‘There is another side to the caravan park story’

Long-term travellers are often not shy in expressing negative views about the services and pricing structures offered by  caravan parks. However, a while back, grey nomad Sandra Sampson argued that it was about time we showed these businesses a bit more love and understanding 

We travelled around for four years and, during that time, we only free camped twice. The experience was not to our liking as during peak season to find availability in these free areas one needed to be off the road by 2.30pm.

We checked out these parks while passing and many were not more than dust bowls and, of course, first in best dressed.

There seemed to be no orderly manner in which to park, and the van next to ours had their generator adjacent to their van.

caravan park fees

No respect for anyone else and, on the other occasion, loud music blasted not long after we set up camp.

They may have been isolated incidents but, in the end, we preferred to pay the extra and have the security of staying in a caravan park. Staying safe is my priority, and my husband agrees ‘happy wife, happy life’.

When one considers the value of the rig, being a caravan and vehicle – possibly not much change out of $130,000 – why would you not be prepared to pay the extra that caravan parks offer?

We could always recognise the arrival in the caravan park of those people who free camp. They would arrive early morning. Then:

1. Off to do the laundry.
2. Fill up the water tanks.
3. Put on the air conditioner, whether in the van or not, and on many occasions the van windows would be left open, and charge all accessories too.
4. Next morning … hit the road and back to free camping, until the need arises again!

No thought given to the owner of the caravan park and the overheads that need to be built into the tariff, and as we all know too well the rising cost of essentials, like power, water, maintenance, council rates.

Once the expenses are taken into account who in their right mind would want to be an independent caravan park owner? No wonder they are disappearing, and the big conglomerates are buying into the caravan park industry.

It is this type of owner which has introduced, jumping pillows, water parks, bike or cart hire, and more luxurious swimming pools, which of course is included in the tariff irrespective of whether you are a grey nomad or a young family who love the availability of the extras!

Let us grey nomads support those smaller caravan parks, whose rates are realistic.

• Do you think some grey nomads are unfairly critical of caravan parks? Email us here to share your thoughts.


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