You’ve got the brats, the buddies and the boisterous spirit, but do you have the tailgating tech? Football season is right around the corner, and if you’re like a lot of us, you need to beef up your gear-related know-how before the first burger hits the grill. Check out these must-haves before it’s game time.
1. Pickup-Bed Speakers in the Honda Ridgeline
Nestled deep within the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is an audiophile’s dream come true. This hefty pickup boasts a fierce in-bed audio system made up of six 10-watt waterproof exciters (think speakers on steroids) built into the bed sides. The truck is essentially a boom box on wheels, emitting a whopping 540 watts of sound from its touchscreen infotainment system. Now, game-goers can soak up the scores and the tunes on the outside — no more rolling down the windows to hear the tunes. This is for park-and-play situations only; the in-bed system can only be turned on while the vehicle is stationary and parked — but who needs to be moving when you should be grilling and cheering?
2. Flip-Back Third-Row Seat on Used Dodge Grand Caravans
Need room for a few more bros on the road? The flip-back third-row seat on a used Dodge Grand Caravan is perfect for parties. The ample third row, which is made for three passengers, can comfortably fit two of your football-loving buddies. It also doubles in the most game-ready way by providing a chill place to kick back when the van is parked.
3. In-Car 4G LTE Wi-Fi in Chevy and GMC Pickups
In addition to sweet grub, tailgaters need access to scores and social media updates on how their team is faring. Chevy and GMC drivers will love the in-car 4G LTE Wi-Fi, which provides seamless Internet access on the go. The hot spot is available on most 2016 GMC trucks, SUVs, crossovers and vans, and drivers love its simplicity. No need to add accessories or a stand-alone wireless hub — everything is integrated into your ride so you can check the scores and refresh your Twitter feed between bites and sips.
4. The Ford F-150
You can’t think of tailgating without thinking about the Ford F-150. It boasts a roomy, LED-lit bed for storage, numerous electrical outlets and heated and cooled massage seats to add extra comfort pre- or postgame. After the barbecuing ends, the F-150’s 360-degree camera and trailer-backup assist functions will help you maneuver through the parking lot a lot more safely.
5. RamBox Storage
Ah, sweet, sweet storage. It’s there for us when we need just a little more room to tote extra bags of chips and potato salad. In the 2016 RAM 1500 pickup, the RamBox is your new bestie. This souped-up toolbox is a lit, secure and durable storage system incorporated into the side rails of the truck bed. The cargo box is equipped with a remote security system, which can be locked and unlocked with the push of a button.
6. YETI Cooler with a College Logo
No game-day bash is complete without a bucket of cold ones and a YETI cooler. Even better? Showing your college spirit with an officially licensed YETI cooler boasting the name of your alma mater. Sport your favorite team colors in such models as the Roadie 20, the Tundra 45 and the Tundra 65. These mighty, sturdy ice chests keep drinks perfectly chilled and look super-sleek when you need a cold one.
7. Dreamwave Survivor Bluetooth Speaker, USB Charger and Car Jump Starter
Sweet speakers, plus a powerful car-battery starter? Done and done, thanks to Dreamwave Survivor, a high-performance 30-watt Bluetooth sound system combined with a 400-amp emergency 12-volt car-battery jump starter. You can fire up your favorite playlist all day long using its built-in 12,000-milliamp-hour lithium-polymer battery. And if your truck won’t start post-party, hook up the Survivor to its battery, jump-start it, and you’re good to go.
8. SWING’N Smoke Hitch-Mounted Tailgate Grill
Tailgate grills are like a favorite team T-shirt or a well-worn ball cap — you can’t really imagine a tailgate party without one. The Party King Grills SWING’N Smoke Varsity 6412 is just the thing to get your burgers and dogs done right. Superbly versatile, you can use it with other barbecue attachments made by Party King Grills or fire it up independently as a portable tabletop grill. You can also attach it to the arm facing either direction, allowing the grill to be used from either side of the arm. And it weighs just 52 pounds, so it won’t drag you down too much. That’s the last thing you need after loading up on ‘cue, right?