Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile

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BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Thu, 06/21/12 11:58 AM
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Hi all,
 
I've been lurking on these forums for about a year now and have gleaned a TON of valuable insight into constructing these bad-boys. Just now getting around to my build-out; figure I owe it to the site to post updates on our progress.
 
A little overview on the Truck:
 
'98 Chevy P-30 Stepvan, Gasoline engine, 10' Box. The truck currently has a ceiling height of 73" - we are going to raise the whole damn thing 12" because I am a tall dude and I value the integrity of my skull. We plan to install a 1/2 size Gas-fired Combi-oven, 2 Hot-hold cabinets (1 dry, 1 humidity-controlled), single-door reach-in fridge, dual tank slushie/granita machine (switched out with soup warmers for winter), and 2 overhead AC units. Along with all of this will be the required 3-comp and handwash sinks, water heater and pump, wastewater/freshwater tanks, 4' hood w/ exhaust fan, and hopefully a small amount of storage.
Power: We are looking at a 17.5 KW Generac GP generator with 26,250W surge capacity, we also plan to switch out the carburetor on this in order to burn tri-fuel and leave our power options a little more open. Other than that, we will have an under-carriage-mounted, DOT approved propane tank (probably 60lb) and hope to power as much with direct LP as possible.
 
Will update with more as it happens. Will also try to get some pictures linked on here since I know I'm too wet behind the ears to post 'em in here yet.
 
Any advice is much appreciated!
 
Cheers and happy truckin',
Big Chok

RJ's
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Thu, 06/21/12 9:16 PM
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Looking forward to watching your progress. Good luck.

BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Fri, 06/22/12 12:04 PM
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RJ's


Looking forward to watching your progress. Good luck.

 
Hey thanks!
 
OK I have a question that I know has already been answered on RF a thousand different ways and times, but I am having trouble locating a good answer through the search function. In regards to interior walls, we have decided on smooth stainless on walls and ceilings, and diamond plate stainless floors. I have seen that some folks have been using 18 gauge stainless without a plywood backing and securing directly over pinkboard...but I realized that this is putting me at like 800lbs of steel. So I am thinking go the Pinkboard-->5mm Plywood-->Stainless route on walls and ceilings. My question is, how thin a gauge can I get away with using this method?
 
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller...?
 
 

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Fri, 06/22/12 1:36 PM
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I would think your figure on weight is wrong on the high side.
But then again I'm not sure what gauge floor your talking about. I thought all the P 30s came with Aluminum floors? Maybe not. I do know you can use a much thinner gauge if your backing it up with plywood. But then what do the two combined weigh? Pretty weighty question. LOL
Here is a site for gauge and weights
http://www.engineeringtoo...gauge-sheet-d_915.html

mofood
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Fri, 06/22/12 2:12 PM
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24 g should be adequate. Choose a plywood that you can screw into, and will hold a small amount of shear load. It'll come in handy.

BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Fri, 06/22/12 3:53 PM
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Dr of BBQ


I would think your figure on weight is wrong on the high side.
But then again I'm not sure what gauge floor your talking about. I thought all the P 30s came with Aluminum floors? Maybe not. I do know you can use a much thinner gauge if your backing it up with plywood. But then what do the two combined weigh? Pretty weighty question. LOL
Here is a site for gauge and weights


 
Ah thank you...
It's true, I embellished the figure slightly. I was assuming 18g all the way around - even the diamond plate that would go over the aluminum floor you mentioned. We would then be mounting directly over brownboard insulation on sides and ceilings due to its fireproofness. It is probably completely unnecessary to have such a thick sheet over that floor, but I just want to avoid damage as much as possible. Mounting over 5mm plywood with 30g steel saves us about 300 lbs. But is 30g thick enough?

BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Fri, 06/22/12 3:56 PM
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mofood


24 g should be adequate. Choose a plywood that you can screw into, and will hold a small amount of shear load. It'll come in handy.

 
Thanks, I like this. 24 g cuts my weight estimate in half as long as I can use 5mm plywood underneath. Was planning on using PL adhesive to fix the steel to the plywood then weld the seams to avoid screws...bad idea?

