Submitted: Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 13:51
ThreadID: 30163 Views:6563 Replies:31 FollowUps:14
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Hi to all,

Recently I've noticed, across many forums, a lot of negativity about caravan parks raising fees dramatically, frequently coupled with "resort" style facilities being added.

Hands up all you who've had a "dummy spit" about this issue and the fact you would prefer basic but clean facilities and the extra cash in your pocket, over say putt putt and waterslides?

Well a few weeks ago, as an assistant manager of Touring Oz forum, I decided to "test the waters" so to speak, by seeking comment from those members, to an idea that may be a worthwhile resolution to this issue. Here's what I wrote then.................

I made a point about us caravan park users getting together as a consortium to buy parks to protect our lifestyle under the thread "Today Tonight-Caravan Park Resorts". I also suggested there was (IMHO) no chance of such an idea making it into the starting blocks (let alone out of them) and since then I've rolled a few figures around in my head and have decided to ask a hypothetical question - Who'd be in it?

One of our members made the point that we as CP users are being hearded like sheep into parks that may not necessarily suit our wants nor needs at the whim of the park owners (typically investors looking to maximise their profits) so the answer to me seems to be simple - we need to be the landlord and not the tenant!

A figure (and I'm not sure how accurate it is), is approx 300 000 RVers on the roads. Let's assume everyone put $100 into the investment. That's a slush fund of $30 million to start a buy up of parks to create our own chain. Let's face it, most of us have many thousands of dollars tied up in our rigs, so what's $100 to protect our lifestyle? Let's also say a typical "no frills" park sells for about $3 million, thats a start with 10 parks in the chain. Lets go further and say we managed to get everyone to contribute $1000. Still not much considering what could be achieved. Now we're talking 100 parks in the chain! Not only is this now becoming a larger number but it would give us a formidable voice in the Gov't lobbying stakes.

The benefits - Let's start with park fees. Maybe a 100 van park with 25% occupancy charging on average $15 per night (of coarse scaled so singles pay less than families) gives over $2600 per week to pay overheads and still have the park available to non-investors at full market rates. At these lower rates (a couple for instance may pay $8 - $10 /night) it wouldn't take long to return your initial investment as well as still retaining a share of the ever increasing land value! Peak periods of high occupancy is just the cream on top!

I realise my senario is very simple and requires a far more accurate and researched business model but even if I'm only close to right the figures does seem to make some sense! And of course the amount invested could be varied depending upon the personal circumstances of the investor. The investment could even be willed on to our respective families for their use in maybe 50 years time!!!!!!

Ok as said earlier - who'd be interested?

To my amazement, almost 15% of the membership replied to the post (which made the thread the second most popular in Touring Oz history). More amazing than this though, is the fact not one respondant replied negatively! In fact the vast majority was along the lines of "count me in" and "I'll have 5 shares" etc.

So why then am I telling you all this..............well the response has taken me a little by surprise. If the same positive percentage revealed by the initial survey is replicated across the wider caravanning/camping/motorhoming/treking communities (in fact anyone who uses caravan parks including cabins and sales reps etc), then the idea shows significant promise!

Of course for it to become anything like reality, many more interested persons are required then would be found on any one forum, or in fact on all the forums combined. With this in mind, I'm taking the idea to as many forums as I can, to further gauge reaction. If a resounding positive result is forthcoming from the forums polled, then perhaps another step can be taken to making this a reality.

Please bear in mind this is, as I've said, purely "testing the water". I realise much more work is needed and in fact the thought may not even make "first base". There would be many variations of this very simplistic model needed to be canvassed and debated, but a start has to be somewhere! Also be aware that I am not collecting any money! If the idea was to reach that point (sometime in the future) that would be handled by a reputable firm of solicitors with appropriate trust account facilities in place, not me.

Many of you will see this thread pop up on other forums. This is so I can reach as many travellers as possible. If you know of a forum that I've missed please let me know.

Well as said previously - WHO'D BE INTERESTED? Over to you...........................................

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Reply By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:16

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:16
swanning it-

good idea and good on yas, many of the parks i have visited ( by choice) havent always met the needs and expectations that i have, and some at some extraudinary prices.

But unfortunatelly, out of principle I will say no at this present time as currently in WA this is talk from the Caravan park association ( with the state government to lobby for the banning of free camping in WA as it takes away from their business etc etc etc etc.

I can understand their POV, but for me i go camping to get away from hords of people, not to be squeezed into a site just bi enough for my tent, to be surrounded by brat kids and drunken louts to all hours of the night blowing the air horn on the jet boat at all hours of the night whilst listening to ACDC or metallica or enya etc etc.

