RV Tailgating: Food, Family, Friends & Fun

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Football season will be here soon and we’re thinking about tailgating!  You may have been tailgating at concerts, NASCAR races or other events this summer!  There’s no better way to tailgate than with an RV!  Turn on the TV or stereo, roll out your awning, set up patio chairs, your grill, a table and chairs, perhaps some patio lights and you’re all set! “At it’s core, tailgating is all about entertainment, replete with the simple pleasures of food, family and fun”, according to Doug Ward on ESPN Sports Travel.

Football tailgating rituals and traditions differ from team to team and from school to school.  One school with a huge cadre of RV tailgaters is Alabama.  They are such enthusiastic supporters of their team that they travel to every game whether at home or away.  “For Alabama home games in Tuscaloosa, the pregame party in the recreational vehicle parking lot is so spirited that an estimated 20,000 RVers don’t even bother entering the stadium.  Instead, the party goes on in the lot right through the game,” says Ward.

Most tailgaters do watch the game, but the practice of tailgating at football games and not entering the stadium is becoming more popular.

Wherever you tailgate, it’s important to check the venue’s rules regarding RVs and tailgating before you arrive.  They each have their own policies on parking, grilling, entering and leaving, alcohol and other points.  Teams also have their own traditions for tailgating.  Some are formal and some are informal.  Tailgaters show their team spirit by serving local or traditional foods and wearing team colors.  You can even get accessories for your RV with team colors and logos, such as the Washington Redskins football grill shown above!

Here’s an easy recipe for you to enjoy at your next tailgate party:

Grilled Garlic Shrimp

  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.  Add shrimp and let marinate for one hour.  Thread shrimp on skewers and grill over medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until done.  (Skewered shrimp are easier to handle if 2 skewers are used for each serving.  Run 1 skewer through the head end and another through the tail end of each shrimp.  That way, the shrimp won’t spin when you turn the skewers on the grill).

 (from Smoker Cooking.com)

Enjoy your tailgating!  We’ll be writing about RV tailgating again and sharing tips and recipes.  If you have any tailgating experiences, photos, recipes or tips you’d like to share, please send them in!

What are your tailgating suggestions?

Ten Tips On Pet Safety For RV Travel




Many of us love to take our pets when we travel in our RVs.  Some people buy RVs so that they can travel with their pets!  It’s great to be able to go hiking with your dog or relax in the shade with your cat by your side!  If your pet isn’t used to traveling, take him or her on several short rides in a secured carrier, gradually lengthening the time spent driving.  We want to make sure our beloved pets are safe and healthy when we travel, so here are some helpful tips.

1.  Be ready for emergencies.

Ask your veterinarian to give you a brief history of your pet’s vaccinations and major illnesses, and take it with you. Also bring your pet’s medications and a pet first-aid kit.  Try to locate the closest 24 hour animal hospital before arriving at your destination.  Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do, you won’t have to waste time finding out where to take your pet in an emergency.

2.  Vaccinate.

We should always keep our pets’ vaccinations up to date, whether or not they are traveling.  When you are planning a trip, talk with your veterinarian about whether additional vaccinations will be necessary.  They may be recommended depending on your destination and if your pet might be in contact with other animals.  Have this conversation as far in advance of your trip as possible, since some vaccines require a series of injections to be effective.  Bring proof of rabies vaccination as some states require it.

3.  Implant a microchip.

Of course, your pet should always wear a collar and ID tag with your contact information.  Your cell phone number should be on the tag, and you can even have a tag made with your destination information.  Having a microchip inserted under your pet’s skin greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll find your pet should he or she become lost.  The chip holds a number that is associated with your contact information.  If your pet ends up in an animal shelter or animal hospital, the staff will scan the pet to retrieve the pet’s number.  The number is in a national database which they can access to find your information.

4.  Use a secured carrier or safety harness.

Your pet should be in a well-ventilated carrier or safety harness attached to a seat belt when you are driving.  There are many types of carriers available but whatever you choose, it should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around.  Harnesses are okay if the pet is secured by a seatbelt and in the back seat of your vehicle or away from the driver’s compartment of a motorhome.  If you have to stop suddenly, you don’t want your pet flying through the windshield!

