Welcome back to another fun-filled edition of the column that takes the pulse of the grey nomad community like no other. And, judging by the torrent of posted comments this week, that community is in rude health indeed!
The fire that swept through a Victorian caravan park recently sparked an outpouring of empathy for those caught up in the drama. Happily, no one was injured in the blaze but paramedics had to check out a number of traumatised caravanners.
“I can understand why some owners were emotionally distressed – sometimes their entire worldly possessions are inside those vans,” said Gary K. “Fires in caravans are not uncommon, and this disaster is another reminder to take all necessary precautions, including extinguishers and fire blankets.”
The perceived financial benefits that coastal caravan parks deliver to local communities was another topic that got your keyboards rattling.
Joyce was one of the first to react to rumours of sky-high annual incomes for the caravanning community.
“The average yearly income for many grey nomads would be less than $25,000,” she said. “We also spend a lot of money in towns as we eat and use fuel and if the park fees are too much we just do not go to these parks … we are not all well off retires a lot of us are pensioners.”
Spot on, Joyce.
John D was another not keen to splash his cash willy nilly.
“I eat, I travel,” he wrote. “No one tells me where I have to eat at or at what time so I take my own food with me.”
You tell ‘em Johnny.
He said that it only stood to reason that he had to replenish this food supply and did so mainly at small towns, where he also had to buy fuel when the need arose.
“No one is going to tell me I have to stop at a caravan park overnight only to be turfed out at 10.am so I camp along the read,” he said. “If I had to stay at caravan parks that would put me off the road and the little towns would not get my money … we would both be suffering.”
Makes sense to me, John … and to a lot of the rest of you, as well
Picking up n the early checkout times at many can parks, Gwen L was eager to register her dissatisfaction.
“10am checkout sucks if you are out for the weekend,” she said “It’s a two-way street caravan parks … you want the business or not?”
Hmmm! It seems like the often exceptionally early checkout times are raising more and more hackles. Anyone else got any thoughts?
But it wasn’t all doom, gloom and teeth gnashing in the normally happy and content grey nomad universe this week.
The decision by the Harvey Shire Council in Western Australia to work towards offering free overnight parking at a number of towns in its jurisdiction caused widespread jubilation.
“The Harvey Shire Council is to be congratulated,” exclaimed Terry R.
“I think 24 hours is no enough to allow to park, rest and spend some money, that is get provisions etc.” said Peter H.
“Fantastic! WA needs it,” echoed Sally. “Great work … someone is very forward thinking.”
“A great big pat on the back for Harvey Shire,” wrote Jim. “Let’s hope all the other shires here in the West will follow Harvey’s get up and go”
And he said the state could certainly do with a lot more rest areas, especially along the Indian Ocean Drive.
Lynne said she would like to see 48 hours stops allowed but joined the chorus of praise.
“Well done, WA!” she said.
Hooray indeed. And that should bury forever the myth perpetuated in some quarters that grey nomads are cheapskates who refuse to give credit where credit is due.
No way, you mean critics. The mighty Mailbaggers are a fabulous fair-minded bunch who call it the way they see it. Hooray for us!
Until next week, adios Mailbaggers!