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Old 05-14-2018, 10:35 AM   #1
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McCormick Place - Chicago

Read somewhere that McCormick Place has overnight parking available. Have any of you tried it? I'm a little nervous thinking of hauling my 25' into downtown Chicago and any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! j
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:02 AM   #2
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I haven't personally stayed there in a trailer as I live in Chicago, but there is a few good writeups/videos on it from YouTube channels that should give you a pretty good idea.

Less Junk More Journey "Arriving in Chicago with the Airstream":

They have a few other videos on their stay in Chicago as well.

Gone with the Wynns also has a good writeup and videos: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/dow...ago-rv-camping

I would maybe skip the Skyway if I was towing, there is some tighter spots, the road quality isn't great (that's the road Less Junk More Journey complained about in the video), and it's expensive.
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:52 PM   #3
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You could not pay me enough to spend a night in McCormick's parking lot. Remember in Chicago only the criminals are allowed to have guns. Also if you can park it they can steal it. I have had the experience of flying home via United instead of riding back in the new Ford truck I came to Chicago in.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:39 PM   #4
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It certainly would be an adventure.
McCormick Place is a stone's throw from Soldier field, the lakefront and the museums. Close to Chinatown too!
I'd assume McCormick place has a guarded lot, because it's also a stone's throw from the most dangerous area of Chicago.
You'd want to research it well, and maybe make a dry run without the trailer, because a missed exit might have you on Lake Shore Dr. which is narrow, curvy, and insanely fast...for cars.
I recall a couple did it and posted their review (positive) because he needed to have some medical tests done nearby.
Let me see if I can find that thread.
BTW, I love Chicago, but I had my rules, and I never went south of McCormick place.

Here's the thread I recalled:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...-170765-3.html
Scroll down to post #31
When big trade shows are in Chicago they bring thousands of trucks. The yard is the "Truck marshaling yard", so I guess when it's not full of vendors, it can be used by RV'ers.
I'm not that adventurous.
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:55 AM   #5
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I wouldn’t haul and try to maneuver a trailer into downtown Chicago.

Have you ever been there, driven there or been in a taxi there?

Traffic is insane, streets are narrow and full.

But, that’s me.

Maggie
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:34 AM   #6
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The truck parking area at McCormick Place is made to get class 8 trucks in and out of. There is no problem getting an AS and TV maneuvered to and from this parking lot. There is also good security at the lots, I wouldn't hesitate to pull my AS there and stay overnight. I drive downtown Chicago on a regular basis, at least twice/week. Pull your AS into McCormick Place from the south and you'll be fine. Do not even think of pulling your AS anywhere downtown, stay off of Lake Shore Drive (no trucks allowed), and do not walk anywhere around the McCormick Place area at night. All will be fine.
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:50 AM   #7
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There was a post here last year, mentioning the same thing, I had already planned on staying at a park up near the old nuke plant and I expressed many of the concerns which have been posted in this thread.

Fast forward, after further research, we stayed at McCormick almost a week, we were in town for the marathon. There were two other airstreams and a few class A motorhomes and some RPods but mostly tractor trailers being staged for transfer. Overall, for what it is, it was a great experience and served it's purpose perfectly, up early walked across to the park and then up into town, when we actually wanted to go somewhere, we tried (for our first time ever) Uber and they picked right up at the gate.

Being there for an extended period of time, and trying to save the tanks (there is no dump station) we used the Porta potties that are strategically placed around the property and they were surprisingly clean.

What used to be the South side of Chicago, with all the knowledge of Caprini-Green, is not what it used to be and has been pushed a lot further south with all of the development in the area over the last two decades. Most crimes are those of opportunity and McCormick's location is such that it just isn't really opportune and convenient, being mostly truck trailers if anything it would be roaming graffiti kids. Part of that research was going over crime maps and that little area of Moe Drive just doesn't really show up anything.

We never felt insecure at any time and slept quite well. While this spot would never make it to the top of any vacation lists, if you understand it's purpose it performs it quite well.

As far as getting in and out goes, if you plan your times it can be a complete non-issue, even in Chicago (years ago I was stuck in a traffic jam on the highway at 2am) the only time it was overly crowded going in was the last 2 miles to go at the end of the 55, I think it was early afternoon, getting out was a breeze in the morning. As an alternative, instead of the crowded tight highway approach, if you rather straight lane, not really jockeying for position stop light intersection traffic, almost all the main roads between here and the airport are major tractor trailer roads and can be used from a distance.

When all was done, the wife said that was better than she thought it would be and we can do that again if and when we return.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:13 AM   #8
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I stand corrected.

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Old 05-15-2018, 07:44 AM   #9
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Thanks All

I think after watching the video and reading your comments we are going to park at Indiana Dunes and take the train in. (Discretion is the better part of Valor).
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwillson View Post
The truck parking area at McCormick Place is made to get class 8 trucks in and out of. There is no problem getting an AS and TV maneuvered to and from this parking lot. There is also good security at the lots, I wouldn't hesitate to pull my AS there and stay overnight. I drive downtown Chicago on a regular basis, at least twice/week. Pull your AS into McCormick Place from the south and you'll be fine. Do not even think of pulling your AS anywhere downtown, stay off of Lake Shore Drive (no trucks allowed), and do not walk anywhere around the McCormick Place area at night. All will be fine.
Not only trucks not allowed LSD but boats trailers etc. also.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:02 AM   #11
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Ditto on the train from Indiana Dunes. More fun, and there's an app!

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Old 05-15-2018, 09:36 AM   #12
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We did it last year with no problems what so ever. Easy in easy out, felt very safe. You don't drive on downtown city streets to access. It's a couple blocks off the highway. Absolutely easy and would do it again without hesitation. We took Uber everywhere from the lot.

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Old 05-15-2018, 09:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Ditto on the train from Indiana Dunes. More fun, and there's an app!

Pat
To each his own, I guess. 1hr 20min + each direction on a commuter train does not sound like fun (even with an app} that's 3 hours of travel per city trip.

I guess it just depends on whether you are going for the trailer time or the city time.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:56 AM   #14
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UpYou're missing out on a really great experience. There is great security, all the time!
It's literally right on the lake and 3 minutes from down town.
I lived at lake point tower for 15 years and didn't enjoy this convenience.
Our family stays at the marshalling lot on every trip to Chicago.
We've met Jimmy buffet, Gloria estafon, Robert plant, Spyro gyra and many other airstreamers there!
Don't let the naysayers scare you off.
Alot of the danger you hear broadcasted is fearmongering!
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