Group of friends at an rv tailgating party

RV Tailgating: What You Need Know

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The Fourth of July is one of the best weekends to hitch up and take your RV out. No matter where you go, the weekend will be filled with patriotic celebrations of fireworks, food, and entertainment. It also marks the beginning of serious outdoor escapades for those considering RV tailgating as crucial as the sports event. If you haven’t done it already, now’s the time to get your order in if you want that perfect RV with an outdoor kitchen, extra-large outdoor LED TV, bumper-mounted RV grill arm, and the best RV outdoor speakers possible. 

We’ll show you some of the best RVs for tailgating, essential accessories for your tailgate party, and the tailgating rules you need to know. Resupplying your face paint, updating your jersey, and other loyal fan-required items will give your team that extra edge to win the game. Do you want to jinx the game with a tailgate full of problems? 

RV Tailgating Rules You Need to Know

When you tailgate with your RV, it’s a good idea to look up the stadium’s tailgating rules and regulations ahead of time. Each one has unique differences, but there are some general guidelines you should be aware of when your RV tailgating.

From an RV point-of-view, you’re not going to find any hookups, have your house batteries, propane, and the freshwater tank full. Make sure your both holding tanks are empty because there won’t be any place to dump them. After the game, use Sanidump, or RV Dumps to locate RV dump stations near you. 

By law, every RV must have at least one fire extinguisher with a good pressure reading. You must replace an expired fire extinguisher (check the expiration date) to stay in compliance with OSHA regulations. When tailgating, you may want to have it handy or have a second one that’s easy to grab. All stadiums clearly state you must have a fire extinguisher nearby for emergencies. In addition, the stadiums usually supply color-coated barrels for hot charcoal. 

The parking attendants will direct you to a designated lot with the passenger buses when you pull in. The spaces allow for longer vehicles, but they’re usually toward’s the back of the lot, so wear your good walking shoes. Unfortunately, you can’t save parking spaces for your friends, and you can only have your RV with one vehicle. If you plan to be with a group, it’s a good idea to come early as a group.

If you want to boondock in the parking lot, you’ll want to check with the off-stadium lots ahead of time. The stadiums close anywhere between 1-4 hours after the game, and virtually all of them prohibit overnight parking. If you think you’re going to have too much of a good time, do the smart thing by including a designated driver for your RV.

Great RV Tailgating Gear

If you’re new to the RV world, you’ll soon discover an RV Truth: storage space is worth more than gold. People will spend thousands of dollars more on a motorhome or travel trailer for a few more square feet of storage space. Likewise, cabinets and drawers in RV outdoor kitchens can be bigger than a breadbox, but even your best Macgyverism trick won’t help you hold all of your RV tailgating supplies.

Here are some excellent tailgate trailer accessories to maximize your outdoor kitchen and exterior bay storage. These items will make a good tailgate party great. Hopefully, you have enough food for everyone as you draw more or a crowd.

Defiance Tools BBQ Multi-Tool

As the barbeque extraordinaire, having all of your tools with you is essential for your culinary masterpieces. This 6-in-1 stainless steel multi-tool works as hard as you do and quickly switches to what you need. In one device, you’ll have:

  • Spatula
  • Grill Fork
  • Tongs
  • Knife
  • Corkscrew
  • Can/Bottle Opener

Defiance Tools is the brainchild of Rich and Zoe Coulcher. Their brand may defy traditional tool concepts, but their design and care for the entire manufacturing process are second to none. The Coulcher’s gain their inspiration from living the #VanLife themselves, so they’re always using their products. 

Camco Reversible American Football Field Mat

You could use an RV decorative mat or even a personal camper doormat to welcome your fellow tailgaters. Part of the tailgating experience is to increase the spirit of your fellow fans. After all, as a tailgate party host, it’s your job to help the cheerleaders warm up the crowd. Therefore, having a football-themed rug starts the party from the ground up.

Team-Themed Crockpots and Other Products

What’s a tailgate party without your family’s secret recipe chili, gumbo, or other hearty meal? Crockpots are a great way to feed a lot of people without an open flame. What better way to infuse team spirit into the meal than to use a team-themed Crockpot that you can pick up from Walmart’s Sports Fan Shop? 

Get your beverage cozy, cold-weather gear, and other necessities there as well. This way, you are fully clothed, infused, and ready to support your team (is that a light green shirt underneath that Cowboy’s jersey?). 

Best RV Tailgating Campers

Below are some excellent motorhomes and travel trailers that are the ultimate tailgate RVs. Each one has an RV outdoor TV mounted or comes prepped to hook up your TV outside. They also are RVs with outdoor kitchens with plenty of electric and propane ports to expand the kitchen features. The awnings or hatch cover shades the TV for the best viewing, and the outdoor speakers give you premium sound.

