Out of necessity we have stayed at many caravan parks across Australia over the past 11 years. We have seen the best and the worst that are out there and we have formed some definite opinions on what is required to make staying in a caravan park a pleasant experience.


The major issue we have when selecting a caravan park is the cost. We are on a small fixed income and being charged $200 plus a week for a patch of dirt, a small amount of power and access to a toilet and shower is, as far as we are concerned, far too much. We have seen houses for rent for as little as $160 so why are caravan parks now so expensive?


We believe $25 per night per couple and and extra $5 per head for additional people is reasonable for any caravan park. We also think weekly stays should always include 1 night free. (Ie. $150 per week per couple and $30 extra per additional person.) Some parks are charging $10 a head or more for additional people and this is simply greedy.


The second item that we look at when selecting a park is site size and overcrowding. Many parks have sites that are far too close together for comfort and people are crammed in, one on top of the other in an attempt to maximise profits at the expense of the comfort of guests. If a park is crowded we will move on until we find one that has more space.


The third essential issue for us is noise. We hate other people's noise and we simply will not stay in parks that are too noisy. Noise rules in parks must be enforced by the managers. There is no point in having rules for guests to follow if the rules are ignored. We have been to parks where one of two people have been allowed to ruin things for everyone else. We never go back to a park where this is allowed to go on.


There are a host of other important issues that park managers need to address and these include:


1. Night lighting has to be adequate so that guests can get to the amenities safely without falling over concrete pads, sprinklers etc.


2. Managers should regularly inspect toilet and shower facilities to ensure everything is working. It is very annoying to go into a shower block that has sign after sign posted about not wasting water only to see shower heads leaking for days on end.


3. Roads and sites should NOT be cluttered with posts and obstacles that make moving around the park with a caravan difficult. We have seen some spectacularly stupid examples of putting posts around roadways making it impossible to move through the park with anything bigger than a 16 foot van.


4. There should be at least two clothes hooks in every shower cubicle and a seat of some sort. There should also be at least one clothes hook in each W.C. (People usually go to the W.C. before they shower and need somewhere to hang their towel.)


5. Decent toilet paper (minimum 2 ply) should be provided in toilets.


6. Sanitary napkin disposal bags should be provided in the female toilets.


7. Piped music in toilets should be turned off. Most people do not want this 'feature'.


8. Toilet / shower blocks should be cleaned every day and cleaning times should be clearly posted.


9. Office staff need to be friendly and should be knowledgeable about the park, its fees and rules. We are tired of taking to office staff who know nothing and always have to refer to the 'owner' who seems to be constantly unavailable. Some people who own / run parks are completely unsuited for the job. Over time owners seem to become jaded about the whole experience and treat their guests as if they are a huge inconvenience. All we can say is, if you feel like this, get another job.


10. Almost every caravan park owner we have ever spoken to complains and moans about everything from guests to shire council rates. The bottom line is, no one put a gun to your head and forced you to take up this line of work. If you don't love doing the job then stop doing it and go somewhere else. You will be happier and so will your guests.


11. Don't judge a book by its cover. Not everyone in an old caravan is a problem and not everyone in a big new van is a desirable guest.


12. Don't discriminate. If you offer discounted rates of aged pensioners you should also offer them to those on disability pension. Those on disability often have far less than those on aged pension.


I'm lost please take me home...



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