Clubs and organisations?

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Clubs and organisations?

Post by JSP on Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:45 am

Hi,

Well, it's just five more sleeps to go until we collect our new MH and my thoughts are turning towards what clubs and/or organisations to join and what handbooks to buy. Many of them look good but if we were to join and buy them all it would be very expensive each year. I know a few who have joined both the CC And the C&CC but then subsequently dropped to just one club. However, they chose different allegiances. There are other paid for options (e.g. Britstops) plus other free options that list mh stops etc. I like the idea of CL's and CS as well as pub stopovers. When it comes to venturing across to mainland Europe, again there are many options.
So, my questions are:
What clubs/orgainsations are you in?
Which have you joined then dropped - and why did you drop them?
What publications do you buy each year?

My initial thoughts of clubs/organisations to join and publications to buy are:
One main club (CC or C&CC which??)
ACSI card and book
All the Aires France/Spain etc as needed (or just use 'Searchforsites'?)

Regards

John
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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by Paulmold on Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:14 am

Was in CC for many years and went on lots of rallies, that was when we had a caravan. Stopped when we sold the van but bought another after a break of a couple of years but this time joined C&CC only because cousin was heavily involved with the C&CC as committee member and we enjoyed going with them. When we switched to a motorhome, we stayed with C&CC and used a lot of their temporary holiday sites which are fantastic value. We joined the CC again 5 years ago to give us a greater choice of sites, both club sites and cl/cs's . We don't go abroad, well not yet anyway, so have never bought any other books, the CC and C&CC ones are very good for our needs. Have toyed with joining the MMC but just haven't got round to it.
We always check out reviews of sites on Ukcampsites website.
Good luck with your new purchase.

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by Gromit on Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:25 am

Hi John

You've asked some big questions here, and some of the answers depend very much on personal preferences, plus familiarity with Smartphone applications.

If it helps at all, we are in both the CC and the C&CC, though we use the latter very little. We re-joined this year with the intention of using some of their temporary holiday sites, which have the advantage of both economy and convenient situations. No complaints at all about the CC, but they are becoming quite expensive!!

I wouldn't bother with Britstops personally, It's an excellent organisation and Steve (the owner) is a great chap, but there are hundreds of pubs that will let you stay overnight if you ask them, and have a meal or a few drinks. Britstops makes it very easy, but with a bit of effort you don't need them.

For Europe . . . . .

JSP wrote:When it comes to venturing across to mainland Europe, again there are many options.
So, my questions are:
What clubs/orgainsations are you in? None. It's so easy to do your own thing we see no need to pay someone else to organise for us. I enjoy the planning anyway!

Which have you joined then dropped - and why did you drop them? France Passion. Good on the whole, but quite expensive for the relatively few sites, most of which are happy to let you stay whether you are a member of FP or not.

What publications do you buy each year? ACSI books, PLUS their Smartphone App, which is considerably better than the books. Do get the right App though. You need the one with the participating sites only. It costs 3 or 4 Euros and is activated by a code on the card in the ACSI books. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

My initial thoughts of clubs/organisations to join and publications to buy are:
One main club (CC or C&CC which??) CC if only one.

ACSI card and book Yes. See above

All the Aires France/Spain etc as needed (or just use 'Searchforsites'?) I don't bother. All the aires, campsites, municipals, etc., are available as datasets for use with Maps.Me or as POIs on the satnav.  Couldn't be easier or more convenient. I use AutoRoute for planning, and Maps.Me to see if there's an aire or campsite near where we are en route. It has GPS positioning, so a quick check shows what's available nearby, and it's easy then for the navigator to guide you there.

Have a look at Archie's for a start. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]  There are several other too if you have a browse. Camping Car Infos is also very good for Aires. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Hope this helps


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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by Machloop on Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:19 pm

Why do people pay £50 / year to join the CC ?  It's a daft system and like paying Premier Inns £50 so you can [possibly] use their hotels. Now, if you got a large discount or free stops then maybe but often private sites are cheaper and better.

