Let's Celebrate New Year
vgajic/istockphoto

Everything RVers Need for Outdoor Entertaining

View Slideshow
Let's Celebrate New Year
vgajic/istockphoto

It's an RV Party

This article originally appeared on RVshare.com.


One of the biggest appeals of #RVlife is being able to travel to breathtaking locations to partake in awesome outdoor adventures. The opportunities are endless with RV travel — hiking, climbing, kayaking, skiing, or even just a picnic surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.


But you can also enjoy the wonders of nature without ever stepping foot outside the RV park. There are tons of cool RV gadgets, accessories, and outdoor furniture sets that make spending time outdoors way more appealing than even the most comfortable RV couch. And when you inevitably make friends around the campground, having the right furniture on board makes outdoor entertainment a whole lot more inviting, giving you all the space you need to host campfire s’mores roasts, cold beers over freshly-grilled delights, and more — all while enjoying the natural beauty that likely brought you to the camping lifestyle in the first place. How can you go wrong?


Ahead, we've rounded up some outdoor furniture and accessories that'll give you a reputation as your campground's best RV party host.


Related: 22 Important Things to Consider Before Buying an RV

Travel Trailer Caravaning
welcomia/istockphoto

Outdoor Furniture

The most important part of any outdoor entertainment setup? The furniture that’ll keep you and your guests comfy and cozy while you’re spending time with Mother Nature. If your only option is the hard, wooden bench provided by the campground, chances are you’re going to be turning in well before bedtime.


Before we dive into some of the many options available on today’s market, do keep in mind that how much stuff you’ll be able to put out will vary depending on where you’re staying. Some campgrounds actually include wrought-iron chairs and outdoor tables as part of their premium campsites, while other spots may not offer the space you need to lay out everything you’ve brought along.


If you’re going to be emphasizing outdoor entertainment, we recommend choosing campsites that boast large patio spaces, preferably with concrete slabs or gravel to help keep you and your furniture dry and comfortable. But with the right tools, you can create a relaxing front porch experience even when you’re boondocking off-grid. Here’s what you need to make it happen!


Related: The Different Types of RV Camping

SAND MINE Reversible Mats
Amazon

A High-Quality Ground Mat

Your RV’s canopy transforms the side of your rig into a living space by providing shelter from the sun and the elements. But your feet — and the feet of your furniture — need protecting, too. A high-quality ground mat is a must-have item for any camping party that wants to spend significant amounts of time outdoors. After all, some of the campgrounds you stay in might have fancy concrete slab footing … but it’s unlikely you’ll find it at every single one.


Related: 18 RV Accessories to Buy at Costco

RV Life Can Be a Social Minefield
fstop123/istockphoto

Tablecloths (and Tablecloth Clamps)

We don’t know about you, but one of the things we most value on vacation is not spending our time doing chores. Outdoor tablecloths can make for easy cleanup once you’re done with your entertaining, since they can be easily thrown in the washer for next time — or in the case of disposables, just thrown away and replaced entirely.


Of course, you don’t want those tablecloths to come off before you’re done with dinner, and depending on where you’re camping, the ambient breeze could have other plans. So invest in a package of reusable tablecloth clips to complete your outdoor picnic set.

Couple near the camper van parked near  the sea at sunset
Oleh_Slobodeniuk/istockphoto

Lighting

If you’re doing this party the right way, you’re not going to be headed inside just because the sun’s gone down. If anything, you’ll just be getting started!


Purchasing some cute and effective outdoor lighting will make your entertainment space much more inviting for guests staying after hours … not to mention keep people from accidentally tripping when they move around. We recommend considering LED camping lights, which have longer-lasting batteries and don’t get as hot as traditional lighting. But this is definitely an area where you can get a little bit creative. Tabletop lanterns are great, but what about these clever staked torches for your walkway, or these whimsical fairy string lights to bring a touch of wonder to your patio?


Related: The Cutest RV Decor You’ve Ever Seen

Avoid Idling
pchoui/istockphoto

Bug Zappers or Citronella Candles

Getting covered in sticky bug spray may be a camping tradition … but it’s okay for some traditions to run their course. If you’re going to be sitting outside for any length of time in a place like Savannah or the Great Smoky Mountains, you’re going to encounter bugs — and let’s be honest, they’re just not invited to the party.


Today’s technology has unlocked a whole world of options for campers, and one of them is the electronic insect killer, or “bug zapper,” which lures in unsuspecting mosquitos and flies with its UV light. Once they get there, they’re electrocuted instantly, meaning they won’t be able to interrupt your outdoor time. (Plus, that purple light is downright soothing for humans.)


Although bug zapping machines like these are available at shockingly affordable prices, there is also an analog equivalent: citronella candles! These affordable and all-natural candles have been used as an insect repellent for years, and they add a touch of aromatherapy to your outdoor experience, to boot. You could even double down and do both!


