Caravan Parks in Toowomba

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 17:32
ThreadID: 110011 Views:1958 Replies:5 FollowUps:18
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We travel with a dog so headed to the "dog friendly" Jolly Swagman park in Toowoomba. The manager of this park abused us upon arrival for driving past the stop sign at the entrance to the park. He would not listen to us when we tried to explain that the length of the caravan meant we had to pull up past the sign to ensure the van was off the road. We then decided to find another park but had to try and turn around. This was very difficult with very limited room to move. The manager offered no assistance but continued the abuse. It was only when other residents were able to offer assistance and move their vehicles, we were able to get out of the park.Not sure if this was a one off event; any other good or bad experiences about this park?
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Reply By: Bigfish - Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 18:51

Saturday, Nov 01, 2014 at 18:51
The bloke sounds like a pri#%. Idiots like him shouldn,t be in a customer service industry!!
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Reply By: Kilcowera Station Stay - Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 06:53

Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 06:53
Wow! We have stayed there in the very nice cabins, on numerous occasions and found them to be pretty good people. Helpful, courteous and businesslike. It's not a very big park - I would hate to be maneuvering around a large van there! Cheers Toni
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Follow Up By: homevale - Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 10:00

Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 10:00
I think you may have identified the problem, the park is very small and not able to cater for large caravans. However it was too late to discover this when you are already pulled into the driveway and have to try and turn around. This is where the manager became abusive and would not provide any assistance to enable us to get back out onto the road. I have rarely posted before and have only done so due to the lasting impression the manager of this caravan park has made. In over 15 years of travelling around Australia, his behaviour is by far the worst we have ever encountered.
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 11:01

Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 11:01
I have noticed this about several caravan parks, that is there is insufficient room to manoeuvre these larger vans. Sure there is plenty of room to drive a car around or to man handle a van if not under pressure, but under those circumstances i don't doubt you had some trouble.

The other issue I find is that when entering a caravan park you do not know where anything is and so you are looking around as well as where you are going and so I miss a lot of detail, initially. This sometimes leads to me overshooting a stop sign or "New arrivals stopping area". Many such areas are inadequate these days any way.

The problem with many parks is that they are still in the 60s and 70s as far as van site accommodation goes. This is why I freedom camp a lot of the time. Space is what you need today and many caravan parks just do not provide enough. Many have been swallowed up by the expansion of the town and should up stakes and move out of town by a few Ks. to get enough room to start again.

There was nothing Jolly about the "Jolly Swagman" by the sounds so we will pencil that one in for a "bypass" for sure.

The bottom line of this is that we all make mistakes, in this instance driving into a small caravan park which did not have a sign saying "We Only Take Small Vans", but any decent person would be more accommodating in assiting you to remove yourself from the premises without any abuse.

After all, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. He has only done himself harm, that fellow, so he is a dill.

Cheers, Bruce.
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restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Thursday, Nov 06, 2014 at 09:29

Thursday, Nov 06, 2014 at 09:29
People whinge enough now about the cost of staying in a c/van park , how much more $$$ do you think the park in question would have to charge after relocating at $40k+ per site development , stuck in the 60s ?? Every man and his dog now has a mobile phone so whats wrong with phoning ahead and finding out if the park is suitable for ones needs ,and since when is it ok to go past a 'STOP' sign ? IF they actually stopped there would have been NO DRAMA and could have been told if their van was too big.
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 08:03

Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 08:03
Nobody mentioned $$$ just space. A randomly placed STOP sign on PRIVATE PROPERTY isn't the same as a legal STOP sign correctly researched and positioned on the road by TRAFFIC AUTHORITIES. Pulling into private property and leaving your tail out in traffic is a HAZARD. It seems to me the OP was being considerate to other road users and thinking of the CONSEQUENCES of his actions by getting his rig out of the traffic.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 08:17

Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 08:17
SO according to you [mikehzz] a stop sign only means stop when the driver feels like it ? Be it on private property makes absolutely NO difference , go through a stop sign at a Coles or Woolies car park [also Private property ] and see how you fare ,, as for the $$$ , the poster
Bruce C seems to think a c/van park can up stakes and move for zero costs ?
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 10:07

Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 10:07
NO, there is nothing wrong with stopping at the stop sign and edging forward after you stop. Nobody said don't stop at a STOP sign did they? The question is do you stay stopped? If your backside is hanging in the breeze and causing danger then you can stay stopped if you like.
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Follow Up By: Member - batsy - Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 11:25

Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 11:25
Homevale , how long is your rig, car & van ?
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 15:43

Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 15:43
Hi Batsy, as the OP said,
"we tried to explain that the length of the caravan meant we had to pull up past the sign to ensure the van was off the road."

