Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book

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sheetserr
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2010/11/30 22:29:17 (permalink)

Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book

I'd buy it!
 
Folks, it's your old/new buddy, Sheetserr, here again.  I have a few more questions.  If a few of you would take a moment to oblige me, I'd appreciate it.  I'm not sure where I'd be without this forum, because this kind of ionformation is very difficult to come by.
 
1.  I've reviewed many of your trailer photo's - Wild Dog, Chefbuba, BillyB, BigRed, Dr of BBQ, etc.  They all look great.  I hope my rig looks that nice when it's all said and done. 
 
I notice that most of you have a window(s) on the back of the trailer and a window on each side.  Is there a reason for this?  Do you serve out of all of these windows?  Is one strictly used for ventilation, there for aesthetic purposes, extra light?  I realize that when things get busy, you simply can't make transactions and serve food out of the same window, especially with multiple employees present.  I just wasn't sure why this seems to be the preferred choice.
 
2.  Electricity - I spoke with a trailer rep not long ago who thought 100 amp service is probably overkill for someone who will run most of his primary equipment (griddle, charbroiler, oven, burners) on LP gas.  Is that so?  Could I get by on 50 amp?  I'm no electrician for sure.  I get the need for lots of plugs, but that's about it.
 
I look forward to your responses.  Thank you!
Steve
 
 
 
 
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42 Replies Related Threads

    chefbuba
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/01 00:18:31 (permalink)
    sheetserr

    I'd buy it!

    Folks, it's your old/new buddy, Sheetserr, here again.  I have a few more questions.  If a few of you would take a moment to oblige me, I'd appreciate it.  I'm not sure where I'd be without this forum, because this kind of ionformation is very difficult to come by.

    1.  I've reviewed many of your trailer photo's - Wild Dog, Chefbuba, BillyB, BigRed, Dr of BBQ, etc.  They all look great.  I hope my rig looks that nice when it's all said and done. 

    I notice that most of you have a window(s) on the back of the trailer and a window on each side.  Is there a reason for this?  Do you serve out of all of these windows?  Is one strictly used for ventilation, there for aesthetic purposes, extra light?  I realize that when things get busy, you simply can't make transactions and serve food out of the same window, especially with multiple employees present.  I just wasn't sure why this seems to be the preferred choice.
     
     
    Window on the side and rear is for high volume service....unless you are going to do lots of high body count events like fairs/festivals with 1000's of people, one door with 2 serving windows works well.
    Also, the less people the better in a trailer... I work alone during the week, only have a cashier/order taker for events. I do all the cooking, she does the orders, drinks, cash and all the other stuff that needs to be taken care of.  Key word here is multitask......It all works like a well oiled machine.......most of the time!  It comes from years of experience though.

    2.  Electricity - I spoke with a trailer rep not long ago who thought 100 amp service is probably overkill for someone who will run most of his primary equipment (griddle, charbroiler, oven, burners) on LP gas.  Is that so?  Could I get by on 50 amp?  I'm no electrician for sure.  I get the need for lots of plugs, but that's about it.
     
    It all depends on your electrical load....how many amps combined at start up for all electrical appliances and lights will determine your needs... some are wired for 30, some 50.
    I think mine has a 32A draw... so it's wired for 50A. ... it's all gas appliances but 2 refers, steam table, slicer, hood, lights. It adds up fast.

    I look forward to your responses.  Thank you!
    Steve






    post edited by chefbuba - 2010/12/01 00:20:40
    #2
    sheetserr
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/01 14:59:55 (permalink)
    Chefbuba - I appreciate your response.
     
    If I recall, your sinks are at the opposite end of the trailer, the front end.  I liked your setup.
     
    How many 220 outlets do you have in your trailer?  How often do they get used?  I think some of the more heavy duty items run on 200, like coffee makers.
    #3
    chefbuba
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/01 19:05:21 (permalink)
    I don't have any 220 outlets.... everything is 110v.... but could easily have one run if needed..
    I use a $25 Mr Coffee  and a couple of air pots. Works for me!
     
    #4
    sheetserr
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/01 19:20:53 (permalink)
    Chef - Thanks!  In terms of coffee, I was thinking along those lines.  I'll be in one spot 99% of the time, so there isn't a need for a big bolt-down powerhoss of a coffee machine.
     
