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Hayden

Caravan Club, Worth Joining?

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  • Neither set of five van sites are 'Certified', they are 'Certificated'. Not sure what the difference is though?
  • There isn't a miserable old persons club, but Tranquil Touring Parks are sort of part way there.
  • Having just joined the C&CC a few weeks ago and stayed at their Boroughbridge site I can say that tenters tend to be noisier and more boisterous than caravanners. I've also noticed a similar phenomenon when walking out of the Malvern CC site and past their neighbouring C&CC site.
  • I did notice that C&CC wardens are dressed in bright red and CC wardens in medium green. After 6 weeks using such sites I longed for a touch of blue, or yellow or anything but green/red.
  • CC wardens are happy for you to find a vacant pitch and tell them where you are. C&CC wardens will lead you to the pitch they've allocated to you. Before I get ripped into the C&CC wardens are usually happy to change the pitch, if you ask.
  • The CC seem intent on covering the world with hardstanding pitches and there's an almost militiaristic liking for straight lines and regulated gaps etc. Whilst that means people get consistency and know what to expect, the C&CC seem to prefer grass (probably because of the tenters) and have a more laissez faire attitude.

I have clocked the tranquil touring parks site that's probably why I'm in a quandary about joining a club. . .

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We've stayed on quite a few Tranquils, including arguably the best site in the country, The Old Oaks, and have found them excellent. Trouble is there are large swathes of the country where they have little, or no representation. So unlike either of the clubs you still have to look for alternatives if going to those areas.

 

Mind you I've always wondered why Essex has no club sites.

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Hell I thought I HAD joined the old farts club.

 

Tenters are a noisy bunch, no doubt about that, crikey you can hear the gas through the flimsy fabric from 30yards away and that's the girls.

 

Can't blame the dogs I suppose.

 

My old Labrador was never any trouble to anyone, it's the herds (is that right?) of yappy canine chavs under zero control that gets my goat. (That's a play on words).

I have clocked the tranquil touring parks site that's probably why I'm in a quandary about joining a club. . .

If this goes on much longer it will be me that needs to be certificated.

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I'm still confused!!

Can someone give me the for and against's, ? Just bullet points will do

 

I have one very valid point I believe, one which caused me to leave after 18 years.

(climbs onto soap box)

 

For a couple of years I was a member of both CC and CC&C club. Mum got me CC&C as a present.

Increasingly, with the advent of reserving online, I was unable to book a CC site.

I was a single dad wanting to take my kids away in the van with a few weeks notice.

I would look at CC sites for maybe 50, 100 150 miles radius, nothing, when I then searched for CC&C sites, I got on the first one I fancied going to, why?

Firstly, I paid my £25 deposit.

Secondly, there is no deposit required for CC sites, and, you are able to book on a site every day of the year if you wish as long as your stay is up to 28 days in one place.

 

What's happening is, there are members who book many many weekends over the year, hence on the booking system, the sites are full, there is no restriction to then cancel as long as its within 12 hours, (if I remember).

So members who have made many, many bookings, then get to go away if the sun is shining, because, they have booked every weekend and as long as they cancel on Thursday, there is no problem, however, me, sat at home wanting to go away cant get booked in anywhere with the kids weeks or months in advance.

 

I complained to the CC about this and they didnt deny it but they said they have 1% no shows, that is members who forgot to cancel their booking or for some other reason didnt turn up. The CC dont monitor pitches which are booked then cancelled within the time frame.

I was told there are sometimes pitches in reserve apart from the online booking, so to ring, So whats the point of having online booking?

 

I believe deposits are no bad thing and the CC&C have a policy time frame during which your deposit can either be refunded, change your date or keep it for another time. I havent had a problem yet, only thing I dislike about CC&C sites is having to be shown to a pitch and guided in by a warden, Give me the choice and leave me to it,

 

(gets down off soap box)

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Hahahahah

I have dogs but I can relate to THAT one I also have four grown up ( I say that loosely ) children but if there was a club without screaming kids that stay up too late I wouldn't have a problem joining . .

Maybe it's the "miserable old person's " club I need to join. . .

 

there seems to be an increase in adults only sites I have found this last 5 years or so.

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There do seem to be a lot of caravans on CC sites that don't go far/often and I was told lots flip/flop from one site to another and back again.

 

Not very good for what is supposed to be a club for touring caravanners.

 

Touring Scotland we called ahead and only had one site out of nine that could not book us spot.

 

And there is usually an alternate CL you can use. ......

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There do seem to be a lot of caravans on CC sites that don't go far/often and I was told lots flip/flop from one site to another and back again.

