First time Oshkosh planning

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Marc B, Mar 14, 2023.

  1. Marc B

    Marc B Pre-Flight

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    Hi all,
    I am planning to attend Oshkosh this July for my very first time ever. I'm looking for tips and suggestions about how to make it as enjoyable, comfortable, and accessible as possible without having to run into so many beginner mistakes that might make it a bummer...

    My Plans:
    • Drive there from Phx.
    • Pickup Travel Trailer locally to stay on their campgrounds for the week.
    • Have fun, discover awesome things, meet amazing people
    • Sleep, eat, enjoy
    • Bring my MTN Bike for transport around the place all week
    My Questions:
    • Do I need to arrive a day or two before the official first day, in order to get a "goog" camping spot?
    • What defines a good camping spot?
    • Do they have a laundromat on site?
    • Places to fill fresh water tanks or empty grey/black water in a camper?
    • What are 3 of your most important "Must Do" or "Must Have With Me" items?
    What else can I over-prepare for? (I'm prone to analysis paralysis)

    Thanks
    ~Marc
     
  2. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    What are 3 of your most important "Must Do" or "Must Have With Me" items?

    Cash
    Sunblock
    Comfortable shoes
    More cash
    More sunblock
    Rain poncho

    There are a number of stickies around here about the show. Also, visit the EAA Airventure website for info on camping, campers, etc. Invaluable.

    https://www.eaa.org/airventure/plan-your-eaa-airventure-trip

    People start arriving a week before the show.
     
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  3. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Line Up and Wait

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    A good camping spot is close to the bus route and a shower house. There are full hookups available, the details of which will be on the EAA site.

    There is a laundromat. There also has been a laundry service.

    There’s a dump station on site. I think you can fill fresh water there, but I’ve only been there to dump. There’s also a honey wagon. When I’ve been there without hookups, I’ve used the porta-potties, bottled water, and shower houses. I’ve never had to fill or dump mid-week.

    It will be hot, cold, stormy, dry, and buggy. Plan accordingly.

    The “can’t miss” items will depend on what your special interests are. I’d say it’s worthwhile to check the forum schedule for something interesting. The workshops are fun if you’d like to try welding or metalworking. In Vintage, they have things like English wheel demonstrations and running OX-5’s. The helicopter tour is worth taking. Walking the flight line at dawn is a one-of-a-kind experience.

    Don’t worry about what you’re missing. You can’t see it all, so just enjoy what’s right in front of you.
     
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  4. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    You need to prepare yourself for a not-so-good camping spot. The "good" camping spots will be taken a month before the show begins.

    The mountain bike will get you to the gates, but no more. They do not allow bikes inside the show grounds.
     
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  5. Marc B

    Marc B Pre-Flight

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    Nice! Yeah that's a perfect list, I'll bring excess of all of those things, and just buy anything I forgot. I think Driving will allow me to take a bunch of stuff I would want.

    Fantastic advice, I scoured the EAA website and have found all the information I thought I needed. And I'm planning to logon to book the camping as soon as it opens up, hopefully to get at least a decent location. Not a big deal if not, I can walk for ages.

    Good info! I'll bring it and keep it locked up anyway, and use it wherever I can, if its not inconvenient.
    Walking shoes seem to be the gold standard!

    Anyone have any other tips, or tricks to look for, for a noob?
     
  6. 172andyou

    172andyou Cleared for Takeoff

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    Spots are first come, first serve. You have to show up well in advance to get the best ones.
     
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  7. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    North of the airport (across 20th Ave) is a strip mall with Target and a grocery store (and other shops). Target will always have a large section marked AIRVENTURE to distinguish from the regular camping stuff. Whatever you forget, you can get there.

    Further north on Koeller are a number of strip malls with various shops (including Walgreens) and restaurants ranging. You're driving, so you'll be making a number of brand new very close friends!

    Don't forget Friar Tuck's for lunch, just the other side of the fence on the NW corner.

    And, of course, Fratello's. Even with a reservation, it'll be a 2+ hour wait.
    https://fratelloswaterfront.com/

    There will be a map published with routes in/out/around the airport for traffic management. Many of the roads become one-way depending on the time of day.
     
