Oshkosh Group (Airplane) Camping?

bradg33

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Maybe I'm crazy, but I swear I saw something in the last couple years where EAA had a procedure for folks who want to camp together. But for the life of me, I can't find it. I've got about 6 planes of people who want to fly-in and camp together, but most of us don't qualify for vintage anymore (we used to own vintage airplanes and parked together as a type club, but some of us have traded planes). Any way to do that in the N40 other than try to land around the same time and roll the dice?
 
Maybe I'm crazy, but I swear I saw something in the last couple years where EAA had a procedure for folks who want to camp together. But for the life of me, I can't find it. I've got about 6 planes of people who want to fly-in and camp together, but most of us don't qualify for vintage anymore (we used to own vintage airplanes and parked together as a type club, but some of us have traded planes). Any way to do that in the N40 other than try to land around the same time and roll the dice?
No reservations in N40/S40. Even in vintage, there are only a few type clubs that get to camp together. Fly in together.

Much easier to do group camping in Scholler. But then you're in Scholler.
 
Never been in Scholler. Is that a negative?

Depends. It's not aircraft camping so the logistics to get all of your gear from aircraft parking for a group of people over to Scholler has to be taken into account, but they are ways to do it (PM for details on one relatively painless way). The other issue is securing the requisite number of camp sites together. Again there's ways it can be done, but there are compromises to be understood. The devils in the details.
 
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I work in Vintage. The rules evolve, but frankly, there is getting LESS opportunity to have reserved space. As pointed out, we have a special area for type clubs (only a couple each year) and that space is only marked out until the Monday (first "official" day of the show). Then we start filling any empty slots in it.

There have been times in the past where people came in early and paid for a bunch of spaces and left to be filled by their buddies when they got in. This has always been problematic and the Vintage board has been progressively putting an end to that.

The best bet if you want a bunch of spaces together anywhere is to stage somewhere outside Oshkosh and fly in together. We have several groups that do that. At least in vintage, when we get one of those, we'll avoid interspersing any interleaved non-group arrivals in your group while you guys are assembling as long as you are all arriving fairly close together.
 
Never been in Scholler. Is that a negative?
To each their own, but in this case I mostly just meant that it's not airplane camping and the OP is flying in. A lot of people who fly in want to camp with their planes.
 
Maybe I'm crazy, but I swear I saw something in the last couple years where EAA had a procedure for folks who want to camp together. But for the life of me, I can't find it. I've got about 6 planes of people who want to fly-in and camp together, but most of us don't qualify for vintage anymore (we used to own vintage airplanes and parked together as a type club, but some of us have traded planes). Any way to do that in the N40 other than try to land around the same time and roll the dice?
I’ve already tried. Talked to Jack Pelton last year about it, and he said no.
 
For every small amount of people who ask to camp together, there's a larger crowd who feels that there should be no reserved spaces. I can't tell you the number of irate people you get when you taxi them past empty places to send them further away from the show.
 
To each their own, but in this case I mostly just meant that it's not airplane camping and the OP is flying in. A lot of people who fly in want to camp with their planes.
The only time I went, I camped with my plane. I didn't DO anything with my plane other than sleep next to it, out in the middle of a hot field several miles from the exhibits and several hundred yards from bathroom facilities. If Scholler is shaded, close to everything, and allows groups, maybe that is a better option for some.
Another option for a group would be don't park together, but pick one person's aircraft as the site to camp together. While technically against the rules, I did not see anyone enforcing said rules, at least not in the GAP hinterlands where us late arrivals were shunted. As long as you did not have a sprawling tent city, I doubt anyone would know or care.
 
For every small amount of people who ask to camp together, there's a larger crowd who feels that there should be no reserved spaces. I can't tell you the number of irate people you get when you taxi them past empty places to send them further away from the show.
Yeah, there is no perfect answer. I camped a number of years with the C195 group and it had a great sense of community that I've never seen anywhere else (and I've camped literally everywhere except ultralights). It's a shame that there can't be more of that. I think it's pretty hard to doubt that being able to camp in regional groups or type groups or whatever would foster a similar sense of community and improve the experience for those groups.

