Monday, 17 June 2013

Static Caravans – Update

Many of you may be familiar with me waffling on about my ‘happy place’ – my static caravan situated in East Anglia.

Back in September of last year, I explained that it is possible to change the location of your static caravan more simply than you may think.

In the post ‘Static Caravans Can Move’ I wrote:

“Providing that you own your caravan outright, (are not tied in to any finance deal with the company) you are free to move. Some park owners may prefer you not to know this, and should you express a desire to leave the site, will probably offer the following suggestions:

a)    Allow them to buy back the caravan from you. Translation: Offer a price bearing no resemblance to the price you paid them, or its current worth, so they can sell it on for only fractionally less than you paid when you bought it.
b)    Sell the caravan yourself on site. Translation: Selling must not involve any on-site advertising; the park owner will not assist in the sale in any way; the company is allowed to approach your potential buyers to sell them a caravan of theirs instead; the company will claim 15% commission when you sell.
c)    Sell for scrap. Translation: cut your losses and clear off.

Of course, I must point out that not every caravan park owner is as ruthless as this, there are some really quite helpful ones out there, who give better advice and help properly with selling your caravan, but there are those who adopt the attitude outlined above – shame on you, you know who you are!

However, I am pleased to report that there are an increasing number of caravan parks that will allow you to site your own caravan and moving it is not as expensive as you may think, in the region of £350 for transport depending on the distance/area/etc. Of course, you do have to pay a disconnection fee at the site you are leaving, as well as a connection fee at your new site, but if you shop around these costs may be cancelled out by lower site fees at your new chosen park.”

Our caravan was originally sited at place called Marlie Farm in South Kent, a caravan park that is part of the Park Holidays chain. Unfortunately the standards of maintenance and management on the site fell quite badly (grass was not cut, reported problems were not dealt with etc), whilst the fees continued to rise sharply. The final straw came when a staff member was actually quite rude to us.

A discussion with the area manager of Park Holidays proved very useful, as he revealed how much cheaper and easier it was to move a static caravan than I had imagined. Of course, his plan had been for us to move to another of their sites, but we had other plans.

After spending time researching and visiting sites, we found our present location in East Anglia – a delightful caravan park overlooking the sea, which is part of a much smaller group. The staff there are so friendly and helpful, the site is well maintained and any problems are dealt with quickly and efficiently, whilst site fees are lower than at our previous site.

It really is worth looking around if for any reason you are unhappy with your current caravan park.

If you struggle with the yearly site fees, then why not get together as group, share the fees and draw up a rota of who uses the caravan for a holiday and when? Alternatively, rent out your caravan when you’re not using it yourself. Whilst some parks ask you to pay a commission for this, others are happy for you to keep the whole rental fee, knowing that it could be the difference between you being able to afford a caravan there, or having to leave.

So remember my original message – Static Caravans Can Move!

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