MORE people are taking up residence in caravan parks to beat the ever-rising cost of living and a chronic rental shortage, a local park manager has claimed.
Showgrounds Caravan Park caretaker Michael Clarke said the park was already home to at least a dozen permanent residents and he had many inquiries about others.
With rentals becoming increasingly hard to come by and utility costs on the rise, Mr Clarke said for some people, a van was the only option.
"I've had a lot of people calling up asking for vans," Mr Clarke said.
"Rentals are getting hard to come by and for young people just starting out, it is a bit cheaper."
Mr Clarke has lived at the park since he took on his position a month ago and enjoys the community atmosphere.
"It's like a little village in the centre of town," he said.
"Everyone keeps to themselves but if you see someone out the front, you can walk up and say g'day."
Allen Garside has called the park home for the last six years, since he moved over from Western Australia to be closer to his daughter.
Mr Garside has a little garden, his own patch of lawn which the grandkids mow for him every couple of weeks a workbench and a barbecue area. With rent at $100 per week, Mr Garside said it was a much cheaper option.
"I'm very happy here, it suits me," Mr Garside said.
"No one worries me but there are always plenty of people around."
His son lives in the van next door and Mr Garside is located close to the hospital and CBD.
"I've got my own van and everything I need," he said."It's not a bad little place."