questions for 2012 planning - 5th wheel / big camper / hook-up sites with electric
(Original post transplanted from old forums - please pardon)
Depending on how many others of my group want to attend a "long version", I'm throwing around a few ideas for a 2012 extended-stay plan. I would appreciate some advice from you experienced BIG CAMPER (with utilities ) campers to help me decide what is likely.
I realize that 2010 was a severe aberration, so in *average* years, do the electrical hook-up sites big enough to handle a 35ft 5th wheel ever fill up completely? (Also, are they at least 30 amp?)
I ask because there's a chance I could have access to a big 5th wheel for next year (2012) and finally spend all or most of the week up at Oshkosh. Our regular group normally flies up Friday into FLD, does the show Saturday, and flies home Sunday. We have a friend with a cottage in FondDuLac that we base out of.
It is usually a rush to see just the highlights, and I'd like to at least once be able to take my time and see a lot more of the other day and night events, forums, and hopefully a night airshow.
This year I'll miss the 787 and the night airshow again because of our set schedule. I managed to see the A380 when it was here, but it was a hassle to work outside our normal schedule.
I'm not concerned about a "prime" spot, just ANY spot that has 30amp electric so I can run the A/C. I can sleep through 24/7 airplane noise (Thank You Offutt AFB in the 70's), I just hate hot and humid.
If none of my group wants to drive up and go the full week, the idea is to get a planeload to fly up the same day that I arrive so I have a crew to help me park and set up. That would likely mean a Tuesday or Wednesday arrival to handle work schedules so we can have three or four in that plane.
On Friday, I will probably reposition down to the lake cottage in FondDuLac so a late arrival can have my spot for Friday night and the rest of the show.
What are your experiences with first day vs mid-week arrivals for the availability of oversize sites with electrical hook-ups?
All that I read about people having to show up EARLY to stake out a spot, suggests to me that THESE spots DO fill up despite what the site says about the other sorts of camping always being available.
If I do manage to get a spot, what are the problems with a bottom of the barrel site that I should anticipate and prepare for?
-- I would imagine things like:
Rugged terrain requiring a ton of shim blocks?
No close place to park the truck?
No INTERNET!?!?! (Oh the HUMANITY!)
If I cannot get a spot on site, is there another reliable local campsite that has uttilties closer than FondDuLac?
-Thank you in advance for the information.
#3 Posted: 7/17/2011 15:49:57
I've been coming up to AirVenture most of my life, started with my buddy's family in a class C motorhome, then began taking a tent for a few days, graduated to a pop-up camper for the entire week...But for the last 3 years I been towing up my 31' Jayco 5th wheel. Its the next best thing to getting a hotel ! I have never used the new electric hook-ups, though. I have a 4500 watt gasoline-powered generator that I bring up with me. (got it from Maxx Tool Sales onling and was about $425 delivered....I been using it 3 years now with zero problems...4 gal of gas lasts about 12 hours of continual use...possibly a little less when using the a/c. Only drawback is that I don't camp in the 24hr generator area so I have to shut it down by 10pm. That hasn't been a problem so far since it's been kinda cool at night (not always the case though!)
As far as parking the behemoth, its fairly simple. For the most part, Camp Scholler is fairly flat. To be on the safe side, I cut several wood 4x4's in case I am on unlevel ground. Another thing that makes a HUGE difference ihaving some plywood pads for under the wheels and jacks. I just picked up a 4'x8' sheet of OSB board from Home Depot and cut what I needed...and 5th wheels have a TON of storage space in which to keep them while in transit.
As far as the best day to arrive ? I'm not exactly sure for the 24hr generator area or the electric hook-up area, but the rest of Camp Scholler has never had a shortage of space as far as I've ever seen...You might just have to walk a little farther is all if the grounds are crowded. I usually arrive the Friday afternoon before AirVenture starts and get my usual camping spot (near the beer garden, of course) and I leave the last Sunday before noon. I assure you that you will get a decent camping area no matter what time you arrive...Just a matter of the distance to the airfiled. If you bring a bicycle or scooter then that point is moot.
Hope this helps ! If you need help with anything just gimme a shout and I'll see what I can do !
Safe travels !
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Learn like you'll live forever, Live like you'll die tomorrow...
#4 Posted: 7/19/2011 17:48:26
We called before we made our reservations because we pull a 34' 5th wheel with a long bed crew cab Ford. We were assured that we would have no problems with it at Camp Scholler. We also bring a 6000W Kipor gas generator so I wasn't worried about the electric/24hr generator area. Like you I can thank the Army for helping sleep through anything.
We will be arriving with our friends in their 5th wheel and another couple in their 34' motor home on Sunday afternoon. We will be set up and having fun that evening. Looking forward to our 1ST AirVenture!!
#5 Posted: 7/19/2011 23:08:55
I have also discovered since I posted this that apparently last year was the first year with electric hookups. Since last year was the "Great Swamp Experience" this year is really the first potentially baseline test case for campsites with utilities.
I guess I'll have to wait for post-event reports to see how it goes this time around.
The popularity of the sites will determine if more are added.
How about it campers? Did all of the improved sites fill up this year or was there still room?
What was availability like over the week for the "utilities provided" sites with water and electric hookups?
Found the guide
lots of good information there.
The improved sites sold out fast... I think it was Thursday or Friday prior to opening day.
What Adam said. I also saw they were still full when I left Wed. But then, it's my understanding there are no refunds for electric sites.
Hookup sites were full before Airventure started. I think the 24/7 generator area needs to be expanded.
So, was the 24/7 generator site full also then? Do both need expansion? How does that utilization compare to the rest of the areas this year?
24 hr electric service availability
My son and I arrived at AirVenture on Saturday afternoon (Jul 23d) with my 21' bumper pull & 3/4 ton P/U intending to try for the electric services area. By that time there wasn't a chance of getting in there and the 24 hour generator areas appeared full, as well. We set-up the first night in a gen set (but not 24/7) area and ran a 2kw Honda unit all night because I have to run a medical device (CPAP machine). The next morning, I was barely able to find a small spot right on Lindberg at 21st, and then only after some serious searching and use of 4WD. We had a 6500 watt gen set to run the A/C, though we only needed to run it a couple of nights. IMOP the 24 hr generator area definitely needs expanding. Late comers parked way down in the boonies close to the dump/water station and back gate. Many of them had generators sitting outside. I expect quite a few were run after 10PM, but I can't say for sure. The bus shuttle service was good once we learned how to use it, but a bicycle/scooter solution would have been much more flexible. If you bring a bike, be sure it has fenders. Otherwise expect a pretty good coating of mud on the wet days. Not sure what to recommend for dealing with the 3/4" of mud that coats all the paved roads after a rain. We left EARLY Sunday morning (Jul 31st) in order to beat the rush at the dump stations since there are only 4 spots. Even at 4:15 AM, we had another rig pull in right behind us. Bottom line - the generator(s) worked well for us and I would not consider trying to get in the "water and electric" services area. It would not have been enough better to justify the extra cost.
Last edited by geraldvg; 08-06-2011 at 03:42 PM.
I had the chance to fly over the grounds several times during the week. Boy, the Vintage and North 40 parking areas never really filled up but boy Scholler looked as busy as I've ever seen it.
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