How to Tailgate with a Truck

August 22nd, 2023

We are already in the heart of football season! Aside from that, there are a number of other reasons to learn how to tailgate with a truck. Whether camping out at the beach with friends for the day, enjoying the stadium community during the big game, or mastering the family get-together at the local park – your pickup can make for the perfect mobile gathering place. Just like the kitchen at home, here's how to bring everyone together behind your pickup.


The Hot and Cold of Tailgating


When it comes to tailgating, there is one central truth to all things behind the rig: there must be food. The LAST thing you want is to invite everyone to starve at what may amount to an awkward outdoor board meeting at the back of your truck. Be ahead of the game with the essentials for a good time!


Keep your Food and Drinks Cold

Since we know food and drinks are a must, one of the first things you are going to want to have on hand is a basic cooler. Everyone loves a cold drink (of varying age appropriateness) regardless of the weather. Just like the many different types of drinks available, there are a number of different cooler options for your needs. YETI offers a variety of coolers in both hard and soft options depending on your desired capacity, how to want to get them around, and where you plan on putting them during the day.


Another option for keeping your beverages and brats cool is looking into a fridge. We love the stainless steel SnoMaster Low Profile series. The cool thing about a fridge (pun intended) is that you don't need ice to keep things cold. However, you will need to be able to power the fridge – whether that means bringing along a mobile power source like the WaganTech Power Cubes or hardwiring your truck bed.


Cooking on a Tailgate

On the other side of the coin is cooking during a tailgate. There are a number of ways to get the job done and you can do anything from a basic burger to a competition-style BBQ in your own little section of the parking lot. It all comes down to your experience level and how comfortable you are.

If you want to go old school, a simple charcoal grill will not get the job done. Added bonus: it comes with a signature scent that will lure everyone to your pickup truck like a fruity cereal-loving toucan. It's the classic scent of the United States backyard and football stadium alike! If you feel like getting fancy, you can always bring along a portable pellet grill for smoking your meat. There are a number of models on the market that are either electric, like a Traeger Ranger, or naturally burning, like the Nomad grill. It's is a great crossover between charcoal grilling and smoking without requiring a power source. Either way, you'll probably want to practice a bit at home before throwing one of these in the back of your rig and heading off to host a remote meal. Now, if you're looking for the easiest way to bring a great meal on the road, look no further than grandma's favorite crockpot or the modern instant pot. Not only can you start your meal at home and bring along a well-made (or store bought/canned) chili, you can even make a great number of simple and hot meals. From meatballs to pork ribs, soups to cheesy dips, the sky is the limit and the meal is easy!

Upgrade your Tailgate Game

When it comes to knowing how to tailgate, there's a simple way to up your game regardless of your experience level. Showing up with a stock pickup truck bed is definitely okay and nothing to scoff at. However, you will definitely want to look into adding bed enhancements, like a BEDSLIDE, if you're interested in amplifying and elevating your work surface.

We recently talked about the importance and advantage of bed enhancements in our post Five Camp Cooking Tips for Beginners. The same is true and relevant in the tailgating world. Being able to get to all your gear, snacks, and goodies in the bed of your truck without having to reach over the side of the bed or past other large items is clutch. It's all about easy access in the tailgating party world and the pros know!


Get Out There and Have Fun

Regardless of your experience level, destination, or who you plan on spending your time with, there is one important thing you need to remember. Everything you need to know when thinking about how to tailgate should start and end with your fun. Take it easy, keep it simple, and enjoy the company and camaraderie!

What would be your ideal tailgating scene: the beach, the park, the big game or something else entirely?"