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Fri, 06/22/12 4:23 PM
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fireproofness
weld the seams to avoid screws.
 
Wow your going way to far. I'm not saying don't build a safe truck, but I promise you the local rules will be fine and nothing more. I did the same thing when I built my trailer. But you live and learn from my and others mistakes. LOL
 
If you start welding seams you'll need to grind them down then sand and finally polish them to get approval from your local HD.
 
Just use your glue and a small short screw every 24 inches. Use a chalk line so they are lined up and look professional.
 
As for fireproofing stop for a minute and think...what are you going to have in your truck that will burn? And you'll have insurance on the truck and equipment anyway. Your biggest danger of fire is always a deep fryer, or a filthy dirty grease caked exhaust fan and duct. If you let it get that way it's your fault. 
 
I see people on RF that really really over do builds and it just ends up being a money pit. Don't fall into that trap. After your done and open for 6 to 12 weeks then you can add something because then you'll know your trucks short comings, if any.
 
good luck

BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Sun, 06/24/12 7:00 PM
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Dr BBQ,
 
Thanks...I am certainly no fabricator so I appreciate the reining in. I've got a pretty good crew here to help out but they're kinda waiting for my direction.
I'm thinking you're right with the fireproof thing. We're really not gonna have an open flame, it was more for during the welding process, and it looks like we'll be going the plywood behind the stainless route. So you're saying, ixnay on the welding and just use the glue underneath and glue the seams as well (along with the screws every 2')? Hmmm, yes. That would make things easier.
 
Yep, I've got a tendency to over-complicate things...luckily I stumbled on RF so you guys could set me straight!

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Sun, 06/24/12 10:05 PM
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Ok so let me ask a question, why would you put diamond plate  over the aluminum floor?
 
The aluminum floor should be diamond plate. Are you doing it because the old plate looks bad? If so don't do it.
 
Get some good aluminum cleaner, a pressure washer and a buffer, (hand or floor)  if your a clean shiny freak like me. Other wise get some good ( Big Dollars) thick rubber pads for the high traffic area, they will be much easier on your feet at the end of the day.

BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Mon, 06/25/12 9:29 AM
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Dr of BBQ


The aluminum floor should be diamond plate. Are you doing it because the old plate looks bad? If so don't do it.


The existing aluminum floor isn't diamond-plate, it's basically a series of smooth aluminum planks, with a whole bunch of seams. I'd rather have 1-2 seams than 25. Also it's seen better years, and we want this thing blingblingin for the inspector. Def plan to put down some nice rubber pads for our ergonomic pleasure. Isn't stainless easier to clean than Al?

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Mon, 06/25/12 9:44 AM
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Isn't stainless easier to clean than Al?
 
Depends on the quality of both and any coatings on both.
 
You'd need to talk to a local supplier or do some research here and or online to understand.

Bistro a go-go
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Mon, 06/25/12 10:27 AM
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i saw several food trucks at the atlanta food truck park that just had rubber mats over the original alum floor that came in their trucks. they were more than happy with theirs because i was curious and asked about this. the alum tread plate looks fantastic but its all going to get dirty and its all gonna need cleaning so its a matter of preference. Mine is going original aluminum slats.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Mon, 06/25/12 10:59 AM
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Aluminum is not the easiest metal to clean but some sheets come coated with a really strong coating. Locally fabricators use the coated AL for race car interiors. 
 
Lower grade Stainless  is a hard clean also. You can check the grade or quality of SS using a magnet. If it sticks you have a cheaper lower grade and it will require a two step process. That is what I used in my current trailer.
 

 
1st clean it.
2nd reapply oil and polish, to replace what oil the cleaner removed. You can use the purple stuff from Sam's Club to clean it (works well) and then we use Sprayway  SS polish to replace the oil and polish the walls.
I'm using the coated AL sheets for my next build.
 
