As we leap into the fall season, many new smells fill the air. One is pumpkin spice, but the other is a mix of brats and fresh hot dogs on the grill. It’s football season and with that comes a favorite American past time: tailgating. Now there have been plenty of posts about how to make the most out of your tailgating adventures when it comes to food and beverages, but what about your vehicle? While many think of barbecues and the team inspired cocktail – not many people think of that trusty companion that follows them throughout football season in all kinds of weather.
First Round Draft Pick…Chevrolet?
We know this is your fantasy football team’s year, but before you go researching your top picks for this year’s league; maybe spend some extra time looking at your vehicle stats. While any car or truck can get you to that prime spot in the parking lot, seasoned tailgaters know that all tailgate transporters are not created equal (especially when it comes to hauling supplies, chairs, tables, grills, coolers and other party necessities). It’s also important that your vehicle comes with a spacious and convenient area or platform to maximize your party space. Bankrate.com’s article mentions the four non-negotiators that all tailgating vehicle MVP’s have:
- Cargo capacity
- Built-in features to enhance your Tailgate party
Three key stand outs this fall are arguably the 2015 Nissan Murano, the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado and the 2016 Toyota Tacoma. We’ve already mentioned the 20 percent increase in fuel economy the Nissan Murano gets compared to its 2014 counterpart; but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the sturdier, tougher frame and handling of the Toyota Tacoma, as well as the high strength steel that makes the Silverado sturdy but also lightweight.
The helmet makes the man…or the vehicle
“Tailgating used to be a pickup truck and keg of beer. Now it’s an art form” Peter MacGilivray, vice president of events and communication for the 50-year-old automotive trade organization Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) told Oklahoma radio station K-LAW 101. To help make sure your rookie makes it out of pre-season, here are some tips for off-season vehicle prep:
- Make your bed: You’re going to be carrying a lot this tailgate season from food to tables and everything in between. Make sure your truck bed stays protected with spray on, bolt-on bed liners, rubber bed or specially designed tailgate mats. You’ll need to know how to attach the various types of liners based on if your truck bed is made from steel or an alternative material, and it’s much easier to work with a steel vehicle than alternative materials.
- Tales of a stylish tailgate: The “tailgate” market offers a variety of ladders, ramps, stairs, specially designed coolers and even couches to create the perfect grid iron party oasis.
- Face paint not-required: You’ve worked out and (hopefully) shaved in anticipation of your friend group “mural” but what about your truck? Make sure it’s decked out with everything from vinyl decals or magnetic decals (which will only stick to a steel vehicle) to flags, wheel covers, floor mats and chalk paint so everyone knows what team you’re rooting for. You can check out some options here.
- Have a wingman or a hitch: Along with tailgate couches, fold out tailgating tables and TV mounts are being created to attach to your hitch to make your tailgate the most wanted party invitation of the season.
- Food is fuel: Being outside doesn’t mean cold hamburgers or warm beer – use this helpful article from Buzzfeed to make sure your food is a touchdown as well.
In any season there are tons of things that can go wrong; your favorite player gets traded or injured, or your team doesn’t make the playoffs. No matter what, you can always count on your vehicle to stand with you, especially one made out of high strength steel. Just like football teams rely on steel to protect player’s heads from concussions, why would you trust your tailgate and your football celebration to anything else?