A Winning Game Plan for Tailgating Season

As Fall quickly approaches, the air grows cooler and the leaves begin to turn, many sports fans look forward to their favorite time of year—tailgating season. For some fans, tailgating simply means sitting on the bumper of their car with friends, enjoying a few snacks and drinks before the game. But for the more devoted tailgaters, football season calls for elaborate, well-organized tailgating events that often include a dedicated tailgating vehicle.

If you’re thinking about joining the ranks of these enthusiastic tailgaters and purchasing a tailgating vehicle of your own, here are a few tips you may want to keep in mind:

Buy wisely

Even if you plan to buy a relatively inexpensive tailgating vehicle to be used only on game days, you should still make smart choices about your purchase. Some vehicles may seem like an incredible deal, but oftentimes there’s a catch—such as no car title. You should never buy a vehicle if the seller does not possess the title. This could be a sign that the car was stolen, badly damaged or even declared a total loss.

To make sure you don’t get stuck with a lemon, you should consider requesting a CARFAX Vehicle History Report on the vehicle. These handy reports include an abundance of valuable information, such as title information, flood damage history, lemon history, odometer readings, lien activity, vehicle use and total loss history. After reviewing the report, you may discover that the vehicle you’re considering isn’t worth the expense—even if it does seem like a bargain.

Tailgating vehicle alternatives

While RV’s are always a popular choice for many tailgaters, some fans opt for another type of large tailgating vehicle, like a school or church bus. While these giant vehicles are a great way to transport all your friends, family and supplies to the game, there are a few things you should know before purchasing one.

First and foremost, you’ll have to apply for a Commercial Driver’s License with your local DMV office if you want to buy and drive a bus. (Nothing more than a normal driver’s license is required to drive an RV.) You should also contact the manufacturer of your bus or other large vehicle and find out how many people can safely fit in the vehicle.

Additionally, take your bus or other tailgating vehicle to professional who can ensure that all the seat belts, the air brake system, airbags and tires are in proper working condition. This will ensure that your friends, family members and any other passengers make it to the game safely.

Play it safe

Although tailgating is all about having fun, you’ll want to take a few precautions to make sure you and your guests are completely safe throughout the event. In particular, you should be extremely cautious when it comes to transporting your tailgating equipment to and from the game.

If you plan to tow items behind your vehicle, make sure that the weight is distributed evenly throughout your trailer. Secure or tie down all of the cargo to ensure that nothing falls out of the trailer during the trip. Make sure that all of your trailer’s tires are the same size and type, and check the pressure on each tire before your trip. Also ensure that your trailer brake lights are functioning properly.

Each state has different towing laws, so be sure to check with your DMV about the requirements in your area. You may need to obtain a special permit or license depending on the size and weight of your trailer. Additionally, you should call your insurance company to make sure you have enough coverage for your trailer and any expensive tailgating equipment you are towing.

Of course, you should also take measures to make sure everyone is safe during the actual tailgating event. Be sure to pack a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher and plenty of water in your tailgating vehicle. If you plan to serve alcohol to friends during the tailgating event, make sure that no one tries to drive home if they’ve had too much to drink. Call a cab or ask another friend to drive them home.

Get it insured

With countless vehicles coming and going from a big sporting event, accidents are bound to happen. That’s why it’s so important to insure your tailgating vehicle. Even though you may drive your tailgating vehicle just a few times a year, comprehensive auto insurance is well worth the cost. If your vehicle is severely damaged or totaled, insurance coverage could prove to be priceless.

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