Tailgating has become a staple for Fall activities of all kinds and has become increasingly involved over the years. These days, tailgating is not just reserved for Professional/College Football and NASCAR races. We see people tailgating at concerts, grand openings, and even quilting expos! Whatever activity or hobby you enjoy, getting together with friends and others that share your passion can be an opportunity to tailgate!
The advantages of tailgating in your RV are numerous, first, it provides a comfortable place to relax close to the game with most of the amenities of home such as a private bathroom. Second, it allows you to get to the event early and usually beat the traffic before and after the event. Third, if the weather is bad, an RV can provide a nice shelter inside or under an awning, as well as a place to cool down if your rig is equipped with an air conditioner and a generator.
Most large events have pre-game or pre-race television coverage that is fun to watch and get ready for the event. Some tailgaters come just to enjoy the party and don’t even go to the game and would rather watch it on a big screen in the parking lot! Whatever you choose to do, I’ve got a few tips to hosting a successful tailgate party!
Know Your Venue/Parking Lot Rules
Most parking lots and open areas around events have specific parking areas for cars, vans, and RVs, all with different prices. Do a little research to see when you can get in, where the tailgating events are being held, and what it will cost. For example, Tailgating.com has a list of parking lot information for tailgating for a variety of stadiums. Many places have general parking with first come, first serve spots, however there are several that have reserved spots for specific “donors” or alumni privileges.
Some rules you might have to consider include keeping drive lanes and fire lanes open, no holding spaces, no open campfires, no smoking, and certain alcohol restrictions. Check with your venue regarding items such as kegs, hard liquor, loud music/bands, and others before getting there only to find out the hard way.
Grillin’ And Chillin’
Pick the grill and cooler that is best suited for your tailgating event. Charcoal and LP grills are the most preferred as they do not need electricity and come in a wide variety of options. The amount of food you need to grill and the number of people attending will help determine the type and size that is best for you. I have seen trailer grills 20’ long, small portable tabletops, and everything in between! Ceramic grills have become very popular and even have a small portable version such as the “Big Green Egg”.
Lump coal is the new rage in grilling as it is a more natural wood. Charcoal briquettes are manufactured by high temperature combustion of scrape wood particles which could include particle board and other items that may contain non-wood components. It is then compressed into the universal briquette shapes for consistent burning and temperature.
Lump coal is hardwood that is also “charred” at high temperatures and is made of more natural wood, however it does burner hotter and with less consistency.
Related video: RV Grilling Options: Appliances, Fuels And Rubs
Another option is wood pellet grilling, with the Traegar brands being the most common. The pellets burn at a consistent temperature and are very easy to find and transport.
For your cool beverages, it’s best to get a portable cooler that will store the water and other “libations” so you aren’t running in and out of your RV getting more drinks out of the refrigerator. Some RVs have an exterior kitchen and fridge which is handy. Otherwise a good cooler keeps the wear and tear of your RV down to a minimum.
Food and Food Safety
There are hundreds of recipes and types of foods that can be prepared and served while tailgating. However, the number one issue is food safety! Make sure everything is covered, chilled or frozen, and not left out to long! Also, it’s a good idea to choose and prepare foods that don’t take to long to cook at the event, unless you are going to start the night before with a 12-hour brisket! If you are planning on making something more ambitious, try and prepare as much of the food as you can before arriving. Then, you can spend more time having fun, instead of having to cook!
Related article: 5 Helpful RV Cooking Hacks
Items to Remember
It should go without saying, but make sure to keep a tidy space and clean up after your party. In fact, many tailgating locations will provide a trash bag to each vehicle. But you will need more! Make sure to bring extra trash bags so you can be a respectful tailgate neighbor. Bonus: if it starts raining, a trash bag makes a handy poncho in a pinch.
Even if you are sitting under an awning or a tent, sunscreen is a must! Nothing puts a damper on your party like a sunburn. Additionally, sunscreen is an item that many people forget to pack, so bring extra to ensure everyone gets a little protection.
It’s fun to spice up any party with thematic decorations, however with a tailgate they are also useful! If you are hosting a bigger tailgate and a large variety of guests will be trying to find your vehicle, you may want to upgrade your decorations. Hang balloons or banners that are easy to see from a distance so that everyone will be able to locate you (and see what team you are supporting).
Make your pre-game more exciting by bringing along activities! If you can play it outside, chances are it will be popular at your tailgate. Horseshoes, footballs, bean bags and giant yard games are all very popular tailgating games and are a great way to entertain your guests.
Now you’re ready to host a perfect tailgating event! Where are you planning to tailgate this year? Let us know in the comments below!