But, as you rightly point out, none of that is free. It comes at the cost of the solos (most people) feeling like second class citizens and I can't even imagine how the ground crews could be made to work.
 
The only time I went, I camped with my plane. I didn't DO anything with my plane other than sleep next to it, out in the middle of a hot field several miles from the exhibits and several hundred yards from bathroom facilities. If Scholler is shaded, close to everything, and allows groups, maybe that is a better option for some.
The shaded spots are all consumed by thursday before the show. You've got the downside to airplane camping well nailed. IMO the downside to Scholler is that it's kind of the wild west. It's very noisy (on one end due to SOS Bros, on the other due to the highway). There are lots of parties. Everyone is kind of on top of one another.

It is, however, where one can group camp. :)
 
For every small amount of people who ask to camp together, there's a larger crowd who feels that there should be no reserved spaces. I can't tell you the number of irate people you get when you taxi them past empty places to send them further away from the show.
That just made me never want to fly in again, being stuck in the last row of S40, maybe I can deal with that, but the late night semi trucks driving all night long using engine breaking, no thanks. I hope EAA can fix this to make it more desirable, I’ll try to bring the camper next time.
 
The only time I went, I camped with my plane. I didn't DO anything with my plane other than sleep next to it, out in the middle of a hot field several miles from the exhibits and several hundred yards from bathroom facilities. If Scholler is shaded, close to everything, and allows groups, maybe that is a better option for some.
Another option for a group would be don't park together, but pick one person's aircraft as the site to camp together. While technically against the rules, I did not see anyone enforcing said rules, at least not in the GAP hinterlands where us late arrivals were shunted. As long as you did not have a sprawling tent city, I doubt anyone would know or care.

Kinda depends on where you are in Scholler as the camping area is quite large. The early birds scarf up the prime locations that are close to the gates, but they pay for the privilege. Depending on when you arrive you could find yourself quite far from the show and any amenities like the showers and Camp stores. As far as placing more than the allotted number of tents on a specific site, I guess that really depends on the EAA staff for that area in a given year. I know in HBC, which is the only aircraft camping area I've camped in, they are pretty strict.
 
The shaded spots are all consumed by thursday before the show. You've got the downside to airplane camping well nailed. IMO the downside to Scholler is that it's kind of the wild west. It's very noisy (on one end due to SOS Bros, on the other due to the highway). There are lots of parties. Everyone is kind of on top of one another.

It is, however, where one can group camp. :)
This year I hope to park in the IAC area. Other than being a member and having an acro plane, dunno what the rules are. AFAIK no camping there, but hard to park closer. I'll be arriving with a buddy in a C-45 (beech 18). Not sure whether he will park in vintage or warbird. Need to research that. Sounds like Scholler will be our best option.
 
I camp in Vintage and usually have three or more planes from my local area with me. We decided to stop worrying about camping next to each together and just meet up at one person's plane at night and hang out. As long as you arrive close to the same time and you're relatively close, it's works out. This gives us better odds that one of us will be on the flight line!

We figured this out when we all arrived at Fisk together one time and they split us up. Two to 18, two to 27. We ended up within two rows of each other and one guy got the flight line spot... best setup we ever had!
 
Never been in Scholler. Is that a negative?

I've driven through Scholler once - driving someone back to their campsite. It's like a third-world shanty town. I'd never voluntarily stay over there; some people love it, though. But from my perspective, it's an unhospitable zoo.
 
I work in Vintage. The rules evolve, but frankly, there is getting LESS opportunity to have reserved space. As pointed out, we have a special area for type clubs (only a couple each year) and that space is only marked out until the Monday (first "official" day of the show). Then we start filling any empty slots in it.