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by Paulmold on Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:47 pm

Machloop wrote:Why do people pay £50 / year to join the CC ?  It's a daft system and like paying Premier Inns £50 so you can [possibly] use their hotels. Now, if you got a large discount or free stops then maybe but often private sites are cheaper and better.
I assume you include the C&CC in this. Its not just the use of sites (and you do know what the quality will be, unlike private sites), it gives access to the huge number of CS's/CL's and temporary sites in the case of the C&CC but I also get my breakdown cover through the RAC which is a big saving and I get discount at stores such as Mountain Warehouse, Go Outdoors, eTyres, Cotswold Outdoors, Blacks and Photonic (Solar panels etc),  etc etc. It soon adds up to more than the annual fee. The CC also has discount arrangements with similar companies.

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by burlingtonboaby on Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:36 pm

I'm quite happy to subscribe to the CC & C&CC daft system and to add to Pauls post, book ahead without having to fork out deposits, CC club only.
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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by Askit on Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:58 pm

JSP, firstly can I wish you many happy holidays in your new motorhome  up!

I guess the answer to your questions depend on how you intend to holiday, all of your suggestions would work. We don't do "one nighters" so being members of the CC and C&CC suits us best, we can book their sites, CLs, CSs (or do we have to call them AS's now  scratch head) and private commercial sites as well. We holiday in the UK and I've yet to find the place that does a cheap pitch in peak season, unless it's stuck somewhere out in the wilderness. Off peak, I think the C&CC is better value, but that assumes you want to go where they have a site. 

I would suggest you have a look at their web sites and check the location of each clubs campsites, that might give you some idea if you would use the facilities of either, both or none.

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by JSP on Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:15 pm

Thanks for the replies, certainly helpful.

Tony, we're probably going to just do short stopovers one maybe two nights depending on the local attractions etc. We just want to explore and move on. Our initial thoughts are little trips close to home until we know how everything works, what we need/don't need etc. Once we're comfortable with everything we think Scotland will be our first big trip. Up West coast, pick up NC500 then back Central/East Coast. Both retired now so no rush to get anywhere. After that, whatever takes our fancy.

Regards

John
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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by Paulmold on Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:20 pm

JSP wrote: Once we're comfortable with everything we think Scotland will be our first big trip. Up West coast, pick up NC500 then back Central/East Coast. Both retired now so no rush to get anywhere. After that, whatever takes our fancy.

Regards

John
I'm retired since end of May, Carol packs up work mid-April(don't mention state pension, sore point, 6 yrs to that). Scotland trip will be our first long trip as a retired duo, doing the same sort of route as you, starting last week April if all goes to plan.

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by Askit on Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:03 pm

Good choice gentlemen (well, I would say that, wouldn't I biggrin). If you want something to whet your appetite, have a look at a facebook page (I'm not a subscriber but you can still look at the photos) entitled "Spectacular Scotland".

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by burlingtonboaby on Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:05 pm

If you're going to Scotland, go up the east coast via Stonehaven,  along the Moray coast to Inverness ,then head north to start the NT 500, leave the midges for the last part of your tour.
We love to go back to Scotland each year and tour areas we haven't been to before. 
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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by roli on Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:12 pm

What Club is a personal thing
We have been in the CC 32 years, C&CC 27 years and use CL/CS mostly with very occasional Club Sites visits
We like to rally and do this via ASOC or the MCC
When we used to go into Europe we paid an annual ACSI subscription which is very worthwhile.
I guess we prefer to go out with ASOC the most where we have the most friends

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by rogerblack on Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:17 pm

We are in CC and C&CC, sometimes use main sites, more often CSs/CLs plus try to remember to take advantage of the discounts on motorway services, M6 toll, Go Outdoors, etc.

We use ACSI for our visits to France, love the fact that there's no need to book ahead or decide how long to stay until you've had a chance to see what each site is like; that's what motorhoming should be about but almost impossible to do in the UK. The discounts easily cover the annual cost, especially when using sites with lots of facilities like covered pools, spas etc. plus being off-season means it's never too busy.

We tend to go to France for May/June then head up to Scotland for the "summer" in July/ August (we also have a holiday place there) and if possible fit in another trip across to France in September, unless the weather is so good that we stay on in Scotland.

cheers
Roger

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by JSP on Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:29 am

Thankyou everyone for taking the time to reply. Four more sleeps to go then brace yourselves for newbie dumb questions.

Rgds

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by Gromit on Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:53 am

JSP wrote:Thankyou everyone for taking the time to reply. Four more sleeps to go then brace yourselves for newbie dumb questions.

Rgds

John

There's no such thing as a dumb question if you don't know the answer! smile!

