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Wed, Jul 19, 2006

Relax On AirVenture Grounds... Try RV'ing!

For Once, We're NOT Talking About Homebuilts

by ANN Correspondent Rose Dorcey

There's a popular option for staying at AirVenture that you may not have considered. It's clean, like most hotels, but may be more convenient than staying miles away from the AirVenture grounds. Try RV'ing.

Several Wisconsin recreational vehicle dealers rent a variety of camping units to AirVenture attendees. Van Boxtel RV Super Mart in Green Bay, and Burlington RV in Burlington, are two such dealers. Both are keeping busy with AirVenture camper registrations, and both promise to make your RV camping experience as easy as possible.

Sheryl Michaud, Rental Manager at Van Boxtel, said that her rental prices include set-up and delivery. They offer a variety of sleeping options, from the most basic 8' tent campers, to hard-side travel trailers and deluxe motor homes. Over half of their 136 rental units go to Oshkosh each summer. While her entire inventory is spoken for, it is not unusual to get last minute cancellations. She advised anyone interested in camping at EAA's Camp Scholler, or a private campground this year, to call to see if a camper has become available.

Burlington RV's Scott Remer echoed the same thoughts. His company rents only Class C motor homes, and they, too, are reserved. Nevertheless, he encourages people interested in renting an RV this year to call him.

"I love to help get people to Oshkosh to enjoy AirVenture," he said in a phone interview.

Burlington RV is located about 40 minutes from Milwaukee, and Remer said his facility is popular for those flying into Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport (KMKE). Many people rent a car, or have friends pick them up, and then pick up the motor home. The price range varies from $475 for a three-day package in a 23' unit, to $1325 for seven days in a 29' unit. He said his units are loaded with TV, DVD, and necessities for bath, water, and sewer hookups. The visitors bring their own bedding and kitchen utensils.

Both Remer and Michaud advise AirVenture attendees to book early. While reservations are accepted up to a year in advance, reserving after January 1 but before March/April is best. People forget that they make reservations if they make them too far in advance, it seems. "Call in January," Michaud said, "We'll typically have something available."

Michaud, who has been bringing campers to Oshkosh for ten years, said that she works with several Oshkosh-area campgrounds. For those wishing to camp on the AirVenture grounds, she needs their EAA number to register the camper, find a campsite, and have it ready for occupancy. She then posts the campsite number on the AirVenture message board. She delivers campers to the Warbird and Ultralight areas, as well.

A fledgling pilot herself-her husband is a private pilot-Michaud said she enjoys serving the air enthusiasts each year. "It's been a fabulous opportunity for us to be able to meet such a diverse group from all over the world," she said. "Everybody is wonderful to work with."

The work of an RV rental manager is hectic, with people calling daily to check on availability, but Remer's thoughts are the same as Michaud's. "It's great to see the father/son relationships, meetings with friends, and military reunions," said Remer. "They like to sit in the shade [of their RV] and relax on the AirVenture grounds."



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