15th August 2022
By Sophie Mills
First and foremost, we’re not here to patronise or lecture about campsite cleanliness.
We understand that poor campsite facilities often result from genuine barriers to campsite investment, rather than deliberate neglect.
However, it’s clear that investing in new campsite washroom facilities can have a transformative effect on the fortunes of camping and caravanning sites.
But where do you start? We’ve included some guidance below to help you achieve your campsite refurbishment goals.
The first step to achieving better campsite washrooms is to understand what your exact requirements are, both from a regulatory point of view but also from a commercial perspective.
Local authorities follow clear guidance on what level of toilet and shower provision is required for the granting of campsite licences. This is often determined by the size and type of your site and the number of pitches. However, the best campsites go above and beyond the legal requirements to create washrooms that offer a greater overall guest experience.
How far you go will depend on the type of site you offer and your target market. Therefore, conducting market research into the top-rated camping and caravan sites that are comparable to yours will help you gain an insight into the quality of facilities needed to maintain your own top-rated status.
It’s also worth researching what industry bodies and official star rating organisations say about campsite washroom standards. For example, Visit England has its own accreditation and rating system for washroom facilities.
If you already have structurally sound buildings, with enough space to house accessible toilets, showers, vanity units and other facilities like baby change and laundry stations, then a campsite refurbishment project is likely to be a favourable option.
On the other hand, small, ageing and restrictive buildings can often limit what you can achieve with a refurbishment project and sometimes a new-build facility may be the better option, subject of course to issues like planning permission, feasibility, funding and so on.
However, new-build projects need to be planned well in advance to minimise disruption for guests and ensure the project is well-funded and resourced. Working with a project partner that is experienced in delivering caravan park refurbishments, and that understands all the regulations, particularly around drainage and wastewater, will help your project run much smoother.
Campsite washrooms should be designed with all users in mind. Ensuring your facilities have level floor access, handrails, and wheelchair accessible cubicles is a must. You may wish to consider things like lower sinks and vanity units for wheelchair users and children.
Water that heats to a safe temperature for children and users with additional needs is another key consideration.
And in these post-Covid times, additional hygiene measures within your washroom facilities, such as protective screens and extra-hygienic surfaces may also make your campsite more desirable. A campsite or caravan park washrooms project should be planned carefully with the above in mind.
As with any high-use environment that’s likely to be exposed to constantly wet and humid conditions, using the right internal materials for cubicles, duct panels, benches, lockers and other joinery products is of paramount importance.
The use of solid grade laminate materials that are impervious to water and extremely resistant to impact can help you achieve washrooms that are durable and easy to clean and maintain – as well as reconfigure or change colours, which for sites with block wall toilets and showers can be more difficult.
These materials come in a wide range of colourways, patterns and woodgrain effects to fit with your campsite branding or the natural surroundings of the site.
To get the highest rated facilities, washrooms should also feature high-quality fixtures, fittings and sanitaryware with easy-to-use, responsive controls.
Clean, spacious and well-lit washrooms with access to hot and cold water and adequate heating are now a minimum expectation on modern camping and caravan parks, so it’s wise to consider how else you can use your washroom project to make your site stand out from the competition and get those 5-star reviews flowing.
Lockers, for example, are a feature that can help your guests have a better experience by keeping belongings safe. You may also look at features like private dry change areas that offer cubicles with benches, shelves, towel rails and hooks to help your guests change in comfortable dry conditions.
And of course, once you’ve made the investment in new campsite toilet and shower blocks, creating a robust cleaning and maintenance regime that keeps them safe and sparkling for your guests is essential.
You can find out more about some of our camping and caravanning washroom facility projects, like Manor Wood Caravan Park, in our case studies section.