 

Not very good for what is supposed to be a club for touring caravanners.

 

Touring Scotland we called ahead and only had one site out of nine that could not book us spot.

 

And there is usually an alternate CL you can use. ......

The CC have admitted motorcaravans since the 1960s and at some sites there are significant numbers of them.

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The CC policy is that a booking must be cancelled 72 hours before midday of the booked arrival date. So if it's a weekend the booking must be cancelled before Tuesday lunchtime. If it's cancelled inside 72hrs (without a good reason) or it's a no show, you get a black mark against your record. Three black marks and all your bookings are cancelled and you can't make any bookings for 14 days.

 

That gives the CC a greater chance of reselling the pitch.

 

Unfortunately what it doesn't do is allow people to book in the period between the site becoming full and 72c hours before the intended visit. I'm afraid it's a case that the CC have made the policy so that it potentially improves their finances, but doesn't necessarily improve the situation for those who want to book in the weeks leading up to the required date.

 

I have some sympathy with the CC's desire to avoid the hassle and complication of deposits, especially as booking in at Boroughbridge C&CC site a few weeks ago took an awful lot longer than booking in at your average CC site.

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The CC have admitted motorcaravans since the 1960s and at some sites there are significant numbers of them.

I wasn't singling out motorhomes at all.

 

The point is they are touring sites and there needs it be sufficient vacant space for touring caravans.

 

The whole thing falls down if they permit the site to be filled up with what are essentially static caravans and maybe 28 days is too long?

 

The longest I would ever want is probably 7days . .........

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I wasn't singling out motorhomes at all.

The point is they are touring sites and there needs it be sufficient vacant space for touring caravans.

The whole thing falls down if they permit the site to be filled up with what are essentially static caravans and maybe 28 days is too long?

The longest I would ever want is probably 7days . .........

So your saying that the CC is mainly retired people flitting about????

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So your saying that the CC is mainly retired people flitting about????

I would say the majority of caravan and motorhome users are seniors (whereas campers tend to be younger) and from my limited experience a fairlly substantial percentage of caravans and motorhomes appear to spend some of their time sited at CC sites for longer periods than I would expect a touring unit to spend in one place.

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I wasn't singling out motorhomes at all.

 

The point is they are touring sites and there needs it be sufficient vacant space for touring caravans.

 

The whole thing falls down if they permit the site to be filled up with what are essentially static caravans and maybe 28 days is too long?

 

The longest I would ever want is probably 7days . .........

 

Minor point. .. I believe (but stand to be corrected) that the maximum stay on a CC site is 21 days with no return within two days of leaving.

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And they do have some seasonal pitches on a lot of CC sites, so you're bound to see some vans that hang around long term.

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Minor point. .. I believe (but stand to be corrected) that the maximum stay on a CC site is 21 days with no return within two days of leaving.

 

So these static tourers pick two sites near each other and flit back and forth between them ad infinitum and where do the real tourers go?

 

They told me at one site the system will not allow them to book the last pitch so 'late arrivals' can be accommodated.

 

If that was adequate why would they need the temporary parking areas out side the gates at many sites?

 

Hence having to ring ahead all the time and that kind of goes against the freewheeling aspect of carvanning for me.

 

Ok 21 days makes little difference the point is they only leave one pitch vacant for arrivals with no booking. ......not exactly reliable for a freewheeling tourer.

 

I spoke with one guy who books the same site every weekend and he knew everyone around him, works for him but not for someone touring.

Edited by Motobiman

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I have some sympathy with the CC's desire to avoid the hassle and complication of deposits, especially as booking in at Boroughbridge C&CC site a few weeks ago took an awful lot longer than booking in at your average CC site.

 

Hassle? Given that we are members in the main, they don't even need to wait for the card to clear. It's a long time since I used a CC site but every commercial site I have used requires a deposit and all have on-line booking but for a new site I will often 'have a chat' about facilities etc - it still only takes a few seconds to hand over card number.

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Some sites have late night arrival areas, but by no means all.

 

Speaking to a warden a few months back, he said that if it's an all hardstanding site then all pitches are on the website. If some pitches are grass they fluctuate the numbers on the website because they can take them out of service for reseeding, or if boggy etc. That then gives them the possibility of squeezing one in.

 

The drive is to maximise occupancy and thereby maximise income. The possibility of leaving pitches free for non-bookers can lose income and is frowned upon.

 

I have heard of non-bookers being put on an LNA for a night or so, until a normal pitch becomes free.

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Some sites have late night arrival areas, but by no means all.

