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Caravan Club Sites and California Beach

jamesC

jamesC

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For any interested parties, I have just had an extended online chat with a member of the Caravan Club Membership Team, and she has advised me that with some minor changes to the CC rules last year, the California Beach appears to now be welcome to join the CC and visit Club Sites.

Please see the chat transcript below,

info: Welcome to The Caravan Club.
info: You are now connected with Beth
Beth: Hello, you're chatting with Beth one of the Caravan Club contact centre agents, may I take your name please?
James: James
Beth: Good morning James, how can I help you?
James: Hi Beth, I have a VW California Beach Campervan, and want to know whether this vehicle is classified as a "Unit" by you guys?
James: https://www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk/range/camper-vans/california-beach
Beth: One moment please and I will double check for you
James: thanks
Beth: Thanks for your patience, yes we do accept these type of vehicles on site. Just for your information I will send you some information about outfit lengths, please click the link below
Beth: Please click here
Beth: Is there anything else you would like to know?
James: Hi Beth, last year, I was told no, are you sure this has this changed?
Beth: I can call through to our membership admin team to confirm if you can bear with me please
James: if so, can i find this on your website somewhere, as I am aware that members of my owners club have been turned away before
James: thanks
Beth: Thank you for your patience, I have just spoken to our membership admin team and they have said we do accept those vehicles on our sites. They have said last year we did have some slight changes in regards to what vehicles we accepted on our sites, but all we ask is that the campervan meets the following criteria; has seats and a table, sleeping accommodation (which can be converted from the seats), cooking facilities and storage facilities so it is designed for leisure and touring. I hope this helps?
James: I guess the issue here is that these vehicles do not have fixed cooking or storage facilities
Beth: Does the vehicle have cooking facilities though?
James: not fixed facilities, it does not have a fixed kitchen in it
James: We use a BBQ or Gas appliances outside the vehicle
James: If I were to book my family holiday at a CC site, I would fear being denied access upon arrival
Beth: Again, I have just spoken to our membership team and they have said that it is ok to use a BBQ or Gas appliances outside the vehicle. If you were to use the appliances in the awning it may not be acceptable due to carbon monoxide fumes so that's when there could be an issue.


Do you think??

Thanks


James
 
SimplyDubs

SimplyDubs

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Hi James,

I hope this works, but think it's risky given the usually pretty strict (I'll go as far as saying somewhat pedantic) nature of CC sites... but can't help thinking she's answering two different points separately.

1) "all we ask is that the campervan meets the following criteria; has seats and a table, sleeping accommodation (which can be converted from the seats), cooking facilities and storage facilities so it is designed for leisure and touring."

2) "it is ok to use a BBQ or Gas appliances outside the vehicle"

I'm not sure the membership team would have related the 2nd question to the first.

Perhaps it's just me always assuming the worst but for example I wouldn't take the Multivan to a CC site without the kitchen unit installed. Don't want the worry of being (or feeling) unwelcome. Even if I won an argument at the gate, still wouldn't feel happy there and it would impact my enjoyment.

I've even had other CC users complain to the wardens that it was just a commercial vehicle taking up a spot when I hadn't bothered to pop the roof on the Cali... some people! (Have to say in that case the warden was very good about it and came over to have a laugh)

There's plenty of other sites where all are welcome :)

Rgds
Mark
 
jamesC

jamesC

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I agree - the answer is vague, and misdirected at times.

TBH I am more interested in the M6 Toll discount than anything else, and I'm sure they are less picky at the booths than the average CC warden :)
 
GrannyJen

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Even though I am a member, and even though I am a member of their forum (an often in trouble member for my SOH), I have never felt welcome on CC sites. Never turned away, but often have a problem with some of the established members who take root at some of their sites.

I am trying not to be critical but ...... :D

I pulled into one in Scotland this January. After 2,000 miles on salted, dirty roads my van was a mess. It was probably illegal. I just needed a half-day with full facilities on tap to regroup or would not have bothered.

Final job on the list, after cleaning me, the inside, washing clothes etc was to clean the glass areas and number plates. There I am with my wacky bucket and my microfibre cloth, washing the salt off when I realised I was being stared at, a couple. I ignored it, finished cleaning glass, mirrors, number plate, then walked into the reception.

"I do understand that recently there has been discussion amongst some club members complaining about vans and vehicles being washed. Has anyone complained about me ... pitch 52?"

"er, yes, but we ignored it"

"Oh, well if anyone does complain please advise complainant that I was cleaning the minimum parts necessary simply to be able to comply with the law. I trust the club does not discourage members being in compliance re. visibility and number plates being readable?"....

I have always found the club and it's wardens to be most helpful, and the sites to be amongst the best, why after 40 years I am still a member, but going off readers letters to the magazine and posts on the forum, dogs, children and dirty vans seem to be on the top of the hate list.
 
