When it comes to tailgating, many of us approach it with our own unique style. As long as you are there in the parking lot and enjoying good food, good company and good times it really doesn’t matter how elaborate of a set-up you bring along. But like most of you, you have probably seen those tailgaters that pull in with all the amenities of home right there in their Recreational Vehicle (RV). Most tailgaters are green with envy watching RV tailgaters take cover from inclement weather easily or are envious of their ability to bring along extra gear. We recently had a chance to speak with Ryan Lee, the Director of Marketing for Monaco RV, and asked him a few questions specifically about going tailgating with an RV. In this interview, Lee offers advice on those looking to upgrade their tailgating to include an RV, settles any skepticism that RV tailgating is too expensive and adds some insight into the extra benefits of RV tailgating you may not have considered.
Tailgating Ideas: Ryan, thanks for talking to us and sharing your knowledge of RV tailgating with our readers on TailgatingIdeas.com. For those tailgaters who have been tailgating out of the back of their vehicles for years and want to move up to an RV, what are the first things they need to know about RVs, specifically related to tailgating?
Ryan: The first thing they need to know is that an RV is easy to use and combines all the conveniences of home to enjoy at the stadium. You no longer have to worry about having to cram everything into your old vehicles, which have limited storage space, or worry about not packing something you know you’ll need later. If you RV regularly, chances are your coach already has the essentials packed and all you have to do is load specifics for that day’s game. With an RV, you essentially take your kitchen (and home) with you to the game. You have everything you need at your fingertips. Heat up or cook food on the spot, keep food and beverages refrigerated, frozen items frozen, and there’s a sink for handy prep and clean-up.
Tailgating Ideas: Many tailgaters avoid tailgating with an RV because the expense of not only owning one but the upkeep, maintenance and storage all seem a bit overwhelming. Is this true or is that a common myth?
Ryan: RVing is actually much more cost-effective than people might think. Assuming you plan to use your RV for more than just tailgating, it can be very cost-effective when factoring in the price of plane tickets, rental cars, hotels, restaurants, etc. In terms of maintenance, RVs are not that much different than your typical vehicle. Of course, they have engines and they must be winterized, but generally speaking, your typical RV is pretty simple to maintain. It might be intimidating at first glance, but once you get to know your RV, you’ll find that the upkeep and maintenance involved is much less than you anticipated.
Tailgating Ideas: Most tailgaters know the major benefits of going tailgating with an RV, like having your own restroom and the comforts of home like a microwave or a TV. What are some of the lesser known benefits of going RV tailgating that make sense, but many might not think of it right off the bat?
Ryan: One of the benefits that might not be obvious is the amount of storage you get with an RV. It’s not your daily use vehicle, so it can be packed and ready to go days in advance. You can pack so much more than a typical vehicle and have literally everything you need available when you need it. Another not-so-obvious benefit is the amount of living space available. You can have more friends and family around, or use your coach as the central gathering place for fellow tailgaters. RVs are also ideal for tailgating during unpredictable weather. They have large patio awnings so you don’t have to be inside when it rains. If you want to be inside, however, you won’t be cramped with the multiple slide-outs that many RVs offer, greatly increasing elbow room and expanding living space.
Tailgating Ideas: Is there a type or size of RV that is better suited for tailgating than say, camping or road trips?
Ryan: We build products from 28 to 45 feet in length. The coach length a customer chooses is based on their specific needs. A customer who has a large RV space and enjoys having lots of friends and family at their tailgaters would benefit from a larger RV with slide-outs. A customer with small or tight space and who prefers to host more intimate tailgaters would benefit from a smaller, more maneuverable RV. It really depends on the customers’ needs. Fortunately, Monaco RV builds an RV product for every tailgating need. Right now, Monaco RV offers the Monaco Vesta and Holiday Rambler Trip, two coaches perfectly suited for the tailgating experience. They’re relatively short in length at 32-feet, very maneuverable, with superb fuel economy, expansive living space, lots of storage, and loaded with first-class amenities.
Tailgating Ideas: What are some of the coolest and most outrageous modifications and add-ons that you have heard of that people have installed on their RV to make tailgating more enjoyable?
Ryan: The primary modifications and add-ons we’ve seen are usually related to a barbecue and creating an enhanced outdoor tailgating experience to go along with the obvious indoor benefits RVs offer. Our owners have integrated some incredible barbecue set-ups to their RVs, complete with extra large flat-screen TVs, multiple TVs hooked to dual satellites for multiple game viewing outside, custom built-in freezers in the exterior storage bays, large exterior refrigerators, sinks, and more. Awnings can be fitted with mesh walls to create an exterior “room” while keeping bugs out.
Tailgating Ideas: What suggestion would you make to teams, schools and stadium authorities to make RV tailgating more accessible and enjoyable?
Ryan: I think most of the professional teams and colleges today are very good about promoting and encouraging an RV tailgating experience that is both safe and fun for the whole family. Being located here on the West Coast and a big college football fan, I can speak to the RV accommodations at many of the Pac-12 stadiums from personal experience. They’ve made concessions to assure that adequate RV parking is available. Tailgating and RV tailgating has become mainstream, and our hope is that stadium officials across the country will continue to increase RV parking spaces while keeping the cost of RV parking and RV tailgating affordable to everyone.
Tailgating Ideas: Some “tailgating purists” consider tailgating with an RV to be cheating. They would argue that it really isn’t tailgating unless you are doing it out of the back of the truck or SUV you normally use during the week to get to school or work. What’s your response?
Ryan: Everyone has his or her idea of what “tailgating” is. Obviously, we feel that RV tailgating is unlike any tailgating you’ve ever experienced before and simply can’t be matched for its numerous conveniences and benefits. An RV offers a kitchen with a microwave, a bathroom, tons of storage, shelter and so much more. It’s the ultimate tailgating experience. When you consider the evolution of tailgating culture in America, RV tailgating is simply the next evolutionary step. It’s taking everything that’s good about traditional tailgating, and super-sizing it, or taking it to the next level.
We’d like to thank Ryan Lee of Monaco RV for sharing his knowledge and time with us to discussRV tailgating. To learn more about Monaco RVs, visit their website: www.monacorv.com. You can also follow them on Twitter (@MonacoRV) and like them on Facebook.