Advice & News

News

2021 CL Booking Diary

The Caravan and Motorhome Club will not be printing or sending the 2021 booking diary or wall planner. This is not a decision the Owners Group supports, but it seems the club has made this decision and will not reconsider, citing costs and the Covid situation.

The CL Owners group has teamed up with a printer, who is also a keen CL user and secured an extremely competitively priced solution for 2021.

Please order your diary via our Member Mojo platform and it will be sent to you directly by the printer.


Member Research shows CLs are more popular than ever.

The Caravan & Motorhome Club ran a Summer Survey with members. 51% said they have either already visited CLs or plan to visit a CL in 2020 and 20% of members strongly agreed that they are choosing smaller sites than usual.

September 2020

200 + CAMC CL Sites

8,500 Active Members of the CL Booking - all CAMC members

CL Booking reaches 13,0000 members

We have all seen huge demand for campsites across the UK following the easing of travel restrictions which has led to thousands of keen CAMC members joining the new group on Facebook called CL Booking. The group acts like a 'dating agency' between over 200+ CL owners and members of the Caravan and Motorhome Club. By late August the group had already exceeded 13,000+ members with more joining every day.

Facebook users wishing to join the CL Booking group are asked whether they are members of the Caravan and Motorhome Club, and if they have stayed on CLs before. Owners wishing to join must be members off the CL Owners Group if they wish to advertise their site within the CL Booking group.

The group is tightly administered and posts are focused on finding a CL, or booking one. It allows Members to request a site in a particular area, or Owners to advertise their CL or late availability, often due to cancellations.

Feedback from Owners and Members has been universally positive, with Owners being able to fill pitches quickly and Members able to find and book CLs with minimal effort.

The Group also publishes a series of maps showing availability, CLs near cycle routes, CLs with fully serviced pitches or with toilets/showers etc.

Contact

Charlie Gundry - 07701 281729

charlie.gundry@mcclarroninsurance.com

CL Insurance

In early 2020 the club stopped providing CLs with Public Liability Insurance and asked a broker called Devitts to provide quotes to those CLs looking to renew their policy.

The owners group started to work with McClarrons (an independent insurance broker with a focus on rural business) in 2019 to prepare a Public Liability policy for CAMC CLs that met their needs.

Whilst many CLs have continued their policies through Devitts, a number of CLs have chosen to insure with McClarrons as they feel the policy (whilst a little more expensive) is more suited to their needs.

Key points;

  • £2M cover as standard but can be increased to £5M if required

  • Excess is £250 with both companies

  • McLarrons Price is £88 + a £20 broker fee

  • Devitts is £99

Bolt-On Additions also available;

To enhance their basic PLI policy McClarrons can offer 'Rural Protect' product at a special rate. This add-on policy offers protection against common such issues such as 'uninvited' visitors.

CL Owners Launch 'CL Booking' on Facebook

The CL Owners Group has launched a Page and Group on Facebook. The Page is designed to:

  • Share news with members of the CL Network. The Page will host general information on the CL network but also Availability Maps and other information that will help members of the CAMC find and book a CL.

The Group is designed so that:

  • CAMC Members can post their requirements for a site (Location, Dates etc) and that Owners can then respond

  • CL Owners can post their Late Availability, Site upgrades etc.

Any Member of the CAMC or CAMC CL Owner may join this group

During lockdown CLs kept busy and launched a Social Media campaign to raise awareness of CLs by publishing a series of videos showing multiple CLs across the country. See the videos here on YouTube

Practical Advice and Useful Resources for CL Owners

FINANCIAL GUIDANCE

Research entitled 'Pitching The Value' conducted by Frontline Consultants and sponsored by an array of the interested bodies including the CAMC concluded that the sector as a whole contributes £9.3 Billion to the UK economy and accounts for 171,000 jobs.

CLs and CSs (small sites across both clubs) showed that visitors to these small sites contribute £100 Million per annum to the rural economy.