Topman

Topman

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91
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Hi James

We have a Cali Beach and are Members of the Caravan Club
Last weekend we stayed at Coniston Coppice Park in the Lake District for 2 nights (total £33 for 3 of us and 2 dogs)

We arrived in the dark on Friday , the wardens were friendly and helpful on pitch location

Throughout the weekend other Caravan owners / Motorhome owners and other T5 owners (no cali's) were really friendly

We also have other sites booked at Crystal Palace , Scotland and Devon throughout the year

Big thumbs up from me

Hope that helps
Chris
 
SimplyDubs

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I have never felt welcome on CC sites. Never turned away, but often have a problem with some of the established members who take root at some of their sites.

I am trying not to be critical but ...... :D

Ah Jen, I find myself agreeing with you...

Very true... members frequently less welcoming than wardens, unlike many of the smaller less formal "camping/campering" friendly sites.

With CC, they do have some very nice sites with good washing facilities etc. Well located and we'll use them from time to time, but there's frequently a "warmth" that is missing... Think I've mentioned elsewhere that I sometimes find them a little too regimented.
 
SimplyDubs

SimplyDubs

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Last weekend we stayed at Coniston Coppice Park

I like Coniston, this was the site where the warden had a good laugh when somone complained about the Cali :thumb

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace was one of the sites that wanted to check out our plumbing (ooh-err) when we arrived to check it was up to CC standards
 
Topman

Topman

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T5 Cali on order
Just checked my Profile for Caravan Club , The Beach is all catered for :thumb


upload_2015-3-10_12-46-5.png
 
GrannyJen

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I think also there is a slight shift of cultural orientation, without being to generalised.

Camper owners, or most that I talk to on here and on different sites, are more of a freewheeling breed than those who drive big white pantechnicons or tug big boxes behind them. I have a Cali because for the foreseeable future my leisure activities, and even my academic ones, will be very much as an itinerant traveller and explorer. for many of us Britstops, aires, wild-camping is not only the norm but also the joy and part of the motivation.

If I was going to be stationary for a few days at time then I would almost certainly revert back to tugging a caravan and looking to place it in situ on an easy-to-access caravan site, be it full facilities or a CL.

I know that I had a slight cultural shift when I was tugging and less itinerant. Those next door were neighbours and going to be for a few days, unlike now in the travel-stained VW that pulls late at night onto a pitch and is gone before most wake up in the morning.
 
GrannyJen

GrannyJen

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Just checked my Profile for Caravan Club , The Beach is all catered for :thumb


View attachment 7315


Yes, it is catered for. I've never had a problem, although mine is an SE, but I have seen "PVC's" discussed at some length in members forums, not without also some level of disdain at us in builders vans.

To answer the OP, and to put my comments in perspective, I have never ever had trouble with both access and with friendliness of the CC staff, just sometimes with a little bit of an attitude with "traditional" members,

I stopped at 14 CC sites last year, my only real grumble being the £21 I paid for at Kendal for a late night stop when I found out later I could have stopped overnight at the Greyhound in Shap for nowt :shocked
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

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I think there has been a significant shift in the membership of the Caravan Club over the past 20+ yrs. When I had my 25', 7 berth caravan the CC sites we stayed on rarely had anything but caravans. But since getting the California we have stayed on a few CC sites, on one it was about 50/50 but at Bristol it was 100% Motorhomes/Camper vans, there were NO caravans.
Anyway I look at it this way - most of the caravan/vehicle rigs I've seen cost less than my California and most of the complainers or curtain twitchers are just looking for something to do between episodes of East Enders and Corrie/ It's rare they do much else.:D :kiss
 
J

JCUK

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13
We have a Beach and we are CC members. We've never had a problem but we are aware of what I would call the 'snobbery'. Most are very friendly and let's face it, the Beach is not a builders van with a mattress thrown in, it's a quality bit of kit and quite frankly it is nobody's business if I have a cooker or a cupboard in it. That said, I'm a member of the CC because they have standards and I don't want to spend valuable liesure time camped next to a potential 'problem' so in a way, the snobbery is strangely reassuring Next time I see a fellow Beach in a CC site I will make it my mission to introduce myself with a friendly smile
 
shaun5

shaun5

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Will be going to Battle in a few weeks. Any snobbery will be met with a handshake and a smile !
 
Borris

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Will be going to Battle in a few weeks. Any snobbery will be met with a handshake and a smile !
If you are going to the CC's Normanhurst site and haven't been there before, it is a lovely site with very friendly staff.

We have only been members since last October and have only stayed in about a dozen CC sites so far. What we have found to date is that the staff in all cases have been extremely helpful and friendly. The sites are generally excellent with no crowding, especially the main sites and the facilities on the main sites at least are wonderful. Most sites so far have been very peaceful. As for the other residents, well we have found that they generally keep themselves to themselves only usually proffering a nod or a wave with the very occasional good morning thrown in for good measure and that's fine with me.

We only usually ever stay one night before moving on and so far have only been to one CC site (a certified site) during the kids hols. That was a little noisy until the kids went to bed at around eleven o'clock? To be honest it made a pleasant change as it livened up the otherwise usual very quiet CC ambience. However I did get a little jittery when the little people started riding their bikes very near to our so far unblemished Cali.
If there is any snobbery we haven't notice it. I don't see why there should be. Whether you have a motorhome, a caravan, a purpose built camper van or a conversion we are all there for the same reason. You buy what suits your needs and budget and who cares what others think.
 
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