First Time Traveling Long Distances – Joliet, IL

Got up this morning and left for Joliet, IL. It was weird to not stop and stay In Columbus, but we were excited about continuing our road trip. Couple of things about Indiana… The roads really suck. Super bouncy and ill maintained. But there are tons of RV dealers everywhere you go. It was hard not to stop and look. Tom Raper in Richmond, IN seems to be the biggest dealer, but there were lots of others. We made need to bargain shop out this way when we buy our 5th wheel.   One other good thing about the drive was Indiana  flat and the mpg in the truck went up and gas was way cheaper.  Hooray for the Gas Buddy app.

We made it through some pretty intense traffic south of Chicago and landed at the Hollywood Casino in Joliet, IL.  Part of the purpose of this trip is to try things we have heard about but unfortunately things were pretty disappointing from the start. The casino was near an industrial area and although it was green the train sounds were pretty common. Also no fire ring. First time we ever saw that,  although a nice woman I spoke to who stays at casinos all the time says they rarely have them. Since Lee has been wanting to buy a portable fire ring and I have continually said we don’t need one… not so good for me. I had to say the dreaded “you were right and I was wrong”  🙂   Also it was $55 a night and although all the literature said that the sites had full services, when we got there,  no sewer hookup.  So we used a dump station for the first time.  The dump experience went pretty well.   I had read a lot about how nasty dump stations were, but it wasn’t so bad and we dumped before we parked and again the next morning. We filled up the gray tank completely in one day though…got to get a handle on our water usage.

We deployed pretty quickly and one thing I did like was every site has a concrete patio.  The patio allowed us to  quickly set up. It was quiet there too and I didn’t realize why until Lee said … said no kids. Makes sense no kids in a casino campground. It was neat and orderly with well-groomed grass, but definitely not our speed, although the older couple next to us said they like casino campgrounds  because they are very safe. They also said the bathrooms are very clean.   We talked about going to the buffet but it was 17.99 a person (no discount for staying on site or coupons available) and frankly I didn’t want to spend the money. We ate spaghetti instead,  which I had made at home in advance and frozen into camping size two people batches. Delicious and inexpensive. Finally we were settled so decided to go over to the casino.  It was incredibly lame. I wasn’t expecting Vegas, but for those prices, I expected more.  There were only a few blackjack tables open and although there were lots of slot machines none of my favorites. We took $40 out (paying $6 in ATM fees) and played for less than 30 minutes on $20 a piece. In Vegas I can play for an entire week on $20.   Love those nickel slots and high payouts 🙂  Very disappointed we left and went back to the camper and called it a night.

Even though it was a bust we did learn a lot. Casino camping is not always the bargain everyone says if is. Plus I absolutely know I don’t like tearing down and setting up in a new place everyday.  This every day moving is pretty wearing and luckily Lee agrees.  Can’t wait to get to Luck, WI and stay in one place for the day.

Lessons Learned

  • Casino campgrounds aren’t all they are cracked up to be
  • Indiana roads are super bouncy

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