Worth noting - Mr Google is a clever lad, and he can often find answers on this and other sources very quickly.

Happy New Motorhoming Year.

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by groundhog on Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:48 am

If you are a regular Sainsbury shopper joining the Caravan Club is a no brainer, 4% discount on all your shopping by using the prepaid Sainsbury card, If you spend £100 a week that is £208 off your annual shop, worth joining even if you don't have a caravan!
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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by JSP on Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:59 am

groundhog wrote:If you are a regular Sainsbury shopper joining the Caravan Club is a no brainer, 4% discount on all your shopping by using the prepaid Sainsbury card, If you spend £100 a week that is £208 off your annual shop, worth joining even if you don't have a caravan!
Can it be used for fuel as well?
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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by dbroada on Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:14 am

Gromit wrote:
JSP wrote: Four more sleeps to go then brace yourselves for newbie dumb questions.

There's no such thing as a dumb question if you don't know the answer! smile!
As the Gromit says, no such thing as a dumb question.

What you have to brace yourself for are the dumb answers - and we are collectively very good at them. lol4

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by dbroada on Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:26 am

and now I'll join in the answers to your first question.

We are members of the Caravan Club. Our nearest site is one of theirs and proved to be an excellent base for testing our Nuevo when we got it but still had to be near enough to get to the local hospital when my dad was in there. It may also become our base when we finally get our bathroom changed! We have only been to a couple of other sites but we didn't get around the UK last year as much as we had hoped. We intend to rectify that in 2017.

As for abroad, we have mostly camped in the Germanic countries and a bit of Google before leaving home and the ACSI book & app on our tablet served us well. I think that once you have bought the book you have access to the app but I had already bought the "other" app by the time I bought the book. The book, card & app allowed us to find the €17 out of season sites so paid for themselves in a couple of nights and gives you a smug feeling when the people in front paid €30 for the same thing.

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by pstallwood on Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:31 pm

Been in both clubs for about 40 years. Usually use club sites but more recently have used one or two private ones and have found them of good standard - lots of research first to ensure we weren't going to a grotty site though.

When abroad we use whatever site or aire that is convenient for where we want to be provided they look reasonable when pulling in - if the initial impression is doubtful we drive away.

We use Archies, Camping Cars Infos, FFCC campsite and aires books.We did have an ACSI card for one year and know that lots of people use it but didn't use it much so haven't bothered since. There is loads of free stuff out there and the CC card you get with Red Penant often gets you a bit of a discount anyway.

I would not bother with one of the foreign tours that the clubs organise as half the experience is being amongst strangers who have a different language and ways of doing things.

Good travelling.

Peter

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by Gromit on Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:31 pm

pstallwood wrote:I would not bother with one of the foreign tours that the clubs organise as half the experience is being amongst strangers who have a different language and ways of doing things.
Certainly not! Agreed 100%.

Unless you are a total muppet ( Whistle1 ) or very under confident, why would you pay a hefty premium to someone else for doing what you could do much better yourself.

If you need any help, just ask on here. We don't charge much - just a glass of ale if we are ever fortunate enough to meet! hugegrins

A friend of ours is a typical example of what usually happens. He was quite nervous about going to France in his van for the first time, so we offered to spend the first few days together to "hold his hand". By the end of the second day he was already planning to go off on his own, and a fortnight later on his return, he was advising others and telling them how easy it is in France.

Book your first night close to the port if you feel you need to, but after that you will have no trouble finding a site. Even at the height of the season you can expect to drop in and find a pitch - as long as you come off the road by about 4.00pm and avoid the obviously popular areas on the coast.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Clubs and organisations?

Post by groundhog on Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:06 pm

JSP - You cannot use it in petrol stations as far as I know but I have never tried!
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Re: Clubs & organisations

Post by sapper997 on Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:03 pm

We are in the c& cc and take advantage of the temporary holiday sites which you can use without usually having to book.
 When touring on the continent we use the excellent "camperstop Europe" instead of buying all the different Aires books,
 we did try camping cheques and ACSI but found we hardly needed them as there are plenty of campsites you can just book
 in for a couple of nights if you need them. We have also been members of the MCC for three years but most of the meets
 are just weekends, we have tried to get on some of the holiday meets but they are soon booked up so are thinking of not
 renewing our membership after this year.

 Ray
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