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Having spent hours on the lap top trying to find a club site for 2 weeks in September, I never found a single site that had 14 days clear. I have reached the conclusion that there are just to many people caravaning now.

 

After 20 years as a member of both club, I really don't see the point in renewing my membership to either club next season.

Edited by Steve W77

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I searched a few CC sites that I wanted to stay at to try and get just a weekend away next year, but the earliest I could get a full weekend of both Friday & Saturday night was September 2021. I don't want to book that far in advance with a CL as I don't want to let the site owner down if I can't make it.

 

And thats perhaps the problem, folk like me booking sites to try and get away when theres always the chance I might not be able to go as my employer cancels my days off with sometimes just a few hours notice. Catch 22, as if I don't book in advance then I perhaps definitely won't be able to go.

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look don't be so hasty. there is a pandemic on right now and things are going to be different for a while, accept that you will just have to adapt to the current times. Just because you can't get the site you want for the length of time you want in the location you want doesn't mean you have to throw the toys out the pram.  Adapt like everyone else accept the situation for now AND support the clubs and sites in other locations, there is room for all of us!!!!! Honestly!!!!!!!

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  • Gordon changed the title to Time to leave the clubs
21 minutes ago, Steve W77 said:

Having spent hours on the lap top trying to find a club site for 2 weeks in September, I never found a single site that had 14 days clear. I have reached the conclusion that there are just to many people caravaning now.

 

After 20 years as a member of both club, I really don't see the point in renewing my membership to either club next season.

Steve,i did just that about four years ago,for the same reasons you mention.best thing i ever did, now we use Pitchup,uk caravanning, Bestparks,and Premier parks.

 We decide exactly we want!ie!countryside,or near pub or bus route,adult only or nice scenery,walks,  area, plus any other requirements we need.

 We rarely fail to get exactly what we want and often superior and more relaxed sites than practically any of the club sites we used for twenty years or more ,and some five star sites we’ve used have cost no more than the club sites and no subscription.

Hundreds of once horrible private sites are now superior to most club sites IMO.especially toilets and showers.

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As you are members of two clubs, in your position I would retain those memberships and just see how things pan out once things start to return to normal. That said, after 35 years of membership I ditched one of the major clubs some years ago as I felt they no longer provided an appropriate service for our family, and frankly I cannot say that I miss that membership in any way. 

For longer "tours" I try to book the sites ahead, while for short breaks I will book nearer the time and just take what is available. The problem is of course, as already pointed out, if circumstances change at short notice and I cannot go. That is when I would expect to loose any deposit I'd already paid.

 

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Hi,

Dont know which club you are talking about BUT have you thought of thC&CC  T.H.S's? true theirs not many around come September but pre Covid it was possable to just turn up(unless notified otherwise)&leave when needed. Some of the rallies run for two weeks ,some for a month. The inevitable question --most dont have E.H.U.

The C&CC send out a list (Out &About ) giving details, you have to be a club member. 

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Just now, Pheasant said:

Steve,i did just that about four years ago,for the same reasons you mention.best thing i ever did, now we use Pitchup,uk caravanning, Bestparks,and Premier parks.

 We decide exactly we want!ie!countryside,or near pub or bus route,adult only or nice scenery,walks,  area, plus any other requirements we need.

 We rarely fail to get exactly what we want and often superior and more relaxed sites than practically any of the club sites we used for twenty years or more ,and some five star sites we’ve used have cost no more than the club sites and no subscription.

Hundreds of once horrible private sites are now superior to most club sites IMO.especially toilets and showers.

Forgot to say,we never book in advance except abroad,even in high season,

just last week we fancied adults only in Devon ,for next week, found exactly that,booked,paid deposit,£52.00 total per night27.31 two people ,no pets, fully serviced,superior pitch.

 We do all the time,rarely fails,hope it helps you.

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17 minutes ago, DBR said:

look don't be so hasty. there is a pandemic on right now and things are going to be different for a while, accept that you will just have to adapt to the current times. Just because you can't get the site you want for the length of time you want in the location you want doesn't mean you have to throw the toys out the pram.  Adapt like everyone else accept the situation for now AND support the clubs and sites in other locations, there is room for all of us!!!!! Honestly!!!!!!!

Think pandemic should read panic.........☺

Edited by david 1220
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2 minutes ago, david 1220 said:

Hi,

Dont know which club you are talking about BUT . . .

I have held membership of various clubs over the years David but retain C&CC membership, primarily for their discounted holiday gatherings. 

