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Your Family & Insurance

Get Ready for Tailgating Season

Now that football season has started, for some it can only mean one thing - it's tailgating season. For many fans, Tailgating isn't just a social event, it is a precise and coordinated experience.

What Kind of Tailgating Vehicle?
Often, a tailgating vehicle is only used for game day, so many of these vehicles are inexpensively purchased through classified ads or car auctions. Even though such vehicles might not cost much, there are still some things tailgaters should consider before buying a tailgating vehicle.

For example, don't buy the car if the owner, auctioneer or dealer does not have the title at the time of the sale. There could be many negative reasons why the title is missing, such as the car was flooded, stolen, declared a total loss or rebuilt. Even though the car may look like a great bargain when you buy it, that might not actually be the case.

To play it safe, consider ordering a CARFAX Report on the potential tailgating vehicle you are looking to purchase. A CARFAX Vehicle History Report will provide you with:

  • Title information (salvaged or junked titles)
  • Flood damage history
  • Total loss history
  • Odometer readings
  • Lemon history
  • Lien activity
  • Vehicle use (taxi, rental, lease, etc)

What About a School Bus or RV as Your Tailgating-mobile?
A large driving vehicle, such as a bus or RV, could be a great way to bring all your family and friends to the party.

If you are in the market for a school bus, church bus or RV, there are some things you should consider before you buy. For instance, if you purchase a school bus or old church bus, you will need to apply for a Commercial Driver's License with your local DMV office. A standard driver's license is acceptable for an RV.

While all of these vehicles can hold a good amount of people, you never want to put any of your passengers in danger. That is why it is important to consult the manufacturer of the vehicle to find out how many people can safely ride in your tailgating-mobile. You will also want to check the vehicle's safety equipment, such as seat belts, air brake system, airbags system and tire condition, to ensure the vehicle is in good working condition. The last thing you want to do is to get into an accident due to a non-working safety feature.

Transporting Your Tailgating Essentials
Many enthusiasts tow their tailgating equipment to and from the game. While towing can be a great way to transport items, it can also be a dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. To help keep you safe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that drivers apply the following tow safety tips:

  • Balance weight from side to side
  • Distribute cargo weight evenly along the length of the trailer
  • Secure and brace all items to prevent them from moving during travel
  • Adjust the height of the tow vehicle/trailer interface
  • Apply load leveling (weight distributing hitch bars)
  • Make sure that trailer tires are the same size, type and construction
  • Buy only tires recommended on your trailer's certification label or in the owner's manual
  • Check the tire's load rating for the amount of weight the tires can carry safely
  • Maintain and check tire pressure regularly

Depending on where you live, your state or municipality could require a special permit or license based on the size and weight of your trailer. Plus, some states have restrictions regarding the transportation of propane gas and other volatile gases or fuels in tunnels. Check with your local DMV to find out the regulations and laws in your state.

In addition, if you are planning to travel outside of your state, log on to the Department of Motor Vehicle's website to find out the towing requirements of the state you are traveling to. One thing that you can count on is that all states require you to have working tail lights and brake lights on your trailer.

For added protection, make sure to contact your auto insurance company to find out if you have adequate coverage for your trailer and the equipment you are transporting.

Game Day Safety
You never know what could happen, so play it safe by packing the necessary game day safety essentials, such as a first aid kit, garbage bags, change of clothes, fire extinguisher, water and ice packs in case of an emergency.

Things Not to Bring
Rules vary from tailgating location to tailgating location, but one rule that is true for every location is no glass of any kind. So make sure to keep all glass bottles, plates, cups, bowls and anything else that is breakable at home.

Call a Cab (or Designate a Driver)
Drinking and driving is not only dangerous, it is also against the law. So if you have had too much to drink at the game, don't try to drive home. Be safe and call a friend or a taxi for a ride.

Insuring Your Tailgating Vehicle
Traffic can be hectic and stressful once a game or event has let out, causing the potential for accidents to occur. That is why it is import to purchase auto insurance for your tailgating mobile. While it may seem silly because you only drive the vehicle once a week, it will seem even worse if the car ends up getting totaled in an accident.