Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all.

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gonzojuice
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2013/09/14 22:02:43 (permalink)

Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all.

In this thread you can follow me as I learn to build a food truck by doing it. My wife and I own a successful food trailer in Austin Tx called Gonzo Juice. You can check us out at Gonzojuice.com. I have recently acquired a Chevrolet P30 step van and I am building a kitchen into it for food service. I was lucky to find a van with a service window already installed so we won't learn that on this thread. I will be installing everything else to make it worthy of the local fire permit and health permit. Please follow along and feel free to offer advice and criticism. Some of the fit and finish may not be perfect since I am not a plumber, electrician, or carpenter but bare with me and I think we will end with something pretty cool.
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    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/14 22:22:34 (permalink)
    A little back story.
    When I first opened the trailer I did it in a whirlwind. I drove by a tiny 1949 Shasta with a giant rooster head on it and thought "hmmm, that could be fun." From there it was forty days from conception to opening. First secure the funds, then secure the trailer, then build and cost a menu, then design and build out the trailer. It had four sinks and a water heater as well as the required fresh and waste water tanks already so I took it and had it permitted before the build out. Ordered the equipment I needed(1 hp juicer, coffin style countertop sandwich prep, and a true gdm-10 glass front merchandiser. Preyed it would come on time(it didn't. Had to open with bus tubs full of ice and a jack delance juicer :-(.
    The fridges had to be special ordered because I needed very specific units. The door on the trailer is narrow, only a little wider then my shoulders. A normal sandwich flip top would never fit through the door. The True unit also won't fit through until you turn it sideways. It's only 22" deep. A perfect fit. Unfortunately I had to remove one sink to fit the fridge, but we will get to that and it's implications later in the thread. I also removed the camper stove and propane line and house style hood. I had planned to only serve fresh squeezed juices and salads so I didn't need them. Amazingly I pulled it off and opened the place in February of 2011 and we have barely really started to be popular this year. I did add milkshakes, smoothies, occasional soups, and classic American hot sandwiches so our menu is pretty big for a tiny box. Now I am ready to build out a truck as it is finally within my grasp.
    #2
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/14 22:37:06 (permalink)
    I have a few more post to make before I will be allowed to post photos so please bare with me. I have been in the food service business on and off since I was fifteen. More on then off but did try a couple other careers in my early twenties. I'm thirty five now and have been a slave to the stove for a long time. After a five year stint with the headquarters of Whole Foods I decided to take a break and maybe try another career and city. I got a job at a local sub place as a no brainier job just to pay the bills while i explored where to go and what to do, and found I was making more money then my fancy chef job at the Whole Foods. Still bored and un satisfied I was amped after driving by my first food trailer and envisioning a fun answer to my boredom and skill in the kitchen. I could own my own tiny restaurant for a song and do whatever I want and not have to answer to any one. Perfect. I borrowed money from any friend that would lend it and asked the owner to buy the trailer on time. He agreed after seeing my plan I whipped up. Off to the races. In forty days I was open and in a year I had all the money I borrowed and trailer paid off. It was hard but fun. Many days of little to no business due to wrong locations. Kept trying though and finally made it all work. Now on to the subject at hand, building out the new addition to the Gonzo Juice brand name.
    #3
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/14 22:37:22 (permalink)
    3
    #4
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/14 22:37:46 (permalink)
    2
    #5
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/14 22:37:53 (permalink)
    1
    #6
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/14 22:42:27 (permalink)
    Oh dang it. I haven't been a member for thirty days yet so I can't post photos. Well, I'll fill y'all in on some more tomorrow.
    #7
    fishscale28
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/14 23:02:42 (permalink)
    Welcome and congrats! You can probably upload the pics to a hosting site and put most of the link here for us to look up and see. Good luck!
    #8
    reese77
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/14 23:04:57 (permalink)
    LOL. I did the same thing when I joined. Got up to 30 post then realized that I needed to be a member for 30 days.
     
    Like fishscale said, upload to a hosting site, Flickr, etc. then post the links.
    #9
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/15 00:36:37 (permalink)
    Ah ha. I have photos.
    #10
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/15 00:36:54 (permalink)
    #11
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/15 00:37:25 (permalink)
    Shucks. It won't let me put the Flickr address
    #12
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/15 09:25:36 (permalink)
    send me your links in a pm. I will put them up for you
     
