Hot!Yet Another Food truck build!

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Post
BTM676
Cheeseburger
2011/12/29 20:19:25
 
Ok I have 16ft 1985 P30 Chevy Step van. I've been working on making it a food truck for the past 3 months. There was nothing in the truck structurally besides one beam on either side and no interior wall. The bumper is was 8 inch kidney bumper, which I removed and built a 18 inch wide platform bumper made from 4 inch aluminum channel to hold the 100lb propane tanks. Ive just got done framing the inside of the truck with 2 inch by 1 inch aluminum rectangular tubing. Yes, it was alot of money but I want max strength, small dimensions also keeping it light weight. The beams are spaced 12 inch apart, as well as, welded to the body of the truck. Welding was over kill but I just dont want to have to worry about....ever. I used 2 inch foam insulation between the beams.
I'm going to try to post pre-built pictures and as well as the current build pics. I might need help with that cause I'm new to this site.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2011/12/30 01:26:24
I figured I'd post where I got some of my supplies online. I got both my water tanks 21gal and 30gal from randpcarriages.com. I also got my surface mount DOT LED backup and tail lights from there as well. Everything from the tanks to the lights were very reasonable if not the best price I found. And that company is very well respected and shippments go out the next day. They have tons for stuff. As for the metals, I got them from a local metal supply wholesaler (Nivert). I got Nuts, bolts and rivets and some tools from Homedepot, Harbor freight, and fastenal.
Barbeque barn
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2011/12/30 08:07:58
I don't think welding the beams to the truck was a great idea as the trucks body flex so much when driving down the road it will brake the welds. When they manufacture the van they use a double sided tape and stick the ribs in to allow the body to flex and rivet the top to the roof stringer. The 100 Lb propane tank riding on the aluminum will not be structurally sound if it get to bouncing and road vibration. Use a 1' rubber mat under the tank. Just some thought.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2011/12/30 10:28:25
The rubber mat is a great idea. Thanks. Today we are making the bracket to strap the tank to the truck. That bracket will be made out of steel. The bracket we make will be bolt through the aluminum back wall and fish plated with 1/4 inch steel plate. As for the welding, I only welded the side wall to the beams and the interior wall. I never welded the the beams to the roof.
P.S. Pictures are coming.
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/07 21:20:58
hell !!...lets see some pics !
you need to burn up about 25 more posts to have pic rights..... or you could message myself or a couple others on here and we would be glad to go ahead and get them up for you....
when i started reading your post, i thought i was reading something i wrote, lol...thats the same exact way i plan on building my walls.... and im using 1x2 aluminum channel as well, and 2" pink board, lol.......
and yes...i plan on stitch welding the channel to the walls also, and leaving a 1/2" gap at the bottom, and about a 4" gap at top (i have rounded roof corners on my ol' girl, and plan on using that space for wire runs and plumbing, and then just building a "space filler" to finish the wall off....
 
i am very interested in your build, and cant wait to see what you have done, and are doing !
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/07 21:24:47
and yes, i have to highly recommend randpcarriages.com
they have been nothing but awesome every time i deal with them ! :)
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/07 21:43:12
hahaha you know what backalleyburger I was thinking about just burning up posts on here. I sent DrBBQ my pictures threw email but i guess that message went to spam. Hey you send me your email threw a private message and I'll send you the pictures tonight.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/07 21:44:32
I mean can* you send me your email threw a private message and I'll send you the pictures tonight threw email. I'm burning up posts now.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/07 21:54:42
So what i got done from 12/30/11 till now. I made the bracket for the propane tank. Now just have to paint it. I insulated the whole truck besides the floor and ceiling. I'm almost done with putting up plywood on the walls. The plywood is to support the FRP board. I used 5/32 plywood. It was cheap about $10 a sheet and its pretty tough. I'm using #10x1'' flat head screws to hold the plywood to the beams and countersinked the holes.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/07 22:21:38
On wednesday I'm making a trip into China town in NYC to got look at a 3 bay sink and hand sink. I'm also going to see what equipment they have and at what price. The sink I'm going to look at is 36 long 18.5 inches wide. The bowl depth is 14 inches the sink is 12x12. Its not a drop-in sink. I dont know if drop-in sinks are better or worst. Whats your opinion???
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 01:20:38
ok, got your pics, will start posting them now...good looking truck !
im partial to a drop in, but i have to have a 12" drainboard on each end so its going to take up space no matter what, lol....
heres the first.....

BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 01:21:35



BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 01:22:57



BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 01:24:22



BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 01:25:33
there ya go man....
if for any reason you decide to get rid of the "kurbmaster" emblem on the grill let me know...... those things are like trying to find hens teeth !!
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 01:32:54
i notice your studs look like they go all the way to the lip that supports the ends of the roof rafters......did you angle cut the studs to fit flat...... it looks like we have the exact same truck except mine is SRW and a bit shorter....the same, just different, lol
 
i would love some close ups of where you met the wall studs up to the ceiling, and your welds, i haven't spent too much time figuring mine out yet, but my preliminary thoughts were i would need to leave about a 4" gap
 
did you have any problem with warping or wrinkling of the walls where the welds are ?  
post edited by BackAlleyBurger - 2012/01/08 01:43:38
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 01:35:01
oohh i see, three pics up, angle cuts....sweet..... now i really have to rethink what i was going to do, lol
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 09:39:23
Thanks for posting them for me! I'm going to ask the state about the drain board on the sink. I really really hope i dont need one. lol
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 09:47:37
As for the studs I used 1x2 rectangular tube. I riveted each beam with 4 rivets in place before i welded. I used a contour gauge to find the shape of the rounded ceiling part. Then just cut the shape with the portable bandsaw. BEST TOOL!!! Got it from harbor freight. Jig saw worked too. I'll send you pictures of close ups. As for the electric and plumbing I'm just going to expose it.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 09:55:54
Oh! I was really worried about shrinking and wrinkling the walls when welding BUT.... It nothing happened. Welded fine no burn holes nothing. I say that cause i predrill holes and cut plywood before i welded cause i was waiting for the welder. and every piece fit fine and all the screws matched up. The paint of the truck did burn tho. Nothing a little sanding and bondo won't fix.  
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 16:35:11
i have no paint to worry about !!, lol
first thing that has worked for the better since i started this !
i never even thought about a contour gauge to make those cuts, i think i will go that route, and go all the way to the lip for ceiling.....
 
glad to hear about the welds..... i didnt think it would be too much doing a stitch weld every 12 inches or so.... i have had way too many busy bodies telling me im going to warp the hell out of my walls from the heat, so glad to see/hear some real world experience on that :)
 
my biggest problem is the 100 or so holes in my walls, from where various shelves, etc... were just through bolted over the years.... talk about wanting to smack someone !!  i have an idea for them....what do you think about this??.....
 
clean inside of wall very well, them cut out quarter sized little squares from some of that stainless tape(the really good permanent stuff) and cover the holes from the inside............ then go around from the outside with some 5200 series 3M marine adhesive sealant (5200 is the stuff boaters use when they never want something to come off ever again, lol) (4200 is basically the same, but will let you remove previously caulked stuff)......
anyway...go around and put a little dollop into each of the holes, and use a small plastic spatula to basically spackle the holes...... then a little light sanding, maybe a little dolphin glaze...prime and paint....
 
after extensive research on the matter of filling holes like i have, i have pretty much come to the conclusion that welding is out of question without tons of grinding and a lot of body work, because welding them up WILL warp and wrinkle the walls at each location.....
the stainless tape is really just a "bottom" for the hole, to give the sealant something to work against..... i dunno, thats my next step so i will try a couple of different things and see what seems to work best....
 
now to go find a step bit so i can mount the clearance lights :)
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 17:43:01
i really should find a job doing stuff like this.......lol, i dont know if i am any good at it or just think i am, but i really enjoy doing stuff like this.....

 
not that i didnt think anyone would have a hard time figuring what i was talking about, lol.... i just love making diagrams, so here it is :)
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 17:51:23
i think also mounting the pink board before filling in the holes with the sealant would be a good idea...... just in case the stainless tape isnt as permanent as i think it is, lol
 
body filler would have a tendency to shrink away from the edges of the hole and possibly crack in a case like this.... vibrations from the road, and the truck itself would almost surely cause it to loosen up and show through the paint on outside (think "nail pop" in new sheet rock work)....
the permanent adhesive sealant will actually stay bonded to all edges and areas of the hole, wont shrink, is immune to vibration, and actually gets stronger as it ages..... so on paper anyway, it seems like the perfect material to tackle this aspect of the project with........ unless someone knows different, and if so, please chime in and school me!
post edited by BackAlleyBurger - 2012/01/08 17:58:58
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/08 18:02:13
lol, ooops...... i forgot i was in your thread....
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 00:01:53
I'm not going to lie, I filled my holes with weld, but I also only had about 20 holes. lol It worked out great tho. I filled them in from the inside and then sanded the outside. The small pin holes in the weld i'm going to use fine bondo to make a flush finish. I'll take pictures of the filled holes and when there sanded. I'll send you the pictures tomorrow night.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 00:14:21
Oh I never heard of the 3m 5200. But i bet it would work great! I just dont know anything about it or worked with it to know. I'm not going to lie i do like the diagrams. haha Where did you get the adhesive from?
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 01:35:43
any boating store worth its weight will have a few tubes of it..... and for the "aluminum colored" body caulking, go to a larger roofing/industrial supplier.... that stuff is nice for filling in the gaps between body panels and takes paint great !!
Dr of BBQ
Filet Mignon
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 10:03:51
Great pictures and great threads both of them. Anyone in the future that buys a truck is going to get fantastic advice and pictures. Speaking of pictures how deep / thick is the space between the inner wall and the outside skin, on a standard truck if there is such a thing?

