Ready, Set, Tailgate! The last days of summer have given way to cooling temperatures, the days are getting shorter, and the kids are back in school. September 22 marks the fall equinox, also known as the first day of fall. While I do lament the inevitable end of summer, I appreciate having four distinct seasons here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and fall may be my favorite.
Fall is not only gorgeous, with the changing leaves and crisp air, but it also means the start of some of my favorite traditions. Halloween is easily my favorite holiday and the traditions that go with it are experiences I look forward to nearly all year. It begins with the trip to the pumpkin patch where my son picks out a pumpkin that he could hollow out and live in that Dad gets to somehow lug back to our truck. Then come the decorations, parties with hot cider and apple bobbing, and of course the big night itself.
Fall also means the return of football, and with it a fan favorite tradition, tailgating. According to the American Tailgaters Association, I didn’t know there was an association either, the first tailgate occurred in mid-summer 1861. That’s eight years before Rutgers took on New Jersey , now known as Princeton, playing what is considered the first college football game in American history.
So what were the first tailgaters gathered to support? Their respective sides in the battle of Bull-Run, yes that is the famous Civil War battle in Manassas, Virginia. Interesting fact is the modern tailgater hasn’t changed a whole lot, they will seize any opportunity to party in a parking lot as long as there is a rooting interest. I know two separate tailgating aficionados who organized tailgates for the birth of their children in the hospital parking lot. Yes two, and no they don’t even know each other! It seems there is no limit to what can be celebrated with a good old fashioned tailgate.
Tailgating has become a verb and derives its name from the practice of bringing a BBQ and coolers in the bed of a pickup and then lowering the tailgate to use as a defacto kitchen counter. RVs have become popular tailgating vehicles because they offer a true kitchen, your own restroom, and comfortable surroundings either on the interior or under the awning. RV manufacturers have taken notice of the tailgates popularity and most now offer floorplans with extensive outdoor kitchens and entertainment systems. Now your tailgate can have a refrigerator and a 50-inch flat screen to compliment your smoker or BBQ. The Coachmen Apex, Jayco White Hawk, and Jayco Jay Flight SLX all offer an outstanding outdoor kitchen in and affordable towable. Coachmen Chaparral, Heartland Elkridge, and the Heartland Sundance XLT are great fifth wheel options and the Winnebago Intent, Thor Ace, and Newmar Bay Star top the motorized offerings. Even floorplans that do not include an outdoor kitchen often have a quick connect fitting for an LP barbeque, making it easier to grill in a parking lot or the campground
Not only is Guaranty lucky enough to carry those brands and models, we happen to be located in an area that loves their college football. The 124 year history of the Oregon vs Oregon State rivalry, fondly known as the Civil War locally, is the fifth most played college football rivalry game in the history of the sport. Our dealership has long had ties to both universities and for decades we have had a lot of fun with our Big Bet promotions, centered on the rivalry game. Wagers have included singing the winning teams fight song, tattoos of the opposing team’s mascot, and even dying the losers’ hair the winning team colors. I can’t wait to see what the Big Bet is this year.
Time Well Spent
Setting the amenities aside that make an RV a near perfect tailgate vehicle, the real reason that RVs and tailgating go so well together is because they are the same experience. In my opinion the best feature of an RV is the fact that it brings your family and friends together making even a weekend outing feel a bit like a celebration. The same is true with a tailgate. It’s a great way to get your loved ones, related or not, in the same place to share in the revelry of the pregame experience. But it’s togetherness that is at the heart of both experiences. The world is fast paced and schedules get more hectic all the time, making finding time to spend together harder to find. Even when we are together cell phones and tablets can divide our attention and keep us from enjoying time spent as a group. Not every RV trip goes as planned and the fall weather can be unpredictable, but even if the campground or parking lot are soggy inevitably people gather under the awning and engage in good old fashioned conversation. The devices disappear and for a little while even the youngsters are interested in the goings on. Bringing friends and family together is not only a positive in the moment, but it instills the value of these experiences in the next generation. Nostalgia is a powerful force, and it can be the impetus for future gatherings and it can sweeten the moments of togetherness as well.
Start A New Tradition
Traditions all start somewhere and there is no time like the present to start your own. Whether it is the traditional summer camping trip or the annual pilgrimage to the stadium to root on your favorite team, the tradition is being together and enjoying each other. Instill in the next generation the value of your traditions and before you know it they will be passing those traditions on to their young ones, and their young ones after that. At Guaranty we would love to have a supporting role in your traditions and we are not without traditions of our own. My favorite tradition is right in line with our theme, “We Don’t Just Sell Fun, We Guaranty It!”. So take a double dose of nostalgia and call click or come by Guaranty RV Super Centers and get started on your traditions today.