Stayed one week to see the sites of Chicago. Price $18. per night for 30 amp and a great view of the lake. Very hard to find the first time and roads are tight. Coming in you will pass a ton of gates on the right, keep going toward the lake on highway 137 (Buckley) which will do a half circle (stay in the right hand lane) and then turn into the main gate on Farragut Ave. Navy Gateway Inn is hard to find too but there is rv parking right out front. We were here into November and the Marina has potable water and a very long hose inside their garage doors but you need to go there when they are open. Dump in marina parking lot is difficult to get rv close to. Laundry inside marina building was $1.50 wash, $1. to dry. Nice base to see the kids in training and the sites of Chicago (would highly recommend the weekend unlimited Metra pass for $8.) and the nearest Metro is walk-able or park for $1.50 for all day. Campground seems to be an afterthought - no water, sewer, back in sites without thought of highlighting the view of the lake, concrete pad sites but lawn very mushy even after sunshiny days, must drive to marina, potholes, mud, and 14 of 20 sites seem to be occupied by long termers. Feel bad about saying this but not sure if we would come again.
I'll have more later, but the biggest update is to know that Gate 5 has been closed and will remain closed. Now, you must enter through the main gate. But, prior to that you must register at Pass and ID just north of the main gate. This can be a bit tricky for big rigs, but can be done. Once you have registered your vehicle(s), use the round-about to get in line for the main gate. The easiest way to get to the campground is drive to the marina, than go north on the road to the campground. (Ask for a map when you register). Find a spot to park your rig, then go to the billeting office to secure your site. All of this is very cumbersome and can make checking in a frustrating experience. Do not let anyone tell you to enter through Gate 5. If you try, you will end up near a low railroad bridge and probably will have to unhook your dingy to turn around. To get more information on this, try calling the billeting office. However, I found all the personnel on the staff to be completely unaware of the status of Gate 5 and generally unaware of the difficulty in setting up an RV for an extended stay. Good luck!!!
BAD NEWS/GOOD NEWS. First the Bad -- Less than our expectations: Chaos in finding the campground; no water available near campground; electric is 30 amp only; toilets are awful; no refunds policy for leaving early. Because of a July 09 landslide between the campground and the office/marina area, the dump station is a long way from the RV parking in inconvenient to use. BUT, work is underway on cleaning up the landslide damage, although it may take time to shore up the library now sitting along a cliff. Cell phone service was very poor or non-existent at the campground along Lake Michigan. And the Good – Ed, the manager, said that funds have been approved to put water and sewerage at the sites, and new paved sites will be added, plus toilet house will be knocked down and replaced with a new bathroom facility. He said improvements are ready to start (but AD residents said they heard that last year). More Bad -- We entered the base on Sunday through the main gate (09-13-09) and proceeded to find the RV check-in, which wasn’t open and followed the road to a dead end at the landslide area. We turned around and maneuvered across the base with our trailer looking for the park entrance until we found a policeman who led us to Ziegemeier Road (off Paul Jones near McDonald’s) that got us to the RV park. Our neighbor in a motorhome had entered the main gate, was told to exit and enter at Gate 5. He couldn’t find the RV office until finally finding someone to direct him. He left early, forfeiting a couple of night’s fees. We left early, also. Chaos!
What a shame! A beautiful location right on Lake Michigan, but a poorly run facility. First, there is the issue of getting access to the base. Unlike most other military installations that grant access with your military ID card, Great Lakes requires you to register your vehicle. I waited in line for 45 minutes to get my car registered. Then, your RV must go thru Gate-5, but your car cannot go thru this gate -- it's for trucks and RVs only. Then you have to drive to Building 13 to register for the campground, but that office is located about 2 miles away from the campground (due to a mud slide that closed the shore road). The campground itself has only 20 spaces. All have only 30 amp service with NO water and NO sewer hookups. There is a dump station, but again, it's 2 miles away at the marina. The campground has NO showers and NO water and only pit toilets that stink to high heaven. MWR could do a lot better -- this could be a money maker if they just fixed the place up a bit and added full hookups. There appears to be a number of long-term campers homesteading here and relatively few vacationers.
Got here & someone assigned to site 15 had parked in site 14. (mine) After discussion, I set up in 15. MWR staff told me because of the site mix up, the person parked wrong was leaving Friday, so I would have to move from 15 to 14 after they left! I am not going to do that so will leave a day early!! My initial phone contact was great, but the folks here have no "feel" for RV'ing. Down by Building 13 was crowded, messy, and no place to park TV, let alone when towing the RV. The folks assigned to the RV side of things seem to all be new here & are at a loss to be of much help. The "Pit Toilet" is a 2 holer. With the road closed between Marina & RV Park, it is a long way between them, so head out early!!! It is a pretty spot, but that alone will not bring us back! Was very disappointed with our stay here, but a bit of Command attention could easily change it to a super place to stop/stay.