Caravan Park Site Fees

Submitted: Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 08:54
ThreadID: 68880 Views:5171 Replies:15 FollowUps:16
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Been using caravan parks for over 30 years. I just can't see the justification for some of the Exorbitant fees that are charged these days. There are a great number of caravan parks that are getting on in age and really the maintanence/upgrade over the years has been minimal, yet the fees in a lot of these parks/villiages/ resorts are rediculous.
What is a night in a caravan park really worth???
Take on average there are 2-3 people. You provide the accomodation (Van, Camper, Tent etc). All your getting is electicity if you are on a powered site and water for cooking or showering. Washing clothes can't be included as you have to pay for the machines and dryers. Now some parks even have you paying small fees for showers. So other that a bit of electricity who comes up with $30+ per night.
For my way of thinking $18 - $20 is about all you need to be paying. I may have my head in the sand but realistically how many parks have you stayed in where compared to others you've thought - Yep thats was worth paying the $30+ per night for???
Is it any wonder people are now investing in Generators/Solar/Ensuites in vans because in the long your not having to pay the rediculous fees that are sometimes asked.
I know that a lot of parks in WA & Qld & NT during the winter months are hard to get into and so this, I would expect, has been the main reason why Park owners have the site fees so high because they get the money regardless, but realistically
We have had this discussion with friends before but what is the general consensus.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:00

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:00
Unless the park is owned by family member handed down over generations, then the cost of a caravan park is going to increase due to the size and location of the land. They can be located on prime development land which means the value is more in selling caravan parks for the land rather than as a going concern.

Buy a caravan park at these higher costs, and the repayments will be increased, being passed on to the travellers.

Just one thought.

AnswerID: 365173

Follow Up By: wild dog - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:16

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:16
The Mooloolaba park is a classic example of that. Developers have been trying to get that site for years.
QLD. councils force the rates sky high untill it becomes impossible for landowners to stay. Next thing the councillors developer mates have bought the site, consequently we have what we have now, the entire Qld. coast being overdeveloped.
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Reply By: Best Off Road - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:02

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:02
What you're forgetting is the owner has paid a substantial sum of money for the property and has to get a reasonable return.



AnswerID: 365174

Reply By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:02

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:02

I have to agree with you here,we,at Easter, always go to Evans Head with another member Hairfysh. we thoroughly enjoy our time there as it is very kid friendly and great facilities for them and us.
As of next year we will be heading bush for Easter as the fees for there will be going up by $50 per week.Buggers me why they are jacking the cost up that much when if you were to go back there next year nothing would have changed ie; no upgrades of anything.
AnswerID: 365175

Follow Up By: garryk - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:31

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:31
G'day Mark
Yes we also go to Evans Head and the big increase was a hot topic last year when we were there
I was told then that it was a forced decision because of the NSW government lands department insisting that seeing that it is crown land they must charge what the government deems to be a market rate
Also council amalagation had something to do with it
Business owners in town not likeing it because a full caravan park of that size with people staying for an extended time spend a lot in the town and if the park is only half full in the future then all suffer
We are going next month before the increase so I may get more info then
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:38

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:38

Its a bit like Brooms Head caravan park.we stay there at xmas time for 2 weeks and because we are on the "ocean side"
of the road we are charged an extra $60 a week.
Mind you, the road is a mere 2 metres wide and the campers on that side STILL have ocean views as well. When asked why this is they tell you its because you guys have ocean frontage.......derrr.......the whole of Brooms Head IS ocean frontage!!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Vince B (NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 12:26

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 12:26
Hi Mark.
It certainly makes Mann river quite good.

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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 12:31

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 12:31
your not wrong there mate.
FollowupID: 632863

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:37

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:37
It is called supply and demand.
If everone stops going, the price will reduce, not 'till then.
The operator seeks to maximie the profit.
The market (customer) sets the price, not the seller.
A night in a caravan park is worth what people will pay.

They will never make any money from us.

OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 365185

Follow Up By: Member - John G- Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 10:03

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 10:03
G'day Peter

Agreed. Plus, many people are prepared to pay for what they perceive to be the security of CPs.

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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:37

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:37
Well as a comparison we have been staying in parks and the prices have been as high as $40 a night (Big4 Melbourne)
down to $26 a night at Wycliffe Well and Erldunda.
At Ayers Rock it is $19 PER PERSON and Kings Canyon $18 per person.
This for a Dusty windswept barren place.

In contrast at Alice Springs the McDonell Ranges Park for $36 a night is a wonderful park with shade, well grassed sites or slabs.

Is a delightful park with several large clean amenities blocks.
They couldnt be more helpful and they seem too be fairly busy all the time.
Guess stuff costs for transport etc but Diesel was cheaper at Kings Canyon $152.9 than Erldunda and Wycliffe Well $175.9.


