When the air becomes chilly and the leaves begin to change color, that’s when you know that tailgating season is here. If you are an RV owner, the adventures of tailgating take on a whole new dimension. With the opportunity for the ultimate tailgating experience from the comfort of your home on wheels, preparation is key.
So whether at the campground or at the big game – here’s what you need for your tailgating packing list.
As we all know, the most important aspect of a good tailgating get-together is the food! Well, and the people, too, but we digress! Whether you grill, smoke, or BBQ, here’s some tips and tricks to wow your fellow tailgaters in the food department.
- Plan ahead. Pack all the food ingredients you’ll need for the event. If any meat needs marinating, do it the evening before. For burgers and dogs, be sure to pack all the condiments, and buns. You could even organize all the toppings in foil pans to make it easy.
- Think outside the box. If you’ll be parked most of the day, plan for every meal (even if it’s breakfast AND lunch.) A sheet pan works well for grilled scrambled eggs, for example. For lunch, grilled chicken sandwiches are always a winner. And for dinner? Steaks! But whatever you choose, let your culinary prowess shine.
- A couple of days beforehand, start to gather all of the items you’re likely to forget. Bottle openers, foil, garbage bags, paper towels…etc. Also, you’ll never have too many paper plates, forks, napkins; you get the picture. Or better yet, enlist one or more of your tailgating buddies to bring certain items and make it a group effort.
- Bring LOTS of water. If you’ll be drinking alcohol and/or being in the sun, you’ll want plenty of drinking water on hand to stay hydrated. And also, for cooking and cleaning.
- Check the weather. If it will be chilly on game day, opt for hot toddies (bourbon is always good) or warm cider instead of cold beer. And of course, dress appropriately. This is the time of year when dressing in layers is essential. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and bug spray also, if the situation calls for it.
- Bring disposable cutlery and plenty of trash bags, and make sure everyone cleans up after themselves. No one wants to see trash lying around after the party’s over.
- Start your RV fridge several hours before the event so everything is cold come tailgating time.
Tailgating Games and Activities
While you’re hanging out together eating and drinking, the kids and maybe even a few adults will want to be entertained. Playing cornhole is always a crowd-pleaser. Or even just having a football to toss around. If you know the kids will be joining you, pack some kid-friendly games, such as water guns or sidewalk chalk. Just be sure to check the rules of the stadium parking lot, campground, or wherever your tailgating adventures take you.
Tailgating Tips & Tricks
Try to arrive early and pick a good spot on the edge of the parking lot with grass. This will give you and your guests room to spread out around your RV without taking up space for other tailgaters. Give yourself plenty of time to set up your tailgate – at least two hours. If you’ll be grilling, bring enough seating or have your guests bring their own chairs. And if the situation allows for it, bring an umbrella or an extra canopy to shield yourselves from the sun.
Most of all, have fun, stay safe, and enjoy the game!