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Super Bowl Party!

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Now this how you put on a Super Bowl party for 20 vandwellers in the middle of nowhere!

Now this how you put on a Super Bowl party for 20 vandwellers in the middle of nowhere!

Many Americans love to watch sports on TV, especially football. But what happens when you move into a van and live off-grid in the boondocks, can you still watch TV? I’m glad to say that yes, you can! Lot’s of my friends carry antennas designed to provide them with Over-The-Air (OTA) broadcast TV. In fact some of the true sports fanatics plan their travels  around the football season and plan their camping locations around TV reception. I’m not a sports fan but I do like TV so I have Direct TV which gives me most Cable Channels by using a Satellite Dish on a tripod.
There are lots of antennas that work and will pull in many stations from a long ways away, but vandwellers have unique problems because we move so often and live in such a small space that for a TV antenna to be practical for us it has to be:

  1. Small enough to carry inside when traveling.
  2. Strong enough to not be fragile when putting it up and down constantly or be damaged by the strong desert winds
  3. Effective enough to pull in stations from a long ways away.
On the left is the grill and you can see some of the great food out on the right. An amazing time was had by all!

On the left is his grill and you can see some of the great food out on the right. An amazing time was had by all!

Chowing down under the shade clothe! That's Bryce on the far right.

Chowing down under the shade clothe! That’s Bryce on the far right. Women like football too!

That’s a surprisingly hard combination to find and after experimenting with many different ones most  of my friends have settled on the Clearstream antenna and are using it because it’s small and very sturdy but still works very well. You can get it from Amazon here: ClearStream Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna – 60 Mile Range
My friend Bryce is one of those that likes to watch TV so he  has a two Clearstream antennas and gets pretty good reception most places he goes. One of them is on his cargo trailer which is his Man-Cave in the winter and goes into storage for his summer travels. The other is on his slide-in truck camper which he lives in year-around. You can learn more about his set-up in this post I did on it:
He is also a guy who loves to cook for and entertain others so he’s  always looking for an excuse to have a get-together. If you’ve read my blog for long you’ll remember him because he’s cooked a turkey at the last two Thanksgiving dinners (over 40 people at each one) and he regularly hosts breakfasts, movie nights and other gatherings for everyone in camp. He’ll use any excuse to cook for everyone and what better reason than to watch the BIG GAME? So he threw  a Super Bowl Party at his camp and this year about 20 of us were there.
Bryce showing off his turkey at Thanksgiving.

Bryce showing off his turkey at Thanksgiving. He can cook just about anything on that grill!!

You may be wondering how he cooks for such large groups and usually he just provides the main dish and asks everyone else to bring other dishes and side dishes. That’s always worked out well, we all get plenty to eat and it’s great food! This party was no different, he made meatballs, chicken wings and even a pizza.
He cooks on his large barbecue grill and uses it just like an oven. It’s long enough that it has 4 burners and has a large lid that goes up to open and comes down to close. He turns it into an oven by turning the two outer burners on and leaving the inner burners off and closing the lid. The food he’s cooking goes in the middle between the burners so there is no direct flame below the food. Because the lid is closed the heat is captured and stays inside essentially becoming a very good oven.  Anything you can make in an oven, he can make in his barbecue grill.
The same idea works for any barbecue grill and I carry a small Weber Portable grill and have used it often as an oven and it works extremely well for that also. It’s too small to cook for large groups like Bryce does, but for a few people it’s perfect. I love mine and highly recommend it: Weber Go-Anywhere Portable Gas Grill I also highly recommend a book called “Fix it in Foil” for many great recipes you can cook in a Weber from vegetables, deserts, to full meals: Fix It In Foil Cookbook
Even from this far away the TV is obvious.

Even from this far away the TV is easy to see.

As usual Bryce put on a great Super Bowl Party!! He has a 55 inch TV in his 7×12 Cargo trailer but we all couldn’t fit inside, so he opened the back doors of the cargo trailer and set it on the tail-end of the trailer. I’d been a little concerned that we wouldn’t be able to see it during the day but as the pictures make clear we could see it surprisingly well. He propped one of the doors open in such a way that the TV was in the shade but everyone could still see it. As the sun set it just got progressively brighter until at dark it was like watching it in a movie theater.
Even during the daylight you could see the TV really well.