There have been times in the past where people came in early and paid for a bunch of spaces and left to be filled by their buddies when they got in. This has always been problematic and the Vintage board has been progressively putting an end to that.

The best bet if you want a bunch of spaces together anywhere is to stage somewhere outside Oshkosh and fly in together. We have several groups that do that. At least in vintage, when we get one of those, we'll avoid interspersing any interleaved non-group arrivals in your group while you guys are assembling as long as you are all arriving fairly close together.

I'm a (former) part of the Twin Bonanza group, and we always appreciated the Vintage folks accommodating us as an informal type-club and helping us secure reserved parking. But several of us have traded up to King Airs or, in my case, a Duke - all of which were made after 1970. So we're stuck in the N or S 40. I think we're just going to stage outside Osh and come in as a flight and hope for the best. Thanks for all the thoughts, though.
 
I've driven through Scholler once - driving someone back to their campsite. It's like a third-world shanty town. I'd never voluntarily stay over there; some people love it, though. But from my perspective, it's an unhospitable zoo.

Like any decent sized city, Scholler has its "good" neighborhoods and its less desirable sections. I drive for the Homebuilt Welcome Wagon so get to experience all of the camping and parking areas from Basler to the southern end of S40 and the flightline to the western edge of Scholler and everything in between. I've also tent camped in Scholler twice, HBC with our plane a bunch and now in a rented RV in Sleepy Hollow. They all have their pros and cons and what is acceptable to some isn't for others. The key is realistic expectation management, and some prior planning and you won't be disappointed in whichever route you pick.
 
Kinda depends on where you are in Scholler as the camping area is quite large. The early birds scarf up the prime locations that are close to the gates, but they pay for the privilege. Depending on when you arrive you could find yourself quite far from the show and any amenities like the showers and Camp stores. As far as placing more than the allotted number of tents on a specific site, I guess that really depends on the EAA staff for that area in a given year. I know in HBC, which is the only aircraft camping area I've camped in, they are pretty strict.
We're riding the bus back from a movie @ the fly-in theater one night. Guy waves the bus down in Scholler. He literally needed to know where he was @. Said he'd be wandering around for a couple of hours and couldn't find his way out.
 
For every small amount of people who ask to camp together, there's a larger crowd who feels that there should be no reserved spaces. I can't tell you the number of irate people you get when you taxi them past empty places to send them further away from the show.

yeah that's really annoying.
 
I camped in Scholler one year when the plane was down. It wasn't too bad, I camped with my EAA chapter who cooked breakfast for us. Otherwise, you'll find me tailed in to the woods behind the hangar cafe. I'm in one of the myriad of green Cabela's Alaskan Guide dome tents in the trees.
 
I've driven through Scholler once - driving someone back to their campsite. It's like a third-world shanty town. I'd never voluntarily stay over there; some people love it, though. But from my perspective, it's an unhospitable zoo.
It's full of non-aviation folks that use Oshkosh as a destination for their 15-bedroom, 10-bath RVs.
 
I'll be bringing my Decathlon. My buddy will be bringing one of these two aircraft:

PXL_20210224_222948324 (2).jpg PXL_20210206_201133960 (1).jpg

He has no experience showing at Oshkosh. What are the rules WRT parking in the Warbird or Vintage areas? Is there some kind of qualification of pre-registration required?
 
Just note that if you are flying in and camping in Scholler that usually means tent camping. EAA has virtually eliminated any decent spot that you are allowed to setup a tent with their ever increasing 24 hour generator and water/electric areas. You are not allowed to put a tent up in any of those areas, only a camper. By Saturday afternoon everything north of Elm street is already taken or roped off leaving you out in the boonies south of the ultralight emergency landing strip. If you don't have a bicycle it is a long walk or a long bus ride to get to the show from there. Scholler has essentially turned into camper or RV camping only and EAA doesn't care because that is where the money is.
 
