Hans and I found a great and unexpected place to camp in the heart of Chicago at the McCormick Place Convention Center’s Lot B truck marshaling yard.
It was steps from the Lake Shore Drive Bike path and a mile from the Loop downtown.
At $35 a night versus an average summer hotel price of $350, it was a huge bargain!
The white camper on the left with the slide out deployed is our AF, Arctic Fox (lately known as MF, Millenium Falcon).
It was dry-camping, no water or hookups, but we were only at our camper to sleep so we did not use up many of our resources in 3 days.
Literally, the Lot B convention center parking lot is mere steps from downtown.
I also felt very safe there which is more than I can say for some of the places I have lived over the years in Chicago. There were other RV campers there doing the same thing as us as well as a 24 hour security patrol.
Airstream….. keeping Lot B classy!
Granted, it is a truck marshaling yard so 18 wheelers are coming and going all hours of the night. There is also a train to one side of the lot so it could be loud, but the noise never disturbed us when we were sleeping as we were running our dual Yamaha generators. Although they are quiet for generators, they still drowned out the sounds. I love white noise when I sleep so this worked well for me!
Also, the RVs are in a separate section of the lot from the big trucks.
The next closest camping option was in Zion which was 35 Miles from the city. Considering Chicago traffic these days, that really was not an option.
We were able to visit with Chicago friends very easily. Uber drivers did not mind picking us up or dropping us off at Lot B. It cost us about $7 one way to get to the Loop. You also have the option to walk 15 minutes to catch the Metra two stops into the city.
We enjoyed the city just like we did when we lived there! We went to see George Clinton and Parliament at the Petrillo Music Shell.
We also discovered this:
I have never seen a Taco Bell Cantina serving MARGARITAS any other place so I must assume it is a Chicago thing!
I was also able to take a morning bike ride on LSD (Lake Shore Drive for those of you not familiar with Chicagoland) just like old times!
I would highly recommend dry camping here to experience the city.
The staff is used to campers so it is no big deal to accommodate us. Just remember to empty your tanks and make sure you have your fresh tank full, although, according to my neighbor who had been living there since May, it is easy to leave and come back.