Gas on pitches

Mar 14, 2005
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Due to family circumstances our family has a caravan which we tow with a small campervan VW T4, our disabled adult daughter sleeps in the campervan on the same pitch alongside our caravan.

Both are fitted with cookers, so both have their individual calor gas bottles, on some sites, (mainly CC) the warden has commented that both should not have gas supplies as this contravenes fire regulations in case of emergency evacuation. On one occasion I had to remove the cylinder from the campervan, some wardens never comment. Is this an actual fact that regulations stipulate this ruling?

Also comments have been made by wardens grumbling about the use of our towing vehicle having a 'change of use upon arriving on site' and should not be used for sleeping in, even though it has a specific fitted bed.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Tony

Have you asked the Caravan Club what their policy is? This would clarify it straight away for you rather than relying on other members interpretations of the rules.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Tony

I'm not sure what the CC rules are on this, probably Health and safety (Risk of fire spreading) However regarding comments about towing vehicles change of use once you arrive at site, next time you are asked about it, request they put it in writing. In Oct 2004 Disability Descrimination Act came fully into affect. This basically say you cannot deny access to any goods or service on grounds of disablity, that means as your daughter is disabled and need a specially modified vehicle to allow her to enjoy a family holiday, they cannot discriminate against you, they are breaking the law and the fine I think is unlimited.

Next time the comment is made, ask them if their aware of the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act (everyone in business especially services should be aware of it) and are they allowed to make this comment. Denying you the right to use a specially modified vehicle is denying your daughter access to their services.

If you need to know more go to http://www.disability.gov.uk/dda/index.html
 
Mar 14, 2005
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i sympathise with you having a daughter thats disabled,and im genuinely sorry,but look at it this way.all pitches are usually for one unit ie caravan,camper,tent etc.you actually have 2 units here and a lot of sites now you have to pay for an extra unit(pup tent etc)so i can see that some parks are going to charge you extra or even in extreme cases could even refuse you to put both units on one pitch .as for the gas,cant explain that at all,i would think hes trying to make up some excuse for his complaint about double unit on 1 pitch.
 
Aug 4, 2004
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When on site you have two units per pitch, that is your towing vehicle and the caravan so I think they are talking nonsense and you pay for those two units on one pitch as it is all built into the price howeve if you use two electric hook ups then it could be a different story.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Tony,

I do not know what fire regulations exist on the sites you have used. The responsibility for setting the fire safety procedures is down to the site operator to meet the needs of their insurers, and the gas installation and use regulations.

There may be some site by-law about the use of gas appliances with a certain distance of an adjacent pitch, but I doubt if that includes instructions to dismantle an installation. It may require an undertaking from you not to use the appliance in the camper-van.

If a warden asks you to remove the bottle, what does he expect you to do with it? If you leave it outside the camper-van, or the caravan it is an even greater fire risk and will further impede evacuation.

I make the assumption that your camper van was a conversion made by a reputable manufacture, who will complied with all the relevant construction regulations for the storage, carriage and use of gas on a motor vehicles to be able to sell the camper-van in the first instance.

If you are asked to move the bottle again, ask to see the relevant written regulation the warden refers to. For it to be enforceable it must be published on site, and available for immediate viewing (not buried in the bottom of a draw). Check the wording carefully. It must positively state that the requirement applies to gas bottles that are secured in purpose designed storage and transpiration restraints.

It may be pertinent to point out that majority of cars use petrol which is contained in less durable containers than LPG gas bottles. Also what about vehicles that are converted to run on LPG. If the regulation applies to LPG or flammable vapours, then it must apply to all motor vehicles.

With regard to the "change of use" If you are adding bits to the outside of the vehicle such that it takes up more ground space than in its towing mode, the warden does have point, but the inside and what you do with it, as far as I can see, is your own prerogative.

Other respondents have already mentioned the Access for the Disabled legislation. There may be some mileage in that.

I hope that none of the above is really necessary, It would be far better to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement, so you and your family can enjoy the holiday.

Best of luck
 
Mar 14, 2005
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When on site you have two units per pitch, that is your towing vehicle and the caravan so I think they are talking nonsense and you pay for those two units on one pitch as it is all built into the price howeve if you use two electric hook ups then it could be a different story.
THE TWO UNITS I REFER TO ARE UNITS USED FOR SLEEPING ACCOMADATION,YOU DONT SLEEP IN THE CAR THEREFORE YOU DONT PAY EXTRA AS YOU WOULD FOR PUTTING ANOTHER TENT ON YOUR PITCH WHICH IS CLASSED AS ANOTHER MODE OF SLEEPING ACCOMADATION THEREFORE EXTRA UNIT
 
Mar 14, 2005
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THE TWO UNITS I REFER TO ARE UNITS USED FOR SLEEPING ACCOMADATION,YOU DONT SLEEP IN THE CAR THEREFORE YOU DONT PAY EXTRA AS YOU WOULD FOR PUTTING ANOTHER TENT ON YOUR PITCH WHICH IS CLASSED AS ANOTHER MODE OF SLEEPING ACCOMADATION THEREFORE EXTRA UNIT
Shh, no need to shout, (capital letters).
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If you require something to allow you to be able to access a service due to a disability (that is what the CC are doing providing a service), and you are either refused or charge extra, this is a clear breach of the DDA (Disability Descrimination Act 1995) which became law in October 2004. It's the same as if you were in a wheelchair and couldn't access your local papershop because they have a step, they must allow you access and there is no excuse whether it be assisting you or providing a ramp.