 
I have plywood on my inner walls and was thinking of drilling small holes in the plywood and using the squirt in insulation triple expandable foam to insulate the walls. The plywood is pop riveted to the wall studs and I have two concerns.
Triple Expanding Foam 20oz

 
 
 
Is there a chance the foam will cause a hydraulic action and force movement in the inner/plywood wall or outer wall? I don't want to take the plywood down it was done by a professional customizing company that builds trucks to order, for contractors.
 
Jack
post edited by Dr of BBQ - 2012/01/09 10:10:11
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 10:42:49
I know that my outer wall is 1/8 thick. I would say that standard metal thickness for the truck. The beams in each truck vary. I know my ceiling wall beams are 1 and 1/2 inch. I dont think that the foam will bow the outer wall. What is the thickness of the plywood? Today I'm going to make something up with scrap metal and try it out with the 5/32 plywood (less then a 1/4 inch) I have. I'll drill a hole and use the foam to see what happens. I'll cut it in half and post a picture.
Dr of BBQ
Filet Mignon
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 10:53:42
An experiment would be greatly appreciated, and pictures are always a great addition. I'm not sure how thick my plywood is, and I'm off today but I'll go over and measure it. One thing I do know it's a very good grade plywood (oak) with one finished side. I'll take some pictures and post those this evening also.
Thanks
Jack
mofood
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 13:00:20
Good to see another truck build! I'm following closely :)  As soon as my post count is up, I'll try to contribute more.
Nice work.
Dr of BBQ
Filet Mignon
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 15:24:56
Ok stopped by the Step Van and took some pictures.
General View of Walls in the Step Van

 
Close up View of Rivets

 
View of Back Doors on step Van

 
One of the reasons that I bought this Step Van was the care that was taken by the company that did the customized interior. It's 1/2 inch oak and was originally trimmed out with matching oak trim. I have removed the oak trim so I could put the aluminum ceiling in. But I marked each section and it will go back up after I cover the walls with stainless steel.
And I'd like to use the foam insulation (can type) to insulate between the plywood and outer wall as my next step.
 
Then I'm betting that the oak plywood was glued up first and then the rivets were added. So I'm guessing I can grind the heads on the rivets off flat and apply the stainless then re-rivet  that to the studs. So anyone have any thoughts on that process. Anyone, anyone....LOL
 
Oh and please ignore the wire hanging down in the back door photo it's from the old ceiling lights and the Christmas decoration on the counter top. The step van seems to be a catch all for storing any little thing before it finally gets taken to my garage at home.
post edited by Dr of BBQ - 2012/01/09 15:30:22
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 19:05:03
I built a small box from 1/8 thick piece i had closed it in with the 5/32 plywood i have. I left the box in the truck which is at my uncles so i'll send you the picture of it tomorrow. But i think with 1/2 oak plywood your are good to go! Oak is the best of the best! I know when get your house pumped with spay foam from the exterior walls it doesnt push out the sheet rock.
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 20:16:52
my ceiling joists (are they still called joists or rafters in a truck like this ???)
are 1 1/2"...... but the corner studs(same question ??) are 2x2 "C" channel, so in order to keep everything as square and strait as possible my walls are going to be studded with 1x2 "C" channel.....so yea, the walls are 2" between the outer skin (which is 1/8th") and the inner wall, which will be 1/2" ply covered with FRP, and/or stainless
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 20:59:21
Yes my truck is the same withceiling and corner studs. My wall studs are 1x2 rectangular tube. So for the most part your walls will look like mine. Your pink insulation is going to 2 inch thick right? You wont have to shave it. It will fit in between the studs like a glove.
Dr of BBQ
Filet Mignon
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 21:56:14
BTM676 I built a small box from 1/8 thick piece i had closed it in with the 5/32 plywood i have. I left the box in the truck which is at my uncles so i'll send you the picture of it tomorrow. But i think with 1/2 oak plywood your are good to go! Oak is the best of the best! I know when get your house pumped with spay foam from the exterior walls it doesnt push out the sheet rock.