Just note that if you are flying in and camping in Scholler that usually means tent camping. EAA has virtually eliminated any decent spot that you are allowed to setup a tent with their ever increasing 24 hour generator and water/electric areas. You are not allowed to put a tent up in any of those areas, only a camper. By Saturday afternoon everything north of Elm street is already taken or roped off leaving you out in the boonies south of the ultralight emergency landing strip. If you don't have a bicycle it is a long walk or a long bus ride to get to the show from there. Scholler has essentially turned into camper or RV camping only and EAA doesn't care because that is where the money is.
Your other stategy is to grab a tent and find someone who flew in but isn't camping with their plane and pitch next to it. I was going to do that with Jim Weir one year (he always stays in the dorms) but I ended up finding another place.
 
Just note that if you are flying in and camping in Scholler that usually means tent camping. EAA has virtually eliminated any decent spot that you are allowed to setup a tent with their ever increasing 24 hour generator and water/electric areas. You are not allowed to put a tent up in any of those areas, only a camper. By Saturday afternoon everything north of Elm street is already taken or roped off leaving you out in the boonies south of the ultralight emergency landing strip. If you don't have a bicycle it is a long walk or a long bus ride to get to the show from there. Scholler has essentially turned into camper or RV camping only and EAA doesn't care because that is where the money is.
There is another option. You can also rent an RV and have the owner place it on a site for you. That’s what we do, albeit in Sleepy Hollow, but it also works in Scholler. Also there’s still a ton of car/tent campers in Scholler. As I already mentioned, Im a driver for the Homebuilt Wagon and drove all over Scholler and get a perspective that many don’t. However, if the past few years are any judge, unless you arrive early or late, the pickens are slim.
 
I'll be bringing my Decathlon. My buddy will be bringing one of these two aircraft:

View attachment 124642 View attachment 124643

He has no experience showing at Oshkosh. What are the rules WRT parking in the Warbird or Vintage areas? Is there some kind of qualification of pre-registration required?
Ron will chime in here and correct me as he volunteers in Vintage, but IIRC to qualify for Vintage parking or camping the aircraft has to built no later than 1970, but there’s no pre-registration— You just show up like the rest of us.

As for Warbirds, best to contact Warbirds of America https://www.warbirds-eaa.org/ as I believe they control all aspects of Warbird parking.
 
Your other stategy is to grab a tent and find someone who flew in but isn't camping with their plane and pitch next to it. I was going to do that with Jim Weir one year (he always stays in the dorms) but I ended up finding another place.
To me those folks belong in GAParking not GACamping. Why take up a GAC space if you're not GAC'ing? You'd think to discourage that it would be cheaper to GAP than GAC but I've never looked into it.
Had a guy parked right next to me in a prime row behind the green shower house 2 years ago use GAC as GAP. Didn't even put up a tent and pretend to be camping. B@stard didn't even register and was supposedly an EAA employee. The registration folks were trying to track him down all week.
Had a young kid do pretty much the same thing last year but at least he put up a tent for appearances. I was not unhappy when his tent was flattened in the rain.
 
There's no difference in price. Your airplane always parks for free. If you set up a tent, you owe them the camping fee (which is the same as the base Scholler unit). GAP is just further from the camping facilities (showers, shop, etc.). Vintage, with the exception of a small display area, doesn't differentiate between camping and parking anymore. I'm not sure about homebuilts.
 
There's no difference in price. Your airplane always parks for free. If you set up a tent, you owe them the camping fee (which is the same as the base Scholler unit). GAP is just further from the camping facilities (showers, shop, etc.). Vintage, with the exception of a small display area, doesn't differentiate between camping and parking anymore. I'm not sure about homebuilts.
Homebuilts do have a distict area that has parking only but it eventually merges with HBC as you head West across Knapp St.
 
I'll be bringing my Decathlon. My buddy will be bringing one of these two aircraft:

View attachment 124642 View attachment 124643

He has no experience showing at Oshkosh. What are the rules WRT parking in the Warbird or Vintage areas? Is there some kind of qualification of pre-registration required?
You just have to put the correct sign in your window after you land, like GAC, HBP, VAC. For these planes, the correct sign is YOLO. They’ll point you to the right place.
 