    #13
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/15 10:01:27 (permalink)
    WildDog, they won't let me personal message till fifteen days. I joined on the ninth. I lurked for too long. The pics are on flicker though. I believe if you search for Gonzo Juice you will find them. I guess I just play the waiting game now till I'm not locked out. Seems silly that you have to be a member for a month before being able to post photos. I understand it is apparently in place to keep spammers away, which is good, but what spammer try's longer then a week to hit the same site? In any case I like this forum so ill be stickin around. Patience is not something I often have a lot of, but I guess we all just have to be patient together. Might start another thread to distract me. Maybe a "what's the most popular street food in your town/area?" thread.
    #14
    fishscale28
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/15 17:08:09 (permalink)
    Do your Flickr addy but break it up so its not a web addy. As in Flickr dot com / iliketopartynopants . Or whatever the addy might be. We should be able to figure out how to put it all back together. Good luck!
    #15
    CajunKing
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/15 18:34:16 (permalink)
    fishy - you like to party in no pants???   
     
     
    and an answer to gonzo's question... What is street food! lol
    There once was a hot dog cart, she got ran off my the local "mafia" (old men who own 90% of the town) because she cut into their local coffee shop business.
    #16
    fishscale28
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/15 22:41:25 (permalink)
    Who needs pants?  Me party long time!!!
    #17
    THE WILD DOG
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    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/16 11:33:10 (permalink)
    /photos/101897216@N08/with/9754879783/
    #19
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/16 11:37:48 (permalink)
    The Wild Dog, man that's great. I actually had not seen a few of those takes. The Gonzo Rooster is tons of fun. If we can have half as much fun in the truck then we are already way ahead.
    #20
    SantacruzTacoCo
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/16 15:02:26 (permalink)
    measure 3-4 times drill/cut 1ce
    #21
    CajunKing
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/16 17:35:11 (permalink)
    Gonzo - I love your chicken, but I am closterphobic.
    #22
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/20 00:14:23 (permalink)
    Yes should have measured a few more times. It's all working out though. Cajun King, you have to be shorter to work in there too. Five foot ten is about the limit. We had four people working in there last SXSW. It was insanity. Four inside and three out front.
    #23
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/25 21:35:11 (permalink)
    Alright. It's been a crazy two weeks. I have finished installing all three refrigerators and my freezer. I have completed and self pressure tested my propane lines, including mounting the frame mount propane tank. I discovered my plan on having my Hood vent out the back was impossible. Now I am teaching myself what kind of roof vent, for the hood, to get and how to install it. I will go with a Broan Roof Cap Item #: 53066 | Model #: 634 from lowes. My hood is a 48" residential use hood with the grease baffles and two internal blowers. It's not optimum but it was cheap on ebay(damaged.) I paid $300 for it. I didn't realize until after I got it that it is an insert hood so I will have to build a frame around it to properly support it. I built and laminated the countertops to support the griddle, hot plate, and steam well. I updated the flicker page with photos.
    #24
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/26 21:00:24 (permalink)
    Figured out today why I don't have a breaker box. This whole time I assumed I had a thirty amp connection(even though I was using a pigtail to power into the house, it came with the truck) I assumed this because the pig tail and matching receptacle are the twist and lock type and are almost exactly the same as the thirty amp twist and lock. So close. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get my new thirty amp shore cord to plug into the side of the truck. After closer investigation I realized it will never fit because it's not supposed to. I have no breaker box because I am running only twenty amps off of the twenty amp breaker in my house's box. Makes total sense now. Won't work though. I need more then one twenty amp breaker to power everything I plan to have running. Plus now I have a thirty amp shore cord and a Duramax 10000 watt genny welded to the front bumper. Be a damn shame now. So, now I have to teach myself wiring.
    #25
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/09/26 21:49:44 (permalink)
    Now I will be installing a breaker box inside the truck with possibly a fifty amp service, changing the receptacle on the side of the trailer, and running a fifty amp service to the side of my house(under the house from the other side where the breaker box is) to plug into at night. Talked to my electrician buddy and he knows where to get a fifty amp shore cord used so we may just go all the way and do the fifty amp service. My genny has a fifty amp outlet already so might as well go big.
    #26
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/10/06 13:40:57 (permalink)
    Sorry I haven't posted in a minute. When I went out the next day I found that the previous owner had bent the thirty amp receptacle on the truck in order to get a twenty amp twist and lock pigtail to hook up with it. I bent it back and it works fine now. I will neutrally upgrade to a fifty with a fifty amp box, but for now we will run like this. In fact we opened for business a couple days ago and all is well. I believe I will be able to post pics on the ninth so I will then.
    #27
    kapowtruck
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/10/06 21:18:04 (permalink)
    Truck looks great!
    #28
    gonzojuice
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/10/07 17:49:35 (permalink)
    Thanks, I just updated the flicker
    #29
    kapowtruck
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    Re:Gonzo's P30 build. Teaching myself how to do it all. 2013/10/07 18:33:12 (permalink)
    gonzojuice

    Thanks, I just updated the flicker

     
    How does that 3rd pan work out as a hand sink? did you make it yourself?
    #30
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