It does not matter who your favorite team is, tailgating is a sport all in itself and now that we’re approaching football season, it’s once again time to party in style. At Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA, we want you to have a safe and fun time as you cheer for your Giants, 49ers, A’s, Sharks, Raiders, Warriors, favorite college teams or attend a big arena concert. Tailgating used to involve simply a vehicle, food and libations, but now people have taken it to a whole new level, including amazing trucks, campers, modified cars and even buses. They’ve also integrated new technology, with high-tech music systems, large screen TVs and outdoor kitchens. And the old days of hot dogs and burgers accompanied by beer have been replaced by gourmet fare and fancy cocktails.
“Tailgating used to be a pickup truck and keg of beer. Now it’s an art form,” says Peter MacGillivray, vice president of events and communication for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a 50-year-old automotive trade organization with 6,500-plus member companies. The emphasis is on the car or truck, says MacGillivray, because that’s where the tailgating fun begins. “Tailgating really highlights the way you can personalize and enhance your vehicle to fit one’s interests. Thanks to manufacturing innovations, today’s tailgaters have a vast array of cool, clever products to turn their vehicles into party headquarters.”
To get the party started, MacGillivray is offering ideas for turning your vehicle into party headquarters:
• Keep the bed area of your truck protected and stylish, with colorful spray-on bed liners, complete bolt-on bed liners, a rubber bed floor or tailgate mats. A specially made tent can fit over the truck bed.
• There are various ladders, ramps and stairs to improve access. Tailgate caps protect the tailgate and enhance the appearance of your vehicle. And for sheer comfort, a tailgate couch can convert any full-sized truck tailgate into a haven for couch potatoes.
• It’s not hard to show your allegiances. Look for vinyl team graphics that adhere to the sides of your vehicle. Use wheel covers, floor mats and dash covers adorned with your team logo. Is someone lost? Help friends find your party with personalized car flags.
• Lots of cool products are available that attach to your tow hitch, including fold-out tailgating tables and TV mounts. Dual-hitch receivers double your towing capacity so you can bring more tailgating accessories.
• Don’t let the lack of fridge impede your grub situation. Use wheel well storage units and ice chests to hold beverages. For stability, use beverage holders that plant in the ground. For mobility, opt for a cargo cooler organizer on a trolley.
• Flat screen TVs and sound systems designed for cars and trucks are ideal for tailgating. Plus, portable satellite receivers and antennas offer ‘like-home’ reception. Barring these set ups, mobile electronics work great too.
• Pop-up auto umbrellas, shelters and awnings can fend off rain or too much sunshine. Use portable walls for a little privacy.
• For more ideas on spiffing up your vehicle for tailgating, visit your local camping, sporting goods or auto parts store for inspiration.
(Portions of article courtesy of SEMA)