We’ll also point out additional features that make each coach worthy of the ultimate tailgate RV title. So, in the words of the great catchphrase, “Are you ready for some RVs!” (sorry, we had to).

nuCamp CS-S Teardrop

  • Length: 15.3 feet
  • Dry Weight: 2,105 pounds
  • Gross Axle Weight Rating: 2,900 pounds
  • Solar Package: 100-160 watt/ Optional
  • Propane: Single 20 pound (5-gallon) tank
  • Sleep: 2

If you’re looking for a travel trailer under 3,000 pounds, you can hitch the nuCamp Clamshell (a.k.a. CS-S) to your Hyundai Santa Fe for the big game. The tall dorm-style fridge has a lot of room for your food and drinks. The microwave will help you get things going as you set up for your RV tailgating. The teardrop’s 20-pound propane tank will keep the 2-burner stove going throughout the day, so you won’t have to worry about running out of fuel.

If you choose the optional 100- flexible or 160-watt traditional solar panel. In that case, you’ll gain some energy back from whatever you use between the refrigerator, microwave, and whatever you plug into the dual 110v outlets. Then, while you and your friends enjoy your pre-game, you can catch all of the updates and interviews on the LED TV in the kitchen hatch.

Lance 2075 Travel Trailer

  • Length: 24.9 feet
  • Dry Weight: 4,450 pounds
  • Gross Weight: 6,200 pounds
  • Solar Package: Pre-wired/ Standard, Single or dual 190-watt panel(s)/ Optional 
  • Propane: Dual 21 pound (5-gallon) tanks
  • Sleep: 4

The definition of RV tailgating refers to a social gathering where people enjoy an informal meal from the back of a parked vehicle, typically at a sports arena. The Lance 2075 does precisely that: the RV’s outdoor kitchen resides at the back of the travel trailer. Lance introduced this model in 2020, and both critics and customers loved it. 

The off-door side sports a fold-out stove and sink, with two legs supporting the far side. The door-side has a Dometic refrigerator drawer tall enough for soda cans and deep enough for a whole rack of ribs. To keep things cool, you can choose the optional rear awning to keep the sun off of you while you’re cooking. 

The front exterior bay holds a 48-inch folding table that perfect for laying your buffet out. While you’re cooking in the back, your guests can enjoy the pre-game action with the LED TV prep outlets below the mid-coach window. 

KZ Sportsmen LE 332BHKLE

  • Length: 37.3 feet
  • Dry Weight: 7,360 pounds
  • GVWR: 8,800 pounds 
  • Solar Package: Solar prep wiring/Standard 
  • Propane: Dual 20 pound (dual 5-gallon) tanks
  • Sleep: 10-11

The Sportsmen LE 332BHKLE requires a Ford Expedition or your favorite 150/1500 series pickup truck with a heavy tow package. However, maneuvering this over 37-foot family-friendly travel trailer into place in the wee hours of the morning for your tailgate will be worth it if you’re bringing the kids. Once the jacks are down, you can let the kids go back to sleep in the bunkhouse as you get your LED TV hooked up outside and get the food going in the RV outdoor kitchen.

As the day gets going, your little sports fans can come outside and enjoy the day. The RV’s rear second entry leads directly into the bathroom, saving you from the “wonders” of the port-a-johns (we all know the value in that). 

The griddle that comes with the RV’s outdoor kitchen is versatile for any traditional tailgate food. Cleveland Browns fans can serve their best Orange & Brown Hot Dawg Chili Bake masterpieces. NoLa Saint supporters have plenty of surface space for their fried catfish with mac and cheese. New England Patriot loyalists can fit the biggest pot on the griddle for their lobster sliders.

Gulf Stream Conquest 6314

  • Length: 31.4 feet
  • GVWR: 14,500 pounds
  • Chassis: Ford E-450
  • Engine: Ford Godzilla 7.3L V8 Gas- 350 hp @ 425 lb./ft.
  • Solar Package: Zamp solar prep wiring/Standard
  • Propane: Installed 42 pound (10-gallon) tank
  • Sleep: 7-8

When Tiffin Motorhomes became a daughter brand of Thor Industries, that was a serious blow to the few remaining family-owned RV manufacturers. One of the few that remain is Gulf Stream. Don’t confuse them with the jet company: Since 1971, The Shea family of Nappanee, Indiana, and their employees create 22 brands and 140 different models on their manufacturing campus. If you prefer quality craftsmanship over gadgets and gizmos, you might want to check their products out.

The Conquest 6314 is ideal for RV tailgating if you’re looking for a maneuverable drivable. The RV’s outdoor kitchen comes with a 32-inch LED TV, sink, a good-sized refrigerator, electrical and LP ports for everything that makes a good tailgate get-together. 

You won’t need big flags or streamers because the multi-coat full body paint is attention-getting enough to draw a crowd. So, make sure you fill up that 10.2 cubic foot refrigerator inside because you’ll need to tap into your reserves to feed everyone.