As mike said, being considerate and safe is not a condemnable offence.

Alloy, this only leads one to believe the stop sign is probably incorrectly sited. Perhaps any fine for obstructing traffic should be directed at the park owner then.

If the sign is incorrectly sited it is probably due to the lack of available space to site it correctly to allow sufficient distance to accommodate a large van and vehicle. That is about the only reason of sufficient weight that I can think of.

More specifically, at issue here is the abuse, irrespective of the stop sign or any other issue. There is no excuse for it and it is commercial suicide if one stoops so low as to use it on a potential customer. It is the low card in the pack.

As I said, we all make mistakes. (referring to the OP)

Look at what it has cost this park owner already given so much bad publicity this issue has received here. There would be plenty of people who will now shy away from this van park merely because of what is written here. And rightly so.

A stop sign on Private property is only an advisory sign, observing such a sign under these circumstances may result in the Park owner being liable for any accident or loss etc. if such should arise.

It would certainly be a suitable deffence in court I do not doubt.
It may also be grounds for the council to review his operating licence as this may constitute unsafe operating practises, given the nature of his business.

As for phoning ahead, I do not know where I will be at the end of each day generally when I hit the road, that is part of the attraction. So how am I going to phone ahead, who do I phone??.

Anyway the message is clear I think.

I cannot sympathise with the park owner due to his abuse. Totally uncalled for under any circumstance in my opinion, more so in this sort of incident.

Cheers, Bruce.
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Follow Up By: Member - batsy - Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 17:05

Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 17:05
Bruce, were you there with the OP when this was happening?
I would still like to know the overall length of the rig.
Cheers
Batsy
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 18:14

Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 18:14
Bruce,

Have you had a look on Google Street Maps for this caravan park?
The address is 47 Kitchener St, Toowoomba, 4350

I just looked it and by my calculations the "Stop" sign is possibly close to 20m from the road kerb and gutter, so unless Homevale was driving a Road Train I doubt his vehicle/van would have been overhanging the roadway.
As for how he got out of the Park, if I was in his predicament (After I stopped at the stop sign), I would have crept forward along the caravan parks internal road to the right and reversed the van and vehicle into the off street car parking area out the front as it appears to be at least 15 metres in length (6 car parking bay widths at 2.5metres each) and possibly the same in width, and driven forward out onto the road.

47 Kitchener St Toowoomba, Street View

If anyone would like for me to get correct measurements, I can as an Attendee who attended the 2014 National Gathering owns the motel about 400m up the road to check, as there is always 2 sides to a story.

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 19:21

Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 19:21
I see your point Kev, and agree with you. However It still does not excuse the abuse under this or any similar circumstances.

Refusing to help the guy get off the premises and continuing the abuse is a low act as well.

As I say, it is confusing when first arriving at many caravan parks so mistakes are often made as to where to pull up. We all make them at some time or other.

Management should understand this if they do not already and be more accommodating. I will work in with anyone but will not tolerate abuse. It is a tool of the incompetent.

Cheers, Bruce.

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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 19:39

Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 19:39
Bruce . do u drive up a one way street the wrong way ? Do u not follow the signs of direction when you enter a car park ? Do u abuse the Policeman when he pulls you over for whatever "ohh so slight " infringement you may have committed ? Do you creep forward at stop signs ? Do u fully park off the carriageway every single time you stop and do you make sure that your van and tow vehicle is not blocking a driveway every time you pull up in a street , STOP sign on PRIVATE property means STOP , no ifs no buts , the property owner has the sign for a reason , whatever that reason the sign is placed it still means STOP or wear the consequences !
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Follow Up By: Member - batsy - Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 19:44