Related: How to Prevent Pests and Bugs in Your Camper

Young cheerful couples talking at picnic table by the camp trailer.
skynesher/istockphoto

Patio Seating

When it comes to outdoor patio furniture, this is where the rubber meets the road. Chances are your campground will provide a flat surface, like a picnic table — but unless you want to be sitting on those rock-hard wooden benches all night, you’re going to need some alternative options.


Fortunately, camp seating has come a long way, and you’re no longer limited to those cheap fold-outs that fall apart if you so much as sneeze! Here are some patio chair options that’ll keep you and your guests happy hanging out into the wee hours. (Just be sure you keep it down if you’ve got sleeping campground neighbors!)


Related: 10 Furniture Essentials for Your Camping Trip

Homall Zero Gravity Chair Patio Folding Lawn Lounge Chairs
Amazon

Folding Camp Chairs

Just because something’s a classic doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon. Unlike the cheap chairs you find in just about every camp store, these Homall “zero gravity” chairs are well-padded and sturdy — and they even recline, if you need a little siesta. The designers have thought of everything, also including convenient tray tables and cup holders to keep all of your favorite items close at hand. And they still fold down small, which makes for super easy storage — always a concern to savvy campers, who know even that under-cabin basement space is limited!

Baby Delight Go with Me Chair
Amazon

Baby Camp Chair

Little campers need a comfy place to sit, too! This infant-sized folding chair is good for both indoor and outdoor use, and it converts for sitting, standing, and and big-kid capability, supporting children up to 75 pounds. It also includes a removable snack tray and sun canopy to keep Junior well-fed and shaded, and folds down small for easy storage and portability. Plus, it comes in seven colors, including fun bright shades like lime green and pink — so your kid will be coolin’ it in style!


Related: Why RVing is the Best Family Vacation Option

Intex 58292EU Canopy Inflatable
Amazon

Inflatable Canopy Lounge

Sometimes, a camp chair just isn’t enough. Enter the inflatable canopy lounge, which upgrades the idea of the pool raft to a whole new level. The wide base can easily seat two — especially if you’re feeling cozy  — and two built-in cup holders ensure your drink is close at hand. The sunshade is detachable, so you can choose how much exposure you want, and it’s just as comfortable in or out of the water. (Psst — don’t forget an electric air pump if you want to fill it up easily and quickly!)

Intex Inflatable Furniture Series
Amazon

Outdoor Lounge Chair With Ottoman

Who says uber-comfy lounge seating has to be limited to the indoors? This inflatable lounge chair comes complete with an ottoman, so you can literally kick your feet up — no matter where those feet happen to have taken you. What’s more, the chair is equally good for both indoor and outdoor use, so you can even use it as extra seating if you’re holding an indoor soiree (or if the weather decides your outdoor gathering isn’t meant to last as long as you’d like). Have we mentioned that the whole thing is available for less than $50 with Amazon’s free shipping? Pretty great deal, right?

Family vacation travel RV, holiday trip in motorhome
cookelma/istockphoto

Outdoor Camping Accessories

You’ve got the chairs and the table is covered. You’ve even got the bugs zapped and the mood lighting on. But before you call your outdoor entertainment area “complete,” check out these fun gadgets and accessories — which can really catapult your outdoor entertainment game to the next level.


Related: 12 RV Camping Accessories for your Next Trip

Plush Picnic-Family Picnic Backpack
Amazon

High-Quality Picnic Set

A classic picnic basket has some charm, to be sure … but it’s hard to argue with an insulated picnic bag complete with a detachable wine bottle holder, plates, cutlery, and a fleece blanket. You have everything you need all in a convenient, normal-looking backpack, which is perfect for those times you want to take the party a little further afield than your RV patio.


This set comes with service for four people, making for a perfect family venture or double date. Its cooler compartment ensures your goodies stay fresh until you find the absolute perfect picnic spot, and it’s big enough to hold not one, but two bottles of wine.


Related: Best Picnic Spot in Every State

3 Bottle Heavy Duty Wine Cooler Bag
Amazon

Outdoor Wine Tote

Speaking of wine, maybe you don’t need the entire picnic setup. You’re planning on grilling or you already have a set of outdoor cutlery and plates. (More on that coming up, by the way!) But a bag meant just to handle the wine part of the picture? That could still be a very helpful device.


This EVA molded 3-bottle wine bag is insulated to keep your vino chilled to the appropriate temperature, whether it’s a frosty chardonnay or a just-slightly-below-room-temperature pinot noir. It comes with four shatter-resistant wine glasses, an all-in-one wooden corkscrew, a wine bottle stopper, and even a cheese set in case you want to bring along a snack. The board even has spots for the wine glasses to sit, and legs to keep it up off the ground, which means you can take your mini-picnic right on your patio or somewhere else in the park … like the pool, perhaps? 


