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First time camper questions for the 500

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  • First time camper questions for the 500

    I've always gone to the 500 with family and stayed in hotels, but this year no one else can make it so for the first time I am considering going solo and doing the tent camping experience. I am all set with the actual tent/camping supplies as it is something I do every year for fishing and really enjoy the challenge of roughing it.

    As I am looking at the IMS site, I see that it says "Daily parking, Race Day only" for both the 2 and 4-day tent camping packages. I pictured the tent camping as being able to drive your car to the tent site and having it right there next to the tent and being able to drive out for supplies and dinner, etc. So is that not the case? Is it literally a field of tents with no vehicles and campers have to haul all their stuff in somehow, and figure out parking remotely?

    Or is that race day parking mentioned for an extra car if needed?

    Also, during the race do people typically leave stuff like sleeping bags, mattresses, etc. in the tents without much worry?

    Thanks in advance for any help or any additional tips.

    As of now tent camping is only available in Lot 1C. Is Lot1C also known as the Coke Lot or is that something different?
    Last edited by Stick500; 03-03-2019, 11:34 AM.
    "Charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."- Capt. Willard, Apocolypse Now
    "Ain't nuthin' like [being with a woman], 'cept maybe the Indy 500."- Bunny, Platoon
    "To alcohol! The cause of- and solution to- all of life's problems."- Homer J. Simpson

  • #2
    Lot 1C is "The Coke Lot", which can be pretty wild. But open to tents for sure.

    Depends heavily on what you are looking for.

    Tent Camping is pretty limited on the IMS official front, with the exception of Lot 1C. At the back of Lot 1C, there is the "Lions Club" Lot, which is ran by the local lions club, but I'm not sure how they book camping spots. I believe it is first come first serve.

    Lot 1C, as far as leaving personal items at your camp site, that should be fine. Honestly, there is a good portion of Lot 1C that doesn't even make the trip into the race. So you could always ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your items, I'm sure you'll get to know them and become friends, usually happens that way!

    I'm a Coke Lot Camper, so happy to help offer any advice I can!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for all the advice, but what's the deal on where I can park my car? Right by the tent spot? I still don't know what "race day parking only" means.
      "Charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."- Capt. Willard, Apocolypse Now
      "Ain't nuthin' like [being with a woman], 'cept maybe the Indy 500."- Bunny, Platoon
      "To alcohol! The cause of- and solution to- all of life's problems."- Homer J. Simpson

      Comment


      • #4
        I have camped in the Coke Lot for 15 years, I can help as well
        "Paff has been closer to the mark than anyone will give him credit for."

        Richard Kimble 11/18/2010

        "Paff is far more right than any of you will EVER give him credit for.

        As non politically correct and un IndyCar friendly as it is, it's the truth. "

        SeeuInMay 12/29/2010

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks.

          So do you get to park your car next to your tent both Saturday and Sunday night, or do you have to park somewhere else?
          "Charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."- Capt. Willard, Apocolypse Now
          "Ain't nuthin' like [being with a woman], 'cept maybe the Indy 500."- Bunny, Platoon
          "To alcohol! The cause of- and solution to- all of life's problems."- Homer J. Simpson

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Stick500 View Post
            Thanks for all the advice, but what's the deal on where I can park my car? Right by the tent spot? I still don't know what "race day parking only" means.
            Lot 1C Camping is different than Race Day Only Parking. If you buy the tent camping spot, you can access of 30th Street anytime after Thursday at 7am. Tent and RV/Pull-Behind parking are separate from each other. If you purchase a Tent Camping Pass, it will give you a 20x20 spot for your vehicle and tent. They are very, very, very strict on spots......for the first couple of hours on Thursday. Then it starts to relax a bit in the PM of Thursday.

            Race Day Parking is at the front of the Coke Lot, not in the camping area

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok that makes sense. If I came on Thursday would my car pretty much be trapped in next to my tent for duration, or is there enough room to drive in and out during the day on Friday and Saturday?
              "Charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."- Capt. Willard, Apocolypse Now
              "Ain't nuthin' like [being with a woman], 'cept maybe the Indy 500."- Bunny, Platoon
              "To alcohol! The cause of- and solution to- all of life's problems."- Homer J. Simpson

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Stick500 View Post
                Thanks.

                So do you get to park your car next to your tent both Saturday and Sunday night, or do you have to park somewhere else?
                In the Coke Lot you park right next to your tent/camp setup
                "Paff has been closer to the mark than anyone will give him credit for."

                Richard Kimble 11/18/2010

                "Paff is far more right than any of you will EVER give him credit for.