I will often stay at a carvan park depending on needs at the time.

I'm not totally against your propsal, as i think it will better suit the needs of the travellor as it will be a syndicate of travellers for travellers, but more so against WA caravan park association.

good luck on your quest, I hope it goes well and works out

my 2 bob
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Follow Up By: ozdragon - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:32

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:32
Hi Ro

I agree to a point with what you are saying but as the cmca got bigger so did thier voice. When QLD tryed to stop free camping and road side stops, it was the pressure of the cmca that changed thier minds. I believe that if a group of people large enough got together...put thier money into this and then tackled the wa govt..people power would win out. Just because we are part of a syndacate buying up caravan parks doesnt stop us from lobbying the govt to pull thier head in. In fact we would have a bigger voice.


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Follow Up By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:37

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:37

I dont have anything against this idea, in fact i would probably buy a share or two. What campers over here need is a voice, and if a syndicate like this could offer it, why not. At the moment im not sure if there is a voice for the camper, only time will tell.......

I would be interested to look a bit more at the cmca yu are talking about, sounds interesting. Can you point me in the right direction?

thanks for your feedback,
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Follow Up By: ozdragon - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:40

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:40
Hey ro

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Follow Up By: Swanning it - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:00

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:00

CMCA is a good model with what can be achieved. They already own 1 park and from all reports I've heard they have done a great job. The problem is CMCA is for motorhomers and 5th wheelers only. I'm proposing a chain of member owned parks for everyone from Motorhomers and caravanners through to camper trailers, tents, cabin users, sales reps, fruit pickers etc etc.

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Follow Up By: ozdragon - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:53

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:53

My reference to the cmca was only meant to be a model. I believe that your idea is one with huge merit and potential.

The thought that a very large group of ordinary aussies can own 100..1000 caravan parks is an awsome thought. My point was that if a small group can create the casino village, then imagine what can be done with the amount of people that you could get involved in purchasing van parks.
The cost of the ave family holiday even at carvan parks is getting out of hand so getting the mum and dad investors involved imho is logical.

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Follow Up By: smegzy - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 03:22

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 03:22

You poor bugger.. they made you listen to ENYA !!!!!!!!

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Reply By: Member - Colin (WA) - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:18

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:18
Hi Ian,
Sounds like a great idea. As you said would need alot of extra detail. It could work like a timeshare type of arrangement using a points system. I 'm a member of Trendwest and have got my money back threefold so I for one would be very interested.
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Reply By: flappa - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:20

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:20
Would certainly be worth consideration.
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Reply By: roblin - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:21

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:21
Yeh, why not. If it secures cheaper travels for me in my later years, as well as my kids, it sounds like a great idea. It sounds to me as if a corporation or limited shares trsut type thingy will be needed.

Good thinking

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Reply By: ozdragon - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:26

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:26
Whilst this answer is not a direct response to your question I believe it is relivant.
Take a look at what the CMCA did in Casino NSW. They bought the old airport site, opened up shares to all and sundry and now they have an excelent park that is open to everyone.

I believe your idea would definately fly. It not only offers a soloution to the problem but also allows those that require it the added advantage of security.

Down the track it would also offer a return on investment. Im suprized the caravan industry hasnt thought of this before as at the end of the day......they are going to be the big losers.

As you said the idea is at the moment very simplistic but I believe has enormous potential.

The CMCA has a huge voice at Local, State and Federal Levels and they have only 40,000 members. Just imagine the impact 300,000 would have.

Thats my view

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Follow Up By: flappa - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:32

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:32
That has provided a HUGE boost for the locals.

I have no idea on the cost involved in setting it up , but the idea is very sound.

Especially as the area was going to waste. (I grew up in Casino).
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Reply By: Skid - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:28

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 14:28
I'd be interested in buying a share - I avoid caravan parks like the plague unless I have to. eg Cities.
Shady Glen in Darwin must be the worst/rudest I've been to in OZ.
Have been 'around OZ' 3 times in last 4 years so have seen a few
Best was council park in Koroit Victoria

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Reply By: Ron173 - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:47

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:47
Sounds interesting, and feasable, I'd be interested, but doubt I'd go a $1000 on it, thats a lot of overnight stops for me. ($100 is more realistic)

Guess best way would be on a share basis, where you decide level you wish to buy into it, and obviously the more shares you buy, the greater the benefits/reductions in your stays at the parks.