    Hey, check it out!  I've been promoted to "Hamburger" status.  This is the best day of my life.
    #5
    lornaschinske
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/01 19:21:20 (permalink)
    My coffeemaker runs off of 110VAC. I brew directly into airpots. Best way to go!
    #6
    sheetserr
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/01 20:48:56 (permalink)
    Well, since we're talking coffee... I like coffee.  No breakfast is complete without it, or at least, no morning is.
     
    Do you offer different kinds every day?  A regular, decaf and(or) a flavored?
     
    Thanks again!
    #7
    Rootsman
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/01 21:04:04 (permalink)
    Three windows give you more light, cross breeze, visibility and serving window options.  If you're stuck in a trailer for hours, especially on a slow day, the more windows the better.
     
    Figure out your maximum electric load at any one time.  Remember, you will not be running everything at the same time.  My load with everything on is around 10KW, but I get by with a 3KW gen.
    #8
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/01 21:22:45 (permalink)
    I have one window. I was thinking of having one put in the read door for visability, but as of right now, the one window kinda sucks, I can't see behind, or the sides of me.
    #9
    sheetserr
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/01 21:43:59 (permalink)
    As far as power goes, I'm trying to determine whether 50 or 100 amp service will be necessary.  I think I'll be able to get by with 50, as the major cookking items will be on gas.
     
    I'm really torn over this window thing.  I like the way the three (back and on each side) looks, but I just think I could use that space for something else.
     
    I just realized I mentioned sinks above, too.  I've got so much going in my head right now.  What's your take on sink placement, folks? 
    #10
    localnet
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/02 06:49:26 (permalink)
    Where is your electric coming from? Generator or shore power?
     
    I run everything with a small Yamaha EF2000is generator I bought on Amazon. It is near silent, 44 lbs and powers everything in my trailer all day, using less than one gallon of gas. My powered equipment list, Beverage Air under counter commercial refrigerator, EdgeStar 84qt freezer, Mr Coffee brewer, Server topping warmer for Cheez Whiz and a Sears Battery Charger that charges a battery under my counter that runs the lights and vent hood fan. I have had everything running at once with no problems.
     
    I don't know what you plan on serving, or if you are going to be running microwaves and sandwich presses, soft serve ice cream machine, etc. That will ultimately determine your power needs. I would go the overkill route if it were me, as you never know and you have a large enough trailer to justify it. Just make sure if you are powering everything with a generator that you set aside enough cash to get a QUIET one. I know some guys just go buy a whole house generator and mount it on the nose of the trailer. They are very quiet for their size and run off of propane. Much quieter than those contractor generators which are way to loud in my book for what we do, and I would not recommend them for that very reason.
     
    Mike
     
    #11
    sheetserr
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/02 08:02:38 (permalink)
    Mike - Thanks for the input.  The battery that runs the lights and vent hood.. is it a 12v?  I believe others are doing this as well.
     
    Most of the generators I've seen in action have been very loud.  We've got a fellow here in town who does Chicago dogs.  His product is great, but his generator sounds like a high-powered mower.  If I do go that route, I'll look at the model you mentioned above.
     
    What do you do with your fridge/freezer contents at night?  Do you take your trailer home and plug it in?  My trailer is going to operate from one location and stay there.
     
     
     
     
    #12
    localnet
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/02 18:58:53 (permalink)
    Yes, the battery is a Sears Marine battery, the expensive one on the Sears website. The charger is one of the less expensive Sears models, probably around $49. The charger plugs into an outlet in the wall and is simply wired into another outlet on the outside of the trailer. I have no service panel in my trailer, just two outlets on the outside that power a total of three outlets inside the trailer, no breakers either, real simple set up. The lights are florescent, two of the small ones, about 14" long and the vent fan is an auto fan like you would find under the hood of your car mounted to my back wall under the hood. It is a pretty simple set up and will run for about 8 hours on the battery alone. 
     
    As far as the Yamaha generator, it is very quiet, cannot even hear it inside of the trailer when it is under load. If you are at my window, you may hear it, but it is rare to even know that it is there. I have people stopping almost daily just to ask about the generator as they are totally blown away by how quiet it is. And what is nice, is that you can buy two of the little EF2000is Yamaha generators and link them together which gives you the ability to run up to 4000 watts of gear. I just change the oil on a monthly basis in mine and she runs like a champ.
     
    The contents of the fridge, they stay in the fridge. I just got home and pulled my two pans and utensils to wash, dragged out the garden hose to fill the hot and cold water tanks, rolled the hose back up, backed the trailer into my heated garage, dropped her and plugged her in. She is nice and toasty for the night and out of the elements. Right now it is in the 20's here, around 55 in the garage, been in the low 20's all day with the wind chill. Still managed to eek out around $18 an hour net, beats working.
     
