Give me 12 volts or give me death

You are probably familiar with the famous ‘Give me liberty of give me death’ speech delivered by the American patriot Patrick Henry to the Virginia House of Burgesses. In the battle for your tailgating rights that same speech could be delivered in regard to securing your rights to tailgate using 12-volt appliances. Just because you are tailgating doesn’t mean you need to leave the creature comforts of home at home. Nor does it mean you have to break the bank and buy an RV. With a little creativity and forethought, you can be a professional tailgater with the help of a few appliances powered by your car’s cigarette lighter.

One of the major complaints we get from those opposed to tailgating is that if you don’t like food prepared on a grill there is really nothing to eat at a tailgate party. Au Contraire Mon re! If you have it in your home and didn’t think you could bring it tailgating there is probably a 12-volt version of it out there. The reason why we suggest you use 12-volt appliances while tailgating is that your vehicle’s power system is readily available via the cigarette lighter outlet. While the home appliances that plug into the wall run on A/C power (alternating current) your car’s power source is D/C (direct current) and that is where 12-volt appliances come into play.

Want to watch TV while tailgating? How about a 12-volt TV? Don’t want to buy ice for your cooler? Try a 12-volt refrigerator. There are 12-volt heaters, 12-volt slow cookers, 12-volt blenders, and even a 12-volt microwave on the market. All are perfect for traveling and ideal for tailgating. May we present to you this simple guide to tailgating with 12-volt appliances…


Your crock pot at home pulls too much power to bring on the road full of your favorite tailgating chili. This 1 1/2 Qt. 12-Volt Slow Cooker can satisfy that craving for hot nacho cheese dip, chili, or even pot roast. The slip-proof stretch cord secures the glass lid when traveling and the unit weighs less than five pounds. Perfect for your next tailgate party.

Rubbermaid has made it easy for you to keep your tailgating food hot or cold without the use of ice or fire. These Rubbermaid Console Coolers/Warmers come in a variety of sizes including 9 liters, 12 liters, and 18 liters (shown above) for any size tailgate party. The thermoelectric design operates on 12-volt power from your vehicle to maintain hot or cold temperatures. Cools to 40°F and warms to 120°F. Keeps perishables cold all day without ice. There is even a vehicle battery saver low voltage cut-off so you don’t return to your car after the game or concert to find a dead battery.

Just because you are tailgating doesn’t mean you can get a hot cup ‘o joe. No need to stop at Starbucks on your way to the stadium to get your caffeine fix. This 12-Volt 5-cup Coffee Maker plugs into any 12-volt outlet in your tailgating vehicle. Use the see-through water gauge to brew up to 5 cups of coffee. The built-in hot plate keeps coffee warm in the thermo-glass carafe complete with a stay-cool handle. It has a reusable basket-type filter, and a 5 1/2′ power cord with a built-in 20-amp fuse. Now your wife has no excuse for not getting to the parking lot at the crack of dawn.

You’ve grown so attached to your microwave at home that you can’t possibly think of going tailgating without one. Now you can bring along your own microwave to the tailgate party and heat up anything you like. Zap a plate of nachos no problem. Nuke a few hot dogs if the kids can’t wait for the charcoal to get hot. The Koolatron 12-volt Microwave/Inverter has a 1000-watt inverter that attaches to your vehicle’s 12-volt battery and provides the attached microwave with a constant and powerful 110 Volt energy supply. Now you can have your cake and tailgate too.

The Koolatron Designer Fridge is a compact unit perfect for keeping smaller amounts of beverages and snacks cool. It features a stylish contemporary silver color as well as an LED temperature display. The Koolatron Designer Fridge also boasts a cord storage compartment as well as an interior shelf. A 12-volt plug is included with this fridge and plugs into your cigarette lighter to keep all your favorite snacks and beverages chilled up to 40 degrees F below the ambient temperature. With the optional AC adapter, the cooler can be plugged into a standard 110-volt household outlet and used indoors when you aren’t tailgating.

Have you ever seen those huge ‘Cool Zone’ misting fan systems on the sidelines of an NFL football game? How about a portable one that hooks up and powers up directly from your car’s cigarette lighter? The Schaefer Mighty Mister 12-volt Portable Misting Fan with Igloo Cooler is a super portable misting system that cools you down with a chilled mist and reduces body temperature through evaporation to provide quick heat relief. The Mighty Mister 12-volt Portable Misting Fan is easy to move and quick to set up. Just roll it out to your tailgating spot, fill the misting cooler up, turn the 12-volt misting fan on and it’s time to chill. This comes in handy especially when tailgating during the hot summer months of baseball season or the early season of football tailgating season. The Mighty Mister is capable of cooling a large area by as much as 35 degrees Fahrenheit. For virtually all-day use, the Mighty Mister Misting Fan can last up to 8 hours! Let the players on the field do the sweating during the summer months. You’ve got beer to drink in the parking lot and no one wants to be sweating it out while tailgating.

Now comes the coup de grâce (my high school French teacher would be impressed. Two French phrases in the same article.) of 12-volt appliances. This bad boy has everything you need and is deserving to end this guide. Of course, this entire unit does not run on 12 volts, only the AM/FM radio does. The Grill-N-Chill all-in-one grill/cooler/warmer/radio offers the extreme tailgater a durable stainless steel cabinet that houses a Solaireâ„¢ 24,000 BTU propane gas grill; a 60-quart insulated cooler/warmer and a stereo system. The grill offers 2 cooking zones with individual knobs along with a total of 472 square inches of total cooking space. The insulated chest next to the grill keeps contents cold or hot. Once closed, the lid provides 475 square inches of cutting surface for food preparation. The AM/FM stereo has a water- and UV-resistant flip-down face, 6-band equalizer, CD player, 2 built-in 6 1/2″ dual cone speakers with weather-resistant polypropylene woofer cones, marine antenna, external speaker jack, and 12-volt battery connectors. The speakers are protected by stainless steel grills and housings. Not for the timid and only serious tailgaters need to apply.