Thor Motor Coach A.C.E. 29.5 Class A Motorhome

  • Length: 30.11 feet
  • GVWR: 18,000 pounds
  • Chassis: Ford F-53
  • Engine: Ford Godzilla 7.3L V8 Gas 350 hp @ 468 lb./ft.
  • Solar Package: Pre-wired/Standard, 100-watt solar panel with controller/Optional
  • Propane: Installed 88 pound (20-gallon) tank 
  • Sleep: 7

Short Class A motorhomes are the ultimate for RV tailgating in the drivable categories. They are the only Class A RVs that come with outdoor kitchens, and even then, only a select few. You’ll find a built-in LED TV within an exterior bay, premium exterior speakers, and long power-awnings that really do protect you from the weather.

The Thor Motor Coach A.C.E. 29.5 gives you a complete outdoor living space experience. The RV’s outdoor kitchen has a refrigerator, sink, storage, and cooking device ports. The 32-inch LED TV is easy to see under the near full-length power awning. There’s even a Pet-Link tie-down hook up next to the entry door, so your four-legged best friend can show their team spirit (and sneak some human food treats). 

Coachmen Encore 325SS Class A Motorhome

  • Length: 35.4 feet
  • GVWR: 22,000 pounds
  • Chassis: Ford F-53
  • Engine: Ford Godzilla 7.3L V8 Gas- 350 hp @ 425 lb./ft.
  • Solar Package: 100-watt panel with controller/Standard, 265-watt/Optional
  • Propane: Installed 85 pound (20-gallon) tank
  • Sleep: 8

If you’re looking for a direct competitor of the Thor A.C.E., check out the Coachmen Mirada. However, the Encore takes it to the next level. As RV Business Magazine’s 2021 Must-See RV, the 325SS can begin your multi-leg RV vacation at the stadium for your tailgate party and still have plenty of fuel and power to head out for your RV vacation.

At the stadium, you’ll enjoy the 40-inch RV outdoor TV and versatile RV outdoor kitchen. The kitchen bay holds a dorm-sized fridge and sink with plenty of outlets for whatever cooking devices you want to use. In addition, the cabinet and drawer give you a lot of space for your cookware and dry goods. 

When you’re ready to leave, the Encore has traction control, so getting out of the mud won’t be a problem. As you hit the highway, your traveling companion can use the RV workspace in the co-pilot dashboard to post your comments and photos of your tailgate experience. Be careful what you post; that funny picture of your friends may come back to haunt you when you get home. 

How About a New Truck With an Outdoor Kitchen?

Rivian R1T EV Truck

  • Truck Category: Half-Ton
  • Towing Capacity: 11,000 pounds
  • Driving Range Not Towing: 250-400+ miles
  • Number of Motors: Quad-motor
  • Horsepower: 800 hp 
  • Torque: 826 lb./ft.
  • Seats: 4-6
  • Charging 120v: A few mph/240v: 16-25 mph/Fast: 140 miles in 20 minutes 

How about a truck with an outdoor kitchen if you don’t want to bring an RV to the game? No, that isn’t a misprint. The new Rivian R1T EV truck has an optional outdoor kitchen that pulls out from a mid-body storage bay. The truck company loads it up with everything you need, including all the cookware, dishware, and a 4-gallon fresh water tank.

In front of the passenger-side rear wheel is a storage bay they call the “Gear Tunnel.” Instead of loading up the slideout tray with your long items, you can add a 2-piece outdoor kitchen that fits perfectly inside. The first component closest to the truck has a collapsable sink and a water tank. The far section has a 1,440-watt 2-burner induction stove that feeds off the all-electric pickup truck’s battery.

The storage areas have molded cork that secure the cookware and dishware. Again, Rivian thought of everything, so it’s not just the essential accessories. They also include a coffee grinder (although most consider that necessary) and other real-world vital items. The dishware serves 4, but for your tailgate party, you’ll probably want to use paper products. 

There are 110v, USB, and 12v DC outlets in the frunk and the truck’s bed. Plugging in your Coleman electric grill, Dometic chest-style refrigerator, and a 12-volt outdoor LED TV can complete your tailgate kitchen setup. When you’re ready to head to the game, the massive frunk has plenty of space to lock everything away. If you connect a solar panel to the port in the bed, you can gain some added miles while you’re watching your team win the day. 

RV Tailgating Trailers Aren’t Just for Football

Children and teen athletes need that extra edge when they’re out on the field. Having a mobile team headquarters can be what they need. Toy haulers and travel trailers with walk-in pantries can store equipment, medical supplies, and other essentials. RVs with large living rooms can give the kids a place to cool off during halftime, watch the tape, and secure personal items.

Performance artists, pageant contestants, and models find RVs ideal for a mobile green room. RV manufacturers add large mirrors to bounce light and give the interior a bigger feel. Big vanities are perfect for getting ready for showtime. Pass through, and large storage bays are great for music instruments, equipment, and other essentials.

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About the Author

Although he’s from Motown, Brian Newman is a legacy RVer who grew up on I-75. He, his wife, and two working-class fur-babies have enjoyed the full-time RV lifestyle since 2017. Like John Madden, he hasn’t “worked” in years because he gets to write about his passion. When Brian’s not writing, he supports his daughter’s dog rescue efforts and disability causes.

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