Because of its proximity to the river and the short distance to to the town of Kernville, the Kernville Airport campground is a great spot for a weekend trip or even longer. Unlike most of the campgrounds in and around the River, this campground is rarely crowded, except for special fly-in events and meet-ups when there are lots of airplanes and tents. (Usually, we call the cafe before heading over to be sure that there isn’t an event scheduled on a weekend when we plan to visit.)
We’ve loved camping at Kernville Airport since our kids were little and in that time there have been some real improvements -- namely the new hot showers and the addition of two electrical outlets.
There are several shaded spots along the perimeter of the campground, though most of these are close to the shower area, which may mean foot traffic through your site. Sites are not numbered or marked so just look around and pop a squat wherever suits your fancy. There are only 2 spigots in the campground so you may want to look for a place close to one of those, or with a fire ring, barbecue and/or table. There are a few of these scattered around the campground.
My favorite way to camp here is to pull the Airstream up along the tie-down area, with the door and awning facing Northeast, and park between the oleander bushes, which protects us from wind and late day sun. It also gives us a sense of privacy and exclusion from other campers and puts us out of line of site of the loo. It also means, though, that whatever wild life is in the campground is also a next door neighbor. On our last trip, we met (on several occaisions) a curious gardener snake that my kids named Bob. We also had a weird interaction with a kung-foo fighting mouse who stood on its back legs and went pyscho ninja on our 90 pound Rhodie. Even the dog was confused.
Todd loves to see his airplane parked right next to the camper. "That's the way to do it," he says. And I agree that his plane and my Airstream look really great together. I think its true love.