Here is just one of the threads on this topic on RF .
http://www.roadfood.com/F...p;high=Coated+Aluminum
<message edited by Dr of BBQ on Mon, 06/25/12 11:18 AM>

THE WILD DOG
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Mon, 06/25/12 11:07 AM
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DP can also be hell to clean if you get food mashed in it. I went with a hard plastic lower raised DP pattern, Garage liner, held up now for 2 years, I would like to rip it up and put some tile down in the next two years though. The new truck has fake wood tiles down and it looks kinda homey lol but I am going to cover it with mats when I make some money, cuz that thing took me damn near broke, but I am already thinking of a 3rd build :-)

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Mon, 06/25/12 12:41 PM
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THE WILD DOG


DP can also be hell to clean if you get food mashed in it. I went with a hard plastic lower raised DP pattern, Garage liner, held up now for 2 years, I would like to rip it up and put some tile down in the next two years though. The new truck has fake wood tiles down and it looks kinda homey lol but I am going to cover it with mats when I make some money, cuz that thing took me damn near broke, but I am already thinking of a 3rd build :-)

 
Dog I'm so glad you posted this especially this line,(I would like to rip it up and put some tile down) that proves exactly what I was trying to point out in another thread recently. We all make mistakes in a build and it takes some time for them to become obvious. Sometimes it's our planing that's wrong other times it short money that may cause a poor choice. Been there done that, new builders need to not go overboard and do the best they can, so that after the glitches show up they can fix them. Although it's tough ($$) to close for a week or even a few days to redo something.
thanks
Jack

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Mon, 06/25/12 8:26 PM
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I was busy with other things but wanted to offer this on floors and floor covering.
There is a company that makes the perfect product for trucks and trailers.
http://www.oscodaplastics.com/
 
1/8 " PROTECT-ALL Matte: Light Duty
Commercial foot traffic only.

1/4 " PROTECT-ALL Matte: Heavy Duty
24-hour operations, wheeled traffic, etc.
 
The last time I spoke with them the price was in the area of $150.00 for a 5 by 9 foot sheet, if memory serves me. I have two samples they sent me several years ago and I have beat the heck out of them and they still look like new. If your doing a build or refurb check them out.


Mkinzi94
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Tue, 06/26/12 10:30 AM
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Hey Big Chok:
I know all about the roof height.  I couldn't find the 7' headroom van myself - so I set about raising the roof.
 
My $0.02 worth on the idea.  You mentioned you were going to "raise the whole damn thing".  I spent a lot of time, CAD, and back and forth with some knowledgeable friends on this very thing.  It came to me one night that instead of fiddling with the complex structures at the four corners of the roof, to just cut across NEAR the front and back at the cross bracing and be done.  "All" (haha) you have to do is drill out the rivets and insert a filler strip.  If you have a 10 foot box, you can just purchase a 10 foot aluminum panel and have it sheared - I also recommend that your metal shop put an offset bend along one edge.  I used a 1/8" offset so the outside would overlap the bottom per original (see the picture)
 


BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Tue, 06/26/12 11:47 AM
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So much useful info in these last few posts...
Dr. Jack - I've got samples of the Protect-All Flooring on the way from Oscada. After reading all these post about DP being difficult to clean, I think you've got the right idea. They said they only want a licensed installer putting the sheets in because they have to "vinyl weld" the seams. Apparently they use vinyl rods and heat-seal the seams together. Maybe it's overconfidence, but I think we can handle that part.
 
Mkinzi - Haha, I knew we couldn't be alone here. I can tell your lift was well-thought-out. I'm not 100% sure what you mean by fiddling with the complex structures at the corners. It seems like the series of curved panels around the top edge of the roof are quite structurally sound, so our plan is not to mess with them at all. Instead, we were planning to grind out the 200-odd rivets around the seam at the bottom of the curved panel all the way around the roof. We would then lift the entire roof and tig-weld in the extra foot of aluminum panel in the gap - afterwards adding more structural beams on the walls running floor-to-ceiling (this would give us a stud every 12" for support and convenience later). The offset bend sounds like a great idea for getting those panels to overlap. Did you weld or rivet your wall/ceiling to the filler strip?
 
