Kick-off to RV Tailgating Season

Kick-off to RV Tailgating Season

The National Football League kicked off the official 2022 football season last week on Thursday, September 8. For many RV owners, this means it’s officially tailgating season! If you plan to bring your RV down to the stadium or host a watch party at the campground, here are a few things to know and how to best prepare.

Tailgating at the Stadium

Tailgates are centered around 3 things: food, drink, and camaraderie. Thousands of fans gather together to enjoy the company and prepare for the upcoming game or race by eating some tasty, usually grilled, food and warming up with a few brews. RVs and motorhomes can be a real game-changer when it comes to tailgating, thanks to the onboard kitchens, outdoor entertainment systems, and clean bathrooms! Keep reading for tips on tailgating at the stadium in your rig.

Check Parking Spot Ahead of Time

RVs and motorhomes are much larger than the average passenger vehicle, so parking can be difficult, especially at a crowded stadium. Different venues will have different rules when it comes to RV parking, so it’s a good idea to call ahead or check online a few days before for vehicle accommodations. There could be reserved parking for larger rigs, an additional fee for motorhomes, or even a rule against RVs tailgating. Check out this guide to NFL stadiums from KOA for more insight on which arenas rank highest for RVers.

Arrive Early

When verifying parking, you should also check to see if there are any restrictions on how early you can show up for the tailgate. When traveling in your motorhome, the earlier you arrive at the stadium, the better. Parking your rig will be much easier if you can do so before the hoards of people and cars show up.

Come Prepared with Food and Drink

When you think of tailgating, your first thought may be burgers and brats. These are tailgate staples for a reason, but if you bring your RV, you can get much more creative. Check out this list of tailgate treats for some inspiration and ideas!

If you are hosting a group, ensure there is enough food for everyone or coordinate what everyone will bring. Keep in mind that tailgating is a social event, so it’s not unlikely you may be feeding a few more mouths than anticipated. Having a little extra food on tailgate day is a great way to make some new friends!

Leave the Pets Behind

Large, noisy crowds can be stressful for pets, so it’s best to leave Fido home on game day. If you do bring your pet, be sure to keep them on a leash at all times and check on them regularly if they are in the rig. Dogs that are typically well-behaved may become over-stimulated and try to get out or bark constantly. Be sure to keep your pets needs in mind and act accordingly.

Set Up Your Outdoor Entertainment Area

Many RVs come equipped with some sort of amenities for the outdoor living area - this may include an awning, outdoor kitchen, TV, or speakers. If space allows, an awning can provide much-needed shade or rain protection (weather during football season can be a bit unpredictable), and an outdoor kitchen will allow you to serve hot, fresh food. These features will, however, require a bit of space on the side of your RV, so check beforehand if this will be an issue.

If your rig doesn’t already have them, any DIYer can easily add outdoor speakers to your rig for jamming out to those pre-game pump-up jams. Every good tailgate needs some good tunes!

Show Some Spirit!

Decorate your RV with your team’s colors to show your support and, of course, outdo the other guys. Hoist up your spirit flag with this retractable flag pole and let everyone know who you’re rooting for!

Have an Exit Strategy

Traffic leaving a big game is often worse than the traffic getting into the stadium, so be prepared. While you likely won’t be able to boondock overnight in the tailgate lot, it’s a good idea to hang out for an hour or two and wait for traffic to disperse if you are able to do so. If you have a long drive back home or to the campground, leaving the game a bit early may be necessary. This can also help to avoid some of the post-game parking lot congestion.

Hosting a Watch-Party

Nothing quite beats the experience of tailgating at the stadium or track before the big event and watching it live, except maybe a lively watch party at the campground. If you’re traveling in your RV this fall, read on for some tips to pull out next time there’s a big game.

Utilize Your Outdoor Living Space

Unlike the parking lots of crowded stadiums, campground spots allow you space to expand your rig and fully utilize its amenities. Being a watch party, you’ll need some way to view the big event. Some RVs have outdoor TVs that are great for watching sports, but projectors are also a good option.

Make sure there is enough seating, or let your guests know to bring their lawn chairs! The great thing about hosting a get-together at the campground is everyone has their rig nearby. If you forget or run out of something, chances are someone has what you need in their motorhome and are more than willing to share. Campgrounds can sometimes feel like their own little community.

Coordinate a Menu

Speaking of community, don’t be afraid to ask guests to bring something to share if you plan on having a crowd. I mean, who doesn’t love a good potluck? Be courteous of any allergies in the group and coordinate who is bringing what so you don’t end up with 4 different buffalo chicken dips.

If you will be hosting a small gathering and want to handle the food, aim for dishes that can be prepared ahead of time so you can spend time with your guests instead of in the kitchen.

Would you rather tailgate and watch the big event live or enjoy it from the comfort of your rig at the campground? Let us know in the comments!

Sep 13th 2022 Molly Muhs

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