                As non politically correct and un IndyCar friendly as it is, it's the truth. "

                SeeuInMay 12/29/2010

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stick500 View Post
                  Ok that makes sense. If I came on Thursday would my car pretty much be trapped in next to my tent for duration, or is there enough room to drive in and out during the day on Friday and Saturday?
                  There is definitely room to get in an out. There are fire lanes and several access roads to get people in and out. There is a constant flow of traffic over the weekend. If you are lucky, (or if you ask a Yellow Shirt nicely haha), you can get parked right on the road, which will keep you from being stuck too far off the road, and you could have access in and out whenever you would like.

                  You can come in and out as you wish, gaining access to the road if you're parked in the middle may be a challenge, but if you're on the road, it's very easy to get in and out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stick500 View Post
                    I've always gone to the 500 with family and stayed in hotels, but this year no one else can make it so for the first time I am considering going solo and doing the tent camping experience. I am all set with the actual tent/camping supplies as it is something I do every year for fishing and really enjoy the challenge of roughing it.

                    As I am looking at the IMS site, I see that it says "Daily parking, Race Day only" for both the 2 and 4-day tent camping packages. I pictured the tent camping as being able to drive your car to the tent site and having it right there next to the tent and being able to drive out for supplies and dinner, etc. So is that not the case? Is it literally a field of tents with no vehicles and campers have to haul all their stuff in somehow, and figure out parking remotely?

                    Or is that race day parking mentioned for an extra car if needed?

                    Also, during the race do people typically leave stuff like sleeping bags, mattresses, etc. in the tents without much worry?

                    Thanks in advance for any help or any additional tips.

                    As of now tent camping is only available in Lot 1C. Is Lot1C also known as the Coke Lot or is that something different?
                    Check with one of the mobile home parks on the north end of Georgetown.
                    "You just don't know what Indy Means", Al Unser Jr.

                    "That's why to me it does feel more precious when an American wins it...", Michael Andretti

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Stick500 View Post
                      Ok that makes sense. If I came on Thursday would my car pretty much be trapped in next to my tent for duration, or is there enough room to drive in and out during the day on Friday and Saturday?
                      Yep you can drive in and out, it can take a bit, especially day Saturday night when everyone is partying.

                      As far as leaving your tent up, I wouldnt during the race, I've heard of others who have had their stuff wrecked on raceday, I usually get up early and pack everything up.

                      I haven't stayed there since they increased security but definitely dont leave out anything valuable, that includes a cooler of beer.

                      It sounds like you maybe staying Sunday night, I believe most of the security is gone after the race and the place really empties, guessing the locals come in after looking for leftover stuff. If you plan on staying you may want to find another group doing the same just to keep the riff raff away.

                      Coke lot is a blast and we've made tons of friends there over the years, but it can be loud and of you are a sensitive sleeper you may want to look into another spot.

                      Lions club is literally right next the coke lot and much tamer.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Only things I’ve ever had taken from our campsite over the years were a couple coolers full of beer one year but I don’t take anything that I’d be crushed if it didn’t return with me and anything worth a little money like TVs or radios I just lock up in the RV when we leave for the track


                        We always stay Sunday night and never have had any problems but one year I was there late Monday because everyone was stuck and it took all day long to get people out and Monday close to dark got really scetchy there
                        "I wasn't going to finish 2nd today...2nd was not in the cards...I was either going to win or i was not going to finish at all..." Eddie Cheever-Victory Lane,Indianapolis Motor Speedway 1998

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you want something a little quieter there’s an elementary school north of the track that Has very nice camping and has a great lot behind it that’s much quieter than the coke lot

                          Depends on what you’re looking for
                          "I wasn't going to finish 2nd today...2nd was not in the cards...I was either going to win or i was not going to finish at all..." Eddie Cheever-Victory Lane,Indianapolis Motor Speedway 1998

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chris Paff View Post
                            I have camped in the Coke Lot for 15 years, I can help as well
                            I have tent camped in someones backyard in the older neighborhood just South of Coke Lot for almost 10 years.

                            Never had any problem leaving things in the tent but its in someones fenced in back yard and theres typically someone there most of the time.

                            I wouldn't leave cameras or my wallet out but when I "move in" Thursday afternoon I leave coolers food, grill, clothes etc out in the open and don't think about it.

                            The people I stay with let me park my car there all weekend too.

                            I don't know how to contact other home owners who rent camping space in that area but I recommend looking there. Its very close to any seat, and relatively quiet.


                            Mr Paff can confirm or deny but Coke Lot is not the place if youre looking for quiet.
                            Live like Dave

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I also love lot 2 for a little more laid back atmosphere and it’s the best location IMO but it’s probably sold out at this point
                              "I wasn't going to finish 2nd today...2nd was not in the cards...I was either going to win or i was not going to finish at all..." Eddie Cheever-Victory Lane,Indianapolis Motor Speedway 1998

                              Comment

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