Related: 24 Top Wines for $10 or Less

Relaxing while on Staycation
SolStock/istockphoto

Shatterproof Plates and Glasses

For many campers, “outdoor dinnerware” means one, slightly sad, thing: disposable paper or plastic plates that frequently bend if you load them with so much as a scoop of macaroni and cheese. Along with being bad for the planet (and stinky garbage-can stuffers), these plates are expensive over time. Most of all, they’re just not that much fun to eat on.


But you can dine outdoors without resigning yourself to sad disposables! All you need to do is purchase some shatter-proof dishware, like this 12-piece Melange set. It comes in cheerful colors, is shatter- and chip-resistant, and eating off it won’t make you feel like you’re being punished.


Of course, you need more than just plates and bowls to serve up a proper outdoor meal. The event’s not complete without a nice wine to wash it all down. That’s why we recommend campers invest in these “unbreakable” wine glasses, whose stemless, plastic construction makes them just about as travel-safe as possible. Because, seriously, wine doesn’t taste the same in a Solo cup. 


Finally, don’t overlook your cutlery! Plastic knives, forks, and spoons have simply got to go. You can use a regular-old metal set like you’d purchase for your home or RV interior, but there’s also something to be said about the specially-made camping cutlery sets, which are both lightweight and sturdy. Some of them even come with chopsticks and straws, for when you’re feeling fancy!

Happy family camping together
Moma7/istockphoto

A Portable Grill

If there’s one thing that’s absolutely non-negotiable when it comes to camping, it’s outdoor cooking — and not all RV parks and campgrounds offer an outdoor fire pit or grill.


To ensure your outside kitchen stays functional no matter where you set it up, our best advice is to invest in a portable grill of your own. You can decide between a smaller, table-top charcoal grill or something more advanced, like this portable stand-up propane grill by Coleman.


Although classics like hot dogs and burgers are a must, a properly manned grill can cook up all sorts of unexpected delights, including desserts. You can even make it work as an outdoor pizza oven — especially if you purchase a grill-safe pizza stone!


Related: The Grillmaster’s Guide to RV Cooking

Cooking Breakfast Sausage & Eggs Outdoor Campfire with Cast Iron
debibishop/istockphoto

A Campfire Grill Grate

Want to get really old school the next time you whip up one of your favorite grilled treats during a camping trip? Consider ditching the modern grill for a campfire grill grate, which turns any open flame into a cooking area.


There’s nothing quite like the experience of starting a fire and cooking a fresh meal over it — especially if you start the fire by hand (i.e., without help from accelerants) and the dinner is something you personally hunted or caught.


Related: 20 Cheap Campfire-Friendly Meals

Cooking on the campfire
stockstudioX/istockphoto

Grill Accessories

You’re all set on the grill front … but unless you’re a superhero, you probably can't handle that delicious, charring food with your bare hands! That means a quality set of grill accessories is an absolute must-have — and today’s cooking technology means you can do way better than a set of tongs and a scraper. (Although, yes, you need those, too.)


We recommend starting out with a standard grill accessory set, especially since you can purchase a kit for less than $50. Most come with a neat carrying case and keep you covered on the basics: spatula, tongs, brush, and scraper.


Then you can start adding in some more creative extras, like a grill basket, which makes barbecuing smaller items, like vegetables or shrimp, a whole lot easier. Into Mediterranean eats — or just ones that offer fork-free simplicity? Consider investing in a metal kebab set, for a waste-free, reusable answer to those annoying wooden skewers.


You can also put together your own set of grill accessories a la carte, purchasing essential items like grill brushes and spatulas at your leisure from your favorite vendors and makers. And whatever you do, don’t forget a meat thermometer! You certainly won’t garner any grillmaster points by inadvertently giving someone food poisoning.

RV with the American National Flag
vanbeets/istockphoto

An American Flag

No doubt about it: RV campers are some of the proudest Americans out there. After all, they’ve usually seen enough of this country to know exactly how diverse and beautiful it really is. So complete your outdoor entertainment setup by showing that pride. Investing in a weatherproof American flag is one of the best ways to display your patriotism, and besides, the stars and stripes are just plain-old pretty.`


You can easily mount your flag on the arms of your RV awning, or invest in a foldable flag pole if you want a more imposing setup. Either way, you and your campground neighbors will have the chance to remember exactly how lucky we all are to be living in and exploring this country of ours every time they glance in your camper’s direction.

Happy people group of friends toasting and enjoying the travel vacation together - cheerful. womanandman with food in outdoor leisure activity - modern van and ocean in background
simonapilolla/istockphoto

You're Invited

Now that you know how to host an outdoor RV party, get to planning! Grab some of these new accessories for your RV (or your rental), and get some invitations out in the mail. There's no better way to celebrate summer vacation (especially after the year we've all had) than an outdoor RV get-together. 


Related: Bucket List RV Trips for 2021