There are many great events and festivals that you can visit in your RV. But some of the most exciting events are airshows. Full of impressive feats of flight, daring performances, and usually some vintage planes or cars, these multi day events are favorites for airplane enthusiasts. And many offer onsite camping for trailers and RVs! Looking to visit an airshow this year? Here are some of the top airshows for camping in 2022.
How to Camp at an Airshow
If you’ve never camped at an airshow there are a few things to remember to make it a great time.
There are a limited number of campsites at these shows, and they often sell out fast. So make a reservation as soon as possible to lock in a spot. Weren’t able to secure an RV spot on site? Check the local area for other campgrounds. While it won’t be the same as staying at the event, it’s usually not very hard to find RV parks or campgrounds nearby that are an easy drive away.
Prepare to Dry Camp
Often camping at events like these is dry camping. If you’re lucky you’ll have electric hookups, but there’s no guaranty you’ll have water or septic. Some events like the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI offer sites with water and electric hookups, and even have pumping services and grocery stores on site. But other events are your standard dry camping experience with no hook ups or amenities.
So come prepared! Empty your gray and black tanks and fill your freshwater tank before you arrive. It’s also a good idea to make a grocery run beforehand to stock up on food before you park. Also be sure to take a look at any campground rules and regulations for the show.
The Best Airshows by Region
Here are the best airshows for camping across the U.S.A.
Airshows in the South
Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo – Lakeland, Florida
The Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo takes place from April 5-10, 2022 in Lakeland, Florida and it’s 7 days of spectacles. Watch the incredible airshow performers, admire the historical and modern planes during the fly-bys, learn something new at the educator workshops, and stop by all the exhibitors. Park your rig at their campground to make it easy to get back to relax after all the fun. The campsites are on a first come first serve basis and are dry camping. Water, showers, camp store, porta-potties and dump stations are available on site.
Airshows in the Midwest
EAA AirVenture – Oshkosh, Wisconsin
EAA AirVenture is one of the biggest and best airshows in the country. In 2022 the show runs from July 25-21 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Watch some of the world’s best aerobatic performers during the day and night airshows, take a ride in a historic WWII bomber, learn something new at the daily forums and workshops, and enjoy the aviation themed movies at the outdoor theater. Make the week even better by booking a camping spot right on site. EAA members can camp at the Camp Scholler campground which has amenities including two grocery stores, free public Wi-Fi hotspots, shower facilities, an RV pumping station, and even portable pumping services.
Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival – Battle Creek, Michigan
Celebrate the 4th of July with plenty of planes and fireworks at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival. This show takes place in Battle Creek, Michigan from June 30-July 4, 2022. Enjoy both the day and nighttime airshows, fireworks displays, music, hot air balloons, a carnival, and plenty of vendors to shop. Self contained vehicles can even camp right at the Battle Creek Executive Airport so you’ll be as close as possible to all the events.
Duluth Air and Aviation Expo – Duluth, Minnesota
The Duluth Air and Aviation Expo takes place in Duluth, Minnesota from July 16-17, 2022. Watch airshows by the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, Jessy Panzer, Kent Pietsch, and others aerial performers. There are also many historic and modern planes to view as well as a kids zone with fun activities and games. Camp right on site with a weekend camping pass. Passes must be reserved in advance, and all spots are dry camping.
Dayton Air Show – Dayton, Ohio
This year the Dayton Air Show takes place at Dayton International Airport from July 30-31, 2022. Watch the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, as well as the U.S. Air Force F-16 Viper Demo Team, U.S. Army Golden Knights, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and others give amazing aerial performances. Back on the ground you can also watch the air show parade, visit the kids area, take a look at the vendors, or even take a helicopter ride. While there’s no overnight parking for RVs or campers, there is designated parking for your RV during the day.
Airshows in the West
Airshow of the Cascades – Madras, Oregon
Taking place August 26-27, 2022 in Madras, Oregon is the Airshow of the Cascades. This airshow has plenty of aerial performances as well as static air planes, vintage planes, and even a car show. Dry camping is allowed at the airshow for tents, trailers, and RVs. There are several different camping locations to choose from including pull through and back in spaces that give you close access to all the shows and events.
Pacific Airshow – Huntington Beach, California
Coming up in October of 2022 is the Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach, California. It’s more than an incredible airshow, there’s also a music festival, boat race, and plenty of amazing aerobatic demonstrations from military and civilian display teams. There’s limited RV camping on site that’s right on the ocean with water and electric hookups. Sign up for their waitlist for 2022 so you can be the first to know about these coveted sites.
STIHL National Championship Air Races – Reno, Nevada
If you’re a fan of air races, head to Reno, Nevada September 14-18, 2022 for the STIHL National Championship Air Races. Watch the planes race at up to 500 miles per hour, as well as demonstrations from the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team and the U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Squadron. They even has several parking areas for RV camping. It’s dry camping but they offer water trucks and sanitary pump trucks every day and you can stay for the entire weekend.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Ok, so this last one isn’t exactly an airplane show…but how about hot air balloons? The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a favorite of RVers, and for good reason! This festival takes place October 1-9, 2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s the biggest balloon festival in the world with over 500 hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes. Watch the balloons take to the sky during the day and even light up the night. There’s also skydiving performances, fireworks, photo contests, and a chainsaw carving competition. The festival offers rally style parking for RVers in several lots. Reservations are required and sell out quickly for this popular event.
Other Great Airshows Around the Country
There are many other awesome airshows across the U.S. that didn’t make our list since they don’t offer onsite camping. But a quick Google search for “airshows near me” can help you discover fun shows to visit. So if you don’t mind parking your rig at a nearby campground or RV park and making a short drive to the event, here are a few other impressive airshows to explore.
- Cleveland Air Show – Cleveland, Ohio
- Fort Lauderdale Airshow – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Fort Wayne Airshow – Fort Wayne, Texas
- OC Air Show – Ocean City, Maryland
- Spirit of St Louis Air Show – St Louis, Missouri
- Tampa Bay Airfest – Tampa Bay, Florida
Need a rig to get you to some of the top airshows? RVshare has an excellent selection of trailers and RVs available to rent.