RV Camping in Warren Dunes State Park: Tips & Things To Do

RV Destinations | Location


If you want to explore the beautiful Great Lakes State’s popular Warren Dunes State Park, read this guide from Cruise America today.

Have you ever imagined yourself relaxing on sandy beach dunes, looking out over a vast watery horizon as the sun sets? If so, you might have figured that such experiences are limited to those lucky millions blessed to live on the California coastline — but you’d be wrong. The truth is that you can dip your toes in the sand, close your eyes, and relax to the sounds of the surf, far from the West Coast…on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, at Warren Dunes State Park. 

Averaging more than one million visitors a year, Warren Dunes State Park in southern Michigan is one of the Great Lakes State’s most popular parks, and for good reason. It’s just the sort of coastal escape you need any time of year, and it can be much closer to home than you think if you visit while on an RV road trip.

What and Where is Warren Dunes State Park?

Situated 20 miles north of the Indiana border and within viewing distance of the Windy City in Illinois, Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, MI, is a popular recreational area, comprising 1,952 acres of fun in the sun, sand dunes, and shore. Originally the gift of a local businessman to a down-and-out friend, Warren Dunes State Park was acquired by Michigan in the 1930s and became a state park.

What To Do at Warren Dunes State Park 

Unsurprisingly, activities at Warren Dunes State Park revolve around water and sand.

Sand Dunes and Sandboarding

If you’ve never tried sandboarding before, now’s your chance! There are some significant dunes, including Pikes Peak, Mt. Fuller, and Mt. Edwards, with the tallest dune — rising 240 feet above Lake Michigan — being Tower Hill (on a clear day, you can see the Chicago skyline from the top).

For a good time, run up, tumble down, or sandboard down the many sandy slopes!


Planning on going for a swim in Lake Michigan? There are three miles of shoreline from which to do so at Warren Dunes State Park. At the height of summer, the water temperature can get up to the high 70s, a perfect compliment to the weather and humidity. Late summer/early fall water temps are cooler but still comfortable (67-70 degrees Fahrenheit), while the coldest part of winter sees an average water temperature just above freezing at Warren Dunes State Park. 


The dunes and the water aren’t the only outdoorsy activities you can enjoy at Warren Dunes State Park, of course. There are six miles of winding trails for hikers to traverse; if you’re interested in giving yourself a bit of a challenge, check out the four-mile Mt. Randall Loop. If you’d rather stick close to the water, you can amble up and down Warren Dunes State Park’s three miles of shoreline. 

Metal Detecting and Hunting

Along that shoreline, by the way, you can engage in metal detecting. You’ll have to stay within the designated area, though, and park staff can ask to see what you find; they may even hold it while they investigate it. If hunting is more your game, there is also a hunting zone in the north of Warren Dunes State Park. 

Is There RV Camping at Warren Dunes State Park? 

Since you’re on an RV road trip, you’re going to be expecting to do some Warren Dunes State Park camping. There are two Warren Dunes State Park camping areas: The Warren Dunes-Mt. Randall Modern Campground, with over 180 RV campsites, and the Warren Dunes-Hilldebrandt Semi-Modern Campground, with 37 campsites. 

All sites at the Mt. Randall Modern Campground have 20 or 30-amp electric hookups, and some have 50-amp electric, but the Hilldebrandt Semi-Modern Campground has no electric hookups. Both are excellent options for camping in Warren Dunes State Park, but be sure to make reservations in advance.

RV Camping Tips for Beginners

RV camping can be a fun and exciting adventure for beginners. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your RV camping experience:

Choose the Right RV: There are various types of RVs, from motorhomes to trailers. Choose one that suits your needs, budget, and comfort level. Renting an RV for your first trip is also a great way to test the waters.

Make Reservations: Especially during peak seasons, it's important to make campground reservations in advance to ensure you have a spot to park your RV.

Pack Essentials: Bring along items like bedding, toiletries, kitchen supplies, and outdoor gear. Don't forget tools and spare parts for potential RV repairs.

Practice Driving: If you're new to driving an RV, find an empty parking lot to practice maneuvering, turning, and parking before hitting the road.

Check for Clearance: RVs are taller than regular vehicles. Be mindful of low bridges, overpasses, and other obstacles that might pose clearance issues.

Pack Light: While RVs offer more storage space than traditional camping, it's still a good idea to pack light and only bring what you truly need.

Leveling and Stabilizing: Use leveling blocks to ensure your RV is parked on a level surface. Stabilizing jacks can help reduce rocking when parked.

Hookups and Utilities: Learn how to connect your RV to water, electricity, and sewage hookups at the campground. Practice setting these up before your trip.

Black and Gray Tanks: Understand how to properly use and manage your RV's black (sewage) and gray (sink and shower water) tanks to avoid issues.

RV Safety: Familiarize yourself with the location of fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide alarms in your RV.

RV Etiquette: Respect quiet hours at campgrounds, keep your campsite clean, and be considerate of other campers.

Weather Preparedness: Check the weather forecast for your destination and be prepared for changing conditions. Pack appropriate clothing and gear.

Stay Flexible: While planning is important, be open to changes in your itinerary. RV camping is about enjoying the journey, so don't be afraid to make detours and explore unexpected places.

RV Maintenance: Regularly check your RV's tires, brakes, lights, and other essential components. Maintenance will help prevent breakdowns during your trip.

Dump Stations: Know where the nearest dump stations are located to empty your black and gray tanks when leaving a campground.

Have Fun: Remember that RV camping is about having a great time, making memories, and enjoying the great outdoors. Embrace the experience!

When is the Best Time To Visit Warren Dunes State Park?

Summer is the best time to visit Warren Dunes State Park if you want to take full advantage of the area. Summertime highs can get up into the high 70s Fahrenheit from June to August, and the humidity that hovers around 80% offers the perfect excuse to spend some time in Lake Michigan. Park visitors feel the same way, however, which is why summer at Warren Dunes State Park can be quite packed.

On the other hand (and if you don’t like the crowds), you can visit in winter since Warren Dunes State Park is open year-round. It’ll be much, much colder (with average highs in the low-to-mid 30s F, and overnight lows in the 20s!), but you’ll have more of the dunes, beaches, and trails to yourself. But if winter’s too cold, bank on spring or fall, with highs in the 50s and 60s — perfect for an outdoor jaunt. 

Go See the Dunes in a Cruise America RV! 

You’re now ready to visit Warren Dunes State Park for RV camping, aside from one thing: you need an RV! The obvious choice to rent or buy one is Cruise America. For more than 50 years, Cruise America has helped to connect adventurers like you with the RVs that can get you wherever you want to go

Get in touch with Cruise America today to find the RV that will fulfill your road trip dreams while making great memories!