Dotted around the countryside, caravan parks offer grounds, necessities and luxuries that range from ordinary to absolutely outstanding. Why do we love them, or more to the point, why do we pay to stay in one?
Each individual park may not be the same as the last one you visited, or the next one you visit. Caravan parks do not seem to meet one set criteria.
Depending on their star rating, caravan parks may vary from a few sites on uneven grounds needing double adaptors to share the power, desalinated water, sites needing precision driving to park on a postage stamp and rusted barbecue plates hovering over a bed of coals to five star immaculate grounds boasting a level slab, manicured surrounding gardens, self contained ensuites, high security and then some.
As a result, prices will vary too. $10 a day could surprise you and provide you with a fantastic camp overlooking a river with old but clean amenities and a power point during off peak season. Yet $100 a day may provide you with a concrete slab, toilet, shower, power, water and a list of rules and regulations during school holidays.
However, when pulling into a caravan park, what we generally expect is to exchange some dollars for a piece of ground to park our rig on. What else they provide is simply a bonus. They may include:
A quiet and relaxing location
A convenient location close to attractions
A source of power
Connection to water
A level concrete slab
Toilets, showers or ensuites
Laundry facilities including washing machines, dryers, lines and irons
Dumping points and rubbish facilities
Pools and/or waterslides, spas and saunas
Playgrounds and/or games rooms
Camp kitchen and/or barbecue facilities
Shared fridge and/or TV facilities
Fire place and/or timber provided
Tourist information, tours and bookings
Kiosk, cafeteria or restaurant
Entertainment or markets
Security gates and fences
Permission for pets
Permission for large rigs
Kids club available during holiday periods
Hire boats or other recreational equipment
Cabins or rooms
When choosing a caravan park to stay in, here are a few points to consider:
Do you need to book ahead or can you simply turn up?
If you pay for a week, do they offer the 7th night free?
Do they offer discounts for pensioners?
Do they allow long term stays such as a season?
Do they charge you extra per person or children?
Do they allow pets?
Is power part of the daily rate or do you pay on top of the rate according to what you use?
Will their terms and conditions allow you a refund if you choose to move on?
If they offer membership, are their franchises located where you plan to travel to?
If they offer membership do they offer savings at holiday attractions? For example: Australia Zoo or Sydney Aquarium.
If they offer membership do they offer benefits from national partners? For example: Car rentals or Ultra Tune.
Whatever we expect from a caravan park, there is one thing we are promised to receive; ever changing new neighbours, possibly new friends for life, a few comforts, necessities and luxuries and a safe place to camp with peace of mind. Might I mention someone else to mow the lawn, tend to the gardens, clean the bathrooms, someone to welcome you upon arrival and wish you a safe trip upon leaving?