FAQs

What do I need to rent a buggy?

You need a valid driver’s license with you at the time of rental. You will also need a time telling devise and you need some type of protective eye covering.

There is a security deposit of $750.00 that must be paid before using our rentals. Paid by card or cash.

Can we change drivers?

Yes, with the following rules.

Buggies may only have a total party of two per two seat buggie. If both parties are of legal age to hold a valid (no restrictions) Driver’s License and fall within Silver Lake Buggy Rentals guidelines, these two drivers may switch as they wish. (16 or older – Buggies)

Same applies for Teryx (as the Teryx comes with 2 drivers for free), any additional driver up to 4 per Teryx. (21 or older – Teryx)

CAN-AM Maverick includes 2 drivers. (21 or older – Maverick)

Examples: Buggies – 2 drivers with price paid, 2 drivers allowed.
Teryx – 4 drivers with price paid
Maverick – 2 drivers withe price paid

Can I take something to drink with me in the dune buggy?

Yes you can – as long as it is nonalcoholic. We recommend a soft drink or water with a re-closable top.

Teryx have coolers, keep in mind there are many bumps, Typically a picnic type lunch/snacks are not recommend. These do not hold up well in these conditions (not appealing to the eye once it is shook up). * no glass allowed

Will I get lost?

The off road vehicle area is approximately 450 acres. It is well marked around the perimeter and the exit is at the South East corner of the area. One can travel in the buggy from the farthest point on the north to the exit in less then 15 minutes if you take a direct route. Just keep Lake Michigan to your right then follow the boundary markers in the land to exit.

How will I know when my time is up?

You will be told what time your buggy is due back when you are ready to leave the staging area.

A standard watch is preferred. If using a cellular device, be aware it most likely will switch to Wisconsin time, and will cause you to be late for your pick up. You will need to set a timer on this cellular device if it is your only source of telling time.

What if I get stuck?

Most people get stuck at least once. These buggies have safety limits and, depending on the sand conditions the day of your rental as well as your driving experience in the sand, you may not be able to climb all of the hills. This is not a carnival ride and, as the driver, it is your responsibility to operate the vehicle within its abilities. If you get stuck, turn the car off, get out, unbury the wheels, turn it around and go in a different direction. People on the dunes are very helpful and, if you need help, most people will be happy to assist in any way they can.

How old do you have to be?

You must be 18 years old to sign a contract. 21 years old to drive our Teryx or Can-am’s. You must be 16 years old to dive our ATVs.

Note: if you are under 18 you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to sign release of liability.

How fast are the dune buggies?

Buggies can achieve top speeds of 35 MPH, however, you must remember to drive at a speed that is safe for the driving situation. We realize faster may be more fun for some, but we are interested in the safety of our customers and their families.

The Teryx and the Maverick X3’s may achieve speeds up to 45 MPH, and because of that, the minimum driving age is 21. A mandatory instructional period in the dunes is required to drive the Teryx and the Maverick X3’s to assure the vehicle will be driven properly and safely.

Speeds are limited for safety.

Will I get sand on me?

Yes, absolutely. Also, if you drive through the water, you will get wet and, if you drive on a lot of hills, you will get bounced around. Pregnant women should not drive or ride in the dune buggies.

"I am a good driver and will not have an accident. Why do I have to pay a security deposit?"

Nobody sets out to damage a dune buggy, but accidents do happen. The renter is responsible for all damages to the buggy, passengers, and other persons or vehicles involved in any accidents. Any remaining rental time plus the $750 damage deposit will be forfeited in the event of an accident. If the damages incurred are in excess of the $750 damage deposit, the balance will be charged as well.

Can these buggies flip over?

While difficult, it is possible. Flipping a buggy is a result of reckless driving. You will lose your security deposit. You may get injured. You will most likely be issued a reckless driving ticket by the DNR.

Are these buggies safe?

Yes. These buggies are very safe. They are built with a low center of gravity so they are not tippy and the passengers are in a 4 point harness inside a complete roll cage. They are the safest type of vehicle on the dunes.

Can we take children in the buggies?

Yes, with the following limitations. The children must NOT be of car seat, booster seat age or weight restrictions in accordance with Michigan Law. If the child is in need of a child seat or booster seat, the ONLY vehicle that these restraint devices are allowed in are the Kawasaki Teryx’s. Same laws exist in the ORV park as do on the public roads in Michigan.

Michigan law requires: Children younger than age 4 must ride in a car seat; children up to age 8 and/or 4’9″ and UNDER to be in a car or booster seat. Children between 40 and 80 pounds require a booster seat, the MUST ride in one of these restraint devices until they reach the age requirement or height requirement.

Will the sand dunes be crowded?

They can be. The sand dunes are the busiest in July and the first three weeks in August. The three holidays are very busy. If you visit during those times there will be a lot of traffic on the sand dunes.

I wish to take my SUV or 4WD vehicle on the dunes. What do I need?

You will need several things:

  • A State Park sticker, Trail permit and an ORV sticker. All are available at the DNR Welcome Center.
  • ORV flag. This must be attached to the front of your vehicle if you sit in the vehicle. If you sit on the vehicle (ATV or motorcycle) the flag must go on the back. We sell several differently priced flags. We also sell many brackets to help attach the flag to your vehicle. In addition to selling the hardware you will need we have people that can install it for you for a minimum charge of $10.00 for most applications. We have been told by many people that having the flag installed was the best money they spent. We design all our flag brackets and have welding and machining on site for any installation challenges.
  • Air gauge. You will need to have an air gauge so you can deflate your tires to approx. 12 lbs. or less while on the dunes. You will then need to reinflate them when you leave the ORV area before driving on the highway.

Why are the rentals so expensive?

We must pay for the cost of an operating lease with the State of Michigan to use the ORV area. The snowmobile rentals do not have to do this. The insurance requirements of the lease agreement are staggering. Then the maintenance costs for maintaining the equipment to run on sand, day in and day out, are astronomical. Even the IRS audited us due to our maintenance costs and ended up agreeing that they were all valid. The maintenance costs do not come out of the damage deposits. The only charges on the damage deposit are driver error expenses such as driving the vehicle into deep water and causing damage to engines, air filters, etc. or hitting something in the ORV area such as a tree, vehicle or driftwood, etc.

I have a bigger party than what the vehicle seats, can we switch riders and only rent one vehicle?

No, the number of seats rented is the number of persons we can/will transport to the park. The sand dunes have become very busy and extra passengers/spectators causes a safety risk. There is not a good/safe spectator staging area at the park.

What places do we recommend for entertainment and food?

Please visit ThinkDunes.com to see a collection of top places to eat and things to do in the Silver Lake area.

Still have more questions?

Please let us know if you have more questions by contacting us by any of the means listed on our Contact Us page. Thank you.