Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer

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jasabyte
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2009/07/31 13:59:30 (permalink)

Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer

Hello Everyone.  I am new to this awesome and informative site and have some questions.  I am thinking about converting an older RV travel trailer 16-20ft. into a food concession trailer.  I have a commercial 8 burner charbroiler and will be adding 2- 40lb deep fryers.  The main food item will be fried hot wings.  What are your thoughts on this conversion?  I thought it would be a little easier since it would already have the plumbing, hot water, water tanks, propane plumbing, etc.  Of course, a lot of it would be gutted to make room for the equipment.

Thanks!
#1

13 Replies Related Threads

    jasabyte
    Junior Burger
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2009/08/06 15:38:44 (permalink)
    Anyone??  Any thoughts or ideas on this?
    #2
    chefbuba
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2009/08/06 21:22:53 (permalink)
    Most likely a HD nightmare.... You need to check with the local HD for all their rules and regs.
     
    #3
    TWIGGY'S
    Junior Burger
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2009/08/06 22:22:06 (permalink)
    Hey JAB. Did the same thing a long time ago. Just gutted the inside. Put SS wall panels up. Then moved the essentials in. Be sure to invest in good ventilization as during the season "you" WILL cook. I used it at fairs and festivals etc. for 6 yrs. Those type venues generally aren't as critical as say your home town location will be. True said, your HD will be rough on ya. Made a ton of money with her. Sold it for a lot more (keep really good records) And have seen her 2 times at an event. And wished I had her back. Best of luck to you. Give good clean service at a good price. Stand behind yer work and you'll do just fine. 
    #4
    BigRedLunchbox
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2009/08/06 22:41:17 (permalink)
    One of the problems I've read about with "conversions" is the trailer is not designed for the weight of the equipment. The Skillet Street Food guys converted a airstream only to have it fall apart and mounted on a trailer. The floor structure in my trailer has heavy duty cross-members every foot and a very thick marine plywood covered with metal flooring. It's something to consider.
    #5
    chefbuba
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2009/08/06 23:22:09 (permalink)
    #6
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2009/08/07 00:20:00 (permalink)
    chefbuba

    San Antonio health requirements


    WOW what typical BS. These people are not trying to protect the public health they are just trying to make it as difficult as possible to operate a business.

    Jack
    #7
    chefbuba
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2009/08/07 00:53:37 (permalink)
    You should see the bs that I had to go through with not the HD but labor and industries on my new kitchen... The builder says that WA is toughest state to build for.....
     
    Little things like no AC because the units dont meet epa or some other dept standards for commercial use in WA, Floor loads, calculated gas preassure, and max draw from each appliance at peak...
    I have to have the back flow prevention device inspected by HD, L&I and get this.... Public Works. Each collects a fee.
    #8
    jasabyte
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2009/08/07 16:34:54 (permalink)
    TWIGGY'S

    Hey JAB. Did the same thing a long time ago. Just gutted the inside. Put SS wall panels up. Then moved the essentials in. Be sure to invest in good ventilization as during the season "you" WILL cook. I used it at fairs and festivals etc. for 6 yrs. Those type venues generally aren't as critical as say your home town location will be. True said, your HD will be rough on ya. Made a ton of money with her. Sold it for a lot more (keep really good records) And have seen her 2 times at an event. And wished I had her back. Best of luck to you. Give good clean service at a good price. Stand behind yer work and you'll do just fine. 


