Site arrival protocol

ScreenName1DB0833583 replied on 10/06/2021 22:19

Posted on 10/06/2021 22:19

As a newcomer to caravanning - and to towing a caravan - I'd be interested to know what the protocol is when you arrive at a large club site. Unlike the Camping Club where pitches are usually allocated, the Caravan Club works on s choose your own basis. Pitches are usually arranged in a series of loops, so it's seldom practical to make a complete tour of the site to select a pitch. How do others choose a pitch - do you park up and walk round, just grab the first vacant pitch or what? I think I did 3 laps of a large club site last week looking for a pitch, I'm not sure I saw anyone else doing this!!

SteveL replied on 10/06/2021 22:36

Posted on 10/06/2021 22:36

It’s normally not practical to park up and look, although we have done that on occasion when we had a caravan. Generally it was a case of driving round until we saw one we liked. Although I never remember doing more than one circuit and usually not that. Now we have a MH a nice flat pitch is the priority and if possible a short run to the EHU, so I can use my 10m lead rather than the 25 metre. We generally turn onto the first suitable one we see. Our stays are now usually 2 / 4 days rather than a week or more, when we had a caravan. Occasionally OH will wander round with our MH using this pitch sign and choose while I fill with water.

Cornersteady replied on 10/06/2021 22:57

Posted on 10/06/2021 22:57

As Steve says.

You can also look at the site plan leaflet before arrival and get a general idea of what you like, when a pitch will get the sun, or is it away/near to a service point/dog walk/toilet block/play area/entrance and exit...

It is (well on all the club sites I've been on) very practical to drive around as they are usually on a loop. There are some dead ends but these are usually well marked. After booking in usually the wardens will let you through any barriers then when you come back with your chosen pitch they'll give you the barrier card and any toilet keys.

Usually the warden will give you a site leaflet and show you the basic directions about any one way systems. Sometimes if the site is full then the warden might circle what pitches are left for you to choose from based on your booking - with or without awning or a service pitch.


DavidKlyne replied on 11/06/2021 10:45

Posted on 11/06/2021 10:45

I agree that looking at the site plan beforehand can give you a lot of information. Do you want to be near a toilet block or a service point or as far away as possible the plan will help you in your decision. I always go for a hardstanding if that is possible, fairly near to a service point and I tend to look for a pitch with a slight backwards slope which means I have no need to level the van. How busy the site is will obviously dictate how many of my choices I get, sometimes it's Hobson's Choicesmile


BoleroBoy replied on 11/06/2021 11:14

Posted on 11/06/2021 11:14

open aspect to the south (or south east) then easy satellite access and sun most of day....especially morning for brekkie outside.

not too many trees, unless behind us for sheleter from wind, neighbours etc..

Takethedogalong replied on 11/06/2021 11:22

Posted on 11/06/2021 11:22

Look at the Site plan, look at Google Earth, read a few reviews (not necessarily all on here,) and simply ask the Wardens when you get there. It’s not rocket science if you put some pre visit effort in. 

Given our propensity for late arrivals, we usually only get the choice of one pitch when we roll up at 7.55pm. Wouldn’t suit some folks, but all the angst of choice is removed.......😂

Graydjames replied on 11/06/2021 13:14

Posted on 11/06/2021 13:14

I always remember the one occasion only when I had to do more than one circuit. It was at Abbey Wood and the male warden was not happy when I had to ask him to lift the barrier again. This notwithstanding that the lady warden who booked me in made a point of saying that I could just ask if I needed to go around again.

I try to examine the site plan before hand and often look at Google Earth. If I have been to a site before, I usually know where to aim for. Of course, you may chose your ideal pitch in advance only to find it occupied.

I usually pick half a dozen in advance, but often when I get there I find none of them are to my liking for one reason or another and have to rethink. I do have certain criteria - avoid overhanging trees and potentially noisy neighbours (there are always clues), not too far from a service point (unless on a serviced pitch) and as open an aspect as possible. Mind you, of course, you could be stymied on the noisy neighbours later on in the stay!

I remember a similar thread, many moons ago, where a lot of posters made the point that it made no difference to them what pitch they were on. I find it can be vital and in extreme cases it can make the difference between a great stay and a ruined stay.

More than once I have moved pitch during a stay (with the wardens' advance permission of course). 

BoleroBoy replied on 12/06/2021 08:29

Posted on 12/06/2021 08:29

my post above applies to CLs as it does on other larger sites....we wont choose to be in the shade (we can always make our own) so its a sunny aspect and a good opening to the south.

as it happens, the previous CL only had one vacant pitch when we would have been our last choice as all the others had trees to the north (behind) whereas ours had them in front to the south... a circular copse..

plenty of room for sunshine but no satellite signal....not a problem, but its just one of the things that i naturally have a 'feel' for when pitching.

arriving around midday, a clear line to the sun give the open aspect were looking for... 

AnotherDavid replied on 12/06/2021 08:47

Posted on 12/06/2021 08:47

Our preferred  option is to get out and walk the site,  nothing better after a long day in the car. We have even walked one that spread over a kilometre from the gate to the furthest pitches . However it does require adequate parking which does not seem to be a priority to the CAMC

BoleroBoy replied on 12/06/2021 08:57

Posted on 12/06/2021 08:57

...agree David, and where that is practical we do it, too...

unfortunately, with a typical bow wave at certain times if the day, we have to rely on 'eye' as we move round the site...another good reason to go nice and slowly....