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  8. Marc B

    Marc B Pre-Flight

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    Gotcha! Okay, for some reason I thought I saw something about picking my spot when ordering the tickets and various reservations on the website. I'll plan to ge tthere whenever then, and be totally fine with whatever campsite I get. I'll be either trailing a camper with me, or have it delivered by a local travel trailer rental owner in advance of my arrival. In that regard I hope I can park my truck right with the camper, where I am staying/sleeping.

    Nice! I'll look up and study all the helpful maps and pre-arrival instructions they provide.
    Since I'm driving, are the "driver campers" packed together much closer than one would expect? Be hearing everything going on around me? lol
     
  9. keen9

    keen9 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Man I can't believe people still go there. So many better places in OSH now. It used to be good, but the last time I was there mediocre food, long wait, marginally good beers.
     
  10. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Line Up and Wait

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    You can reserve the full hook-up sites. You just have to start paying from the day you get the reservation. IIRC, they open on about June 1 and fill about a week before the convention starts.
     
  11. texasclouds

    texasclouds En-Route

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    If someone camped under their wing…are there showers available?
     
  12. ChopAndDrop

    ChopAndDrop Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For the airplane camping areas , there are shower/bathroom houses spaced-out along the areas. Depending on where your plane is parked, it could be just up your row, or have to walk several rows over to reach it.
     
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  13. 172andyou

    172andyou Cleared for Takeoff

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    What will you be flying?
     
  14. texasclouds

    texasclouds En-Route

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    thinking about my 170 for the special 75 year parking…never been before
     
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  15. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Line Up and Wait

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    OMG! There's a special 170 thing?

    I do love me some round 170 tails.
     
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  16. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    You must go.
     
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  17. Ed Haywood

    Ed Haywood Pattern Altitude

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    Be prepared to see more cool airplanes than you imagined could exist in the world.
     
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  18. texasclouds

    texasclouds En-Route

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    “The Vintage Aircraft Association and The International Cessna 170 Association present the 75th Anniversary Reunion Celebration of our favorite airplane, the Cessna 170! To help celebrate, VAA has arranged for a reserved group parking and camping area at AirVenture 2023 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. AirVenture 2023 runs Monday, July 24, 2023, through Sunday, July 30, 2023.

    There will be space for at least 100 170s to park together, so we can meet, greet, mingle, and talk 170s all week. If you attended any of the previous 170 group camping gatherings, you know it's a great time. All together and close-in to the AirVenture action.

    Many details are still to be worked out, but mark your 2023 calendars now. Plan to arrive early, because spaces in the reserved area will be for 170s exclusively only through Sunday evening, July 23, 2023. After that, EAA will begin parking other aircraft among us and you may not be able to get a spot.”
     
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  19. 40YearDream

    40YearDream Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You'll want 'shower shoes' for the campground showers. From what I recall, most bring cheap 20" kids bikes - there'll be a huge pile of them next to the gate from the campground. Don't know how hard it is to recover the one you brought (maybe doesn't matter so much?) You might not get it back.
     
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  20. Martin Pauly

    Martin Pauly Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    A bicycle (or electric scooter, or one wheel, etc.) is definitely a good thing to have at AirVenture. Not for the exhibit area itself, but to get to and from the campsite, and to get around in the evening after the shuttles and trams stop operating. A bike is also helpful for the occasional Target run, or to go to an off-field restaurant.

    The last couple of years, we had small groups of cyclists ride out to Fisk on Sunday before the show opened, to observe the controllers there. We had about 20 or so people last year. It was fun, and we may do this again this year.

    - Martin
     
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  21. Marc B

    Marc B Pre-Flight

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    I'm looking forward to it!

    Yeah, that's still a sad fact even in a "family" community. People are people, take anything that aint nailed down, and sometimes that, too.

    Great! Yeah, I will keep it locked safely in my truck when it looks like I can't store it safely. Otherwise I'll bike around wherever I can, to take in as much as possible.

    Trucks are able to be parked next to the camper/trailer I plan to be in? In campsite? Or do I need to park the truck in the lots after setting up the trailer in campground?
     
