Grey nomads think caravan parks are over-priced, and instead go searching for free or low-cost camping.
Grey nomads think caravan parks are over-priced, and instead go searching for free or low-cost camping. Jonathan Reichard

Grey nomads avoid caravan parks due to 'exorbitant rates'

GLENDA PARKER, of Caniaba, is a grey nomad who has just returned from a 10,000km trip. She had this to stay about caravan parks and affordability:

REGARDING caravan park managers complaining about losing money.

Well, in my opinion, it's your own fault.

If you didn't charge such exorbitant rates to start with, your parks would be full.

Us grey nomads travel for many weeks, months and years we cannot afford these prices.

We don't need jumping castles, putt putt, golf etc, just somewhere clean, safe and reasonably priced.

What chance do families with kids have, with the high season, the low season peak and school holidays being the most costly.

We have just returned from a 10,000km trip inland.

We stopped at many information centres asking for places to stay.

We discovered many free and low cost places to stay.

We always support the locals - fuel, groceries, chemist etc. Many small parks have now realised that offering low cost or a few free nights is attracting travellers to stay and spend.

One in particular is Murgon in Queensland.

The park is offering two free nights and you pay a $10 refundable deposit for the shower, toilet and laundry. Walk to shops.

Prior to that businesses were losing money as people drove through.

People who stayed over a two-week period were asked to keep all their receipts - this came to more than $4000.

That's how much the town was losing.

As far as affording to stay in a coastal town by the beach, well we can't afford it.

What about the big family beach holidays? Only for the wealthy.

Now most parks are resort-style, costing more than a motel.

Caravanners and campers in general are being pushed out more and more.

As most vans are 12-volt and fully self-contained, it's a lot if money just to plug into power - another thing that I think is wrong.

If I arrive at 11am, I'm charged for a day and if I arrive at 7pm its the same charge but you have to be out at a certain time.

As for the untidy backpackers, in my recent travels I met many in their vans from many countries, and I can say they left their site spotless. I realise not all do.

But we also met motorhomers, you beaut campers and fifth wheelers, and it was a disgrace to see what they left behind.

Good and bad on both sides.

If I had a caravan park, I would charge a very reasonable rate. Better to have a full park at a cheaper rate than half empty.

Travellers would spend more time and money in your area.

A camping holiday used to be affordable to many, now it's just getting out of control.

Some would say it's greed.