Renting from Enterprise is a good way to waste half a day twice, if you are in a busy area. That was our experience anyway. They didn't bring the car to us. They picked me up and took me to the rental office. That trip depends on their driver availability and other customers ahead of you. Then it took 20 minutes to get there. Then stand in the rental line. Then drive back to the CG. And reverse the process on return day.
You had better plan on 2 or 3 hours for each half of the transaction.
I'll give some suggestions that I am sure will be unpopular. But at some level of implementation, they would help.
1) Raise prices for campsites until there are vacancies.
2) Raise prices for the geezer pass. A lot.
3) Experiment with demand pricing, like say airlines do. Offer some spaces at high prices for people who aren't willing to jump through all the reservations hoops far in advance.
I am 58 y.o., and I am sick over the current situation. We've never been to a NP, and we dread dealing with all of the problems that this thread is about. For once in a lifetime to say Yellowstone, I'd gladly pay $100 a night if it meant we can get in when we want to and without playing reservations roulette a year in advance. I've piddled away more than that on dumber things. And I'm a cheapskate! But, there is value to me in being able to actually see the park once. It's no different than buying tickets to a championship game on StubHub for a once in a lifetime. When the demand is so much bigger than the supply, something has to give.
You can say it's not fair. Is the present system fair? Really? The present system rewards people who know how to play the game, and are willing to. It's not as if the park CGs are full of orphans and their minimum wage foster parents. I'm sure for most of the campers, the camping fee is a minimal part of their trip costs. People pay a LOT to camp at Fort Wilderness. Why not pay a lot to camp in the real thing?
It's like places with rent controlled apartments. It's great for the lucky few that have them. But it stinks for everyone else who'd like to live there and is willing pay a normal rent.
Raise em to the market price, whatever that turns out to be.
To your first question, there is a walkway that goes under Lake Shore Drive and over the tracks, which connects Soldier Field to the area by the Gessner House. It's shown in the center of this map:
As to the Driehaus, it is about 7 blocks from the John Hancock, so that is definitely walkable.
These are not bad areas, although I'd at least be on my toes across the tracks from Soldier Field. But they are not the "bad part of town".
As to FHU CGs:
There is train service across NW Indiana to one of the downtown stations. It's possible there is a campground somewhere out there that would not be far from one of the train stations. If you can get a ride to the local station, from there you can get into the city. Check the schedules as they don't run a ton of them. It's called the South Shore Line. You might start a separate thread asking about CGs near the South Shore Line.
I don't know where you board the Big Bus. Uber is very widespread and affordable in Chicago.
There is a Harrah's casino in downtown Joliet that I know has some RV parking. It's an urban setting, including the lot where the RVs are parked. There is security, though. There is a Metra train station a few blocks away, where you can take the train to Union station in Chicago. I would suggest doing any walking around in daylight there (in Joliet). Downtown is busy during the day but night is spooky, and it directly borders on bad neighborhoods. There might be Uber there, I don't know. There are taxis.
Outside of Joliet, sitting by itself, is the Hollywood Casino. They have an actual RV park. You'd need to get transport to/from the train station.
There is also a casino in downtown Aurora. Aurora is served by a Metra train as well. The station is called the Aurora Transportation Center. It's across the river from the casino, roughly. Don't know if they have RV parking at the casino, but it is a big complex. It's also an urban setting but a little softer looking than Joliet. At night I'm sure it's the same as Joliet in that it's vacant except for the casino traffic.
Yeah but it only uses 5 speeds on any given shifting sequence. It uses a different 4th gear ratio, 1.10:1 instead of 1:1, in extreme cold weather. This is done to aid in getting the engine and trans warmed up. It will never shift through 6 ratios.
The new 6 speed has all 6 available. It has a lower 1st, two overdrives rather than one, and some efficiency engineering.
MSRP is a very creative, almost fictional, number on RVs. If it is a brand sold by rvdirect.com, go there and get a quote. You will be able to find other dealers who will match that price. When we did that, the discount from MSRP was 37% on our Class C.
We have not done much camping in the summer. Instead we have focused on getting away from Illinois in colder months.
We are thinking about moving to the sun belt, and would probably be doing the opposite of the above. Namely getting out during the summer.
I read horror stories about the crowds in the summer. Of course, we don't like crowds. Who does. :) So how bad is RV-ing in the summer? Or is this much ado about nothing?
01 F150 4.6L, junk. Several coil failures, each one expensive. Rusting door bottoms due to bad epoxy that absorbed water.
04 F150 4.6L, seems good, I sold it to a relative and he has 170K on it.
04.5 Duramax, bone stock, torque converter went out at 100K or so. Lots of typical GM truck minor hardware and electrical gremlins. Engine is good.
Employee's late 2000's Dodge 1500, needed complete front end rebuild at 75K miles. Cost something like $2000. He uses it like a car.
When I compare these trucks to our Honda and Toyota cars and SUVs, there is just no comparison quality wise.
Sound Guy, you were snarky. It's easy to do in this type of communication. Without going back to find the post, you said something like "the Yamaha 2800 you seem to love so much...", and then told him/us why it is crappy. That is snarky. It made enough of an impact that I can recall it from yesterday without re-reading it. It gave me a bad impression of you. You probably didn't mean to be snarky, but like I say, in anonymous places like this, it's easy to toss out aggressive phrases like that without thinking twice. And probably without even realizing how they sound. Many of us have done the same. I'm not trying to be high and mighty. Just explaining, since you said you don't see it.
Your mileage may vary.
OP: When you went out to the desert recently, did you have the panels laying flat, or propped up? My experience with a 100 watt suitcase in the desert winter is that if you tilt them appropriately, and move them a couple of times during the day, you can still get a lot of juice.
As a data point, I have a Honda 2000, it's a sweet machine.
(Before anyone says no way, the back bumper on a Class C does not get bounced vigorously up and down like that on a trailer.)
I say fine. Inspect your bumper to make sure it looks solid. Mount it wherever it doesn't interfere with anything like tail lights etc. I doubt if there is any kind of meaningful brand name when it comes to the mounting bracket.
I think they are strong enough for the destructive tests you are suggesting. As far as hacking into them, once you get through the fiberglass exterior, there is only foam insulation and then a thin layer of paneling. Except for the framing pieces of course.
I do think you don't need to worry about it. They are strong enough for the job.