It’s that time of year again, football season! Time to load up the RV and head to the big game for a little tailgating before kickoff.
Following are a few tips to make your tailgating experience safe and enjoyable for all involved.
One important rule of thumb for tailgating is to be respectful of those around you. Don’t infringe on anyone else’s territory physically or audibly. Everyone wants to enjoy their time unhindered, so be a friendly neighbor by setting the volume of your music or other games to an appropriate level. Another consideration is smoke from your BBQ or gas grill. Think about where the smoke will drift before getting things warmed up and throwing on the burgers and brats. What may smell good to you may not be such a pleasing aroma to your neighbor.
The early bird catches the worm, so arrive with plenty of time to beat the crowds and score the best tailgate space next to where the action is. What about exiting after the game is over? Will you need to get home right away or can you linger as the crowds disperse? Having your RV parked near an exit and aimed in the right direction assures you can escape ahead of the crowd at the end of the game.
Hosting a barbecue party in your backyard is one thing, but when you’re tailgating there are other considerations to keep in mind, such as electrical power to run all your stuff. Crock pots, rotisserie, amplified sound, big screen TVs, microwaves, etc. all need clean reliable power from your portable generator.
Older / inexpensive camping generators typically run at a constant high speed, no matter how much power you’re using. However, newer computer controlled models have the ability to adjust the engine speed to match your power needs allowing for greater efficiency and less noise. For example, many generators from Honda, Yamaha, Briggs & Stratton and others are equipped with inverters that provide smooth power for more sensitive electronics, like laptops, sound systems, cell phones and flat screen TVs. Damaging your favorite electronic appliance puts a damper in a game day really quick.
When using a generator, be aware that engine exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that can be deadly. Operate your portable generator outside with its exhaust pointed far away from areas occupied by you or your tailgating neighbors. Fuel is flammable so never refuel a hot or running generator. Do not operate a generator in rain or wet weather and use a ground fault circuit interrupter in any damp or wet location.
Being exposed to heat, cold, sun and the elements while tailgating or at the game requires extra safety precautions. Protect yourself with sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated even when the weather cools. Prepare for unforeseeable events, such as injuries and illness. A basic first aid kit is a must and easily stored in your RV. Before you leave for the game, do an inventory to assure your kit is well stocked and medications are current. While food is a big part of tailgating, remember the safety rules you observe at home still apply tailgating. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Refrigerate leftovers in a timely manner.
If you must drink alcohol while tailgating or at the game be sure to have a designated driver to get your RV and tailgating friends home safely.
With proper preparation you can safely enjoy RV tailgating with family and friends.