Speaking to a warden a few months back, he said that if it's an all hardstanding site then all pitches are on the website. If some pitches are grass they fluctuate the numbers on the website because they can take them out of service for reseeding, or if boggy etc. That then gives them the possibility of squeezing one in.

The drive is to maximise occupancy and thereby maximise income. The possibility of leaving pitches free for non-bookers can lose income and is frowned upon.

I have heard of non-bookers being put on an LNA for a night or so, until a normal pitch becomes free.

What's an LNA?

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The CC policy is that a booking must be cancelled 72 hours before midday of the booked arrival date. So if it's a weekend the booking must be cancelled before Tuesday lunchtime. If it's cancelled inside 72hrs (without a good reason) or it's a no show, you get a black mark against your record. Three black marks and all your bookings are cancelled and you can't make any bookings for 14 days.

 

That gives the CC a greater chance of reselling the pitch.

 

Unfortunately what it doesn't do is allow people to book in the period between the site becoming full and 72c hours before the intended visit. I'm afraid it's a case that the CC have made the policy so that it potentially improves their finances, but doesn't necessarily improve the situation for those who want to book in the weeks leading up to the required date.

 

I have some sympathy with the CC's desire to avoid the hassle and complication of deposits, especially as booking in at Boroughbridge C&CC site a few weeks ago took an awful lot longer than booking in at your average CC site.

 

And the system does nothing for freewheeling tourers who don't want to keep calling ahead all the time.

What's an LNA?

Late night arrival and when that's full your basically stuffed.

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What it boils down to is that at weekends in the peak time of the year the CC don't have enough pitches in the places that are easily accessible from the areas of large population. It's been like that for decades and is the same on private and C&CC sites as well at those times. In such a situation it's always going to be first come, first served because site owners want the surety of guaranteed occupancy and the plight of the non-bookers comes a poor second in their considerations.

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What it boils down to is that at weekends in the peak time of the year the CC don't have enough pitches in the places that are easily accessible from the areas of large population. It's been like that for decades and is the same on private and C&CC sites as well at those times. In such a situation it's always going to be first come, first served because site owners want the surety of guaranteed occupancy and the plight of the non-bookers comes a poor second in their considerations.

Am I right in saying then that people browse through the sites online "hold " various times/weeks/holidays then don't turn up or cancel at the last moment if it's not convenient?

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The vast majority of the population have commitments during the week which makes the weekend escapes popular, school holidays is also a popular holiday time.

 

If you want to go in these times book early ;)

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Am I right in saying then that people browse through the sites online "hold " various times/weeks/holidays then don't turn up or cancel at the last moment if it's not convenient?

 

According to anecdotal evidence some did. In an effort to reduce the no-shows and very late cancellations the CC amended their policy as mentioned above. Cancellations have to be done 72 hours in advance or they earn a black mark. Three black marks and you're sanctioned.

 

It had the desired effect as far as the CC are concerned because it gave them the chance to re-sell the pitches. However it didn't really help the mid-term bookers who were still faced with popular sites booked out when they were searching. It did also help the last minute bookers who could maybe pick up one of the cancellations.

 

My personal belief is that members should have rolling number of weekends they can book, say three or four, rather than being able to book 52 as soon as the booking season opens. Once they've attended one weekend they can then go and search for a top up. This would give a lot more people the opportunity to get a pitch of their choice and make the block bookers work for their pitches.

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Am I right in saying then that people browse through the sites online "hold " various times/weeks/holidays then don't turn up or cancel at the last moment if it's not convenient?

 

Through personal knowledge I can say that some do the first part of your question but not necessarily the second. They would book a number of sites for long weekends and then nearer the time whittle those down as their jobs allowed. Still done but now within the new 'sanction levels'.

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OK I THINK IM GETTING THERE!!!

The CC allows booking with NO deposit which means people book various times without commitment and can pick and choose ( within 72 hours) if they go or not. . . . So you need to get your towels on those sun beds (places) early!!!!

The C&cc want a deposit off you when booking so it's not so easy to cancel, however they are more hectic sites because there is a younger crowd camping in tents etc. . . . . Is that a summary???????

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CC policy seems to be to allow multiple bookings, such that those cancelled last minute will be taken up by those who may have commitments up to the last minute, since they have little choice but to do so. Thus revenue is maximised without the use of a payments system and all that entails.

 

It would seem to be more equitable if members were not allowed to hold bookings for more than x sites at a time. It is clear from threads like this that potential new members may be put off the CC by the current policy, and that it is not a good thing at all from the CC long term perspective.

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