Even during the daylight you could see the TV really well.

So if you’ve been concerned how you would watch TV or sports if you went on the road, no worries, it’s easy to do. Or, if you’re a social person who prefers to be able to throw parties and entertain others, no problem there either. Many in our camp our fairly introverted so they remain more isolated, but even they can’t resist free food and great fellowship among like-minded people. Whatever you want from life, there are ways around all the issues and you can live the life you want to live.

I’m making Videos on my good friends James and Kyndal’s YouTube Channel. See them here:
If you’re interested in living in a converted cargo trailer, check out this video I shot of a couple living in a 6×12 cargo trailer:
If the video doesn’t show above, click or cut and paste this into your browser to watch it:

Thanks for supporting this site by using these links to Amazon. I’ll make a small percentage on your purchase and it won’t cost you anything, even if you buy something different.

ClearStream Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna – 60 Mile Range
Weber Go-Anywhere Portable Gas Grill
Fix It In Foil Cookbook


  1. Lucy

    Looks like U amigos have had a nice & fun gathering, bet the food was delicious !
    Has Bryce downsized his cargo trailer ? according to your previous blog he had a huge 8 x 18, that one was nice & big, something like a studio on wheels.
    My regards, Lucy.

    • Stephen Colvin

      There was nothing about refrigeration in this article which was included in the title of this blog

  2. Bob

    This is a test.

    • Gwen DeJong

      Yes, frustrating that subjects listed in the column to the right aren’t accurate. How do I find your recommendations re ice chests and 12v coolers?

  3. Kevin

    I bought the clear stream antenna last summer and haven’t regretted it! TV is better when it is free, I was paying $85 a month for direct tv.

    • Bob

      Glad it worked so well for you Kevin! Free is good!!!

  4. Cae

    I found a DIY HD antenna on YouTube. Made out of a 2×4 and hanger wire. Works great. I get more channels than I can watch. But I’m not a big tv person anyway, so it’s more than enough for me.

    • Lucy

      Hi CAE, W O W, just like the ‘ good old times ‘ & just like in ‘ the third world countries ‘ that’s is the way they used to do it in South America !!
      Mu regards, Lucy.

    • Bob

      I’ve seen those, they do work well!

  5. Marty

    Hey Mr. Bob I must say I really enjoy your videos and see how your very familuar with vans I have a few questions I would like to ask you if you wouldn’t mind emailing me.

  6. Cheryl

    Hey Bob,
    We camp hosted with you in 2012. We are starting our full-timing adventure in April so I have been following several related blogs. I love yours because I relate so well to your philosophy. I would like to read your very first post. How do I get to it? Thanks, Cheryl

    • Bob

      Hi Cheryl, very nice to her from you again! If you go to the website, on the right hand side-bar is a section titled “Archives” all the posts are there by year and month. Go to the oldest month and click on it.
      Hope you like it!

  7. Nora

    Cae: thanks for sharing the day antanae. We made one and it works great. Nora

    • Cae

      Glad it works for you. YouTube is a great source for DIY projects

  8. Cheryl

    Thanks, Bob. It was 2009, not 2012, that we camp hosted with you. It’s that age thing, ya know….
    Love your blog and pics.

    • Bob

      Cheryl, I was pretty sure of that because I didn’t host in 2012! I was confident I knew who you were so I just went with it.

  9. Rodrigo Pittman

    Nice. Who doesn’t want to join a good super bowl party?

    • Bob

      Rodrigo, a good time was had by all!

  10. Defiance

    Love your site, Bob. It makes me feel happy!

    • Bob

      Defiance, I love to hear that!! God made you to be happy!!! The only sin, is not to be.

  11. Darla

    Hello! This is my first time posting. I love reading your blog. I am learning and yearning to be a full time RVer. I just wanted to comment about how much I like your acceptance of diverse people. I read your comment about some of the folks being introverts, and thought, “That’s me sometimes.” I wish you and other RVers all the best! I’m happy for you!

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