Have you ever dreamt of owning your own food trailer? You see them everywhere these days – parks, stadiums, block parties, festivals, or right outside the front door of your place of business. It may not be everyone’s dream, but some individuals look at this little business and think to themselves “Hey, I could do that!”… and they would be right. Are you one of those individuals?
One of the first things that you’re going to need is a food trailer. There is good news where that’s concerned. Converting an older, gently used trailer can save you lots of money. Don’t know where to start?
Here’s a little bit of advice for those who would like to build their own food trailer and start a business.
The Trailer Itself
This is probably the most important part of your venture. Without a good base, you stand little chance of success.
Pay attention to the following when buying your trailer:
- The walls of your trailer’s interior should be made of a food safe material like kitchen wall board.
- There’s going to be a lot of weight in this trailer so make sure the floor supports are properly rated and close together.
- Will air-conditioning be important?
- In case you want to add other features later, are there enough ceiling supports?
- Check your tow vehicle requirements and tongue weight.
- One great option is insulated walls.
- Consider getting tandem axles if there is going to be a lot of weight. Check axle weight rating.
A hood system is required in a food truck in some states. It doesn’t matter whether you have a deep fryer, griddle, grill, smoker, or not. For the installation of a hood system, you will need to make sure that the roof supports will be sufficient. Hood systems are supplied by numerous companies, some even providing installation.
While on the subject of hood systems, though expensive, you can purchase a fire suppression system online. A state certified installer may be required when it comes to putting one of these systems in your new/used trailer.
Hopefully you’ve got a little plumbing background. Here’s what you’ll probably need:
- 12 V battery
- 12 V DC water pump
- Concession sink kit
- On-demand LP water heater
- 3/8 inch water flexible water line
- Kitchen type drain sinks
- Wastewater tank
- Fresh water tank
Building the Trailer Into a Food Trailer
This step, though lengthy, is just icing on the cake. Once you’ve assured a good base for your business – the trailer itself – you have but to decide what you want to put into the trailer to make it fully utilitarian. A lot of this depends on the food you’re going to sell.
Things like the following may be included:
- Deep fryer/griddle
- Cold food storage
- Commercial steam tables (you can build these yourself with the right materials and know-how)
- Stainless steel appliances
- Counter (these can also be built inexpensively and easily)
- Pressurized water system
- Exhaust fan
- Sinks, etc.
Remember, you can start small and always get bigger as your business increases and grows. Best of all, when it’s time to get a bigger trailer, you will be able to sell your used one to the next entrepreneur just starting out. Just make sure that they start out in a completely different area than the one in which you operate!
Rather than spending some $300,000 or more on a food trailer, buy a used trailer from Mickey Genuine Parts and convert it. We carry many of the parts you’ll need and can begin shipping your order the very same day (as long as we receive that order by 2 PM Eastern Standard Time). If you have special order parts, we can likely begin shipping them within three days. If you need someone to do the work for you, contact one of our reputable service centers. With any more questions, feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable representatives.