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ddozier234 10-23-2021 06:02 AM

Chicago Living in the Winter
Good morning All,

I hope your week has been great for you. On the 10th of November I am headed to Chicago to start a new project. I have secured a site outside Chicago that caters to contractors. It was tough but I was able to find a spot at least for the time being. If you know of a full hookup RV park near Chicago please let me know. I will be in the area from mid November to the through April.

The main reason I'm reaching out to you is to get tips, tricks and hacks to make a scary situation (living in and RV in what could be extremely low temps) as pleasant as possible. I have a heated fresh water hose already, the under belly is enclosed and the tanks are heated, but I have no idea what else I may need.

My wife and I own a 2011 Forest River Cardinal 3150rl.

hamm2018 10-23-2021 06:59 AM

See about blocking the wind from getting under the rig with something. So use haybales, others use canvass.
Also try to see if you can get a larger propane tank delivered and add to the rig. Usually you can get a 75- 100lb tank placed outside, maybe larger. If not you will probably be filling those 30lb bottles every other day.
Watch your discharge hose it will freeze up, also your discharge outlet and valves.
Seal your windows better to help with heat lost. If you are going to have 50 amp get a couple of electric heaters to help save propane.

1960C182 10-29-2021 06:24 AM

I think I would look into a room at one of those long term stay hotels or short term lease on a small apartment. Living in a RV Fighting a possible harsh winter by Chicago standards wouldn't be fun to me. A typical Chicago winter is bad enoug.

kdauto 10-29-2021 10:59 AM

Yeah, not sure I'd want to try wintering in a trailer that far North. If you do try it, I'd say a remote temperature kit for the basement is a necessity. We bought an inexpensive kit and have 3 remote sensors, I think they all work via bluetooth. Under 40 bucks. We leave one outside, one in the basement and the other goes inside the trailer for when we're hauling in freezing temps. We can see if the trailer heat is working down the road.

Skip426 10-29-2021 11:14 AM

You'll have to be skirted to the ground , "no if ands or buts " extra propane and be ready to bring the slides in during storms.

As a South Dakota farmer once said about winter there.

" You do realize , that the only thing between here and the Artic circle ; is a barbed wire fence at the Canadian border !"

That statement could easily apply to Chicago . :whistling:

Jerry Burks 10-29-2021 11:30 AM

Winter camping in Chicago...sounds like a Halloween prank.

Archer2 10-29-2021 12:23 PM

Something else regarding looking for a park “near Chicago”. There is a city called Chicago but it is pretty small area-wise. What most people mean is the Greater Chicago area, which is huge. It may encompass an area roughly from roughly Wisconsin to the north, Indiana to the south and west from Lake Michigan to Aurora depending on who you ask. That is a triangle with sides about 50 miles each.
So be careful and get a map. And for what it is worth I can’t imagine a job that would pay me enough to go (back) to The Chicago area.

Marine359 10-29-2021 12:39 PM

Being from Chi-town, the only good thing about winters is that many of the potholes fill with water and freeze, making driving much more pleasant. If you survive the cruel and unusual punishment of camping there during winter, you could probably make some good bucks by writing a book, filming some You-tube, and maybe some National Geographic. Please post again when you thaw out.

oscarvan 10-29-2021 12:55 PM


Originally Posted by Marine359 (Post 5967719)
filming some You-tube

Youtube channel and a Patreon account. Now you're talking. Out there at 3am in a -47F wind chill with a heat gun on the water faucet because you haven't had a shower in 3 days. That's gold man.

oatmeal 10-29-2021 01:54 PM

There are only a few RV parks in the Chicago area that have full hookups--most campgrounds are county or forest, and are electric only.

There's a KOA 50 miles northwest of Chicago, but it closes in October. However, right near the KOA is a place called Lehman's Lakeside RV Resort, and it's open year-round. My knowledge is limited to the fact that it exists--I've never been there.

What kind of refrigerator do you have--absorption or residential?

Fast E 10-29-2021 06:01 PM

Rent an apartment/house. You don't know what cold is. FOR NINE MONTHS OF THE YEAR.

TXiceman 10-29-2021 06:32 PM

Forget the RV and find a corporate suites or small efficiency. You will not have a fun time during the winter.


kdauto 10-29-2021 07:03 PM

Yeah, because factor in a campsite, then add an easy 20-30$ of propane each DAY and rent will start to look cheap and way more comfy too.

Rhagfo 10-29-2021 07:29 PM

I had a friend that wintered in the Chicago area in a Class A DP, said he was fine.

mfire1339 10-29-2021 07:45 PM

Find an Extended Stay. forget you have a trailer.


arcaguy 10-29-2021 07:52 PM

Do you have a wife? If so you likely won't if you try an winter in Chicago in an RV. That said I'm sure it can be done but at what cost to both your pocket book and the RV. I've lived in Michigan my whole life that I can remember and while Chicago won't be as bad as the Dakotas (BTW last time I checked there was not barbed wire fence at the Canadian border) it will still be very cold on occasion, think of max low of maybe -20 for a day or two but certainly below freezing nearly every night for 3 months and occasional freezing nights in November and March. I'm in Lansing Michigan right now and it's pushing freezing right now some nights. As to being close to the city that's a relative thing. It would not surprise me that a 50 mile commute could take you 1.5 to 2 hours, just something to think about. As others have said I would look at getting some kind of "executive" apartment as the extended stay hotels will be in the neighborhood of $2,000 a month and up, most likely up, but check. I know that several years ago when I was staying in a lot of Hampton Inns or Fairfield Inns it was generally $80-100 a night for very long-term stays (3-6 months). Good luck and don't freeze to death.

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