<message edited by BigChoksHOTBUNS on Tue, 06/26/12 12:17 PM>

Mkinzi94
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Tue, 06/26/12 5:21 PM
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Mkinzi94
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Tue, 06/26/12 5:40 PM
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Hey BigChok:
 
Just saw that you had replied...  What I was talking about was the 1/4" thick alum channel at the back of your standard P-30.  On mine these were 4 bolts that connected the upper curved structural support.  Initially we were going to raise EVERYTHING above the rain gutter, then weld in another piece of channel, etc...etc...  But if we did that we would have to reframe the back doors as well...not to mention the structural pieces at the front being fiddly above the windshield.
 
I'm not looking to do any welding if possible for this part of it.  The filler strips that were added (thanks to a buddy's CAD/CAM plasma cutter) were bolted temporarily until all other fitting and riveting were done.  Even so, we immediately felt the box "tighten up", presumably since there were basically two crosswise braces added.
 
I would love to see a different way - but this worked for me.
 
Here is the only image I found online that gave me inspiration...
 


BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Wed, 06/27/12 11:56 AM
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Mkinzi,
 
Ah, I see what you're talking about now. Yes, that stuff is rigid, and we don't wanna mess with it either. We thought about cutting the original roof at the rear as you did, but I think what we're going to do instead is grind out that line of rivets (shown under the wire-cutters in your pic) and that will be our raise-point. Then we were planning to cove out from there to the rain gutter so that we don't get pooling water over the doors.
 
After getting a fabricator into our truck yesterday, we were advised NOT to tig-weld the seams at the top and bottom of the filler panel, but rather to use 100% silicone caulk and then rivet, using the original rivet holes if possible. He said welding could cause the 1/8" aluminum to warp... He thought your offset edge idea was genius, so that's the plan as of now.
 
Your inspiration pic is damn near what we originally planned to do. Then we decided we're mounting our 17.5kW generator under the passenger "dunce" seat, elevating that bad-boy to 4 ft in the air, hence the necessity for raising the whole roof to keep the passenger out of the fetal position.
 
-Big Chok
 

Mkinzi94
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Wed, 06/27/12 5:20 PM
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Big Chok,
 
BTW - if you are going to raise the cab, be advised there is a STEEL crossbeam right over the front of the sliding door pocket.  There may be another one between that and the front of the cab.  I reckoned it was for more rigidity/strength/safety in the cab area....so proceed with caution.

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Wed, 06/27/12 8:21 PM
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You were talking about wall covering take a look at this thread
http://www.roadfood.com/F...-WPICS-m639015-p8.aspx
the 2b finish is 118 for a 4x8 sheet, 24g
the #3 finish is 127 for a 4x8 sheet, 24g
the #8 finish is 198 for a 4x8 sheet, 22g
and the quilted is 223 for a 4x8 sheet, 24g
 
That entire thread is worth a read.
 
But what I was looking for was a half dozen post that were on raising the roof on a step van. I thought they got posted in Wild Dogs thread or reese77's post, and maybe Back alley burgers thread, but I finally found them here:
http://www.roadfood.com/F...64&high=roof+vents
 
jack
<message edited by Dr of BBQ on Thu, 06/28/12 9:01 AM>

BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Mon, 07/2/12 1:23 PM
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Thanks Jack. I do remember checking out that thread a few months back, definitely some valuable info there. Unfortunately we won't be able to do that aisle-only raise due to the height of our fridge and hot holding units, but we have a pretty good plan for the entire thing. Our plan is pretty similar to Mkinzi's and we've got our metal shop fabricating the pieces now.
 
For wall-covering we have decided on 22g 304 stainless with a 4b finish. We will be tacking that up over the pinkboard and luan plywood subwall.
 