    Mike
    post edited by localnet - 2010/12/02 19:00:26
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    sheetserr
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 09:17:33 (permalink)
    Thank you for the input.
     
    Mike - I've worked in a corporate office environment for 15+ years.  For health reasons (eye issues), I've had to step away.  Unless I lose my shirt on this career venture, I don't plan on being the least bit sorry for the switch.  Yeah, i won't make a million dollars, but the sheer joy of cooking and being my own boss should, in time, outweigh the positives of the old job.  I'll miss the inexpensive insurance and steady pay, but I plan on making it happen curbside.
    #14
    lornaschinske
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 12:01:19 (permalink)
    sheetserr

    Well, since we're talking coffee... Do you offer A regular, decaf and(or) a flavored?

    We offer regular Folgers Classic Roast. there is a coffehouse less than a block away that sells the fancy coffees so we don't sell much coffee on the street. Cocoa is our hot drink that we are selling. I've quit making coffee for the street. My daughter is currently working at the coffeehouse and making MY RECIPES for their meals! Now I'm leary of giving her any more recipes (she doesn't have them all). Oh well. I've ate their food. They need a bit of help in my opinion.
    http://www.recipe4living....es/free_ecookbooks.htm
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    sheetserr
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 15:00:21 (permalink)
    The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup, or so they say.  I don't think there's any coffee on the street where I'm headed.  I'd venture to say that the businesses in that area serve breakroom dirt water.  I may be in luck!
     
    How does the hot chocolate gig work?  A neighbor told me to serve it.  How do you prepare and store it?
     
    The cookbooks in that link.... I assume one of them is yours?
    #16
    FriedTater
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 16:33:10 (permalink)
    Lorna, I suggest you start giving your daughter your bad tasting recipes. She takes them to coffeehouse, they shut down, you win. Just might help your business!
    lornaschinske

    sheetserr

    Well, since we're talking coffee... Do you offer A regular, decaf and(or) a flavored?

    We offer regular Folgers Classic Roast. there is a coffehouse less than a block away that sells the fancy coffees so we don't sell much coffee on the street. Cocoa is our hot drink that we are selling. I've quit making coffee for the street. My daughter is currently working at the coffeehouse and making MY RECIPES for their meals! Now I'm leary of giving her any more recipes (she doesn't have them all). Oh well. I've ate their food. They need a bit of help in my opinion.
    http://www.recipe4living....es/free_ecookbooks.htm


    #17
    lornaschinske
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 18:19:18 (permalink)
    I'm sorry. That link wasn't supposed to be there. I had posted it to an RV forum.
     
     
    Swiss Miss (2 pkts) in a 12 oz cup of hot water from an airpot served with a warning "Now be careful, that's really hot". The hot water is heated up in the pour over coffeemaker.
    post edited by lornaschinske - 2010/12/03 18:21:39
    #18
    Bobby G's Good Eats
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 18:21:25 (permalink)
    Hello everyone... I would like to introduce myself as I am new to your world... Hi, my name is Robert but you can call me Bobby or Bobby G.
    I have been lurking for some time now, registered today and as most of your responses tend to answer all my questions (and I have/had a ton of them), I would like to extend this gratitude of thanks to those who contribute to this board and in making some of us newbies educated in what I hope will be a fantastic journey into the unknown yet fascinating arena of being a roadfoodie...
    I am a single parent of a 3 year old girl and have been out of work due to the company I worked for folding this year..my passion/hobby has always been to cook for people so now I am going to commit myself to this all the way...I do not want to hijack the thread but I (after going through alot of research and motions), am going to get my trailer next week and would love to hear some thoughts on what you think about the trailer I am interested in before making that commitment... my funds are very limited so keep this in mind...and I am looking to start small in equipment so I hope this is a good find for me and I hope i can insert the pic...Thank you all in advance...Bobby G.
    ok, ok, this is sad..how do I add the picture.....?
     