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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When is your membership renewal? You have until then to think about cancelling membership. I think the big increase in caravanning will die down a bit when things settle down.  It has been difficult this month and perhaps next month, but bide your time and see how quiet it goes when the fine weather lot take their toys in.

Just thinking about this a bit more, havent you left it a bit late to book for a fortnight in September? 

Edited by Ern
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Ern

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I agree with Pheasant. There are so many alternatives to Club sites and CLs these days - some with more amenities, some which are less cramped, some which actually provide play space for children,  some others which are adult only, some sites without dogs, some  with heated swimming pools,  and many with family owners who understand customer service.  

 

At one time we only had the Club handbook, now we have the internet and reviews, and so we haven't been to a Club site for several years. 

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3 hours ago, DBR said:

look don't be so hasty. there is a pandemic on right now and things are going to be different for a while, accept that you will just have to adapt to the current times. Just because you can't get the site you want for the length of time you want in the location you want doesn't mean you have to throw the toys out the pram.  Adapt like everyone else accept the situation for now AND support the clubs and sites in other locations, there is room for all of us!!!!! Honestly!!!!!!!

I am not throwing my toys out of the pram as you put it, I just don't see the point of driving 600 mile return for a 4 day break, as for using other locations, I could not find a site anywhere using both club sites that I could stay on for more than 4 days.

2 hours ago, Ern said:

When is your membership renewal? You have until then to think about cancelling membership. I think the big increase in caravanning will die down a bit when things settle down.  It has been difficult this month and perhaps next month, but bide your time and see how quiet it goes when the fine weather lot take their toys in.

Just thinking about this a bit more, havent you left it a bit late to book for a fortnight in September? 

Only left it late because I should have been in the South of France for 6 weeks, but that went down the drain

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5 hours ago, Steve W77 said:

Having spent hours on the lap top trying to find a club site for 2 weeks in September, I never found a single site that had 14 days clear. I have reached the conclusion that there are just to many people caravaning now.

 

After 20 years as a member of both club, I really don't see the point in renewing my membership to either club next season.


I can see where you’re coming from. We’re governed by school holidays which makes it difficult but sometimes it does seem like weekends are booked up solid 12 months ahead. We’re members of both clubs but our subs are due six months apart so it helps spread the cost. We’ll keep our membership going to give us a wide a choice of sites as possible but choices of club sites is decreasing although I do find C&CC tend to have more availability than the CMC

5 hours ago, DBR said:

look don't be so hasty. there is a pandemic on right now and things are going to be different for a while, accept that you will just have to adapt to the current times. Just because you can't get the site you want for the length of time you want in the location you want doesn't mean you have to throw the toys out the pram.  Adapt like everyone else accept the situation for now AND support the clubs and sites in other locations, there is room for all of us!!!!! Honestly!!!!!!!


I can’t see anyone throwing toys out of prams, just someone questioning paying for something he can’t use. It’s possible to have different opinions AND reply without so many exclamation marks.

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We retain CMC membership but to be honest I don't see why, and when renewal comes around next year we will seriously consider cancelling. 

 

The last three ferry bookings I have made have been cheaper booked direct or via other third party sites and the next one for the IOW with Red Funnel is 15% cheaper booked direct with an online voucher code compared to the "list price" being quoted by CMC. Our insurance is over £50 cheaper with Aidrian Flux direct for equivalent cover, the three CL sites we joined the CMC to access are no longer CMC sites and we now book direct, in fact it seems there are a while raft of CL "closures", which normally means he site has gone independent every month. CMC sites are very expensive for what they offer and are not good value for money and the last two we have stayed at in Norfolk and Dorset have been distinctly shabby. Our last stay was far from good, there were several piles of dog mess in the grass behind our pitch which I reported to the warden who's response was "what do you want me to do about it?" I ended up clearing it up myself. Children constantly raced around the site on bikes and scooters oblivious to the movement of cars and motor homes, not helped by the very modest playground being closed for refurbishment, there were several near misses during the week we were there. 

 

I also find fewer and fewer CMC sites are open year round now. We tour year round and are always away at New Year and February half term but find a lot of CMC sites closed. 

 

And finally the OP is quite right about availability, the policy of booking without deposit and paying on arrival leads to far too many speculative bookings being placed, blocking availability for people who genuinely intend to travel. It might make for good PR but it's out dated and counter productive. 

 

In effect we are paying £54 a year to subscribe to their magazine, and that is increasingly full of adverts. 

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I agree that many private sites are better or on par with the  Caravan Club , the one advantage being that you pay on arrival with the Club if for any reason you have to cancel your not left out of pocket, also their CLs are very good value , we have used various private sites  that have been better and also much worse than the Club sites, for me £ 54.00 subscription is not about the magazine but more of a guarantee  that you know most of there sites are to a certain standard which reassures me .