AnswerID: 365186

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:44

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 09:44
Regarding paying for showers I think some should have timers on them as well.
Have been in some places where people take at least 10 mins for a shower. Bet they dont do that at home.

Some have no consideration for the fact that water is scarce in the outback and just waste it as fast as they can it seems.

The cost of providing the niceties of life must be considerable in these places and how many ever consider that.

No just turn the tap on leave it running OH its cold Run up to the office and see whats wrong Duh.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 13:55

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 13:55
That is an excellent reason for coin operated showers, but it should be offset by reduced site fees.
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Reply By: DIO - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 11:13

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 11:13
If YOU don't want to pay the prices asked then drive on by as there are plenty of 'well off' travellers who probably don't even know how much parks charge. The wealthy have made it very hard for the 'not-so-well-off'. Mind you, IF e v e r y o n e boycotted parks that charged say in excess of $20.00 a night powered site then the (high) prices would tumble. It's called price control influenced by customer choice a complete change to price influence by greedy sellers.
AnswerID: 365199

Follow Up By: Member - Wayne David (NSW) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 12:03

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 12:03
Hopefully it would work that way.

However, it could also go the other way. That is CP owner isn't getting the return on his investment & decides "bugger this I'll sell to developers". Takes the cash & runs. Then he travels Oz looking to find a caravan park at fair rates.

So I suppose your idea gets him eventually.

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Reply By: paulnsw - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 13:12

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 13:12
Pointed out to me when had my solar install done. 40 nights @ $25 a night is $1000. 40 nights is not 6 wks. From the time we had the solar install we have only been into free or $5 to $8 a night local community park or show ground camps. With the money we saved the 1st year paid for the solar install. 2nd year purchased diesel heater $1425 and added extra water tank. Life is great free camping. The big thing free camping you do meet nicer people that are more attuned to nature and the joys of travelling. They enjoy bush walks and look after the environment. They dont leave rubbish or even pick up from other grubs. We find foreign travellers in whizzbangers like Wicked campers really bad in all ways.
AnswerID: 365219

Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 13:59

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 13:59
Sorry to burst your bubble, but unfortunately 'free' campers leave plenty of rubbish, as is evidenced by the state of most of the High Country camping spots.
FollowupID: 632873

Follow Up By: paulnsw - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 14:15

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 14:15
Shaker sorry to burst your bubble we are talking about caravanners and motorhomers not the 4WD environmental thugs that damage and vandalise all the High Country and leave all their rubbish, feaces and Kleenex Daffodils around.

Sign up to stop 4WD environmental vandalism and do something for Australia.
FollowupID: 632874

Follow Up By: Member - Kevin J (Sunshine Coa - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 14:28

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 14:28

Not wanting to change the topic but just felt I had to ask. With the extra water tank plus Solar panel/s plus diesel heater have you had your van over a weighbridge or are you just assuming that you are within the legal weight limits for your van?

Just a thought.

Back to topic. There may well be some parks which are charging in excess of what we think is a reasonable fee but then again we do not know what requirerments are being applied by Councils and State Govts through things like staff wages, supeannuation increased electricity charges, increased requirements for third party and public liability insurance and in the Sunshine Coast case increases of 22% for water since the State Govt took control of the supply. Tourism Levies. Public Transport Levies and Environmental levy on top of rates. The Councils own parks are complaining about the level of charges being applied.

Add to the above the fact that in a lot of areas the 'season' is less than half the year even though the costs are annual.

I personally don't see the need for games rooms, playgrounds etc but others do so the choice remains mine. Stay and pay or vote with your feet (wheels) and roll on past.

Kevin J

FollowupID: 632877

Follow Up By: paulnsw - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 15:55

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 15:55
Kevin J well within weight as ordered the caravan with 700kg load capacity. Have 180kg spare.

Dont disagree with you about about anything with the payments caravan parks have. Realise some occupy prime real estate. When you look at the profits of Aspen Parks they are making a lot of money. Reason Aspen and others are investing in caravan parks. Qld in general has got to expensive and over crowded to visit. We stay away from crowded tourist places. Australia is a big country with no shortage of great places with free or low cost places to stay. We love small country towns and they have much to offer as we do them.
In our case we can no longer afford to travel using caravan parks or tourist locations. With all the increasing costs something has to go.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 15:59

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 15:59
Ask any caravan park proprietor if caravanners & motorhomers are squeaky clean?
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Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 15:33

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 15:33
I agree it is hard to justify the cost at some caravan parks but when you look at some of the WA coastal parks the land tax amounts to $15 per day per site 365 days a year the cost mounts up. Just remind yourself how much you are contributing to the Mandurah railway when you pay your $30 plus per night and it could make you feel better. Not me, I go somewhere else.

