Camping and Caravanning Club – Are standards slipping?

Camping and Caravanning Club

I’ve been a member of the Camping and Caravanning Club for a few years now. In that time I’ve stayed at some great campsites and met some great wardens. Lately however I’ve noticed some subtle changes that leave me wondering if standards are slipping. I’m not exactly a troublesome customer, I know how Camping and Caravanning Club sites work. Once checked in you are not likely to hear or be pestered by me. I don’t come to reception asking about local buses or trains, don’t use many of the services offered at sites and generally keep myself to myself. I really am a low maintanance customer. So when I notice little changes that seem a deterioration of service I wonder if I’m the only one to notice? Here are some examples I’ve noted of what I feel are slipping standards at the Camping and Caravanning Club. Why not comment at the end of this article and add your own?

Camping and Caravanning Club
Camping and Caravanning Club

Camping and Caravanning Club – Examples of slipping standard

Why work as a warden if you don’t like dealing with the public?

  • Being a site warden is a customer facing role. You would assume one requirement was that you enjoy dealing with the public. In my years as a Camping and Caravanning Club member I’ve met some wonderful wardens. Recently however I’ve encountered a few who really give off negativity and leave you feeling that you are not welcome.

Lazy wardens?

  • I feel uneasy naming sites but after speaking to the club head office they assure me they value both positive and negative feedback. With that being the case I would like to know why most of the hand basin cubicles are closed at Chertsey when the site is almost always full. The same goes for the one shower cubicle that has said ‘out of order’ for weeks now. I suspect they want less things to clean. If the site was largely empty I would see no problem but Chertsey is usually very full!

Wardens with their own rules

  • Why do some wardens feel they can run the site the way they feel and ignore Camping and Caravanning Club policies? This happened today at Norman’s Bay club site. When calling to make a booking I was advised to come in during office hours of 4:00pm and 5:30pm. I questioned this saying I assumed it was from 12 noon. The campsite I had stayed at the previous night was an hours drive from Normans Bay. With a check out time of noon it seems you are expected to park up and twiddle your thumbs for a number of hours. I called the head office about this who assured me that arrival was from 12 noon. I arrived at Normans Bay at 1:00pm only for reception to question why I was here before 5:00pm. In response I asked what time check out was, to which, as expected she replied 12 noon. The reason they gave for asking for a later arrival time was to avoid queues around lunchtime. Personally I would have thought you are more likely to have queues by having such a narrow arrival time window than if you allowed people to arrive at any time between noon and 8:00pm as it states you can in the club book. Since Norman’s Bay is largely empty at the moment I don’t really understand the comment about queues! Had I been booking just one night at Norman’s Bay I would have felt very short changed to be told to arrive after 4:00pm but expected to depart at 12 noon the following day!

Camping and Caravanning Club – Slipping standards? Have your say!

I’m assured that the Camping and Caravanning Club value feedback. Local reps who perhaps visit a site just once a year are hardly likely to really know how a site is performing, certainly not as well as those of us who use their sites regularly. With that being the case why not leave your comments, either positive or negative so that the Camping and Caravanning Club knows what they are doing right and where they need to improve.

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6 thoughts on “Camping and Caravanning Club – Are standards slipping?”

  1. I certainly hope standards are not slipping with the CC&C club as I much prefer it to the caravan Club, where I almost feel I have to salute, they are so regimented.
    It must be quite wearing to be a warden and even though you may have off duty time, your customers may feel they can still contact you. Having said this, wardens should be aware of the demands before taking on the job. Maybe some of the sites are not as up to date as others but, hey, that makes them more environmental.
    More hard standings are needed in some sites. More awareness of the needs for motorhomes, particularly those that prefer not to book. Perhaps the overnight parking areas could accommodate these nomads? The other thing I do love about CC&C sites is the cheaper prices for the over 55’s. Great savings BUT often at the cost of younger folk with young children who have to holiday in school hols. The Clubs say that all sites do this……..NOT TRUE. There are many sites that keep the same fee throughout. That has to be farer to all. Perhaps the clubs could lead the way on this and making more effort for the growing number of motorhomes now on the roads. Perhaps we need to be more like Europe in Aires immediately outside campsites of a lesser fee and less facilities and no booking?
    Do the CC&C have a policy like many large firms where any work must only be done by a certain National company and not get small jobs looked at by perfectly able local businesses? I help at YHA and they bring engineers hundreds of miles for a job that a local person with the same credited skills could do?
    BUT keep on smiling wardens and CC&C you are doing a good job but keep an eye on overworked wardens looking for an easier life!