    What type of RV did you convert?
    #9
    TWIGGY'S
    Junior Burger
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2009/08/08 17:25:02 (permalink)
    It was an old Jayco. A 16'. Pulled all the insides out. Dropped the floor down.So window service would be more comfortable for us.Reenforced the floor w. 2" channel. Installed aluminum diamond plate flooring. Later rubber matting as the floor got pretty warm on the feet. Framed out thr serving window w. same 2" channel, cut the opening w sawz all. Hinged the window flap made sliding screens to fit the opening. Cut out 2 openings on either end of the trailer for ventilization, used the channel again. Installed 2 RV roof vents. Still needed fans in summer events. Took it to an automotive suspension shop and they added 2 leaf springs to each side. Had 2 4' flat top grills and 2 stand alone deep fryers. Both propane. Used cans of soda & juices. In 2 giant Igloo coolers. Sold dogs, ssges., burgers, bbq chx sands., chips, cookies, candy. Towed real ez w. F150. Stored bulk stuff , umbrellas, foldg. tables, chairs,on floor of trailer.Kept heavy stuff - ice, coolers etc. in bed of truck while in transit. Was a very nice set up. But more than 6 yrs. ago. Yup these fellas here are correct. The HD's today are a diffrnt. breed. By the book w. no imagination. Good Luck to ya. Persevere don't give up. Jump through the hoops. They'll run outa stuff to call you on and approve ya. Just do what they ask.
    #10
    jasabyte
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2009/08/09 10:50:41 (permalink)
    Thanks for the replies....  Twiggy, this is exactly what I want to do.  Question though.. How did you drop the floor down?  I am pretty good at building and I do have a mig welder.  Maybe something I could do myself?
    #11
    TWIGGY'S
    Junior Burger
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2009/08/09 16:43:49 (permalink)
    Howdy jbyte. Well sir you gut the whole thing out. This floor was 3/4" plywd. over aluminum framework. Ya had to step up and into the trailer as built. So once ya removed the existing flooring ya can see right away what ya want to do. Caution though! Ya got to look her over real good before ya start cutting any framework. Ya gotta keep the structural integrity of the trailer intact. So focus on just "adding" a new lower floor. But seein yer a mechanic and welder as I am. Yer mind  and skills will take over and you'll even make a better one than I. Let us know how yer doin though. We all care and  maybe we can learn somethin from you. Any thing else I can help ya with just say so.
    #12
    marisua
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2010/12/31 21:53:27 (permalink)
    jesabyte did you get started in your conversion?  I have been thinking in doing the same thing... I found a 2007 Jayco Jay Flight for a very decent price... and I am just calculating what would it cost me to make the changes...  did you find out about permits and the rest...
     
    #13
    lornaschinske
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    Re:Converting an RV Travel trailer to a food concession trailer 2010/12/31 22:30:56 (permalink)
    I have seen travel trailers converted into food concession trailers in NC (at a fair), TX (airstream) and here in NM (both Socorro and Albuquerque). I don't know what the above mentioned folks did to an airstream to trash it but they had to have damaged the frame and skin in order to have it "fall apart". I have not noticed that serving out of a converted trailer affects customers but the folks on Road food think it's looks amateurish. They tend to like pro built stuff.
     
    The conversions that I have seen (not the Socorro one... they are not very strict here) removed the interior cabinets, etc. stripped down to interior walls & reskinned with FRP like what you can buy at Lowes/Home Depot in the tileboard section (you can special order the smooth stuff... runs about $30 to $40 per 4X8 sheet). If you cut the floor frame, you are asking for trouble. RV's are built from the ground up. That means everything is built on top of the frame (the carpet/vinyl is under the cabinets and walls... carpet is a PITA to cut out). When you start stripping out, you will find that the closets & bathrooms/bedroom walls are stabilizing the walls & roof. You cannot remove them with out adding structural support to help stabilize the walls & roof. You may want to add a couple of 2X2 walls about 24-30" deep partway down the trailer on each side (depends on how long the trailer is). Look for water damage. Usually around the window, water heater, city water inlet, air conditioner, roof vents... any place that has a screw thru the skin (like roof ladders, etc) or a hole in the roof (watch out for those roof top baggage racks). Keep the bathroom intact. If you never need it, that's fine but you really don't want to use a porta-let when you are having to handle food.
     
    You need to look into the permitting requirements for your state. Check it out before you buy the trailer. Find out if you can set it up where you want to sell. Not all states will allow a "big trailer" to street vend. If it has a genset, keep it and build (or buy) a genturi for the generator exhaust.
     
    Home made Genturi
    http://barthmobile.com/ev...87061/m/8381039061/p/1
    http://www.thumpertalk.co...ndex.php/t-738313.html
    http://www.ehow.com/how_4...-vent-motor-homes.html
    #14
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