  22. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Joining this thread. What are your recommendations on tie-down spikes?
     
  23. Martin Pauly

    Martin Pauly Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I'm a big fan of "The Claw". Very strong and sturdy, yet light-weight and easy to use.

    - Martin
     
  24. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    Meet the Fokkers
    I ended up making my own tie downs, with 18" rods. Even those were questionable when the ground gets soft.
    There are several threads about Osh tie-downs if you care to search around.
    As mentioned, shower shoes are a good idea.
    Sunscreen is a must, but I still recommend a hat at least.
    If you're a caffeine junkie, then a small coffee pot is nice to have. Or you can walk/ride, wait in line, pay, but that was a pain to me.
    I noticed a few plugged in by the shower rooms.
    Alternates would be bottled coffee, Red Bull, Monster, etc.
    But if you're really light on useful load, there's these guys.....because Alertness is Required ;)

    upload_2023-3-16_12-12-18.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2023
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  25. Gilbert Buettner

    Gilbert Buettner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A backup power source to recharge your phone might come in handy, but you will also see places where you can plug in.
     
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  26. Tools

    Tools Cleared for Takeoff

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    I’ve never had a thing taken… thought I lost a cheap chair once. Found it at the end of the event 3 campsites down leaned up against a tree… just migrated a little.

    Theft is not a systemic problem.

    Locking your bike is more likely to prevent the inadvertent “theft” event.

    Back when I had a champagne colored Honda accord, had my keys in the wrong vehicle no less than 3 times they were so common. Would have driven off in it had the key worked!

    My best advice would be to DO what ever you want, right then. The classic “I’ll come back to it…” will cause grief!
     
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  27. sourdough44

    sourdough44 En-Route

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    You have a vehicle, maybe just find a place to stay & skip the camping?? It seems the cost & hassle, you could easily get a dorm room, or a hotel 45 minutes away.

    There will be options with cancellations also.

    I tell people to just come, enjoy, no need to over analyze everything. Of course, bring some cash.
     
  28. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Line Up and Wait

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    The exception is generators. If not locked down, they have a tendency to walk off.
     
  29. Marc B

    Marc B Pre-Flight

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    Absolutely, in my backpack even, for recharging all the time while wandering

    Super valid advice right here, will do! Live in the moment, don't focus on what I may be missing somewhere else.

    True, but the cost of those (vrbo, hotel, bnb) are all hyper inflated due to the gathering of course. So a travel trailer would be like all the comforts of home, but on the airport grounds! I'd like the experience I think. As long as the camper has a decent shower and toilet lol.
     
  30. tsts4

    tsts4 Pattern Altitude

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  31. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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  32. flyingron

    flyingron Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    It sucks. They changed ownership a few years ago and it's not what it used to be.
     
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  33. tsts4

    tsts4 Pattern Altitude

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    you missed my point— all of your questions have been asked before.
     
  34. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm confused. The pile of bikes you are referring to are bikes that people did not want to take with them - not stolen bikes. I am sure a bicycle has gotten stolen there, but in the 30 years I've been going there, it has never happened to me nor has it ever happened to anyone who was with me.
     
  35. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Fair enough.
     
  36. mcdewey

    mcdewey Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Just wait for a thunderstorm.
     
  37. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm going to test the tent I bought next weekend and pour water on it to see if it leaks or not
     
  38. tsts4

    tsts4 Pattern Altitude

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  39. flyingron

    flyingron Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    You'll be most likely parked in the triangle between Aircraft Repair and the Ultralight area. It's a short walk to the shower trailers (really nicer than anything we've had in years) over by the Hangar Cafe.

    Drop by and see me in the Vintage Flight Line Ops building across the road from the Hangar Cafe or after 8PM at our campsite in the row of trees behind the shower trailers mentioned above (you'll see a entire camp of Cabelas Green dome tents there).

    If you want to volunteer on the flight line, show up at the Ops building anyday at 9 AM or 1PM for training (just once per year). Once trained, you can work whenever you choose (unlike some other volunteer ops, we're flexible).
     
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  40. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for the thread! I got the Coleman's sundome, which a few people said they were good. A lot of references for Alaskan Guide ..