranging from 5 months to 10 year of age get rather noisy and run around a lot. I think they are just so cute but admit the elderly couple in the van next door would like a little peace and quiet while they have a nanna nap.
If you get my drift (;-))

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Follow Up By: Effie C (Ex NT now ACT) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:49

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:49
Mazdave and pop2jocem,
us families also own and tow caravans so the caravan parks are trying to cater for all; old saying 'you can't please all the people all the time'.
Cabins from my observations are also used by the couples without kids, older persons who do not wish to tow a caravan anymore or have never towed one and of course those who do not want to pay a motel $150 upwards a night with no extra facilities thrown in.

As goddosglory states we all have to start somewhere to get the bug to caravan

This has been raised before under the heading budget caravan grounds (like councils used to have until the some abused the system and stuffed it up for all)
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 18:16

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 18:16
You're right Effie, this has been raised before and I suspect it will come up again.
Whether council administrated low cost or in some cases free camp grounds are going the way of the dodo bird because of abuse or because of lobbying by the park owners representative body is a debatable subject and probably good for a thread of it's own.
I don't think anybody is trying to ban family groups from enjoying the caravanning experience. Rather stating the case for some parks to be available without bouncy castles, tennis courts and swimming pools. All these make the parks that have them much more attractive for people that are travelling with young kids and fair enough. The point is all of these extra facilities have to be paid for and usually by higher tariffs.
That being the case why not allow some of us the opportunity to pay a bit less and maybe enjoy a slightly quieter environment.
I have 3 kids of my own and now, as I said, 6 grandkids and if I choose to go to a park that caters more for the family group then I have to except all that goes with that situation. All I ask is that I be given the chance to choose.

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Follow Up By: goddosglory - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 18:37

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 18:37
have you seen how many people who travel in camper trailers go into caravan parks with cabins..looking for a change..or to get out of bad weather..after a few days of roughing it ,an indoor shower and toilet are luxuries to some..
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Follow Up By: Effie C (Ex NT now ACT) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:38

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:38
I understand we're you are coming from but unfortunately the parks are catering to make the greatest profit. Unless someone is willing to take the gamble and have a no frills park, the gamble being that very few would use the park as most would prefer either free camping or the frills. Sad situation but it is the way of free enterprise.
Maybe all the grey nomads could buy a park and set it up as a no frills park but where would it be set up (sorry I am just being silly) . Another 6 years and I will be a grey nomad if the youngest will leave home :)
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Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:02

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:02
I'm with you Mazdave. I think there is a call for 'No Frills' caravan only parks but as you say it is not about to happen in the popular coastal regions when there are families willing to pay exorbitant fees.
BTW we are 'Grey Nomads'
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:56

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:56
Hi Rod,

I agree. It is a seller's market on the coast. But there are a few exceptions such as in the Kempsey region of NSW where the council owned parks, 4 of them, are still reasonably priced.

I think that the local showground in most of the towns were providing that no frills experience at a no frills price, but, in an effort to create a captive the market the Caravan Park industry is slowly having them shut down using the "do no harm" aspect of the relative legislation.

It does not get them all that much extra clientelle and only results in the grey nomad moving on to a town who is prepared to atract them with the no frills experience at a no frills price. They are still out there, we just being forced to look harder.

It really comes down to this, some people prefer caravan parks and some people don't. But we are all looking for a bargain, are we not.

Cheers, Bruce.

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Reply By: CSeaJay - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:29

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:29
Caravan Park owners are business people, and need to maximise the capital return per m2 area of their land. If they get far better returns with cabins, we can't blame them
Pity I agree that there are less sites, but what can we do and what do we expect them to do?

Over the years one have seen the demise of some campgrounds that, due to urban sprawling became 'closer' to the CBD, and all of a sudden the feasibility of a unit complex is more appealing than having campers.