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Follow Up By: bouncer - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 17:21

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 17:21
I'm sorry but I have doubts that a share basis (buying as many as you wanted, could afford) would work as then the one with the most shares would have the majority (monopoly) when it came to voting on changes and implementing new pricing structures and after all that is what you are trying to avoid, the whole concept from what you have stated is for it to be for all campers not just the ones that can afford it.

I would suggest that it either be a one share per person at a fixed buyin or as a membership cost per year thus giving the association a annual cash base thus the ability to improve or purchase additional parks etc.

Or just tell me to butt out.
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Follow Up By: Swanning it - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 18:00

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 18:00
Hi Bouncer,

Don't butt out! Everyones thoughts are important, including (and perhaps more importantly) the negatives. It's only by bringing up the pitfalls that we can continue forward.

As for your doubts, you are correct in what you say, however maybe a limited share basis or perhaps a number of nights = 1 share idea may well work for all. It is however these thoughts that need to be nutted out if the outcome is a goer!!!!!

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Reply By: rolande- Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:51

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:51
$100 and I'm in. $1,000 and I'm out
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Reply By: HK - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:52

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:52
Sounds like a great idea. I could be interested.

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Reply By: OLDMAGPIE - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:57

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:57
great idea i'm in , but by the time you do all the legals,trusts, council, enviro,solicitors, construction, etc fees wouldnt it end up costing the same as an allready established park to stay in, with your initial investment ? even if you run it nil profit , most of areas where you would stay are allready taken & if you put them in awkward sites would they get used?and 'no frills" taste the same on some things & is terrible in other.but for the future of my kids i'd give it a go , cheers
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Reply By: Footloose - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:00

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:00
I'd love to see it get off the ground. I'd be in for a few shares, even though I doubt if I'd use such parks much.
Best place I ever stayed in was one I wasnt going to stop in. Their pleasant welcome and friendly atmosphere was so good that we stayed for a week, despite the sand being black from fires.
We used to have our own score out of 10 system for parks years ago. It scored a 1 if we could find it, and an automatic 5 if it had green grass :))
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Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:09

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:09
I feel this is an excellent idea (and I'd definately be in it) - but without wishing to sidetrack, it what is badly needed also is a CMCA-like organisation for caravanners, trailer campers etc. There's nothing like the CMCA's 45,000 members for clout.

If one had that the site concept could spring from it. But either way I think it is a very good idea if financially viable. Could perhaps be franchised?
Collyn Rivers

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Follow Up By: Swanning it - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:16

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:16
G'Day Collyn,

Excellent point. A thought raised on another forum suggests this idea may be the impetus required to make a lobby group happen. Who knows, maybe the two will end up being intertwined and mutually supportive!

Has that T Van arrived yet?

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Follow Up By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:39

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:39
TVan towed back to Broome (from Perth) about a month ago. Wonderful unit! Am currently converting its disk brakes (mine's a one off) to electric over hydraulic, also reworking water system to include a pressure tank (for quieter operation).
Collyn Rivers
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Reply By: Sam from Weipa Auto Electrics - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:15

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 16:15
I'm in why not It is a good idea just needs to be thought out and what about availability of the caravan parks for sale?
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Reply By: obone - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 17:10

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 17:10
Congradulations for thinking outside the square Ian but I'm affraid I'll have to pour a little negativity on your plan. How is it possible to accommodate all the members " wishes. there's not much point being a foundation member and share holder if you can't go where you want, when you want. Can you imagine the disgruntled members who'll miss out because they all want Xmas or Easter or school holidays. It's only human nature that everyone will want the prime times and the most sought after locations. I doubt that very few (if any) investors will ever see a return or advantage on their investment. For those who wish to invest in the future generations life style the idea certainly has some merit. I am now an infrequent user of caravan parks, they have lost my business because they seem to think that by changing the name from XXX Caravan Park to the XXX Tourist Park
or XXX Resort and providing exactly the same facilities, that this gives them the right to up the fees by $10 a night. Once again I congradulate you on your foreward thinking and wish you success.
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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 17:22

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 17:22
I'm in...

As long as I don't have to cut lawns, wash driveways, clean toilets, etc...

