Tailgating essentials for gameday

16 Tailgating Essentials You’ll Need for Game Day

The game before the game. The parking lot party. The pre-game hangout. No matter what you call tailgating, the checklist for it remains the same. Whether you’re planning a tailgating party or want to show up with the right gear in tow, you’ll want the following list of tailgating essentials for a successful game day experience.

1. Outdoor Smart TV

If you’re catching the pre-game show before you head into the stadium or watching the action from your spot in the parking lot, you’ll need a TV that can handle the wear and tear that comes with being outside. Our suggestion? A smart television with an IP54 rating specifically designed for the outdoors and superior water resistance. That way, you can watch the game unfold no matter the weather. To get the clearest picture possible, we also suggest a TV that delivers 4K ultra-high-definition viewing with anti-glare and HDR10 technology that enables you to see vivid colors and a deep contrast.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to grab an outdoor soundbar, so you and your friends can hear all the calls loud and clear.

2. Bluetooth® Speaker

It’s not a tailgate without some lively music to get you amped for the big game. Turn up your favorite tunes, and party on with a portable Bluetooth speaker that you can connect to your favorite playlist on your phone. Be sure to get one that holds enough charge to get you through the day! To prepare for any weather situation, you should also find a speaker that is waterproof and shockproof. Just in case the sky opens up, your speaker won’t get ruined, and you can continue to enjoy your jams.

3. Portable Charcoal Grill

Food — Isn’t that why your friends show up to tailgate with you? Don’t leave your favorite football fans disappointed! Get a portable charcoal grill, so you can serve your friends all their game day favorites without sacrificing the smoky flavor they know and love. To get more bang for your buck, you should consider getting a grill that also has a carrying case. Bonus points if that carrying case has a cooler attachment to go with it! Then, you can bring your burgers, brats, hot dogs and more while saving space in your larger cooler for sides and drinks.

4. Coolers

Speaking of coolers, you’re going to need one (or maybe two) to hold all your favorite beverages for the day. We suggest getting one with a large storage capacity that can keep your food and drinks cold for several hours. After all, no one likes to pop the top off what should be a cold one to get a swig of a hot beverage. Gross!  You might also consider a cooler that has a high-quality, water-resistant shell. You just never know if Mother Nature is going to cooperate with your game day plans. 

5. Reusable Coffee Cups & Water Bottles

To help you identify your drink in a sea of plastic cups, you may want to get yourself an eco-friendly water bottle or coffee cup. With a leakproof bottle or cup, you can ensure you won’t spill your drink when you throw your hands up after your team scores a touchdown. We also suggest you get a cup or bottle made of collapsible silicone, so that you can easily throw it in the dishwasher when you get home. Then, collapse it to a compact size for storage until the next game.

6. Food Storage

Before your tailgate, you’ll probably want to prep all the fixings for brag-worthy burgers and hot dogs. Plus, you’ll need something to store all your scrumptious sides in. You can easily transport all your food to the tailgate with a few storage containers. After the game, you can simply put the lid on each container of leftovers (if there are any) and take them back home. Again, we suggest getting ones that are dishwasher-safe and made of collapsible, eco-friendly silicone. 

7. Foldable Tables

To set up food, decorations and anything else you want in your tailgating space, you’re going to need a portable table that is lightweight and hassle-free to set up. You may also want to consider getting one that has adjustable legs, so you can get the perfect height without worrying about your table being too low for fur-friends to help themselves.

8. Electric Flyswatter

Don’t let flies ruin your fun! Score an electric flyswatter to easily keep pesky insects away from your food. This way, your friends won’t have to deal with the smell of bug spray all day and the environment will thank you, too.

9. Popup Gazebo & Wind Panels

We’ve already mentioned the weather a few times, but hear us out. You’ll be thankful you planned ahead, especially if it’s blistering hot or raining just enough to ruin your outdoor fun. You can stay protected from the elements while still getting plenty of fresh air with a gazebo or popup canopy. You’ll want one that sets up in a few minutes, so you can get on with the rest of your tailgate party preparations.  
If it’s especially windy or sunny, you may also want to consider purchasing compatible wind panels for your gazebo. Simply attach them to each window of your gazebo for instant respite from the elements. 

