5-van site booking website now has 115+ sites showing availability
CL Booking, the online enquiry service for 5-van campsites run by farmers & landowners launched in late June 2021 now has 115 sites across the UK listed (and growing) and has helped thousands of Caravan and Motorhome Club Members find pitches quickly and easily in the past few months.
These small sites are highly prized by discerning caravanners and motorhomers, but finding one with availability, especially with the current Staycation boom, has - until now - been difficult.
Typical comments from users
Steven Gibson - Brilliant, hopefully this will be the end of spending hours phoning around for availability
Avril Lazenby - This website was a great help in finding a pitch at very short notice due to family illness. Found a site and booked it within minutes. Thank you.
Simon Milner - Brilliant idea and I am sure it will gain many more owners on board. For people like myself the idea of going away for a couple of nights is very appealing but difficult to plan due to work commitments. To be able to see local CL's that have free pitches on a Friday lunchtime is ideal.
Members of the Caravan & Motorhome Club which has 2,200 of these sites (known as CLs) across the UK call these sites ‘Little Gems’ and value them for the space they offer and their connection to the rural environment and communities. But finding out if they have space, or the right facilities has been particularly frustrating recently with members having to call the sites often to find they are full.
Driven by this need and the huge demand to match campers looking for a pitch and site owners looking to advertise their availability a couple of site owners launched a facebook group in the first lockdown of 2020 called CL Booking. It quickly became the ‘go to’ resource and grew to 15,000 members.
In late 2020 a consortium of 20 CL site owners got together and commissioned Rupert Saunders of Pocket Apps to develop an online booking tool that would cover multiple sites. “We specialise in rapid development of websites and mobile apps” he said. “This was a good challenge for us as we needed to design a system that was easy to use but showed the availability on hundreds of campsites and allowed campers an easy way to make an enquiry to a site, knowing there were pitches for the dates they wanted. We were happy to invest tens of thousands of pounds into this fairly sophisticated service as we were convinced that we were meeting a need felt by thousands of caravan and motorhome owners.”
The CL Booking website and Mobile App, launched in June 2020 was the result. It now allows campers who are members of the Caravan & Motorhome Club to view hundreds of sites on an interactive map of the UK and see immediately which ones have space for the dates they want to get away.
CL Booking now has 115 CL sites listed and over 7,500 users registered to use it.
CL Booking mimics the functionality we have all started to expect from sites like AirBnB, meaning you’ll get all the information you, as a camper, need to know such as price, facilities and photos. Your details will also be held on the App, so when you go to make a booking enquiry to your chosen CL site, the site owner will see your club number, whether you own a caravan or motorhome, camper or trailer tent etc. They can then accept your booking and you’ll be put in touch with each other by email to confirm the booking and make payment where necessary.
For the 115 CL site owners that have listed so far, the app allows them to quickly and easily advertise their site to thousands of campers. “With Covid, many people have had to change their plans at the last minute which means late-cancellations are a real issue for us” said Ted Howard-Jones, owner of Cholsey Grange and the leader of the consortium of site owners behind CL Booking. “With the App, if I get a cancellation I can immediately update my site availability to thousands of members with just one click, so much easier than having to go onto Facebook and create a post, or just hope the phone will ring”