A note on the Protect-All flooring: We got samples of the dark gray (one matte, and one glossy) and ran some simple tests on them. We threw some mustard, BBQ sauce, and some Indian tikka chutney on each and let them dry in the sun for a day, then tried to clean them off. Oddly enough, everything except for the BBQ sauce came off of the matte finish with dish soap and a sponge; everything other than the tikka chutney came off of the gloss finish with the same treatment. We have since used a pressure washer, vinegar, bug & tar remover, goo gone, simple green...nothing will get these stains out. Goo Gone got the BBQ out of the matte, but only after it started eating away at the vinyl. Given these results, we're leaning towards putting down a smooth stainless floor and using non-slip rubber mats for ease of daily-cleaning.
 
-BC

Dr of BBQ
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Mon, 07/2/12 2:09 PM
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That is a very sever test, I have two pieces in my trailer and they get daily use and look like new. But I have never baked any food sauce or anything else into them. And if your BBQ sauce ate into the vinyl I'm not eating your ribs. LOL
good luck
jack 

BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Tue, 09/4/12 9:59 AM
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Fellow food-truckers, 
 
It's been a while now since my last post, been hard at work and almost forgot about keeping RF updated!
 
So far, we've completed our roof-raise, got our generator converted to burn tri-fuel (and confirmed that it will run on propane), and have gotten all of our equipment delivered.
 
Next steps will be: installing generator w/ sound deadening shroud (where the passenger seat used to be), installing 100lb under-chassis propane tank, installing grey water tank, running electric conduit and lines, and building our bulkhead wall.
 
We have pictures and hope to be able to post them soon, I just need to get my post #'s up!

BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Tue, 09/4/12 12:39 PM
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Tried to post a link of our Flickr feed so that our roof raise pictures would show up...no dice, the SPAM filters foiled my plans. Can I send this link to someone and have them post it?
 
Thanks,
BC
<message edited by BigChoksHOTBUNS on Tue, 09/4/12 12:43 PM>

BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Tue, 09/4/12 2:24 PM
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Let's try this: flickr.com/photos/65379321@N03/sets/72157631405563064/

marco226
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Tue, 09/4/12 3:03 PM
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jack,
the unit that is holding your spices looks like you have a pastry bush hanging from it.
did you make that or buy it. it looks like a speed rail. i want one where did you get it.
buy the way nice pick. that's why they call you the doctor.
Marco
 
Dr of BBQ


Aluminum is not the easiest metal to clean but some sheets come coated with a really strong coating. Locally fabricators use the coated AL for race car interiors. 

Lower grade Stainless  is a hard clean also. You can check the grade or quality of SS using a magnet. If it sticks you have a cheaper lower grade and it will require a two step process. That is what I used in my current trailer.


 
1st clean it.
2nd reapply oil and polish, to replace what oil the cleaner removed. You can use the purple stuff from Sam's Club to clean it (works well) and then we use Sprayway  SS polish to replace the oil and polish the walls.
I'm using the coated AL sheets for my next build.

Here is just one of the threads on this topic on RF .
http://www.roadfood.com/F...p;high=Coated+Aluminum



Dr of BBQ
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Tue, 09/4/12 5:12 PM
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Marco,
It is a speed rail, same as bars use. I bought them on Ebay and they are both used. But they are SS so they never get hurt  and they are great for what ever. When a restaurant closes or bar goes out of business they sell at auction for $10 or 15.00 each.
There is a short one now on Ebay at a good price.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i...eed+rail&_osacat=0

BigChoksHOTBUNS
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Re:Another P-30 Stepvan Build-Out...the future HOT BUN-mobile - Sat, 11/17/12 1:28 PM
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Haven't posted in a while, so thought I would give a quick update:
 
We have recently installed a 50gal HDPE grey water tank under the truck, cut out our service window (framed with 1.75" sq AL tubing welded to the wall), and welded all framing (1.5" sq AL tubing) for our exhaust fan and AC units into the roof. 
 
Up next: Running propane lines from our under-carriage-mounted tank. Cutting out the last of our openings in the exterior of the truck. We will be painting the roof and 14" insert with "Kool Seal" RV Rubber Roof Primer and Top-Coat to prevent any future leaks (I was warned by the manufacturer not to let water pool for any longer than 36 hours or it will soften the coating). ...and more, will try to update more frequently. I need to have pic-posting permissions soon :)
 
-BC