With football season just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about the best part of the game: tailgating!!! Many RVers hit the scene with their rigs because it offers a great way to enjoy this camaraderie. You’ll have your kitchen at your fingertips for all the food you can eat and then you can just go in when it’s late and hit the sack! With RV tailgating ready to kick off, make sure you’re ready with these tips that can help make you experience more enjoyable!
Pack The Day Before, Get There Early!
The best tailgating spots fill up fast and you have to get there pretty early to get one. Make sure you’re packed up and ready to go the night before so you can get going as soon as your feet hit the floor! If you wait and pack that morning, others will be getting those spots as you’re filling up the fridge at home.
Make sure you bring along your chairs! You don’t want to be sitting on the ground or on the cooler. Double check your outside storage areas to ensure your folding chairs are in there as well as any camp tables you may want to bring.
Bring a Cooler
Unless you have an outdoor kitchen with a fridge, bring a cooler! This will help keep the inside of your rig clean since you won’t have to go in and out every time you need a drink. It will also help if you’re running you’re a/c (or furnace if it happens to get cold). What’s that saying mom used to yell when you would leave the door open or come in and out too much? “We’re not paying to cool/heat the outside!”
Know the Rules
Check before you even set off to make sure that you kn
ow all the rules of the place you’re planning to tailgate. Not every football stadium allows things like grills or loud music. You don’t want to get there planning to grill up some delicious burgers only to be thwarted by security telling you it’s not permitted. This goes for possession of alcoholic beverages as well, especially if you’re attending a college game. Many college campuses prohibit alcoholic beverages and for some that includes their stadium and parking lot as well! Many places also require you to be parked and set up by a specific time. For example, Utah State University requires you be in your spot no later than 2pm if kick off is a 6pm, and 10am if kick off is at 1pm.
Get a Spot Near Grass
Most of the time they require that all tailgaters be parked on the cement. If you get a spot near the grass, you can park your rig on the cement but spread out chairs and other things in the grass. This really beats being surrounded in a cement parking lot by other people. Keep in mind that others will want to use the grassy areas as well, so don’t be stingy with the amount of space you take.
Be Respectful of Neighbors
No matter what team you’re rooting for, everyone is there to have a good time. Focus on the fun while allowing those around to do so as well. If the people next to you are fans of the opposing team, keep it friendly. There’s no need for constant banter or name-calling. It is just a sport and not worth getting into a fight over. You may end up getting kicked out and then all your efforts are ruined and you’re definitely not going to have a good time.
Use Ice Cube Alternatives
If you’re packing a cooler you’ll typically put your stuff in there with a bunch of ice. This is all well and good until the ice melts and you’re left with a soggy mess. One alternative is to freeze bottles of water. As they melt they become drinking water and it’s a win-win! You have nice cold water to drink and nothing gets soaked. Another really neat thing you can do is fill and freeze water balloons in your team’s colors. Then once they melt, have a water balloon fight! Just make sure they’re completely melted. Getting hit with an ice ball may warrant a trip to the ER!
Tips for Grilling
Knowing these tips and tricks for grilling will help make your food and your time even better! There’s nothing worse than a burnt burger or steak, unless it’s salmonella from under-cooked chicken. That would be much worse! Here’s a list you can follow to make sure your food tastes great and is safe to eat!
- When making your burger patties, press your thumb in the center of them to make an indent. This will keep them from swelling and puffing up in the center and becoming a thick, yet too small for the bun, piece of meat.
- If you get there and realize you’ve forgotten your grill brush, don’t worry! Just crumple up some tin foil, hold the ball with tongs, and scrub your grates!
- Don’t squish the burgers with a spatula! When you press down on your burger with a spatula while cooking you’re squeezing all the juices out of them. Not only is this going to result in a dry burger, but it will cause a flair up of flames as the juices burn. Then you’ve got a burned burger on the outside that’s dry on the inside.
- Try indirect heating! This method is great for chicken, pork chops, and thick cuts of meat that take longer to cook, such as prime rib. When you prepare your grill, only heat one side! For gas grills this means simply only lighting one side. For charcoal you just push all the coals to one side once they’re all white. When you put the meat on the grill you start with it on the hot side to sear in the juices. Only leave it a few moments per side, and then move it to the side without heat! The hot side heats the grill so you’re basically baking the food, but not over the flames where it will burn. This will help get those more stubborn meats cooked on the inside without drying them out over high heat.
- Let the meat rest! Whatever you’re cooking, don’t serve it right away! Put it on a plate, tent it with foil, and let it “rest” for 5-10 min. This allows it to start to cool back down and redistribute the juices, resulting in more even flavor.
Serve The Best!
Making sure you have a great recipe to start with will make a huge difference! Sure, you can make burgers and dogs but so can anyone! Here are some recipes that will make your guest’s mouths water and have them itching for your next event! Check out these 3 recipes that everyone will love!
Tailgating is a great way to connect with friends and family while enjoying an amazing sport. Keep yourself happy and safe while you’re out there. As always, if you have some alcoholic beverages and you don’t plan to stay the night where you are, ensure you have a designated driver!