5.  Protect from parasites.

Use broad-spectrum parasite-prevention products that control fleas, ticks and other parasites for your dogs and cats.  If you’re traveling to a warm climate, this is especially important.

6.  Don’t allow your pet to ride with its head out the window.

He or she could be injured by anything flying off the road or another vehicle.

7.  Never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle.

In hot weather, even if your windows are open, the vehicle can become like a furnace in a short time.  And in cold weather, a vehicle can hold in the cold like a refrigerator.  Either situation can be deadly to your pet.

8.  Bring familiar food and water.

Don’t expect that your pet’s food will be available everywhere.  Bring food and treats that he or she is used to eating to avoid stomach upset while away from home.  And, bring tap water stored in plastic jugs or bottled water.  Drinking water from a new area could also upset your pet’s stomach.  Offer water to your pet frequently.

9.  Don’t feed your pet in a moving vehicle.

Three to four hours before leaving on your trip, feed your pet a light meal.  Even if you will be driving a long distance, don’t feed your pet until you stop.

10.  Avoid toxic plants.

Learn what plants are toxic to dogs and cats.  For instance, eating a Lily can cause a cat to die.  Lilies are extremely toxic to a cat’s kidneys and can cause irreversible damage.  Dogs must not eat Azaleas, Milkweeds and Mushrooms, which can cause vomiting or mouth irritation.  If you think your pet may have eaten a toxic plant, call an animal hospital or poison control hotline immediately.

What are your pet safety tips?

Buying a Used RV: What You Need To Know


There are many reasons to buy a used or pre-owned (or previously loved) RV.  If you’ve never owned a motorhome or travel trailer, you may want to start out with a used, relatively less expensive model to learn what works best for your family.  Or even if you aren’t a first time RV enthusiast, you may want to buy a nice pre-owned RV and get a higher end model for the same price as a more basic new model.   If you’re planning to use an RV for one long trip and are thinking about renting, you should consider buying a used RV.  Often, people have sold their used RVs for near or at their purchase price after traveling around the country.

When you buy a used motorhome or travel trailer from a reputable RV dealer, you have the dealership standing behind the RV.  They will check it out thoroughly and make sure the systems are in working order before you pick it up.  Here at Reines RV Center, our service department has a detailed inspection list that must be completed for each RV.

When a customer buys an RV here, he or she is given a 2 1/2 to 3 hour walk-through of the RV before completing their paperwork on the purchase.  During this walk- through, every system is demonstrated.  And, the customer is shown how to use everything on the inside and outside of the RV.

Dealerships are usually able to arrange financing for your purchase.  At Reines RV Center, our banks will finance RVs up to ten years old.  Don’t forget that RV loans secured with the RV qualify for a second home tax deduction.  Dealers should also give some type of warranty on their used RVs, as we do.   And, of course, dealers process your title and tags.

An extended service contract, which is relatively inexpensive, can be included in your loan.  Extended service contracts are available for motorhomes up to 5 or 6 years old (depending on mileage) and for trailers up to 6 years old.  They cover most mechanical and electrical components and help eliminate unplanned expenses. They are good at any service facility (whether RV center or not) in the US and Canada.

If you have a trade-in and are shopping for a used RV, it obviously makes sense to work with a dealership.  At Reines RV Center, we take cars, trucks and motorcycles in trade as well as recreational vehicles.

If you buy an RV from a private party, hopefully you’ll get a very nice camper in good condition.  You should be careful to check all systems thoroughly.  And, make sure to check for signs of water leaks, the condition of the roof, the tires, check for any soft spots on the floor, make sure all appliances work and are clean, make sure drawers, doors and latches work smoothly, check house and engine batteries, propane tanks and lines, sewer hoses and compartments, steps, vents, windows and seals, jacks, air condtioners. hot water heater, furnace, toilet, sinks, etc.  The refrigerator takes about 6 hours to cool, so make sure it’s cold and works on gas and electric.  Also, make sure the TVs, VCR/DVD player, stereo system and TV antenna are working.

There’s a huge selection of great used RVs on the market!  You and your family can start enjoying the RV lifestyle without spending a lot of money.  Think about how you will use the RV, how many people you want to accomodate and what you can afford. If you aren’t sure what type of RV would best meet your needs, a knowledgeable salesperson can certainly guide you.

Contact us with your questions!