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 Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer

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jtetterton

  • Total Posts: 4
  • Joined: 6/13/2011
  • Location: Culpeper, VA
Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Mon, 06/13/11 12:50 AM (permalink)
First off, great site!  Very informative, I've been searching the forums and it's a wealth of information!
 
My better half and myself are starting a mobile concession stand and I have a few electrical question to ask of you fine people.  We are purchasing a 6x10 enclosed cargo trailer, brand new, completely bare (except for plywood walls, etc).  I'm pretty good when it comes to extending a circuit inside my house or adding a new outlet and that sort of thing, but I need a little help with this project.  I'll start with the equipment we expect to have inside:
 
Hot Dog Steamer: 1200 watts
Holiday 7cu ft Chest Freezer : not sure (haven't purchased yet and can't find info online)
Vita-mix blender: 11.5 amps/1380 watts
50 cup coffee maker: ~1000 watts
6000 btu a/c: 5.4 amps/560 watts
1x 4ft fluorescent light strip(2 bulbs)
A couple extra outlets for charging cell phones and running laptops as well.
 
I'm pretty sure that covers the BIG items, we may look into adding a small dorm style fridge later on.  That covers what we have inside, now I need to know how it will all be connected.  I'm perfectly comfortable running conduit and wiring all the outlets, etc.  What I need assistance with is:
 
1.  How it all ties together at the main panel.. (is a 60 amp panel sufficient?)
2.  How I should segregate the circuits.. (separate circuit for lighting, freezer, a/c)
3.  What size generator should I buy.
4.  How do I actually get power to the panel (be it plugging into a house or from my generator) 
 
If I haven't been clear on anything, please ask me, thanks again for the great site!
 
 
#1
    chefbuba

    • Total Posts: 1951
    • Joined: 6/22/2009
    • Location: Near You, WA
    Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Mon, 06/13/11 1:30 AM (permalink)
    Welcome.....
    Keep searching!
    There are many threads on power, how do I convert watts to amps, what size generator do I need etc.
    I believe these questions have been answered here time and time again.
    There are several very knowledgable people here that have contributed to these threads. I think you will find your answers there.
     
    #2
      JodyP

      • Total Posts: 322
      • Joined: 1/15/2008
      • Location: Cumming, GA
      Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Mon, 06/13/11 7:25 AM (permalink)
      To convert to amps divide the watts by the volts.
      1200 watts divided by 120 volts = 10 amps.
      Then add up the total amount of amps to see what you need. If you are doing festivals don't plan on more than a 20 amp supply. If you are using a generator purchase one with a higher amp rating then you need. If not your generator will run at full tilt.(your usage with the equipment you listed would be around 39 amps.) You need to install a electric panel with a split 240 four wire coming into it and add breakers for each of the major units. We sometimes run two electric cords at festivals to power our trailer.
       
      #3
        jtetterton

        • Total Posts: 4
        • Joined: 6/13/2011
        • Location: Culpeper, VA
        Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Mon, 06/13/11 7:48 AM (permalink)
        Thanks for the replies, so if I 'm reading right, for 39 amps, I would need a 5000 watt generator (6k watt peak).
         
        I'm still confused about how the power gets into the panel though, do I hardwire the female end of extension cords and let them dangle out of the back of the box?  Hardwire 2 20's and one 50 and use whichever the situation calls for?  I guess I will call an electrician and ask.
         
        Thanks again,
         
        Jason
         
        #4
          Buck & Vi's

          • Total Posts: 822
          • Joined: 4/19/2010
          • Location: dodging,snakes,spiders,roaches, armadillos.opposso
          Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Mon, 06/13/11 11:17 AM (permalink)
          you'll need a 50 amp. wire, to run from your panel box at the trailer to a recpt. at a pole , genset, etc. where ever you get your power from.. when you plug that in, that powers up your panel box. 
           
          #5
            Chicnscoop

            • Total Posts: 291
            • Joined: 2/18/2011
            • Location: Andover, CT
            Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Mon, 06/13/11 12:04 PM (permalink)
            You will probably need to get a 100amp panel because the 60 amps are getting harder to find all the time.
             
            If you have a friend with a travel trailer check out the cord and cord storage on that. You can get small access doors from rv parts suppliers. Be sure to get all your water pumps and accessories for 120v ac power then you will not have to get a power converter like in an rv.
             
            #6
              jtetterton

              • Total Posts: 4
              • Joined: 6/13/2011
              • Location: Culpeper, VA
              Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Mon, 06/13/11 8:08 PM (permalink)
              Ok, that makes sense, probably looks like a dryer wire or my stove wire right?
               
