Go Big or Go Home: RV Tailgate Like a Pro

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A group of friends sitting together drinking and singing at a tailgating RV party.

This fall, stadium parking lots will be full of die-hard fans with painted faces and foam fingers. You’ll see cheeseheads at Lambeau and chains in Vegas. But what unites even the fiercest competitors is their love for an RV tailgate. 

Today, we’ll give you five tips on how to tailgate like a pro so you can enjoy the battle on the field and the pre-game festivities. Let’s dive in!

What Is Tailgating?

When we mention RV tailgating, we’re not talking about someone riding your bumper.

We’re talking about barbecuing, grilling, playing games, and hanging out in the parking lot outside the stadium of your favorite football team. A tailgate party usually gathers friends, although a good party will often draw in some strangers.

Many people tailgate out of the back of their SUVs and trucks, setting up a canopy tent at the end of their parking space. They bring coolers, a table, portable stovetops, and grills.

Others bring their trailer or motorhome and set up an outdoor area with chairs, a television, games, and more. Friends hang out for hours in the parking lot before kickoff.

Tailgating doesn’t just happen at football games, although that’s one of the most common venues. Some concert-goers tailgate before the stage lights come on. Other people will tailgate before, during, and after a large festival. You’ll see tailgate parties anywhere crowds gather.

A group of friends drinking at a tailgating party.

Many travelers enjoy RV tailgating the most out of all RV life activities. They go from one stadium, festival, or concert to the next. RV tailgating eliminates the need to find a hotel.

If you can boondock, many places will allow you to park overnight in their parking lot. Then you’re already in place before the crowds arrive the following day.

Some arenas won’t allow overnight parking, but you can easily find local campgrounds nearby. Then early the next morning, you head to the venue and start setting up your tailgate party. RV tailgating allows friends to gather comfortably and have amenities like a kitchen sink, oven, and bathroom.

Tips to RV Tailgate Like a Pro

If you’re planning an RV tailgating party, we have five tips to help make your day run smoothly.

You can just stop by a local gas station and load up a cooler with snacks and beer, but we think you and your friends will want a better experience than that. 

1. Plan in Advance

If you want to tailgate in the parking lot of a stadium or venue, read up on the location’s policies. Some won’t allow RVs at any time. Other locations may permit overnight RV parking. You’ll want to have the most up-to-date information.

For big football games or concerts, you must plan as far in advance as possible. Make your camping reservations early to ensure you have a site during a busy weekend.

2. Have Plenty of Snacks

When enjoying an RV tailgate, guests want to eat all day long. It’s not just about meal times. Have finger foods and easy-to-eat snacks available between lunch and dinner.

Perhaps you’ll want post-game treats as well. Your friends won’t be happy if you’re only providing a meal, no matter how delicious it may be. Keep their bellies full all day long.

Keep in Mind: Have you tried Lay’s Ketchup Chips? If not, you’re missing out!

Close up of tailgating snacks at a football tailgate.

3. Ask Friends to Bring Food Items and Chairs

If providing an endless assortment of appetizers seems daunting, ask for help. Get your friends to pitch in and bring their favorite hors d’oeuvres.

Not only does this lessen the work for you ahead of time and during game day but it also creates community. Everyone can contribute to a fun afternoon. And don’t forget to ask them to bring their own chairs, too!

4. Use a Tent or Canopy

Even if you have an RV awning, set up a tent or canopy during your tailgate party. It can get really hot in a parking lot.

You’ll want plenty of shade. Plus, this provides a dedicated space for food and beverages where people know to grab a snack or beer when they want one.

Keep in Mind: If you’re looking for a tailgating trailer, look no further. These are the 7 best RVs for tailgating!

5. Provide Plenty of Entertainment

Finally, an RV tailgate isn’t just about the food. You may smoke the best barbeque in the state, but if no one has anything to do while it’s cooking, your friends may choose to hang out elsewhere.

Bring a TV outside. Play some music. Set up cornhole boards. Provide plenty of entertainment to make the day fun for everyone.

A corn hole board at a tailgating party.

Is Tailgating Allowed Everywhere?

Some stadiums have specific rules regarding tailgating. This is why reading up on policies is essential before planning your event.

For example, if you’re heading to the nation’s capital to watch the Commanders play this fall, you cannot watch the game from your RV. All guests must enter the stadium or leave the property at kickoff.

At Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, oversized vehicles aren’t allowed in the Home Depot Backyard, and no overnight parking is permitted. In addition, no charcoal grills, wood stoves, oil fryers, large boiling pots, or open pit fires are allowed here.

The National Championship game between Georgia and TCU in 2023 was held at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Tailgating was prohibited before the event. This certainly made for some disgruntled fans. So check policies before you plan your next RV tailgating party.

Enjoy Football Season With an RV Tailgate Party

Whether you’re traveling the country visiting different football stadiums or taking a weekend trip to watch your favorite artist in concert, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for RV tailgating this fall.

But make your experience count by planning ahead and creating a fun atmosphere, not just delivering a tasty hamburger. The tailgating adventure is unique to America. Join in the fun this season!

Have you ever hosted an RV tailgate?

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