  2. Hi,

    You are not the first to say the Caravan Club are regimented but to be honest I never really felt much of a difference in that regard with the sites I visited. I’ve never been a warden myself but I know someone who has and from their point of view it’s not that bad. You get a free pitch with electric and a salary for a position that does not really require any special qualifications. Those that do it seem able to save enough of their salary to go touring in the winter and wardens often stay longer with the club than people do with regular employers so it must have some benefits.

    The thorny subject of fees is a hard one. You say that younger motorhomers with families pay a premium for having to take their holidays in term time but that’s true of all sorts of accommodation. It’s a simple case of supply and demand. I think it’s fairer to have different rates in different seasons. I hear lots of complaints from caravan and motorhome owners which I feel are often groundless. Most owners are not fulltimers or even regular users. The majority want to use their caravan or motorhome a few times a year in the spring and summer and then only at weekends. Clubs cannot really survive on this income alone and need regular bookings during the week and during the winter. This is where fulltimers and more ‘hardcore’ owners help keep sites alive. If I was asked to pay the same rate in these ‘off-peak’ times as the peak times to help subsidise those that spend far less during a year with the club than I do I would feel put upon and revert to wild camping instead.

    I know it’s hard to take kids out of school but there is nothing stopping families getting away for a Friday and Saturday night in the winter months but few do.

    Your comments about YHA took me back. I used to attend YHA annual meetings a long time ago and I don’t think I’ve seen a more inefficiently run organisation. Every hostel refurbishment was way over budget and the only side of the business doing well was bequeathals where they would inherit money and buildings. It used to amaze me that a ‘charity’ found it so hard to make a profit when independent hostels who paid tax seemed to survive ok.

    Gary
    The Motorhome Vagabond

  3. Hello! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4. I’m
    trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to
    resolve this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share.
    Many thanks!

  4. Hi,

    It depends on what platform you use to build your website. Some years ago I switched from using Dreamweaver to using WordPress and have not looked back. You then just need to find a theme that is mobile responsive and customise it to suit your needs.

    Hope this helps.

    Gary
    The Motorhome Vagabond

  5. Hi, I’m so pleased I came across this. I took out a CCC membership in 2010 and my first CCC experience a few months later was not good. I booked a pitch in Horsley for 28 days. The moment my partner and I arrived we received a very unwarm welcome. A couple of weeks into our stay we had to drive our motorhome off site to collect some items as we were prepping for a trip around Europe. When we returned someone else had taken our pitch. So we took the pitch next to them and the wardens flipped out at us. I could not believe their attitude when it was there error. Plus the other couple were only staying a couple of nights – not a month like us. My partner and I are, like you, very low key and never bother camp staff with questions. We’re self sufficient. So I wrote CCC an email, they said they’d look into it and apparently that was the end of that. We needed a pitch for a further few weeks before leaving the UK so, hesitantly, we booked another CCC pitch in Walton on Thames. Not half as convenient as it wasn’t down the road from my parents. BUT, the wardens were Amazing! However, after the Horsley experience, I’d never re-subscribe.

  6. Hi,

    Sorry to hear about your experience at Horsley. Generally I have found wardens to be good at most campsites but it can change. Some are definitely more polite than others and even a campsite you once loved can suddenly change if the great people working there leave. Interesting that you did not hear back from CCC, I’ve found them to be more likely to reply to questions than the Caravan Club.

    Hope the Europe trip is going well, do you blog about it?

    Gary
    The Motorhome Vagabond

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