Caravan park deposits

After staying for the last few years in an RAC caravan park for Easter we just received our booking request form for next year.
They are now requesting that the full fee be paid within 7 days of making our booking. So since Easter is on 18th April next year that means we are expected to pay the full amount 1 year in advance. Up until now you usually pay 20% deposit within a month of booking and then the balance 30 days prior to check-in.
Just wondering what other people think of this. We’ve never heard of this before and can’t believe that this could be seen as a fair practice.


It could be reasonable if the conditons of cancellation are also reasonable…do you know what the conditions of cancellation are?


Interesting document Here - Travel and accommodation: an industry guide to the Australian Consumer Law

Extract (Bold/emphasis mine):

If the guest has paid you a deposit, then cancels the booking without a good reason (for example, if they just change their mind), you will usually be able to keep the deposit depending on the terms of the contract.

Generally, a fair deposit should not be more than 10 per cent of the total cost of the accommodation or service booked, unless your potential loss or inconvenience justifies a higher amount. Otherwise, such a higher amount may be seen as a pre-payment. Pre-payments are refundable, minus any actual or reasonable costs you may have incurred before the booking was cancelled.

10% is a number I often think of in terms of deposits. In a general sense it might be higher if its for a job where materials might need to be purchased, which isn’t the case here.

I’d call them and ask why they are charging a deposit which far exceeds the ACCC industry guide …


Look like it is a prepayment to lock in an Easter 2019 holiday.


How much are we talking? It’s years since I’ve stayed in a caravan park (and hopefully never again).

Having a browse of some of the conditions, really this doesn’t surprise me - worst case being bookings for special offers with payment in full at time of booking and no refunds, period. I’ve had no experience with RAC, but plenty with RAA and RACV - while the road service seems still worth having, for me it is getting harder to justify supporting these bloated government apologist motoring organisations housed in huge palatial buildings that seem to have become just a sales and marketing extension of insurance underwriters, travel providers and various other money-spinners - looks like RAC even have ‘their own’ (or at least facade) parks.

Maybe time for a Choice review of these organisations …


That’s pretty frustrating @natcav2311, I’m not aware of too many other accommodation options that are as rigid as this caravan park. I’ll be sure to pass it on to my colleagues in investigations.


We queried the new rules for deposits and didn’t really get anywhere.
After talking to other regulars to the caravan park over Easter they all said they’ll fill in the reqest form and see what happens. Which is what our group has done, so far we haven’t had any correspondence requesting the deposit or full payment yet, so we’ll just wait and see what happens.
It’s just a pity caravan parks etc are becoming so expensive, and now this kind of total payment up front being expected. We’d rather travel and show our kids Australia rather than going for the overseas option, but it it’s getting harder and more expensive to do it