Tailgating is a uniquely American tradition and experiencing it in a motorhome takes it to a whole new level. You’ll have a roof over your head to endure any weather, your own bathroom to skip the porta potty lines and a full fridge to keep your beer cold. And forget about sitting in traffic right after the game. Grill a few more dogs, watch the game highlights on your TV or play a game of cards. Let everyone else sit in those long lines to get out of the stadium!
If you’re planning on catching your favorite college or NFL team this season, here are ten tips to prepare for the perfect tailgate party in your RV.
1. Pack items that everyone seems to forget. These items include bottle openers and cork screws, tons of paper towels (more than you think), garbage bags, sunscreen, Ziplocs bags and aluminum foil, Frisbees and footballs, toilet paper, extra ice, chairs, spare tupperware, antacid, and a first aid kit. Be a hero by having jumper cables on hand if someone’s battery goes out.
2. Plan your menu. If you are going with a big group, make it a potluck. It’s fun to share and exchange dishes, plus it saves everyone a little money. Prepare burger patties in advance. If you’ll have dishes out in the hot sun during early autumn games, use heat-friendly ingredients. (Check out Go RVing’s Roadworthy Recipes for ideas)
3. Start your RV refrigerator several hours before. Turning on your fridge before the big game will make sure food stays fresh and cold. Load with pre-cooled items so it doesn’t have to work too hard.
4. Prepare your water tanks. Add enough water in the black tank of your RV to cover the bottom after dumping and flushing. Make sure those that aren’t familiar with RV bathrooms know what can and cannot be put in the toilet. No paper towels or baby wipes – and make sure you have septic-safe toilet paper on hand, as always.
5. Get there early to secure a spot. Look for a prime spot near the end of a row to have space to open your awning and set up chairs. If you own a new Class A motorhome, you’ll be in a luxurious home away from home; you may not even want to go into the stadium at all! (Note: you should call in advance to confirm whether a special parking permit is needed for your RV.)
6. Have lots of water. Drinking water will help you and your friends stay hydrated to last till the end of the fourth quarter. And if you’re the driver, don’t over indulge. Driving your RV after the game impaired is not a god idea!
7. Know the limitations of your RV generator. Be careful when running the microwave, blender and TV all at once. You might trip a circuit breaker. Know where the breaker panel is just in case to be prepared and not slow down your fun. Check your generator a day or two before.
8. Meet your neighbors. Tailgating environments are like a great American neighborhood, where you can walk through “backyards” of fellow fans without privacy fences. Have extra food on hand, be a friendly neighbor, be respectful to opposing fans and have a good time. You may meet some new friends or pick up some great RV tips.
9. Clean up after yourself. Respect your team and respect the stadium grounds by keeping the place clean. Have plenty of trash bags in your motorhome to minimize litter.
10. Don’t forget to have your RV serviced regularly. If you are taking your RV out for the first game and it’s been a while, make sure everything is safe by going in to a RV service center.
What are your best tailgating tips and what are some of your favorite tailgating memories? La Mesa RV has been encouraging friends to “Experience Life” in their RVs for almost 40 years. You’ll find us in California, Arizona, Florida and soon New Mexico. Come post a picture of your RV tailgating experience on our Facebook wall or visit us at one of our nine locations!