As a side note you have Grey Nomads complaining to local councils if they reduce their 'free stay' areas and in effect not supporting the private camping grounds. They are not really a lobby group FOR private campsites are they

AnswerID: 505011

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 18:04

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 18:04
I agree, but if there was more money in simple caravan parks the park owners would change back to them I suppose?
They're all in it for a dollar like any other business I suppose.
Maybe when their sold off to the Japanese like the rest of the country and they bring in their own workers they might get cheaper?

AnswerID: 505017

Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:32

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:32
Hi Hairy,

You are totally and utterly wrong. The country been sold off to the Chinese and we will be their workers soon (as soon as we all learn Chinese that is).

Cheers Wilko
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Reply By: disco driver - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 18:37

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 18:37
Unfortunately I'm old enough to remember caravan and camping parks that were just that, a place to park a van or pitch a tent, no power ,no water, no drainage to sites. There was a toilet (of sorts), a cold water shower and a set of concrete wash tubs on the outside wall of the shower block. (None of these facilities would be approved in todays climate). You could get hot showers if you lit the donkey up, but then you had to make sure that no one beat you to the hot water. All waste water was thrown on the area behind your van and no one complained.
All caravans had fuel stoves and tilley or hurricane lamps, none of this electricity and gas stuff, that was a few years down the track.
It was just the way it was.
In those days it didn't matter that you showered about twice in the time you were camped there, no one else did either so no one noticed. Besides you all went for a swim at least once a day and that freshened you up a bit.

Now too many campers want all the comforts of home including pools, games area and rooms with pool tables and digital games so that's what the park owners have provided at great cost.
Someone in an earlier post quoted a figure of $20-35 K per site to set up a new caravan park so that's why you pay $40-50 a night.

If you could set up a basic caravan park today, just clean toilets and showers, power and site drainage with some shaded areas I reckon you would need a constant occupancy rate of at least 50% to have a chance of breaking even but I wouldn't be game to take it on with all the red tape required in todays precious times.

Good Luck to any one willing to give it a go.

AnswerID: 505019

Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:28

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:28
Hi Mazdave,

I agree that there should be more caravan parks that are caravan and camping only and that they are more of a budget orientated. I dont need all of the amenities that some cvan parks have, so i tend to avoid them with a passion if I can cause they generally cost more.

I like the basics, power and somewhere to put the waste water and thats it. I like what they done in Goologong NSW. Its got a park which is like a roadside rest area with a toilet, minimal is better IMHO.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 505020

Reply By: graham B9 - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:09

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:09
Amazing how some people do not read your post and head in a different direction. They will want to have children running around retirement villages soon.

I looked into the idea of Grey Nomad caravan park some time ago. Between Nambucca Heads and Noosa. Somewhere to get away from the winter but without all the bells and whistles. Peace and quiet, just power and some abolition facilities. BBQ area and perhaps a camp fire area for some social activity. Good place to head off for a walk in the morning.

Then there was council regulations, public liability, health department etc etc and the dramas just went on. It was all too hard.
AnswerID: 505024

Reply By: Member - Burra - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 21:12

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 21:12
i wonder if it is not a supply and demand situation.we are demanding it but there is no supply.i would hate to set up a cp that gave to all these demands and the supply did not turn up to support them.
AnswerID: 505027

Reply By: s&p5762 - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 16:30

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 16:30
The RAA here in S.A. used to do the caravan guide rating parks at 1* through to 5*. A few years ago they changed this to only parks with 3+*. Most of what 'Nomads' are looking for are 1&2*. The Camps 6 (now 7) goes some way into addressing this need. Maybe Badgers site, or some enterprising person can compile a list of basic facility sites at basic prices.
While writing I feel compelled to comment on the 'dog friendly', we travel with our dog and even though she is 12 and sleeps most of the time we still keep her on her lead. Many times I have wished that the same rule applied to children,(on a lead), especially when they play chasey and trip over the guy-ropes and race in between caravans. Another good reason to avoid these resort type Caravan Parks me thinks.
AnswerID: 505081

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