Question for the food truck / trailer people.

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qwertydvorak
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2012/06/08 18:45:33 (permalink)

Question for the food truck / trailer people.

I purchased my truck and I am now getting ready to start building it out (photos will be posted as I go along).  I pretty much have everything planned out, but there is one thing I am not sure about and haven't seen on the boards that I can remember.  What do you do in the colder times of year to keep water from freezing ?  I understand that fresh water mounted inside can stay warm from kitchen heat and can be drained at night, but what about under vehicle mounted waste water tanks ?  Heat tape ?  Some kind of block heater ?  Sterno cans ?  lol.   Just wanted to get solutions from those that have gone before me.  ;)   Thanks in advance for your input.
 
Edit:  Also, what size fresh water tank are you guys using, and do you wish you had more / could do with less ?
post edited by qwertydvorak - 2012/06/08 18:47:42
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    DWags541
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    Re:Question for the food truck / trailer people. 2012/06/08 18:52:22 (permalink)
    You can wrap your pipes in insulation foam. You can also get these plug in pipe warmers. They supposedly work on PEX as well as copper. I have not tried the latter. But the first has worked well. That said, we have still had freezing happen but I live in a pretty mild winter zone, so if you are in for some harsh winters, you might want to take more drastic measures such as draining.
    I have busted one hot water heater completely because of freezing expansion. It is the popular EcoTemp on demand. There is a valve on it though, that you can open to drain water from inside of it. I did not do that, foolishly. I repaired it once, but the second bust was too major to repair.
     
    I have 35 gal fresh, 40 grey.
    #2
    chefbuba
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    Re:Question for the food truck / trailer people. 2012/06/08 19:20:21 (permalink)
    There are a couple of threads on this.......
    Heat tape, and holding tank blanket....look on rv sites for the tank blanket.
     
    #3
    lornaschinske
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    Re:Question for the food truck / trailer people. 2012/06/08 23:37:16 (permalink)
    We live in NM. but our winter temps are similar to what we had in Eastern TN/Western NC mountains. We lined the three sides of the cart under the sink counter (plus the floor) with Reflectix (the silver bubble wrap you buy at the big box lumber yard/hardware stores). This is up all year. In the winter when temps drop to freezing, we place a 40 watt  or 60 watt incandescent light bulb inside next to the plumbing under the sink. Then we close the open area off with a large sheet of Reflectix so that the heat is reflected back towards the plumbing. We have used this method for years. When we lived in NC, we kept a 60 watt light bulb out in the pump house to keep the well pump from freezing. Since we live in cold weather in an RV, we have gotten well-versed in staying thawed out. Search "winter RVing" and you will find lots of info on how to keep tanks thawed and water liquid.
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    Hot Dog Empire
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    Re:Question for the food truck / trailer people. 2012/06/09 00:38:39 (permalink)
    lornaschinske

    We live in NM. but our winter temps are similar to what we had in Eastern TN/Western NC mountains. We lined the three sides of the cart under the sink counter (plus the floor) with Reflectix (the silver bubble wrap you buy at the big box lumber yard/hardware stores). This is up all year. In the winter when temps drop to freezing, we place a 40 watt  or 60 watt incandescent light bulb inside next to the plumbing under the sink. Then we close the open area off with a large sheet of Reflectix so that the heat is reflected back towards the plumbing. We have used this method for years. When we lived in NC, we kept a 60 watt light bulb out in the pump house to keep the well pump from freezing. Since we live in cold weather in an RV, we have gotten well-versed in staying thawed out. Search "winter RVing" and you will find lots of info on how to keep tanks thawed and water liquid.

     
    You would be surprised how effective this can be and how much heat a light bulb can give off. I raise chickens and in the winter I take a cookie tin, cut a hole in the side for  the power cord and place a 60w bulb in there, place the tin lid back on top and then place the waterer on top of that.  The heat radiates in the tin and keeps the 2G waterer on top from freezing. I'm usually good down to about -15. Of course, its out of the direct wind - much like your water heater would be.
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    qwertydvorak
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    Re:Question for the food truck / trailer people. 2012/06/10 03:51:15 (permalink)
    Thank you for the replies.  The inside stuff I wasn't too worried about because I plan to drain.  It was mostly the under vehicle wastewater tank.  I am going to check into the holding tank blanket.  Thanks again guys.  This forum is so full of good info that I am glad I found it when I decided to do this.
    #6
    duesman
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    Re:Question for the food truck / trailer people. 2012/06/10 10:57:48 (permalink)
    They make instant propane water heaters that hold very little water you could puta drain valve below to drain every night try putting the holding tank under the 3bay and hand sink inside on top of sryrofoam tou mightconsider insulating the water tank and punp if you have one also in stamford ct the inspector makes u fill the 3 bay sinks 2/12 times with hot water and there is formula for the geay water tank cherk with authorities"do nice or do twice"
    #7
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Question for the food truck / trailer people. 2012/06/10 12:28:20 (permalink)
    Why not just heat the trailer all night. I use Buddy heaters and keep mine toasty so when we walk in, in the morning it's warm. Although in the dead of winter in runs about $40 a week for propane.
    #8
    Southernsmoke
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    Re:Question for the food truck / trailer people. 2012/06/11 08:34:25 (permalink)
    I purchased two buddy heaters and ran them in the winter as Dr suggests, worked well but I don't have any exterior tanks.
    post edited by Southernsmoke - 2012/06/11 08:36:44
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    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Question for the food truck / trailer people. 2012/06/11 08:59:50 (permalink)
    I have long questioned exterior tanks. I don't think they are a good idea no mater (climate)  your location. If you ever try and sell a rig built for the warm climates to someone in the Midwest that would be the 1st objection.
     
    However I would strongly recommenced a grease trap that goes in-between your sink drain and your waste tank. It will catch those small chunks of junk that will eventually clog up your waste water outlet. And I strongly suggest a wall hung shop vac that can be used to clean out any tank, steam table water and big spills. If you’d like you can see it in the interior picture of my trailer, on the left side just to the right of the door. It’s right below the fire extinguisher. www.DrofBBQ.com It has a 14- foot hose I keep under the sink and it reaches most everything in the trailer. I will build both (shop Vac, Grease Trap)  into my truck.
    #10
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