In Vintage, you have to have a manufacture date from before the end of 1970. Yes, we check. I wrote the software that looks up the N numbers in the FAA and TC databases. For the few planes that don't exist in these, we have some pretty good experts at determining model years from looking at the plane. You show up too new with a VAC sign and you'll get the full Gilligan (a three hour tour, a three hour tour) of Wittman field until you put up a legal sign.
 
Now if all your planes had floats - you'd have a much easier time of group camping at the Sea Plane Base campground.

The RV vs. Tent in Scholler is not a new issue, nor local volunteers parking their RVs ahead of the show in the best spots and never camping in them. I can remember my 1st Oshkosh in 1984 where Paul's Woods (the primo Scholler spot) was even then totally taken up with RVs, 1/2 of which didn't appear to be being used while my dad and I had to pitch a tent out in the sun.

Personally, the chance at getting a flightline spot with my VAC this year is tempting and being able to stage lawn chairs, etc in the plane for shows would be great.
 
The RV vs. Tent in Scholler is not a new issue, nor local volunteers parking their RVs ahead of the show in the best spots and never camping in them. I can remember my 1st Oshkosh in 1984 where Paul's Woods (the primo Scholler spot) was even then totally taken up with RVs, 1/2 of which didn't appear to be being used while my dad and I had to pitch a tent out in the sun.
Wait, what? Why do people pay a camping fee for the week and then not use their RVs?
 
Yeah, it does sorta get me agrevated when it's 'supposed' to be first come first serve but then find all the nice shady spots roped off and staked out but nobody there yet. I've camped at sun n fun many times but only camped at Airventure once and that was years ago. Drove in, tenting in Camp Scholler..As I recall there were a few open spots in Pauls woods...nice shady looking places so inviting...but they were staked out. Blast it! It ended up being ok though, I managed to snag a sweet spot right next to the entrance gate near the red barn...about where the Fly Market has been for a while now.
 
Wait, what? Why do people pay a camping fee for the week and then not use their RVs?
i think what he means is there are folks that park their RVs the day Scholler opens which is around 30 days prior to the show. They pay for camping starting on the day they place their camper. Then they show up for the show later. Some are there the whole time as they are volunteering. Other folks do they same thing by roping off their sit and show up closer to the show with their tent or camper. again they are paying for the site the day they claim it.
 
Yeah, it does sorta get me agrevated when it's 'supposed' to be first come first serve but then find all the nice shady spots roped off and staked out but nobody there yet. I've camped at sun n fun many times but only camped at Airventure once and that was years ago. Drove in, tenting in Camp Scholler..As I recall there were a few open spots in Pauls woods...nice shady looking places so inviting...but they were staked out. Blast it! It ended up being ok though, I managed to snag a sweet spot right next to the entrance gate near the red barn...about where the Fly Market has been for a while now.
It is first come first serve. Just some folks are willing to pay to get the best spots.
 
i think what he means is there are folks that park their RVs the day Scholler opens which is around 30 days prior to the show. They pay for camping starting on the day they place their camper. Then they show up for the show later. Some are there the whole time as they are volunteering. Other folks do they same thing by roping off their sit and show up closer to the show with their tent or camper. again they are paying for the site the day they claim it.
I know specific examples of people who literally never intended to camp - but took up a spot for the entire show 'just in case' they needed to crash out one night during the show and not go home - which was minutes away from the field AND they had access to car parking inside the field so going home was not an inconvenience.
 
I know specific examples of people who literally never intended to camp - but took up a spot for the entire show 'just in case' they needed to crash out one night during the show and not go home - which was minutes away from the field AND they had access to car parking inside the field so going home was not an inconvenience.
That sucks but they are paying for the site so I don’t see much that anyone can do.
 
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