Hanging out with fellow fans in the parking lot can be more fun than watching the actual game. Some football games are famous for their fans’ over-the-top tailgating tactics. Tailgating is something to look forward to—unless it’s hot outside. While taking an RV to your tailgate is terrific because you can cool off inside, you don’t want to miss out on all the action happening outside.
Tackle scorching hot tailgating with a cool game strategy. It will make an exciting event with friends even more fun, and you’ll be able to hang outside and stay comfortable.
Five Ways to Keep Your Cool
- Stock Up On Ice
Warm drinks are the bust of a hot-weather tailgate. You want to have plenty of ice on hand so you can keep drinks and coolers cold. However, you won’t need to worry about where to pick up extra bags of ice or where to store it if you make your own ice instead.
There are portable and freestanding ice makers that simply sit on your countertop. Plug it in, let it run and make over 25 pounds of ice in 24 hours. Keep one in your RV for instant ice during a tailgate.
To avoid having the ice melt too quickly, store your coolers in the shade. Chilling drinks at home before you put them in the cooler is another great tip for making your ice last longer.
- Have It Made in the Shade
If you get to your tailgate location early, scout out a spot for afternoon shade even if your RV has an awning. There’s a tremendous heat difference in and out of the shade, so you’ll want room to spread out.
Consider shade when you decide which way to face your RV as you park. During some parts of the day, the RV itself will provide a shady rectangle from the hot sun. Face your side door toward the afternoon shade.
Never fear if there aren’t any shady spots. Plan ahead to provide your own shade. Pack a pop-up-tent to get quite a few square feet of shade, or pack a patio umbrella and stand. Since the umbrella collapses, it’s easy to transport. Having the umbrella means you can place it separate from the tent so you can shade a drink table or the person manning the grill.
- Let Off Some Steam
Just like the water misters found at big outdoor theme parks, you can provide your own cooling mist at a tailgate.
There are a variety of misters that can travel with you. Some use a bucket full of water, some attach to a hose and others can be attached to your shade tent. There are even personal, hand-held misters you can hold and mist yourself as you chill in your chaise lounge.
- Pack a Breeze
A breeze makes all the difference on a hot day. If Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, be prepared by having some fans on hand. Battery-operated fans are super handy to have when tailgating or camping. On the other hand, if you are tailgating with an RV, then you’ll be able to plug in a fan outside to create a breeze for everyone hanging out.
- Fill Up on Cold
Be sure to stay hydrated. Provide plenty of icy cold drinks for all your tailgating guests. Remember hot weather can cause you to sweat and you may need to drink even more water than normal. The Institute of Medicine suggests an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups of beverages a day while women should drink about nine cups.
Cold foods are another terrific cooling trick. As much as tailgating is all about the grill, offer cold sides to your grilled meat. Serve cold salad, pasta salad, cut up fruit and slices of veggies with a chilled dip. In fact, watermelon is an exceptionally good choice because the fruit is 93 percent water.
Professional Organizer Tips for Tailgating
- Store beverages separately from food. The beverage cooler will be opened more frequently, so storing the food separately will help it stay cool.
- Keep zippered plastic bags on hand. Fill them with ice and use them in coolers of food. As the ice melts, it won’t get the food in the cooler wet.
- Bring extension cords. You can use these to plug items like a fan or portable ice maker into your RV’s power but still keep them outside and easily accessible.
- Dampen hand towels and store them in the refrigerator or cooler. They’re terrific to pass around when people are hot and sweaty.
Lea Schneider is a home organizational expert with years of experience combining home organization with design styles. She spent a lot of time traveling, camping and RVing with her family when she was growing up. To research coolers and other tailgating gear like those described by Lea, go to the Home Depot website.