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Reply By: Mr Fawlty - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 18:14

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 18:14
You are thinking of buying van parks and establishing a new chain of parks, right? if so count me in!
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Reply By: Peter 2 - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 18:23

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 18:23
Great idea, we gave up using van parks due to excessive cost (typically $25 a night without power for 2A 3C) bush camps are vastly better despite no facilities and only use parks now for at the most once a week to do washing etc.
Most travellers only require somewhere to camp for the night, quite often don't need/want a shower in cooler times of the year and use nothing except the loo and a patch of ground. which is why the typical council run place remains popular, no facilities except amenties block and laundry.
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 18:45

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 18:45
Great concept. Count me in.

We try to avoid parks on the basis of cost and the crowded suburban environment most have.

However there is a time and place when they are handy and certainly a no frills low cost park is all we require.
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Reply By: Member - Charlie M (SA) - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 19:15

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 19:15
Sounds good count me in.
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Reply By: Kenell - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 19:23

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 19:23
Swanning it,

I support your cause and wish you well. I have recently completed the big lap and had the opportunity to observe a lot of parks. I think the greatest threat to ideas such as yours is the real estate worth of so many of the parks around Australia. One of the reasons that so many are having to increase fees is that they can't justify the return we campers provide them when they could sell the park and put the proceeds in the bank for a much better return. Although this phenomenon is emphasised in coastal areas it also occurs away from the coast. I am no investment expert but I did the maths on a few parks that we stayed in and the only possible reason that they continue to trade is to wait a little longer for the site value to increase. I could live with the non profit position but as rates, insurance etc start to rise I probably wouldn't want to wear the loss. Inevitably the values of the properties would force the sale. Potentially the profits could ultimately be put into sites in less attractive places but then would campers want to stay there?

Again, good luck and I would be a starter probably if the structure was right.

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Follow Up By: Swanning it - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 23:11

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 23:11
Hi Kennell,

The worth of the real estate is probably the main threat to the travellers lifestyle. As you've so aptly pointed out, caravan parks are owned largely by investors. Please don't take "investor" to be a dirty's not! Investors of caravan parks can be the corporate giant devouring parks in it's wake, right down to local councils (wanting to attract visitors) through to the typical hard working owner operator.

What I'm suggesting, is not a takeover or buy out bid of all current CPs, but more a complementary chain of parks to what already exists for sale! I've said on other forums and will repeat here, that most parks operating out there now, are filling a market niche and if not required, will not survive. I love to occasionally treat my family to the luxury of the "resort Parks". I certainly don't want them to disappear! But the fiscal reality of my family budget and the logic of living in Australia, dictates we seek the budget parks and let the local attractions be the drawcard; not the parks.

Although rising rates have to be factored in, the main problem for many parks is the alluringly BIG $$$$$ waved at them by developers. By having a member owned chain, this should be alleviated. As a Gold Coast resident, I've seen this demonstrated many times by our elderly residents. Big bucks waved in front of them for their prime properties but, much to the developers dismay, they're turned down because the worth of the property is not in the monetry value but in the value the owners place on their memories and future memories! In short the development dollar is but second place.

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Reply By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 19:52

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 19:52
Ian, been thinking about this question and my husband Ian came up with this scenario which was in the September 2005 Issue of Q-Parks News - we are affiliated with the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland. This really came about because of fuel costs but it takes into account park costs as well. Here goes:

Let's assume we travel 3,000 km over 28 days and that we tow a rig inclusive of caravan and consumes on average when couples - 17 litres per 100 klm (Petrol/Diesel). On that 3,000 km journey actual towing accounts for 2,500 klms and the remaining 500 klm is bob tail sightseeing etc. Therefore the actual litres consumed for towing is 425.
Therefore the only variable in terms of fuel cost is the actual price of fuel on any given day, using the following scale to demonstrate the outcomes:
$1.20 @ 425 litres consumed = $510.00
$1.30 = $552.00
$1.40 = $595.00
$1.50 = $637.00
$1.60 = $680.00
Due to the fact the journey is over 28 days and fuel consumed for towing only reflects the above scale at the worst case $1.60 per litre = $680 your average daily fuel cost = $24.28 per day.
Now, take a look at other expenses on this 28 day journey:
Caravan Park fees = $25 average per day (powered site)
Food & beverage (couple) = $40
Attractions, souvenirs etc. = $20
Sub-total = $85.00 average per day.
The summary of this was to show that the price of fuel per day represents only 24% of the daily budget at $1.60 per litre and was the least expense on a touring holiday but also shows that caravan park fees are relatively low on a daily basis also.
I have never stayed in a resort-style park and probably never will, mainly because we, like thousands of others, bush camp whenever possible and our park is a camp ground rather than a resort (ha ha) and to stay at our park Ian has just advised me costs less than the cost of two stubbies per night for one person. As for families, I know we are a bit strange but the more kids you have camping here the cheaper it is.
I can see what the original post was about and understand that but it could be taken a step further. Why not buy service stations in key areas, family restaurants, and maybe even liquor outlets or hotels, Toyota or Nissan franchises - I'm being serious, not joking.
On a serious note, on a regular basis I have people complain about the cost of a camp site - the same people are driving a $50,000 vehicle with after-market extras (maybe worth $20,000) because they been to a 4wd show, they are towing $20,000 camper trailer with the latest fridges and will go to the pub and spend $200 on food and plenty of grog in one night. All ages also.
I am not disagreeing with the idea at all - because when I have been travelling, particularly on the east coast it has been impossible to find a caravan park during the summer for one night (or motel for that matter) - but I do think it requires some balanced argument. On the east coast in summertime on a daily basis between Cairns and the Gold Coast there are some $250,000 worth of camp sites free-camping outside towns with free amenities supplied by Councils. Why not ask the Caravan Parks Association for some information on this subject - I can only give you Queenslands web but try -
could be some interesting debate come from it.
Ruth and Ian Doyle
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Follow Up By: Swanning it - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 00:31

