Why are we always disappointed by CLs?

RamblingSid replied on 31/08/2019 13:51

Posted on 31/08/2019 13:51

Over the years we have tried perhaps a dozen or so CLs, and have almost always found them disappointing.  The one where the chemical emptying point was "over there" (never found it); the one which charged £20 a night on account of having facilities - facilities that were in fact shared with an encampment of twice as many vans that were not on the CL and apparently used by workmen; the ones made uncomfortable by a number of other, often tatty, vans scattered around.  Where are we going wrong?

moulesy replied on 31/08/2019 13:58

Posted on 31/08/2019 13:58

"Where are we going wrong?"

Possibly  just a combination of bad luck and lack of research , Sid! We're probably the complete opposite - can't think of a CL we've been disappointed with, but you do have to be realistic, they're not going to be the same standard or consistency as club sites.

If I was going to give you just one tip,  I'd say start a thread on here asking for recommendations in the area you're visiting rather than relying on website descriptions or even reviews. There's a wealth of experience amongst those of us who use CLs regularly - you just have to ask! smile

Oneputt replied on 31/08/2019 14:03

Posted on 31/08/2019 14:03

I can only think of one we’ve been to that was a disappointment but fortunately only for 1 night.  With a little TLC that sire could have been outstanding

KjellNN replied on 31/08/2019 14:20

Posted on 31/08/2019 14:20

We have been using CLs for over 10 years now, but use them much more often recently than any other type of site.  Only been on one that we would not return to, mainly due to the tight access to the site, but the water, waste and toilet disposal were a bit too basic for my liking, it was chosen for its location.

When we search we select EHU and hard standing, discount anything over £17 unless it has facilities, and prefer to see pictures with the description.

We rarely choose a CL with shower as we have our own, and would not pay extra for one.

We do take note of reviews, especially any by Nellie, and if there are no recent reviews then we tend to look elsewhere.

We  check out position and access on google earth and discount anything too near a busy road.

brue replied on 31/08/2019 14:25

Posted on 31/08/2019 14:25

I always look at reviews, satellite pics etc to get an idea beforehand. Don't think I've ever been too disappointed.

Are you always happy with the main club sites too RS? Your reviews are quite mixed. 

Longtimecaravanner replied on 31/08/2019 15:17

Posted on 31/08/2019 15:17

We have only twice been disappointed in a CL and we almost only use them for about twelve weeks a year. I look for them by location then read the reviews on the ones that come up. If one review is at odds with the others I tend to discount it but general trends can be identified. I prefer to book Cls that have pictures and usually have a look on Google Earth if it is a new one to us. We prefer the ones without facilities as they are usually cheaper and we don't use them but if it were in the right place and had good views I will pay for them if I have to.

Wherenext replied on 31/08/2019 15:39

Posted on 31/08/2019 15:39

It's either

A) You do not carry out sufficient homework on all the CLs in the area that you wish to visit.

B) Your expectations are set too high so you should stick to CAMC sites. Not everyone is prepared to change their expectations.

or C) You are very, very unlucky.

HelenandTrevor replied on 31/08/2019 15:57

Posted on 31/08/2019 15:57

We have only ever been disappointed with a couple of CL'S, one of which we used fairly recently,  it was a shame as with a little bit of attention it could have been great, as the location was excellent. 

We try and do as homework as we can on the site, it's much easier now with Google earth & street view, together with reviews and pictures. I remember only having the details in the SD to go on! 

I do find the flouting of the 5 van rule annoying, although it has only happened to us a couple of times, in fact the last 2 sites we have used we have had them to ourselves. smile


takethedogalong replied on 31/08/2019 16:09

Posted on 31/08/2019 16:09

Got to agree with most of above, especially WN. The main thing to accept when looking for a CL is don’t think they will be anything like a Club Site, because they are not, regardless of what price they are, or what facilities they provide. They are each a unique little campsite, offering a huge variety of services and locations.

What they HAVE to provide is a very short but important list. What they CHOOSE to provide is something entirely different, and this is where being proactive and identifying what you need is key. Know what your absolute must haves are, move onto what you might like as well, check out the location, Google Earth, the reviews, (not just Club reviews, but other sources), see if the price range suits and gives you the value you seek, then think about booking.

A lot of folks are happy just going with automated booking systems, which are good if you have been before. But if it’s your first time visiting, you might want to check with owners via phone or email for any other specifics. 

If after all the above, which becomes second nature after a while, you are still not satisfied, then perhaps CLs really aren’t for you. If price v Club Site is the driver, then it’s a route to failure before your visit commences to be honest.😁

eurortraveller replied on 31/08/2019 16:18

Posted on 31/08/2019 16:18

By and large I have always preferred sites in the valuable thread headed Small Private Sites which Take the Dog Along started - many of them started life as CLs  but the owners invested time and money to grow them, develop them and improve them.

i know that some CL owners these days have gone to a lot of trouble and take great pride in their CL but I have to say we found quite a few where a farmer with a bit of spare land which had no other use, stuck in a water tap and a cess pit, put in sheep or geese to keep the grass short - and was happy to collect the money.

We gave up CLs for that reason, so my comment is some years out of date but  am glad to hear things have improved. 

takethedogalong replied on 31/08/2019 16:32

Posted on 31/08/2019 16:32

It is a very different experience ET, but thankfully, for folks like us that are fine with very basic, there are still a few that have little more than a water tap, a rubbish bin and somewhere to dump the waste. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t want anything untidy or unsightly, and certainly not unsafe, but a close mown field, safe water, a bin and an easy to use cess pit, in a gorgeous location, surrounded by birdsong and wildlife can be absolute bliss.😁