The research was published in February 2019

Your CL Business Plan - making sure it all adds up

Setting up a new CL could cost less than £1,000 or more than £20,000 depending on what is offered. We have even seen a new site that cost approx £100,000 to build.

For most owners, ensuring that the CL provides a viable and sustainable revenue stream, is vital.

  • How do you plan whether a CL will be profitable?

  • What facilities should you offer & how much might they cost?

  • What would the Return On Investment (ROI) be for setting up - or improving - a CL?

  • Can you (should you) charge VAT?

  • What running costs should you make provision for?

  • How do you control on-going costs such as electricity, water etc.

  • How can you cost-effectively market your CL to CAMC members?

  • How much time does it take to run a profitable and popular CL?

  • What are the risks and rewards of setting up a CL

The CL Owners Group has bench-marked the costs of setting up and running a CL. Using data provided by a number of CL's across the country, we can assist you with advice on whether your CL will be profitable, what ROI you can expect and what to pay for various services such as electrical testing.

Talk to the CL Owners Group to find out more.

Did you know?

  • The average consumption of Electricity by a Member on an All Year Open site is 12kWh per pitch per night. Based on data over 5 years over 2 CL's

  • However, a large van, running mainly on electric, can easily consume 30-40kWh per day during winter months, costing £6-£8 per day.

  • 44% of members use CL's at least once a year (Spring 2017)

  • Around 21% of members nights away are spent on CL's (Spring 2017)

  • Keeping the grass cut short on a CL costs around £800-£1,000 annually when you bear in mind the cost of acquiring a Ride-On-Mower, maintenance, running costs and the depreciation. This doesn't factor in time spent mowing..

  • Run a CL & Need more advice? Join the Owners Group

YOUR CERTIFICATION

CL owner will be issued with an annual certificate by the Club. This is normally issued in late December / early January for existing owners, or when your site is passed by the Club for new sites.

Bear in mind that this is only an annual certificate. There is no guarantee that the club will renew a certificate. This is a risk-factor you may wish to consider before embarking on major capital expenditure.

The top reasons why the club may revoke certification are;

  1. Failure to pass your unannounced annual inspection

  2. Failure to supply the Club with details of your Public Liability Insurance, EHU testing certificate*, Private Water Supply certificate* (*if applicable)

  3. Flouting the 5-van rule (having more than 5 vans on the land designated and mapped as the Certificated Location)

  4. Not complying with the CL operational rules see here

ADVICE AND GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS

Dealing with Travellers - Official Guidance from the Home Office

Does Glamping Pay?

Insights on an awar-winning CL that is expanding into glamping in Cornwall

Looking to Diversify?

A report from the Farm Business & Innovation Show

The case for deposits

This case-study of an award-winning CL looks at why deposits are necessary.

To access any of these reports please join the CL Owners Group.

These reports are not available from the Caravan & Motorhome Club

An 8 page guide to on-line booking systems for CL owners including 3 tailored demos and special pricing from suppliers.

Practical Business Advice for CL Owners

Perhaps you are opening a new CL and would like some advice on whether or not to meter the Electrical Hook Up (EHU) bollards.

Or maybe your CL is getting busy and you feel an on-line booking system would help you manage your bookings and help potential visitors (Members) who'd like to book on-line.

The CL Owners Group has published a number of useful guides, available to members.

The arguments for and against for installing metered EHU at your CL with input from two experienced CL owners.

A 16-page guide to marketing your CL looking at Product, Price, Position and Promotion.

COMMON ISSUES TO CONSIDER

Owners Group Issues

August 2017: Late cancellations have been a perennial topic for CL owners, so in August 2017 the CL Owners Group started assessing the scale of the issue by recording cancellations. A report has been submitted to Nick Lomas, Director General of the CAMC.. The report showed that in August alone across 44 CL’s £5,584 was lost in revenue due to late cancellations and early departures. For many CL owners who might only be looking at revenues of £500-£1000 per month, cancellations can be a major factor on their viability.

