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The Iowa State Cyclones Tailgate Van

The Iowa State Cyclones Tailgate VanCharley Bogwill and Jeff Burdick's passion for tailgating was evident way before the idea to build a tailgate van came along. They have been hosting tailgates for many years, which have included items such as gas-powered blenders, tents with construction heaters (for the ladies, of course), custom ISU helmet hitch-mounted grill, and an ISU Scoreboard replica portable bar with TV and running water! These are not your average tailgaters.

The Iowa State Cyclones Tailgate Van InsideAfter they made up their minds on building a tailgate machine, the search was on. For months, the two looked at buses, box vans, step vans, fire engines, and ambulances to name a few. Just about when the search was ready to be called off, Jeff located a gem on eBay, and made the 5 and a half hour trip with Charley to go see the new center of their tailgating universe, a 1970 Vanette. The interesting part of this story is that the guys went home empty handed not being able to agree on a price, and in fact, they didn't even win the auction. As it so happens, two weeks after the auction, the owner called the guys up, and let them know that many attempts to contact the winner fell unsuccessful. Game on!

All the modifications to the Vanette have been done by the guys, and they won't bore you with all the small nuances of modifying the Vanette. However, up to now, they will tell you what's been accomplished. Here's a list of the current mods:

  • Bench seating with storage
  • Storage cabinets with full extension glides
  • Authentic Astroturf flooring
  • Interior paint job
  • LED signs added to front window
  • Vinyl graphics that include the opponents helmet for each home game
  • TV mounts inside and out for the 42" LCD TV with HD satellite viewing
  • Satellite mount on front bumper
  • Hitch mounts front and rear (Front for the grill and rear for the bar)

The guys also have future modifications in the works, which include a window for the TV mount so they can turn the TV to the outside on-lookers and an RV awning on curb side to make for easy setup and tear down.

Check out some of the pictures which include the build and tailgating this season.

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