AnswerID: 365230

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 16:25

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 16:25
It also depends on the turnover. In a low traffic area, proprietors may spend their lives cleaning toilets and paying overheads for very little gain. I have worked out roughly the cost of overheads in a small park, and i would not like to be in that position.

Also the overheads continue all year, and peak traffic may be for only a few months - this all needs to be considered in running a business.

We don't use CPs often, and don't like to pay top dollar for sub standard facilities, but caravanners on the internet soon know about where i found good, bad or ugly. Most CPs we have been to have been good. We have not been to 'coastal resorts' and this is the type of park often maligned for high fees.


Red desert dreaming

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AnswerID: 365240

Follow Up By: Louie the fly (SA) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 17:31

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 17:31
Yes, those little things like wages, insurance, council rates, maintenance, etc. etc. And all based on an average occupancy rate of x. Like any business, you have to cover costs somehow. So it's user pay.

FollowupID: 632901

Reply By: Member - Roger B (VIC) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 17:12

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 17:12
At Groper Ck. it's $20.00 per night or $120.00 per week for a powered site. Stay longer and go onto the weekly rate of $95.00,and get metered power. user pays. Showers are metered too, 10c in the slot gets you 3 minutes of hot water. I've already got about $5.oo worth of 10c bits stashed in my toilet bag. Good value with a pier and two launching ramps too. Can't say the same for a lot of private parks though. Cheers all.

Roger B..........
AnswerID: 365255

Reply By: zacc - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 19:40

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 19:40
you can get cards like big4 that will give discounts on accomadation at there parks.
AnswerID: 365280

Reply By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:17

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 21:17
We are currently in Tassie and recently paid $30 for a powrd site - no water as the bore was down and then were charged $1 for 6 min shower NOT HAPPY JAN
AnswerID: 365296

Reply By: just goin - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 07:26

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 07:26
Great Topic! We stayed at a BIG4 Park in Melbourne CDB last week. For a powered TENT site (very small indeed) for 2 adults and 2 kids (ages 2 & 5) we were charged $59.50 per night!!! And we are big4 members. We were the furthest site from both amentities and freezed our butts off for the 2 nights we stayed. Couldnt run a fan heater in the tent as it was nylon and only used the showers. No swimming in gorgeous pool and spa as it was way too cold. We spent money in the games room where the kids played for an hour for about $25 in gold coins.

So we cant work out for the life of us how that kind of nightly rate can be charged for a tent site in off peak!! We figure too that our 2 yo should have been free... Other caravanners told us they paid $38 a night for a site opposite the amentities and they are members as well. So that means we were charged $20.50 for the two kids per night or for just one 5 yo if our 2yo was FREE??? How can they justify that. The park amenities were very well maintained up where the caravanners stayed, and the amenities down the back area where we camped were reasonably good but even so it makes what used to be a cheap getaway for a family start to look a bit hard to face!!!!! And not even in school holidays.

Biggest worry we now face is that we are leaving in 4 wks for lap of oz and we budgeted about $30 a night for powered or unpowered site for our camper trailer but now we are thinking we will need to increase it to $50 a night just to safeguard the budget....or we may HAVE to now free camp one to two nights a week to make the budget last as well. This is fine but again we dont see the value in what we as a family are being charged these days. Being from the country our kids are used to being water wise etc as well so we definitely dont get our money's worth of water and electricity we are being charged for !!!!
AnswerID: 365335

Follow Up By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 12:19

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 12:19
Hi Just goin

We are doing a lap of the paddock with the two girls - and yep every CP charges between $4 - $8 per night per child - extortion some parks are nice and others should be shut down (even the RSPCA would have something to say if it were an animal home)

We free camp a lot - it saves so much $$$$ We are currently in Tassie and have free camped all but 4 nights of our so far 14 day trip (one night was not by choice, the girls had wet beds). Here in Tassie we just use laundromats for washing (we used to pull into parks to get washing done - its easier and cheaper at a laundromat.

FollowupID: 633065

Reply By: humie - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 00:03

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 00:03
Hi Curlynan,
Its about time Exploroz put up a page with CP prices.It would make travel budgetting alot easier.We are travelling with 2 kids and have tried to free camp alot of the way,how much water and power do kids use ? Today we pulled into Exmouth to have some minor work on the 4by and one of the parks wanted $55 a night. What a ripoff !!!, we managed to get one down the block for $45 still a bit steep for 1 night but what can you do. I'd love to shame them but i would probably be moderated.

Humie and family
AnswerID: 365768

Reply By: HGMonaro - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 11:07

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 11:07
I agree, $8-$10 for kids is too much. For 2 kids, thats just about another site! If you've got 3 it is! Maybe I'll do that sometime.. book one site for me and the Mrs, one for the kids! That will give us room to spread out and park the car!

Cheers, Nige.
AnswerID: 365803

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