 
You make a good point about the foam being put in from the outside. How big is your box? Is it big enough to hold a full can? If not were not going to have any idea how much a can will fill at a depth of 2 inches. If your just doing this for me I appreciate it but if your doing it for yourself also may I suggest using two 2 x 2s 4 foot long and plywood screwed on both sides. Then we can  see exactly how much area the can fills. So if your doing this for me only don't worry I'll go by Lowes tomorrow morning and pick up the materials and run a test. I'll let it dry and take it apart (if it'll come apart) and shoot some pictures for the group. But if your box is big enough then you can do it. Let me know which way to go. By the way I have already searched high and low and can't find estimates on how much space a can covers.
Jack
post edited by Dr of BBQ - 2012/01/09 21:58:15
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 22:14:18
hey Dr,
line the inside of the plywood with a sheet of plastic(clear,lol) because that stuff will stick viciously to anything it touches 
 
i think the big thing is going to be spacing the holes far enough apart to get an even fill..... this stuff "skins" fast, and if you have too much of it at once confined, i think it will skin over before the inner stuff has a chance to expand all the way, and thats what will cause a "blow out" as i recall it being called
....... plus, you will need to have a way for any captured air to escape.... im very interested in seeing the outcome of this 
Dr of BBQ
Filet Mignon
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 22:36:05
The plastic is a good idea and you may be correct it may take an experiment or two.
Amat victoria curam ...."Victory loves preparation”
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 23:37:19
My box is about 1 foot by about 6 in. I dont have enough scrap to make a 2x4 foot box. sorry.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/09 23:55:58
Yeah there really is no info about spray can foam! lol
Dr of BBQ
Filet Mignon
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/10 00:57:34
BT,
Don't worry about your box I'll do this. And BAB, I'm having second thoughts about the plastic sheeting. If I use plastic it is slick enough that it won't really represent the way the foam will go into and fill up the space. There is no plastic in between my open space, and It will only help, in the take apart but that's all. I may have to do this a couple of times to really get down to the best way to handle the job. But I'll take pictures and give it a try and let you both know how it goes.
Jack
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/10 10:57:59
I'm about to order my hood system. Has anyone installed a Hood Mart hood? Any special trick or tips they can share about install.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/10 10:59:57
90 percent of all my plywood is up. And the propane tank bracket is made just needs to get painted. Getting the sink tomorrow from NYC and thats it. Pictures are coming!!!
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/12 22:30:28
Just got my LED marker lights and some other stuff from Mill suppy. I mounted my propane tank to the back of the van. It came out pretty good i must say. lol Oh I also got my hand sink and 3 bay sink from chinatown yesterday. The three bay sink is 36 inchs and 19 inches wide. Got it from L and J Import.com
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/12 22:33:34
Also got a 6ft s/s continuous hinge for the awning window.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/12 22:34:50
I'm burning up posts so i can post pictures. lol
BackAlleyBurger
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/12 23:23:47
lol, 5 more man !!...dont stop now !
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/13 09:36:17
Did you get those Pictures i sent to your email?
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/17 21:34:06
I'm just burning my last 4 posts so i can post pictures for you guys. So dont pay any mind until the pictures.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/17 21:35:30
HERE
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/17 21:35:46
ARE THE
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/17 21:36:14
Pictures
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/17 22:07:10
OK may the pictures arent coming. Its not working. I dont get it.
chefbuba
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/17 23:35:50
Your pictures have to be hosted by a site such as photo bucket.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/17 23:48:58
Ah! Ok thank you I'll have to make an account.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/18 00:21:36
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BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/18 00:30:33
I GOT IT! haha Ok as you can see I got the plywood ready for the FRP board. The two sinks are just chillin' for now. I dont know where to put them. I like where they are in the photo but my water tank is the by the window so plumbing is going to be my biggest challenge. I just have to sleep on it.
BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/18 00:36:53

BTM676
Cheeseburger
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/18 00:42:21
The propane tank is mounted with 2in flat bar which we formed to the tank. I need to re-paint the tank cause the paint peeled off. We made T handles for fast and easy tighten up. Also the flat bars are hinged so the tank can be removed.  
Dr of BBQ
Filet Mignon
Re:Yet Another Food truck build! 2012/01/18 00:59:11
BTM676

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Will your waste and fresh water tanks fit under your sink? If so that's where they should go. But I think you need to dry fit all your equipment in order to find the right placement. Don't bolt anything down just put it in and then move it around until it's in the location that will work for the fit and for ease of working while you serve food in the truck later. Keep your access to your cold storage close to your cooking equipment and prep and sinks can go most anywhere. But only you will know where it fits right for your service style and the type of food your serving. Don't get over anxious and just start drilling holes and bolting equipment down. Take your time and set it up (dry fit) and then go through the motions of service several times and keep track of the steps and how handy your supplies are. Does your product walk it's way to the window? Step one 10 feet away, step two 8 feet away, step three is 5 feet away and packaging right at the cash register and out the window? That's got to be your plan.
 
You can wash dishes or pans anywhere. One other thought, your customers are going to be looking into your service window and they will make a judgement call on how clean and orderly your truck looks. So never if you can help it put your sink right across from the service window. At some time you'll end up with dirty pots and pans stacked up on or near your sink. You don't want your customers to see that area if you can help it.
Good job so far looks great.
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