How To Camp Like a Pro in Your RV this Summer: Gridlife Edition

Source | Matt Marcu, GRIDLIFE

A GRIDLIFE Festival Tour is a great time for racers, crew, fans and casual spectators. If you didn't prep for it, then it may mean sunburns, dehydration, running out of fuel. The drift cars should be going sideways, not your entire life. Here's how to camp like a pro at any weekend race event.

RV Camping IS a Real Value

RV camping at a race weekend event is a life hack that improves the entire GRIDLIFE Festival experience. You can enjoy the convenience of having your own space while avoiding the hassle of finding accommodations outside the festival, saving time and money. You will likely bond with your fellow car campers and better immerse yourself in the festival atmosphere. Need something? You don't have to drive back to a hotel, as you likely have the tools on hand. Want to party 'til you drop? Like to sleep in but don't want to miss anything? Living the RV life on-site lets you skip the commute and have the best weekend. 

Packing for Car or RV Camping at GRIDLIFE Festival

We will assume you have an RV that fits into GRIDLIFE Festival's 20'x50' RV parking spots, but this info is also good if you are car camping. Note that RV spaces do not have water or electrical connections, so plan to bring plenty of water and a generator. Before making a complete checklist, look into the festival/track rules on what you can and can't bring. Then assess your vehicle for what you already have. If your RV has a refrigerator, maybe you can skip the cooler. On the other hand, if you have a Honda Odyssey or Ford Flex optioned with the small console cooler, you will probably need more storage for food and drinks.

Source | Matt Marcu, GRIDLIFE

Once you have an idea of what you're working with as far as equipment and storage space, pack the essentials: 

  • Tent and sleeping bags (if you are car camping in a Geo Metro, this might be comfier). Choose sleeping bags appropriate for the expected weather conditions. Inflatable or foam pads provide extra cushioning for a comfortable night.

  • Food and cooking supplies. Bring what you like, but also make an attempt at being reasonably healthy while also considering ease of preparation. Fast food might slow you down, while Grandma's lasagna probably needs too much prep work.

  • Cooler and ice. Stay hydrated all weekend, and drinks are better when cool. 

  • Clothing, including gloves. Dress for the weather, and don't forget mechanics or disposable gloves for protection when you need to work. 

  • Hearing protection. Drift events get loud. Protect your hearing from a screaming 2JZ or thundering LSX by using earplugs at the track. 

  • Camp chairs. The lightweight folding-style chairs travel anywhere in the General Admission area, providing a desirable and comfortable viewing point while everyone else is standing.  

Tools Needed for a GRIDLIFE Festival Weekend

GRIDLIFE Festivals are more than loud music, louder cars and tailgate food. If you're there to race or you're driving a support vehicle for a racer, you have an additional checklist. The list below doesn't cover the oddities specific to your make/model, such as a weird third-generation Camaro distributor wrench, so bring your vehicle-specific tools just in case.

Source | Matt Marcu, GRIDLIFE

Additional tools you will want to bring: 

  • Jack, jack stands and wheel chocks. Sure, kill all tires at drift events, but keep it safe when swapping to new rubber with the proper equipment. Wheel chocks work for the racecar or your RV, preventing it from expensively playing bumper cars with another RV. 

  • Gas can, and probably one for water. If you are a driver or support crew, the last thing you want to do is run out of fuel on the track. A gas can is cheap insurance, and filling one with water (it's not drinkable) lets you easily refill the radiator. 

  • Lighting. A shop or garage interior never seems to have enough lighting, and it's even worse if you're wrenching outside at night. Basic flashlights, work lights and hands-free headlamps let you do a late-night brake pad swap in minutes. 

  • Portable gas generator. An RV typically has big deep cycle batteries, but you can drain them running power-hungry accessories. Instead, use a generator to power everything from camp lights and inflators, or a laptop for data logging, to an electric heater when wrenching in cool weather. Generators can turn a depressing grind into an efficient workspace. 

  • Portable jump starter. Speaking of power, a portable jump starter provides a one-minute fix if your battery is weak and won't start your race car. Get back on track, then get the battery swapped when you can.

  • Power inverter. Those two-prong 110V plug-ins aren't going to work with your car's accessory power outlet. A power inverter changes the car's DC to appliance-ready AC power. Charge your phone for live streaming, tool batteries and anything else that needs power, all without the noise of a generator. 

  • Cordless impact and batteries. Are you really going to swap four sets of wheels this weekend? That's cool if you have Popeye's arms, but for the rest of us, there's the impact wrench. 100 lb-ft of torque in your hand laughs at lug nuts, making this task incredibly easy.

  • First-aid kit. Ideally, you will never need to open this. Accidents happen, though, so it's good to be prepared for a minor emergency with a basic first-aid kit. They're super affordable, but the peace of mind is priceless. 

  • Fire extinguisher. Something went very wrong. No judgment here, but get it resolved ASAP with a fire extinguisher designed for vehicle fires. Like above, hopefully, you will never need it, but just one use could save you thousands of dollars in repairs. 

Are you ready for GRIDLIFE this summer? If you've ever been, drop a comment below, especially if you have RV advice.

Last updated August 11, 2023