The CL Owners Group is therefore asking the CAMC to consider the following recommendations:

  1. Rephrase the Club 'Cancellation Policy' that it posts online here, to make it abundantly clear that this policy ONLY refers to Club Sites and not to CL sites.

  2. Re-Post the Club Guidelines to staying on a CL (currently only to be found in the Directory) on-line. Better still, consult with CL Owners over possible updates to this, such as not washing caravans or charging electric cars without permission.

  3. Run an article in the Magazine about the impact of Cancellations & No Shows on CL's.

UPDATE. To date (June 2018) the Club has only acted on recommendation #3. The Cancellation Policy has not been amended and the Guidelines for staying on a CL are not available on-line.

CONTACT DETAILS AT CLUB HQ

Contacting the Club about your CL

  • General requests such as to request a new roadsign or update Maddie with your Certificates (EHU / Insurance) email clresponse@camc.com

  • To change an entry or pricing on your Club page call 01342-778297 or clresponse@camc.com

  • To upload photos email them to CLamendments@camc.com

  • To respond to an unfair review ask Rowena communitymanager@camc.com for advice

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Useful Background for existing CL Owners

The Caravan and Motorhome Club is governed by it's members. The structure of the Club and how it operates its various volunteer-staffed committees which guide the commercial side of the Club Operations is explained here

The Club was re-branded from the Caravan Club to the Caravan and Motorhome Club in February 2017

The Club operates a Member Forum called 'Club Together' which among other Topics has a topic devoted to Certificated Locations - useful reading for feedback on CL's from Club Members. But... the views expressed by some of the more vocal participants in some topics on Club Together are not necessarily representative of the majority of CL visitors in our experience, so take them with a pinch of salt..

CL's are one small part of the UK tourism sector. There are limited statistics available on the camping & caravanning part of the tourism market, but Visit England published this report in 2014. which states that the value to domestic tourism in England was around £1.7bn. In 2014, there were 10.79 million domestic overnight trips in England which involved camping and caravanning, 12% of the total trips and 9% of the total spend.

Visit England also published a study in 2014 of the value of tourism to the countryside and rural areas. The average Spend Per Night in the Countryside was £67 and the average duration was 3.54 nights. This was across all accommodation types.

Advice from 'The Business Barn' a portal of wide-ranging rural business advice

An excellent article from July 2019 Farmers Weekly

Home from home?

A research note on recreational caravanning.

1998 / 2003

In 1998, but updated in 2003, the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University published a Research Note: Home from home?: a research note on recreational caravanning. Written by Dale Southerton, Elizabeth Shove, Alan Warde, Rosemary Deem (Alan Warde is now at the University of Manchester) July 1998 .

Our experience is that unless your CL is near to a major attraction or event, CL guests are firmly in ‘Type 3’ – ‘private relaxers’ and our marketing should concentrate on that key audience.

  1. ‘family fun seekers’, who often rent static vans for a fixed holiday period, frequently at the seaside, their main interest being a high level of entertainment on or off site. For such people, usually in household groups including children, the caravan is little more than a cheap way to have a British family holiday, in which "you know what you're getting", at a relatively low cost.

  2. ‘activity seeking tourers’, whose use of touring caravans is largely secondary to the pursuit of other sport or leisure activities, admit that they do not "usually mix" with other caravanners.

  3. the ‘private relaxers’ are caravanners who have their own static or touring caravan but who do not seek high levels of entertainment, sociality or other leisure/sport activities. One such male caravanner commented that "we only want the basics [not] flashy showers ...a quiet site [where] people keep themselves to themselves, without kids that are allowed to run riot".

  4. ‘the enthusiast’ immersed in touring caravan culture, who attends regular meets and rallies and socialises extensively with other caravan enthusiasts. One male enthusiast claimed that the sociability found at a 'meet', can be "likened to the old terraced houses community spirit", as everyone's door is always open.

We believe that Club-owned sites are aiming at the ‘Type 2’ audience via their ‘tourer-explorer’ campaigns.