In many ways, an RV is the perfect way to throw a tailgate party. You can get close to the action while also keeping all of the conveniences of home at hand.
Say goodbye to waiting in line for the bathroom and dragging your coolers and chairs through the heat. Here’s your complete guide to RV tailgate parties.
Most RVs are well-suited to throwing a tailgating party, but some might be better options than others. Whatever kind of RV you choose, there are things you can do to outfit it for the perfect tailgate party.
There are few images more iconic than everyone gathering around the grill. You want an outside hosting area with a grill and covered pavilion. That way your guests will be comfortable and your food will stay toasty even if you experience light rain. Some RVs are outfitted with outdoor covered areas stable enough to hold up to even a fair amount of wind and rain.
In case the weather gets really bad, you’ll want an inside area where your guests can gather, and you can still get some cooking done. The more space indoors the better, but as long as there is somewhere for everybody to sit, you’ll be able to get through a surprise summer thunderstorm comfortably enough.
You don’t just need room for your family to use the bathroom if you’ll be hosting a party. If alcohol is being served, you can expect your guests to need to use the bathroom quite a lot.
Make sure your holding tank is big enough to accommodate your guests and you. If you want to tailgate for a few days in a row, it might be a good idea to plan to go somewhere to empty your tank.
We usually associate tailgating with hot weather, but you can tailgate at any kind of event, including in cold weather, using your RV.
Sometimes, you’ll be able to plug in when you’re tailgating, but most of the time, you won’t be able to count on this convenience. It’s a good idea to have a generator available to run air conditioning or heat as needed.
You’re not going to want to leave your site to get anything you’ve forgotten or run out of, so it’s best to set up your RV with everything you need before arriving at the site. Here are some preparations that you’ll want to make well before game day.
Your site matters in how much you enjoy your party. Is there natural shade to keep things cool in hot weather? Are you near a grassy area where you can walk the dog? The particular needs of your family and party affect where it will be best to set up.
Sometimes you can reserve a site ahead of time. Usually, you’ll have access to an RV area which is first come first serve. Find out what the circumstances are and whether you need to arrange to get there early.
Some areas have very few regulations on tailgating, while others have extensive rules. Here are a few considerations in what rules to look into:
Music and other noise volume and hours
Alcohol and smoking
Fires and grills
Rig size and extensions like pavilions
Number of people
Leaving the RV
Safety equipment like fire extinguishers
Length of time that you can stay
Something about the excitement of a game under the hot sun makes people hungry. If you’re not sure how much people will eat and drink, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Burgers are by far the most popular food at tailgating parties, but it’s best to provide white meat and vegan options as well. Whatever is on the menu, here are some things you want plenty of:
Charcoal or propane. Whatever your grill needs, make sure that you have plenty of it. You don’t want to use up most of your fuel and then have someone ask for a second batch of burgers.
Ice. If it’s hot out, you can bet people will be going through ice quickly. Fill up a couple of coolers with bags of ice so that you don’t take up all the room in your freezer.
Water. Bring lots of water and make sure people drink plenty of it, especially if they’re having fun under the hot sun.
Snack food. Don’t stick to the main courses when you want your guests to be full. Make sure that there’s plenty of snack food available for your guests to indulge in.
Whether you come back to the RV after you watch the game live to watch replays or you watch the entire game from your RV, you’re sure to want to screen the game at your tailgate party. A projector and outside screen are perhaps the ideal way to show the game so everybody can see and enjoy it while they’re eating barbecue.
Keep in mind that the screen will need to be in the shade, so plan for where you will hang it on your RV so that everyone can see it clearly. A TV is a great option as well. Consider having a TV inside and outside the RV, especially if you’re not sure how the weather will be.
Watching a great game just makes you feel like having some fun too. Outdoor games like cornhole, horseshoes, frisbee, etc are all wonderful options for having some extra fun at your tailgate party. If you have kids at the party, providing games for them to play is even more essential.
One of the primary activities at a tailgate party is just sitting and enjoying yourself. You may be paying attention to the game or watching the kids play, or you might just be appreciating a moment of peace.
It’s important to provide plenty of seating for everybody at your party. Nobody wants to be the person stuck sitting on the grass. Provide plenty of affordable, collapsible, comfortable chairs for your guests.
You’re sure to want to grill the burgers right before you eat them, but you might not feel as much like mixing up a salad or preparing a side dish. As much as possible, prepare food ahead of time so that you won’t have to work as hard in the moment.
Skewers are a great option for preparing food ahead of time for the grill, including vegan options. Crock-Pot style foods like miniature franks in gravy are a great way to provide a barbecue feel without firing up the grill for every ingredient.
People will be late, the weather will refuse to cooperate, and at least one or two pieces of food will get burned, and that’s if your team wins. If you want to enjoy your RV tailgate: slow down, relax, and go with the flow. Prepare as many options and alternatives as you can to prepare for disasters, but accept that a couple of mishaps are bound to occur.
You don’t want to realize halfway through your party that you invited too many people to fit inside, just as thunder starts threatening the outdoor seating. As you’re just getting settled into your RV and tailgating with it, keep your invitations minimal and choose simpler food and games that you aren’t worried about preparing or managing.
RVs offer some of the best options for tailgating. You may find that you never go back to a pop-up grill in the bed of a pickup truck once you’ve experienced the fun of RV tailgating. Plan ahead, prepare, and go with the flow, and you’ll be sure to have a great time.