Also I use this forum and ask the members for there personal experiences on the sites they have used .

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4 minutes ago, lazydaze said:

 

Also I use this forum and ask the members for there personal experiences on the sites they have used .


Agreed, at least on here you get an independent opinion from a broad cross section of people.

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We have really struggled with the club sites too-and when we did go to one that was supposed to be fully booked there was an empty space next to us all week-v frustrating if you are trying to book! Until they get stroppier or take not refundable deposits this will happen. The site wardens advised to ring direct as they are often ahead of the website, but still it is annoying-given the amount of vans in our local dealership there are lots of new caravanners-if they are out in this weather they won't be so keen next year and will all be off abroad again-hang on in there!

 

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I am afraid that getting two weeks anywhere decent is going to be a problem and the clubs ae no exception. It is not the clubs fault it is what has happened and it should be back to near normal next year.

I now there are a lot of new people with caravans and motorhomes but I would be surprised if hey were club members, my feeling is that it is people who would have gone abroad but have not done so where club sites are concerned although the C&CC has closed several sites for the season which is not helping. Hopefully they will all be back next year.

I think the problem is just for this year and cancelling next years membership is pointless as the sites should be back and available.

Edited by Wildwood
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Club sites being full at weekends is nothing new. We have always booked well in advance to make sure we got away during school holidays and even then for outside school holidays. If the OP thinks he might also be wanting to have 2 weeks next year in the UK in case France is not possible, then why not book it now and nearer the time it could be cancelled if not wanting to go.

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On 29/08/2020 at 09:32, Steve W77 said:

Having spent hours on the lap top trying to find a club site for 2 weeks in September, I never found a single site that had 14 days clear. I have reached the conclusion that there are just to many people caravaning now.

 

After 20 years as a member of both club, I really don't see the point in renewing my membership to either club next season.

just looking on the CMC site and there are a few site with the last 2 weeks vacant. Look at the site pages and not at the late availability, Sometimes if there's a site that you would like to visit a phone call to the site may  be a good thing. 

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It’s a short term thing! So many people have been prevented from taking European trips they are now taking their break in the U.K. outside of the school holiday period  (me included!) 

I saw this problem on the horizon some time ago so, on the likelihood of the continent becoming off limits, I booked a couple of weeks for mid September. Both sites are now fully booked with just an odd day free. 

 

Will it calm back down for for next year? Well that all depends on a vaccine being found doesn’t it? No vaccine no continental trips! 

 

In the meantime I am sure there are still sites with availability, but of course they might not be where you want to be, so compromise is the word of the day! 

Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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6 hours ago, Wildwood said:

It is not the clubs fault it is what has happened and it should be back to near normal next year.

 

Whilst the virus is not the clubs fault (though I'm surprised we haven't heard some kind of conspiracy theory to suggest it is) the lack of availability to prebook very much is and is down to their policy of not taking deposits. Neither is this a new thing, so blaming it on the virus is a non starter. 

 

There are far too many members who book "just in case", just in case they can get time off work, just in case the weather's good etc. 

 

We first came across this many years ago when we used to visit Dorset for New Year. because of work commitments I could never book until a few weeks ahead and Hunter's Moon near Wareham was invariably fully booked. My sister, who had booked well in advance was amazed how many empty pitches there were every night, at times the site was only half full, despite being "fully booked." The warden admitted it was a regular occurrence with late cancellations and no shows. 

 

It was a mixed blessing for us as it forced us to book at Wareham Forest, just up the road which is now our site of choice in the area and far superior to the CMC site. 

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37 minutes ago, PMW said:

There are far too many members who book "just in case", just in case they can get time off work, just in case the weather's good etc. 

 

I am one of those people. I book with the intention and desire to attend, but my employers often cancel my days off with just a few hours notice, so I have no choice but to cancel, sometimes with insufficient notice so I end up with the CMAC warning letters.

 

If I left it until the Friday afternoon to book a pitch, I wouldn't get on. Catch 22.

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2 hours ago, PMW said:

There are far too many members who book "just in case", just in case they can get time off work, just in case the weather's good etc. 

This behaviour is now commonplace and arguably the only way you will get a decent length booking.

 

The problem needs to get fixed because new members will be very disappointed with what's on offer and folks who don't book ahead a year at a time will be unlucky.

 

There is a lot of noise about this on the wider forums, more so than than the previous "annual booking day" so I guess they will eventually bring in deposits.

 

 

 

 

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