10. Comfortable Chairs

Your game day chair should be a pretty big deal. And no, we don’t mean your grandma’s aluminum webbed lawn chair from seven decades ago. Get something that will be stylish, durable and comfortable for multiple hours while you catch up with friends and cheer on your team. From padded quad camping chairs to oversized seating and gravity-defying rockers, the sky is the limit when choosing the perfect chair for you. 

11. Ottoman

If you get an ultra-comfy camping chair, chances are you’ll need an ottoman, too. They are incredibly versatile and can be used as a table, footrest or an extra seat for your little one. Plus, you can never have too many places for drink storage. Get one with integrated cupholders just in case you fill your chair cupholders with your phone, keys or extra snacks.

12. Patio Mat

Give your tailgating area a glow up with a patio mat or outdoor rug that will make your space cozy, stylish and clean. We suggest getting one that is made for the outdoors with mold and mildew-resistant fabric that can withstand rain, accidental drink spills and UV rays. In case your mat takes a beating during your tailgate parties, you’ll want one with durable material that is easy to clean with a power washer once you get home.  

13. String Lights & Lanterns

Tailgating for a night game? Keep your friends safe from tripping over things they can’t see by illuminating your tailgating area with some lights. You can create a cozy atmosphere with string lights, brightly light the way with outdoor lanterns or do a combination of both. Any way you choose, your friends will be grateful when they can safely leave their chairs to grab an ice-cold beverage and another bite to eat.

14. Pet Accessories

If you’re taking your four-legged companion along on your tailgating adventure, you may want to consider a few products that will keep them comfortable throughout the day. To give them a space of their own, you could get a playpen or bed that they can call “home” for the day. You should also keep their regular food schedule in mind and keep them hydrated, especially if it’s going to be hot. Get an easy-to-clean dish set that you can collapse to save space in your bag on your way to and from your tailgating spot.

15. Collapsible Travel Wagon

If there’s a ways to walk from your car to your tailgating destination, you should consider purchasing a travel wagon to easily roll your gear along your route. With a collapsible wagon, you can transport chairs, food, tailgating equipment and anything else you may need for the day. Plus, you don’t have to take up a ton of room in your vehicle to and from the game. Simply collapse it to a compact size and easily fit it in the back seat or trunk.

16. Electric Bike

If you want to avoid game day traffic to and from the stadium, you may want to consider traveling via an ebike. As a bonus, you won’t be exhausted when you arrive at your tailgate destination due to the pedal-assist feature that some ebikes have. So, you can get to the game and still have plenty of energy for great tailgating with your friends. 

RV Accessories for Tailgate Season

Tailgating with your camper in tow? Here’s a bonus list of tailgate supplies that you should consider for a successful game day!

  • Screen Defender: A black, powder coated aluminum screen that helps ensure your pet can’t damage or break through your entry screen door.
  • Screen Shot®: An entry door upgrade that ensures your screen door closes by itself, every time, keeping unwanted pests out of your RV.
  • Screen Assist™: An RV screen door push bar that helps you get out of your RV with ease and convenience while protecting your rig's screen door. 
  • Solid Step® Premium RV Steps: An entryway upgrade that lets you get in and out of your RV with more stability, safety and ease than ever.
  • All-Weather Floor Tray: A heavy-duty, durable tray that neatly catches any fallen dirt, water and debris from your Solid Step RV stairs when they’re stored inside your doorway. 
  • Solera® RV Awning Screen Room: A three-panel, mesh screen room lets you block out the sun, wind, bugs and more.
  • Propane Tank Sensor: An easy-to-install sensor that lets you monitor your RV’s propane levels right from your phone or smart device.
  • Tire Linc® Tire Pressure & Temperature Monitoring System: An always-on system that lets you monitor your tire pressure and temperature from your smart device.
  • Cargo Carrier: A convenient and secure way to add cargo space to your vehicle.