In our second installment of “Righteous Rigs” comes another tailgating vehicle that you would be hard pressed not to notice when it is either parked or on the way to Milan Puskar Stadium. Nick named “the Shaggin Wagon”, this 1988 Ford E150 Conversion Van has undergone numerous modifications to make it the ultimate tailgating companion in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Steve Sanders, a loyal West Virginia season ticket holder, found it too problematic when it came to loading and unloading all the tailgating equipment from his 2001 F150 pickup. You see, Steve and his wife make the five hour drive every Friday prior to a Mountaineers home game to stay overnight in West Virginia. They then make the additional two and half hour drive to get to Morgantown on game days. Talk about dedication! Logging that many hours and miles on the road, the Sanders decided it was time to get a designated vehicle that was strictly for tailgating.
The Shaggin’ Wagon as it is known today was just an old 1988 Ford E150 Conversion Van with 80,000 miles on it that was sitting for sale outside of a neighbors house. On a whim in 2005, Steve Sanders took a look at it after numerous times passing it and wondering what could be done with it. It had power seats, windows, door locks, CB and even an old TV in there and after $1,800 exchanged hands the Shaggin’ Wagon was about to take shape. Like finding money in your jeans pocket on laundry day, a trip to a mechanic revealed this van was in excellent shape but also came with the ambulance package, which means a heavy duty electrical system.
In 2005 the modifications commenced with the installation of a 600 watt inverter in the off season, a satellite pole out of aluminum that could handle a mounted dish and a 15″ computer monitor. Satellite TV and music was on iPod via a Bose speaker. Both of these were run off the van’s electrical system via the inverter. The 2005 Mountaineer football season was the first season the van was used for tailgating full time.
Before the 2007 season, the idea to install a dedicated stereo system in the back of the van was born. An AM/FM/CD/DVD receiver, which is normally used as the radio in a car, was installed and were coupled with the marine speakers (woofers, tweeters, crossovers) in the face of the rear doors. A dedicated AMP and an iPod adapter were installed in the back of the van. The system came with a remote control in order to listen to the live TV, iPod, radio, CD or even play a DVD out to the swing down TV (22″ LCD). All this runs off of the van’s electrical system with the receiver being driven through the normal DC connection and the DirecTV system. The TV runs off of the 600 watt inverter.
The additional tailgating gear has been added little by little including tables chairs, coolers, etc. to accommodate those friends and family that join the tailgate party. The van got its distinguishing paint design prior to the 2008 season courtesy of Murphy’s Body Shop of Durbin, West Virginia (304-456-4858). The decals were provided by Scott Sign & Design of Shinnston, West Virginia (304-592-1835).
If you are ever in Morgantown on game day, be on the lookout for the Shaggin’ Waggon. It is not hard to miss and with the 2008 tailgating menu already planned out, choose your game wisely before you drop in. Take a peek…
30 Aug – Villanova – Mike Ditka’s Pork Sandwiches
6 Sept – ECU – Steak & Shrimp
27 Sept – Marshall – Buffalo Burgers
4 Oct – Rutgers – Prime Rib Sandwiches
11 Oct – Syracuse – Turkey Burgers
23 Oct – Auburn – Chick Fil a Platter
8 Nov – Cincinnati – Prime Rib Sandwiches
6 Dec – South Florida – Cindi’s Chili
The Shaggin’ Wagon crew has two mottos: “WVU – We’ve never lost a tailgate” and “WVU – Win or Lose. We booze.” Amen to that!
Here are more photos of the Shaggin’ Wagon. (Click to view full size)