With the football playoffs in full swing, there’s quite a bit of professional and college tailgating happening. But did you know there is a lot more to RV tailgating than just the big football games?
As you walk through the parking lot to your favorite events, do you ever wish you could join in on the food and fun of a tailgate party? Here are ten things you need to know about RV tailgating, and why it’s high time you gained your own fame as a first-rate parking lot chef.
10 Reasons Why RV Tailgating is the Best Type of Tailgating
Tailgate Parties Aren’t Just for Football
America’s RV tailgaters take the party to NASCAR races, soccer and baseball games, and every type of sporting event imaginable. Whether it’s at the stadium, race track or ballpark, tailgating simply makes sporting events more fun.
Tailgate Parties Are Big Business
Tailgating enthusiasts generate big revenue for related industries—spending up to $18 billion for licensed clothing and accessories and a whopping $35 billion on food and beverage purchases!
Tailgaters Are Repeat Partiers
The tailgating craze, for many RV tailgating enthusiasts, means setting up the mobile kitchen five or more times each season. Once you’ve been bitten by the tailgating bug, it’s hard to leave the party at home. The ease of traveling by RV makes it even more attractive to tailgate at events far from home.
Tailgaters Like to Break Out the Grill
By an overwhelming majority (90 percent), tailgating chefs include some type of grilled specialties on their menus. From seafood to burgers and veggie kabobs, grilling adds its own special flavor to parking lot cuisine. Be sure you know the regulations at your destination venue before you go. Not all stadiums and ballparks allow charcoal fires, so you may need to pack the propane grill.
Tailgating Ramps Up Team Spirit
With a little creativity, tailgating menus can wave the banner for teams, drivers and individual players. Create a burger in honor of this year’s MVP, or incorporate race team colors in desserts, salads and appetizers to ramp up your crowd’s team spirit. Help the crew get ready for the big game with team-themed hoagies, dips and drinks.
RV Kitchens Make Tailgating Easy
It’s one thing to drag the grill out of the minivan and start flipping burgers in the parking lot. It’s a whole different level of tailgating to prep, cook and serve in the convenience of an RV kitchen. Today’s recreational vehicles are designed for convenience on the road, and tailgating is no exception. Take advantage of the easy storage, preparation and clean-up offered by the kitchen in your RV.
Three Tailgating Tips Keep Food Safety Simple
There are three rules to follow when preparing, cooking and serving that will keep your tailgating specialties safe.
- Keep foods at the proper temperature. The “cold foods cold and hot foods hot” rule is especially important when serving food outdoors. Use insulated dishes and warming trays, and set out smaller quantities while keeping your backup supply in the cooler, RV fridge or on the grill.
- Cleanliness wins, hands-down. With your RV’s water tanks filled, you’ll have plenty of water to wash up before, during and after food preparation. Take the time to wash cutting boards, bowls and utensils if you’re using them for more than one dish. Institute handwashing as a “must-do” for your tailgating team.
- Buy the freshest ingredients. Economize where you can for affordable tailgating, but if it’s out of date, don’t cook it on your tailgate.
Tailgate Menus Reflect Each Chef’s Style
RV tailgating chefs break out their best by creating menus that reflect their unique styles. Check out what’s being served in the parking lot at the next ballgame and you’ll find fish tacos, hummus wraps, tapas buffets, savory cheese spreads, muffulettas and venison sliders. And we haven’t even mentioned desserts—there are nearly unlimited ways to honor the team and your favorite fans’ appetites with treats like cupcakes, mini fruit pies, cheesecakes, fruit smoothies and extravagant brownie creations. Keep it easy to serve and easy to eat, and you’ll score a big win with your parking lot feast.
Tailgating Is on the Rise
NFL games, NASCAR races and college or high school sporting events are seeing an increase in the number of fans who tailgate. Some NFL stadiums are legendary for their tailgate parties, with the Bears, Chiefs and Eagles scoring big with their tailgating fans. NASCAR speedways are also big magnets for tailgaters. Fan favorites for best RV tailgating setups include Pocono, Indy and Talladega, but you’ll find parking lot parties set up at nearly every NASCAR race. One interesting note: The granddaddy of all American football events, the Super Bowl, banned tailgate parties a few years back. But the rest of the season sees parking lot chefs at stadiums across America!
RV Rentals Make Tailgating Affordable
Don’t own a motorhome, but love the idea of RV tailgating? No sweat—RV rentals make tailgating convenient and affordable. Fully equipped kitchens, sleeping areas, restroom facilities and dining spaces mean tailgaters can enjoy self-contained travel as well as first-class tailgate cooking facilities.
As we wrap up the football season, it’s time to start planning next season’s menus! Whether the next event you’ll attend is Cactus League spring training or your daughter’s soccer game, RV tailgating can make it more memorable.
If you want to learn more about RV tailgating, check out El Monte RV's infographic on all things you need to know about RV tailgating.
Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, a nationwide RV rental company. Joe has been on the road working within the travel industry for over 20 years and greatly enjoys exploring the outdoors. He is also actively involved in numerous campground associations, including RVIA's Go RV'ing committee, as well as travel industry associations.