Rutgers University is one of the biggest schools in the northeast, and it is known as the birthplace of college football. The first-ever college football game was a match between Rutgers and Princeton in 1869, which the former won. More recently, the Scarlet Knights have played in the Big 10 Conference, which is one of the biggest and most competitive conferences in college football.
The team’s mascot, Henry the Scarlet Knight, is beloved by fans, and, according to his bio, he’s a huge fan of the Sopranos and enjoys jousting and drinking chocolate milk. He’s truly a man (mascot) of the people.
The Scarlet Knights don their armor on Saturdays at SHI Stadium. After a major renovation in 2009, SHI Stadium, also known as Rutgers Stadium, now seats 52,000 fans. With such a dynamic history, the school has several unique traditions on game day, but none more so than The Scarlet Walk. This is a special time when team members walk by and touch the “First Game” statue on their way into the stadium.
Inside the stadium, a real-life Scarlet Knight gallops onto the field on his horse before kickoff. The atmosphere at Rutgers Stadium is truly one-of-a-kind. Load up your Airstream or campervan and head to New Brunswick, New Jersey for your next family RV road trip.
For a football team in the Big 10 Conference, tickets are on the more affordable end of the spectrum, with prices ranging from $35 to $50 in recent years. However, when the Scarlet Knights play against ranked opponents, ticket prices tend to increase in price, but not by much. If you’re a fan of Rutgers University, you'll have a selection of other sports that the school competes in to enjoy as well.
Rutgers University has three campuses in New Jersey, but their main campus is in the communities of New Brunswick and Piscataway, which is along the Raritan River. SHI stadium is in Piscataway just across the river and about two miles away from the main Rutgers campus. There are a few ways to get there, but it depends on what direction you begin your journey. New York City is to the north, about an hour’s drive, and Philadelphia is a little over an hour away to the south.
You’ll be happy to know that Rutgers University welcomes oversized vehicles and RVs, which means you can park near the stadium and tailgate. You’ll want to head to the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) to find parking, which usually runs about $100. Spots are taken on a first-come-first-served basis. For an additional $25, you can park a tow vehicle if you have one. Lots open five hours prior to kickoff.
Fans can ride from downtown New Brunswick to the stadium via a free shuttle provided by the school. Also, shuttles pick up passengers at the various parking lots, including the RAC. If you prefer to leave your RV at the campground, this can be a great way to reach the stadium and save a few bucks in the process.
While most parking lots close at dusk, the Rutgers Athletic Center is open for overnight stays. If you don’t feel like driving elsewhere after the game, this is a great way to spend the night. You will need to be prepared to dry camp, so remember to fill your tanks before you arrive on campus. Parking at the RAC overnight is convenient and puts you near other Scarlet Knight fans.
As always, staying at a campground provides you with certain comforts and amenities that you just won’t find at a parking lot. Liberty Habor RV Park in Jersey City, about 45 minutes north of the school, has a great view of the Manhattan skyline, and it is equipped with many camping spaces. You'll find water and electric hookups, a dump station, laundry room, and even a bar and restaurant at this campground. Enjoy a visit to New York City to or from your time at Rutgers University.
To get around the city, consider bringing a tow vehicle, which can make it easier to maneuver around the city and to park between activities. Knights fans can also ride the free shuttle to the stadium from either New Brunswick’s downtown area or the RAC parking lot. Inside the stadium, you can use the elevators to reach your seat.
If you’re heading New Brunswick for the weekend, it’s best to pack light for easy travel. In the winter, it’s important that you bundle up because temperatures can drop to freezing. If watching a game early in the season, pack cool, breezy clothing and a hat or visor. And, to look the part of a Knight, bring a few Rutgers garments or your favorite scarlet clothing.
Scarlet Knights fans can choose to cook-out and might want to bring a grill or prepare food in advance and focus on games and tailgating activities near SHI Stadium. It’s probably a good idea to bring an ice chest to keep your drinks cold, and you might want to set up a canopy tent to stay cool. Rutgers Football Watch Parties may also be of interest, especially if you do not plan to stay in the Rutgers RV lots overnight. Scarlet Rutgers University gear can help punch up your game day spirit, too.
Even in the best of circumstances, accidents sometimes happen. To stay ahead of the curve, bring a first-aid kit with you, and any medications that you or your family members might need when away from home. While tailgating can be a fun event, the university strictly enforces its alcohol policy, which prohibits kegs in the parking lots and aligns with state guidelines.
New Jersey has a unique cuisine that has been shaped by the many immigrant communities that have called the Garden State their home. One of the more unique items you can find in New Jersey is the pork roll, which is salty, fatty, and delicious. Fry it up or grill it and serve it on a kaiser roll with eggs and cheese, which is how locals often enjoy it.
Apart from Italian restaurants and pizzerias, you can find Mexican, Mediterranean, and Indian restaurants in the city. If you're looking for a quick and affordable meal, head to one of the nearby eateries in Piscataway or New Brunswick. Rutgers Football Watch Parties are often held at local restaurants within five miles of the university where Scarlet Knights fans can gather for game day eats and activities.
At halftime, or whenever you’re hungry, visit the concession stands that are located around the stadium. Scarlet Knights fans will have all kinds of food at the concession stands, and there are even healthy, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. If you fancy a new t-shirt, hat, or Rutgers memorabilia, head to one of the several apparel shops inside the SHI Stadium.
For security reasons, only clear bags are permitted into Scarlet Knights Stadium. Small clutch purses are allowed inside, but any bags bigger than that must be clear. You can use a clear food storage bag if you need it. To look for lost items, head to the police command post, which is located near the North Gate of the stadium.
In New Brunswick, where the university’s main campus is located, temperatures can drop drastically in the winter. Towards the end of the season, expect the average low to be around 35 degrees or colder, with high temperatures hovering around the low 40s. Summers, on the other hand, are hot, though temperatures begin to cool by the time the football season starts. Northern routes may encounter more precipitation than southern areas of the State of New Jersey. Rutgers Unversity sits along the middle of those areas, so monitor road and weather conditions as you travel.
At Rutgers’ SHI Stadium, you can find a couple of first-aid stations. If you need medical assistance, head there immediately, or ask a staff member for directions if you don’t know where the nearest first aid station is at the time. There are also a few hospitals nearby for anything beyond a minor medical emergency.