              What do I do if the venue only has 20amp connections available?  Is there a way to feed several 20 amps into a 60 or 100 amp panel?
               
              #7
                Buck & Vi's

                • Total Posts: 822
                • Joined: 4/19/2010
                • Location: dodging,snakes,spiders,roaches, armadillos.opposso
                Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Tue, 06/14/11 5:35 AM (permalink)
                you will need the adapters i wrote about you can get these at any r/v store or some home depots, and lowes have them from 50 amp to 30 amp the 30 amp will be like any reg. household 110 plug around 20 -30 bucks, of course you will not be able to run all your equipment on that 20 amp plug... you'll have to pick and choose what you want running at any particular time... with us we have to of course have the refridgeration first, then we pick and choose ... the exhaust fan, micro wave, etc most time we have to shut one thing off to turn another on like shut the fan off to run the micro wave, when done nuking turn fAN BACK ON. etc. etc.of course we turn the hot water off get it hot first thing then it goes off t stay's hot quite a while. you get the picture...? never can have the a/c running any where with only 20 amp 110 volts
                 
                #8
                  JodyP

                  • Total Posts: 322
                  • Joined: 1/15/2008
                  • Location: Cumming, GA
                  Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Tue, 06/14/11 7:44 AM (permalink)
                  Our trailer came equipped with a 50 amp outside connector. Since I knew that it would almost be impossible to get a 50 amp service at a festival I converted it to a 25 amp. I went to Home Depot and actually purchased 25 amp male and female connectors. The male connector is attached to the trailer electric panel and the female connector is attached to a electric cord. If you plan on running off a quiet generator then wire up your trailer for it and use it for primary power. We do like Buck & Vi's and turn things off if we need power for another piece of equipment. Our biggest problem is running the air, our unit draws 14 amps. We are probably going to add a Honda generator for backup power.
                   
                  #9
                    Dr of BBQ

                    • Total Posts: 3716
                    • Joined: 10/11/2004
                    • Location: Springfield, IL
                    • Roadfood Insider
                    Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Tue, 06/14/11 8:06 AM (permalink)
                    Electrical used equipment is always less expensive than propane or natural gas used equipment because it's not the choice made by most people in the restaurant industry. That by it's self should tell you which way to go. And if it doesn't push you in one direction or another remember the very recent news story that forecast a 20 to 40% increase in electrical rates for the country.
                     
                    #10
                      chefbuba

                      • Total Posts: 1951
                      • Joined: 6/22/2009
                      • Location: Near You, WA
                      Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Tue, 06/14/11 11:13 AM (permalink)
                      Buck & Vi's


                      you'll need a 50 amp. wire, to run from your panel box at the trailer to a recpt. at a pole , genset, etc. where ever you get your power from.. when you plug that in, that powers up your panel box. 

                       
                      6ga/4 wire cable.........$3-4 per foot + cost of ends, water proof marine ends are about $100 ea.


                       
                      #11
                        Buck & Vi's

                        • Total Posts: 822
                        • Joined: 4/19/2010
                        • Location: dodging,snakes,spiders,roaches, armadillos.opposso
                        Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Tue, 06/14/11 6:04 PM (permalink)
                        my ends are'nt water proof but yup .....
                         
                        #12
                          jtetterton

                          • Total Posts: 4
                          • Joined: 6/13/2011
                          • Location: Culpeper, VA
                          Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Wed, 06/15/11 8:38 AM (permalink)
                          Great info, thanks all.
                           
                          I'm rethinking if I even want to wire the trailer to start, but I have decided to go with the Honda eu3000is quiet generator.
                           
                          Jason
                           
                          #13
                            chefbuba

                            • Total Posts: 1951
                            • Joined: 6/22/2009
                            • Location: Near You, WA
                            Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Wed, 06/15/11 10:17 AM (permalink)
                            I have the same generator, it's 10 yrs old, never skipped a beat.
                             
                            #14
                              roadkillgrill

                              • Total Posts: 174
                              • Joined: 8/1/2009
                              • Location: Helena, AR
                              Re:Planning for electrical needs in a concession trailer Mon, 06/20/11 12:20 AM (permalink)
                              I bought a 16,000peak 8000w power inverter 12vdc / 110v ac off of Ebay, that shipped from MS. I figured I had just thrown $359 away, but it has been GREAT. I have run two ac's, refrig, two freezers. In a pinch, it's been a life saver.
                               
                              <message edited by roadkillgrill on Mon, 06/20/11 12:22 AM>
                               
                              #15
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