Refusing access to a service or charging for access purely because you are disabled is simple illegal, I know this as I work in an industry that has been affected greatly by this new law, but it's there for a good reason. Unfortunitly some people only become aware of this when it affects them directly.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Tony, the question is not really anything directly to do with a disability. Do CC regulations, or for that matter any site you chose to visit, allow for a caravan and motorhome, however small to be on one pitch. I realise that your caravan and your motorhome taken together possibly take up less space than a twin axle plus big car, but in the world of jobs worth and regulations that will not be taken into account.

I doubt you would have any problems at a CS / CS or a C &CC weekend rally or Temporary Holiday site.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Ray

Sorry I have to disagree, I actually feel that there should be a levy if you have a motorhome and caravan otherwise this could be open to abuse. Site fees are usually quite reasonable, but Tony as a valid reason for the motorhome caravan setup, it's because his daughter is disable, therefore it Directly to do with disability
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Ray

Sorry I have to disagree, I actually feel that there should be a levy if you have a motorhome and caravan otherwise this could be open to abuse. Site fees are usually quite reasonable, but Tony as a valid reason for the motorhome caravan setup, it's because his daughter is disable, therefore it Directly to do with disability
Mathew, So in effect you are saying that any rule or regulation can be over ridden by a person with a diability. If there is a maximum limit of say 6m for the length of caravan on a site could a disabled person with a 7m van insist on access?

Who determines the type of disability or the severity which gives them that right? Should there be a Blue Badge scheme for caravanners?

Are you suggesting that the CC and other sites are delibrately targeting disabled persons for some perverse reason?
 
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I can't comment on your gas issue, but as to your daughter sleeping in your camper van, sounds like some "jobsworths" idea.

When you arrive on site, you pay for each person to use the facilities,and as you aren't using any extra space, i.e caravan+ towing vehicles+ (for example) a seperate tent, what's the problem. After all, you aren't charged any extra for adding a sleeping compartment to an awning.

I would do as Mick suggests, and give the C.C a ring. Most of the CC wardens I've come across have been nice helpful people, but one or two of them need reminding that it's a Club, owned and paid for by the members, and not some private Colditz run by Herr and Frau Flick!

See you pitched up sometime, pop in for a drink,

Barney.
 
May 4, 2005
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CC rule 1d says the word "caravan" includes motor caravans and trailer tents also tent campers where permitted .Therefore both your caravan and your campervan are "caravans."Rule 5c says there must be a minimum distance of 3 metres between adjoining outfits in order to prevent the spread of fire.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Mathew, So in effect you are saying that any rule or regulation can be over ridden by a person with a diability. If there is a maximum limit of say 6m for the length of caravan on a site could a disabled person with a 7m van insist on access?

Who determines the type of disability or the severity which gives them that right? Should there be a Blue Badge scheme for caravanners?

Are you suggesting that the CC and other sites are delibrately targeting disabled persons for some perverse reason?
No it's the other way round, they can't have rules or regualations that discriminate a disabled person, the problem is they generalise the rules because this is easy for them, the problem arises because wardens take them litrally.

To give an example, if the CC had a rule that only caravans with bold tyres could come on to CC sites, clearly it's illegal to have bold tyre on public roads therefore as this is the law they cannot require you to do this. All rules and regulatations must be designed around the current laws and if new laws come into affect or current laws change and they affect these rules and regulation, they must be changed.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Brian(st albans)

What we're say here is to comply with this regulation and also with the disabled discrimination Act 1995 they should give you a free second pitch.
Mathew, Can you explain what you mean by 'We' in the context of your reply? Is it some organisation?

Generally has a disabled person the right to demand services free because of their disability i.e. a free upgrade to a first class seat on a plane because they cannot physically sit in an economy class seat etc
 
May 4, 2005
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Matthew ,The CC is neither refusing entry or charging extra as you suggest.Firstly refusing to put 2 "caravans" on 1 pitch is based on planning and safety regulations If a fire were to happen and the club were found to be not complying they would be left wide open to legal action.If a site is allowed to have say 50 caravans and when full was found to have 51 due to 'double parking' it would be in breach of planning and again be left wide open to action.Secondly, how can a disabled person be "being charged extra" for something that would be chargable to an able bodied person as well due to the reasons given above.This is clearly NOT a breach of the DDA (1995) as you suggest.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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yes i must agree with brian on this one,and i would think the fire regulations would almost certainly apply to more or less all sites.as far as the disabled side of it i no nothing but,as much as i think disabled people should be better catered for there are one or two here that seem to have gone to the extreme of what disabled people should be able to claim its not a free for all society for anybody
 

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