    #19
    chefbuba
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 18:52:12 (permalink)
    Photo has to be hosted on photobucket or similar....
    copy the url.....click on the little green  (insert/edit image)...add the url and hit insert.... good luck!
    #20
    chefbuba
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 18:59:39 (permalink)
    Dupe post...
    #21
    Bobby G's Good Eats
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 19:55:07 (permalink)
    Thank you Chef...
     



     
    this is going to be my future......also...do you think my 3/4 ton van will have a problem towing this...it was a bargain..it already has electric inside, i just have to add the rest...i want to go lp... serve 3-4 specialty burgers, italian sausage and peppers, southern fried chicken pieces, 3-4 specialty meatball subs and a latin steak sub..not sure about fries yet... and who knows what else or less...so what do ya think...thanks
    #22
    chefbuba
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 20:34:10 (permalink)
    Bobby G.....looks like you have alot of hard work ahead of you!
    Have you been to the city/county to see if and where you can even place a trailer?  Have you been to your health dept yet?  Find out all the requirements needed.... before you spend any $$ on that thing....
    There are several folks here from FL... they might be able to give you some insight on what's allowed.
    #23
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 20:44:25 (permalink)
    i will back Chef up. Don't spend a dime until you talk with your Health Dept. I would hold off, That trailer looks like it need some work to be done on it. I would show pic to the HD to see what they say. Might not be in your best interest to purchase that particular one.
    #24
    Bobby G's Good Eats
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 21:30:50 (permalink)
    Chef and Wild...yes I have been to the health dept... and from what I was told... they seem to be persistant on the sinks...3 plus 1... but what are you guys leaning towards...?...from what I was told by the owner of the trailer it has had work done to it and actually he has a website (maybe you know of it)...all american entertainment... and can't you park the trailer in a storage facility...?...or do you have another suggestion...as I had stated, I have limited funds and the price for the trailer is 1200.00...is that too much for this...?....with me adding another 2000.00 for fixing it up...do you think that would be sufficient...?....I am not above fixing it up and getting dirty......BUT...lol...again, I also saw a 8 x 10 for 1500.00 that I would like to show you as well...what do you think...I'll take all the advice I can get


    #25
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 21:55:27 (permalink)
    I'd spend the $1500 on that trailer vs the other one you showed us. Just looks more professional and cleaner. Take your time, especially if you have limited funds. Just don't want to see a newbie jump the gun and waste their money on something they could have spent it wisely on. There are plenty of trailers out there, just make sure the one you buy is going to work THE BEST for you.
    post edited by THE WILD DOG - 2010/12/03 21:57:09
    #26
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 22:12:42 (permalink)
    Wild... I have been searching far and wide for a trailer... and since I am currently not working, my funds are depleting fast...and I need to have some sort of urgency... so let me ask you this...I can also get a brand new trailer... 6 x6.6...with electric for around 2800.00.... but from what I am told the sinks may run me about another 2500 to add... does that sound right to you...?...
    #27
    chefbuba
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/03 22:27:03 (permalink)
    You need flooring, wall covering, electrical, prpoane tanks and piping, 4 sinks, plumbing, refrigeration, fresh and grey water tanks, pump, counter tops, cooking equipment, ventilation, misc small wares (pots, pans, inserts,spoons, spats, ice chests, etc), then your food stock, paper goods. Pay for health dept plan reviews, and operating permits. Business license, and possiably other local agency permits. Then you will need commercial  insurance on both the trailer and tow vehicle, and you better have $1,000,000 liability insurance for your business..... You might also have to pay for a commissary for your trailer, and a good chance that you will have to pay rent for a space to set up and sell from. There are more thing's, but you get thge idea.
    Not to burst your bubble, but 2 grand aint gonna do it.
    #28
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/04 00:02:22 (permalink)
    The sinks can be built for far less than $2800. More like $200-$300.  Chef is right, there is alot of other things that need to be addressed inside the trailer, the proper ventilation will run you about $3k in itself.  Check out the mobile trailer build on here to get an idea of what is going to be needed before spending any money. believe me I know what you mean by the funds depleting. I built my rig on a shoestring and thought I'd have enough $ to complete it, but went over budget by 3k easily.
     
    http://www.roadfood.com/F...h=mobile+kitchen+build
     
    #29
    sheetserr
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    Re:Wish They Had a Trailer for Dummies Book 2010/12/04 11:57:50 (permalink)
    Bobby G, you stick with me, and we'll iron all this out here and now.  :)  I have a question for the pro's!
     
    Most trailers I've seen have the major cooking equipment on one side.  The rationale behind that is to get all that stuff under the hood system easily, correct?  What keeps the trailer from wobbling?  With mostly counter space on the other side, it seems that a trailer would be tipsy, like me on on a Friday evening.
    #30
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