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 00:31
Hi Ruth and Ian,

Of all respondants so far, You two are the most likely for me to meet personnally! I'm looking forward to the day I can come and visit Birdsville! I had hoped to visit last Christmas (yes, I know hot and dusty but let's face it, bugger all tourists eh!) but unfortunately my trusty tow mule decided to spit the dummy in Emerald. Well, always next year, and I promise I'll turn up with my two stubbies per day tucked firmly under my arm (and perhaps a few for good measure)!

I'm also one of the "imitation campers" with a rig that is worth more than we should have spent. Fact remains, although we look the bullsh#t part, we do unfortunately have to watch our pennies! Some years ago, between adolesence and old age, I would have no sooner visited a caravan park, than fly to Mars. Until we realised that our Mooloolaba holiday unit was getting dearer and dearer each year. Eventually, we arrived at the descision that holidaying with our humble abode towed behind was not only a financially better descision, but far more social and dare I admit!

Pretty hard to cart the Mooloolaba rental to the the ski fields for winter and Charters Towers for summer (yes I know! We've got that all a#se about).

As you've said, it is not the inland CPs that are a real issue. Generally they are fabulous parks at a good rate (check out Young, NSW for a great value, near resort style park). After being sent broke travelling down the NSW south coast during Christmas 04/05, we decided 05/06 year to head to central and north Qld. What a great trip (except for the breakdown - bloody Ford. Still haven't got the beast back!) It wasn't 'till we hit the coast again that prices seemed to get a bit silly and only then from about the Whitsundays south!.

Ruth, you mentioned on the Qld coast in summertime etc etc. My family quite likes the Nth Qld summer but many prefer not to visit during these months (some absolute rubbish about daylight savings fading the southern caravan curtains, I think)! That scenario totally changes in winter time when a lot would prefer to travel and the $250 000 worth of free camps have all dried up! Also, I occasionally "free camp" but for the majority of the time we enjoy the security, social contact and ammenities that parks provide but I can see the day that the majority of parks (on the coast especially) are financially out of reach for extended trips. I hope I'm wrong as tenting and caravanning for me goes back to when I was a child, and I'd hate to think that we as adults let this Aussie way of life slip into oblivion.

Who knows, maybe a stand at the Stockmans Hall of Fame or Caravanners Hall Of Fame - Thargominda :) may be appropriate.
(for details on the CHOFT - caravanners hall of fame, refer to D8RBus on MSN Caravanners Forum. Sorry - couldn't help myself).

Or perhaps this idea - or a version of it - takes off and we secure our future!

Thanks for the input, Ruth and Ian. If this idea gets off the ground, I hope you'll be nominating for the board?

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Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 19:57

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 19:57
my chief advisor has just said it sounds like a great idea so we'd be in it

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Reply By: techie - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 23:45

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 23:45
count me in!
Details will need to be thrashed out, but in principal is sound.
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Reply By: Member- Rox (WA) - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 01:20

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 01:20
We have recently returned from 1 year round Oz.
In that year we camped at 163 different locations. mostly bush camps.
traveled 45,000kms spent $7800 on fuel, & no Idea on Accommodation.

I have the locations of were we camped on OSI EX but haven't got the stats on free vs paid Accommodation ( this would take me 1 hour). But would assume we free camped more than 50% of the time.
To add $20-$30/ night for extra 80 nights ($1,600-$2,400) would have killed our budget, and not made the trip any better by far.