Friday, Nov 07, 2014 at 19:44
Bruce, I asked If you were there as you seemed to have first hand knowledge of the situation but it seems that you are just supporting the OP.
I asked for the overall length of the rig, this was because the distance from the alignment to the stop sign is 22 metere, then it is almost 3.5 meters from the alignment to the roadway.
There is an area on Kitchner st. before the driveway to the CP which can accommodate a semi trailer.
The heated exchange apparently began in earnest when the OP was told he could turn around at the top of the lane he was in. This turned into a fiasco apparently with park patrons becoming agitated with both parties .
I am led to believe that an email exists with the son of the OP as the sender which is very hostile & advises the park manager that they & others will cover every available forum with a trashing of this park as a place to stay.
The manager has a "very" good recollection of this incident...maybe CCTV who knows.
I have just driven past there & there were two vehicles in the front parking area before the stop sign, one a black Jeep GC with a fairly large Bushtracker & a Iveco Daily tray back with a tri axel fifth wheeler behind & both cleared the footpath, not the roadway, by a reasonable margin.
Anyway as has been said before there are always two sides to every dispute.
Cheers
Batsy
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 08, 2014 at 07:38

Saturday, Nov 08, 2014 at 07:38
Thank you Batsy, your information, if true, and its veracity would seem to be as firm as the OP’s, sheds more light on the issue than has previously been available. Coupled with Kevs suggestion re viewing the entrance, it has put a clearer light on the subject.

I may have been “flogging a dead horse”

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 13:27

Sunday, Nov 02, 2014 at 13:27
Having just completed a 6 month "lap of the block" including all mainland states (Tassie next year) I am happy to say we never experienced that type of behaviour.
Maybe someone needed a hug that day, or maybe he needs to try a different vocation.
Whilst on the road I always made it a policy to phone ahead to the next proposed caravan park for obviously a vacancy but also to make very clear, if not already asked, the total length towbar to rear bumper of our van.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Denis H - Monday, Nov 03, 2014 at 18:19

Monday, Nov 03, 2014 at 18:19
Showgrounds if you have a dog. No problems with moving the large van also!
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Reply By: Rob J8 - Monday, Nov 03, 2014 at 23:44

Monday, Nov 03, 2014 at 23:44
The dog friendly parks are sometimes only friendly to the dog not the owner it seems.
When looking for a park, we usually park out the front; not in the driveway and walk into the park. Check out ablution if it doesn't need a key; pool etc. size of sites.
We have been bitten over the years and now if they won't let us look we won't stay.
We had a 3 star motel in Busselton for 5 years and part of the deal is you check out what you're getting.
Sorry you had such a bad time homevale, we all know not to stay at the unfriendly not so Jolly Swagman park in Toowoomba.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Nov 04, 2014 at 07:52

Tuesday, Nov 04, 2014 at 07:52
“Sorry you had such a bad time homevale, we all know not to stay at the unfriendly not so Jolly Swagman park in Toowoomba’

Wow, simply based on one anonymous post in a forum you’re willing to condemn the owner of the Jolly Swagman. What happened to the Australian way of “fair go for all”?

And I’m not suggesting Homevale didn’t have a “bad experience” but it is all very subjective, and so far, one sided!

I hope people treated you more fairly when you had the motel!

Just my take on posts like this…

Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Wednesday, Nov 05, 2014 at 19:48

Wednesday, Nov 05, 2014 at 19:48
I guess it raises the question, Baz, about what part of the word "stop' homevale doesn't understand. It seems that the sign is where it is for a very good reason.
Cheers,
Kevin
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Follow Up By: Rob J8 - Wednesday, Nov 05, 2014 at 22:42

Wednesday, Nov 05, 2014 at 22:42
Landy,
Maybe I should have waited another week or two before I stuck my neck out for you to chop it off.
I thought I was giving a fellow caravanner a little support but you seem to think homevale is telling porkies.
Maybe I have been involved with the public a little longer than you and are a little more sceptical.
You should know if you have ever been in hospitality, the public don't always treat you fairly
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Nov 06, 2014 at 13:36

Thursday, Nov 06, 2014 at 13:36
Hi Rob

I think I was clear and balanced when I indicated the following...

"And I’m not suggesting Homevale didn’t have a “bad experience” but it is all very subjective, and so far, one sided!"

No suggestion in their about "porkies" implied, or otherwise.

I just like to see balance when others, like yourself, call for boycotts based on hear-say!

Each to their own, I guess...

And good luck out there!

Cheers, Baz - The Landy



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