We purchased a shower($25) & heated water to wash with. Took a shovel for various needs. Therefore to sleep behind a boom gate or fence and pay $2400 extra had no benefit to me. The $2400 did on the other hand give us 3 weeks of extra travel ($800-$1000/week) which we needed as our home wasn't ready to move into yet so we stayed away longer. We chose to see 3 weeks more of OZ than 80 extra nights behind a boom gate, getting tinnier from the shower, people talking whilst were sleeping etc.

I consider it a right to bush camp (Often better sites) also I prefer to have the simple pleasures in life.

This opportunity that Swanning it has suggested, is to me a good Idea for investment & public voice, but for me I prefer the free bush sites (that go back to my Backpacking days) than a holiday in a van park.

I would hate to see tourist parks on the Anne Beadell, Connie sue, Birdsville Tk, OTL Cape York, Israelite bay, CSR etc. In fact I drive past the lock ups at Docker River, Warakana etc & then find a bush camp. I have never had any trouble.

Imagine If Len Beadell was only allowed to sleep in commercial accommodation. There would be 6000kms fewer Rds in OZ.
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Reply By: Russ - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 01:31

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 01:31
Concept is worth looking at.

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Reply By: garthyguts - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:24

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:24
why not look at a bush site not caravan park?
could be on main road not in town, but on outskirts where there is
no power sites.
have toilet block with laundry in small areas say for10/20 camop sites
have power close to road for car towing vans,but keep it gravel and
grass only
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Follow Up By: Swanning it - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 12:09

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 12:09
This too is a very real possability! I've mentioned the purchasing of existing parks but the creation of new ones are certainly not out of the question. Other forum members have mentioned English models where farmers are paid rent on a small corner of their farms to facilitate an overnight (or maybe weekly) stay. All these ideas will be thrashed out if the whole concept ends up a goer!

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Reply By: Fusion - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:54

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:54
Great idea. I'd be interested.

AnswerID: 151426

Reply By: Dilligaf - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 14:13

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 14:13
Have not used a caravan park in 5 years. Never have a problem finding a free camp and prefer to be next to the sea rivers or lakes. Now that I have my solar panels I wish I had bought years ago we can power our washing machine and all the other goodies that travel with us. I do not see the need for caravan parks other than for those incapable of self supporting themselves. You meet more people free camping and they chat to each other and from all experiences are a nicer class of friendlier more helpful interesting people. Caravan park people travel from centre to centre and seem to only frequent tourist things and shopping centres. Pretty dull and boring.
AnswerID: 151462

Reply By: Peter - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 14:43

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 14:43
I'm interested. I know there would be lots of things to be done and considered but someone has to start somewhere. I don't see why just because people invested in a park they should expect to be able to reserve spots above and beyond any one - I thought that was half the problem with the established parks already. Why even buy an established park (at $3M when maybe a more suitable site could be found and then just establish basic amenities). I don't need an amenities room or camp kitchen etc. Would like a nice clean toilet/shower block and maybe somewhere to have a BBQ. Power could be offered but a lot of people don't see that as a necessity for an overnight stay.
Maybe even just the fact that an organisation is created for people like us, long before the first park is purchased, will make the established parks (and maybe even the government) sit up and take notice
Good luck with the whole thing. I certainly wouldn't dismiss the idea out of hand
AnswerID: 151471

Reply By: Vivid Adventures - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 15:35

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 15:35
I'm in on this - particularly the unpowered sites idea.

I regularly bush camp and get annoyed as hell when I have to camp in a carapark - be it National Parks or in cities.

Currently I am still boiling over having to pay $35 for one night to put my swag on a piece of grass at the Too Big 4 their boots in Melbourne North - Preston area I think was the actual suburb.

Toilets were in a transportable building, had to put your arms above your head as you entered the shower because there was no room to lift them once you were in, all the facilities were locked at 10PM, and to boot, the female of the owner species there was rudest piece of work I've come across in years.

The operator of the boggy hole camping ground was much more helpful week before last ;-)

Ciao for now
AnswerID: 151476

Reply By: sepp5762 - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 10:22

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 10:22
Count us long as they would be dog friendly.
We spent 8 months 20 yrs ago caravanning around britain and europe. Most of this time we stayed on farm sites....basic (sometimes very!!) but with only 5 van max per area it wasn't overcrowded, and most of the time we were the only ones there.
Great concept.
AnswerID: 151727

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