Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off

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Nano81
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2014/01/14 22:43:47 (permalink)

Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off

Dear community,
 
First of all,  a big Respect to all of the road fighters out there who share their time & knowledge over here with the rest of us - I greatly appreciate your efforts and learned a lot from you all - thank you.
 
to my question....
I am in the process of opening a vegetarian concession trailer in Goleta/Santa Barbara area. my entire cooking & refrigeration equipment costs 11K if I go with the first prices that come up on google.
my 8K diesel generator costs around 10K.
the trailer I need is 16 x 8.5 x 8 
8 ft serving window
7 ft hood
 
I have reached out to all the builders in CA -> cheapest I got 65k and all the way to 94K
 
please help me :( 
I feel I am being ripped off my dream because I dont know how to build it myself.
 
did anyone build his trailer himself/herself ? how did you go about it
does it make sense that I am being charged 45K or more for the trailer and installations ?
 
I would greatly appreciate any bit of info on this and promise to be a valued active member of this community once I am passed this obstacle and am up & running 
 
Many thanks to you all
 
Nano
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
#1

11 Replies Related Threads

    fishscale28
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    Re:Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off 2014/01/14 23:41:24 (permalink)
    That's a lot.  Even the generator can be had at half the price.  I bought a 10kw diesel (from California) and hot a deal on it for right around $5k.  It's not the neat little compact deal that Cummins has but, when installed correctly, is every bit as good and has longer life and longer maintenance intervals.  I would shop around, look used, look online for whats up for sale, look at several different builders (around the country) and be ready to wheel and deal.  If you have cash-they'll work with you.  I built my truck for a FRACTION of what a comparable truck would cost from a builder.  And its laid out exactly as I would like.  Certainly not perfect but it works.
     
    You should be able to get into something for $25k...just do lots of reading and searching.  You'll get hosed on buying a newly built.  Good thing about this industry is the horrible reality of failure...you can find a barely used truck/trailer for way, way less than another person bought it for and have lots of left over cash for operating and marketing
    #2
    chefbuba
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    Re:Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off 2014/01/14 23:50:36 (permalink)
    Did you try these guys? They built a trailer for me four years ago, did a very nice job. Built from the ground up, not a kitchen stuffed into a cargo trailer. I get lots of compliments on it. Mid 40's in '09
    #3
    Nano81
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    Re:Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off 2014/01/15 00:48:06 (permalink)
    Thanks for trying to help guys 
     
    Chefbuba -> i did reach out to them and they were on the lower end of the spectrum but still ....
     
    fishscale -> I am planning to stand in the middle of busy parking lot so I am forced to pay the extra$ for the quiet Generators -> btw - > how do you find working with Diesel gen? where is the tank installed and where is the gen installed ? does it makes you kitchen smell ?
     
    let me try and sharpen my thread into 2 questions
     
    1-> have you heard of anyone who had the floor plans done professionally and then had a general contractor just follow the plans and build it himself/herself ?  
    2 -> the thing with buying a used is that since I need the layout to be in a very specific way , (i.e 8 ft service window ) the builders made me believe that I will need to pay a lot of money to "rearrange" all the infrastructures to support the floor plan I need so it is not going  to be worth it.
     
    my gut feeling tells me I can get it for much cheaper
    again 10K$ gen ok
    11k$ equipment ok
    but how in the world a trailer, wiring everything & the outside wrap get to be 40k and above ? are there any builders out there who can help me with guidance? if I were to bring electrician, plumber, gas guy myself can that work ?
     
    the builder I asked to just draw the plans for me told me that from his experience he "is willing to bet me anything that I will end up paying more that route for a crappier product" (referring to getting the plan from him & potentially have a general contractor build them)
     
    sorry it ended up being a lot but I am stuck in this rut for 2 months already :(
     
    help 
     
    thank you all !
     
    #4
    kingofcreams
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    Re:Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off 2014/01/15 07:57:57 (permalink)
    I'll throw in my 2 cents since I did build my trailer from a simple cargo trailer. You can view the thread here. http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=690366
     
    Since you are not capable of building out yourself and since it's too expensive to have one built(which I agree highly with you on) you should buy something like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Enclosed-Trailer-Concession-Trailer-85x16-Cargo-concession-HAULMARK-WACO-TEXAS-/321094497112?_trksid=p2054897.l4275
    It already has your basics done. You can surely work around the layout even it's not perfect or you could contact the seller and ask if they can install a larger window etc. if it's absolutly something you must have. There comes a point where you have to be willing to make a few sacrifices in order to pursue your dreams. Believe me, I would have loved to have a professionally built trailer built to my specs but it just wasn't in the cards. My trailer is very functional and I like it alot. I was able to build it for my exact purposes.
     Do you plan on building the generator into the trailer in a separate room? You'll want an bigger trailer if so. If not where will it be mounted? Where will your propane tanks be? Personally, I would buy a propane generator and get a couple of 100 pound tanks to feed your equipment and your generator.
     
    As far as a general contractor goes, they too are expensive and add costs to your project where you don't need them to be. If you buy a trailer like what I gave you the link to then you can ask for add ons and sub-contract out the hood install and the gas line/ regulator install etc etc. From experience, a sheet metal shop/hvac guy contractor is gonna want like $2-$4K just to install your hood. Things add up  quickly. Maybe should pin point a pre done basic trailer like the one above then print some photos and bring to an electrician and ask what he'd charge to tie in your hood. Bring to an hvac guy and ask him how much to install the hood. Ask each trades person in that relative trade what their cost would be to do this and that. keep itemized lists and see where it gets you. In Minnesota a trailer isnt subject to any of the codes a building would be subject to other than health department and electrical so if Cali is the same you can be flexible i guess.
     
    On the wrap you want to have done. You should have a concept in place and be ready to provide alot of direction to the designer otherwise the design itself will cost you thousands. My wife and I brainstormed heavily when we got our wraps done and provided major direction to the designer and I mean MAJOR. We actually sketched the wrap of our truck after the designer came up with the concept for our trailer and the design portion still costed us around $1500 if I remember right. The install was like $2500 on the trailer so that wasn't too bad. But...we got like 6 bids on the install and then choosed between them all. Plus we traveled 150 miles away to get them done. To save money you gotta ask ask ask and ask again.
    post edited by kingofcreams - 2014/01/15 08:11:21
    #5
    fishscale28
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    Re:Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off 2014/01/15 11:13:04 (permalink)
    KingofCreams has some great advice.  And really don't limit yourself to searching locally.  You might be able to find a really good deal in Miami (for example) and still be way under budget with shipping, etc.
     
    As for my generator it's super quiet and if you build it into the trailer and properly enclose it with great ventilation you'd be perfectly quiet.  No smells inside at all.  Burns super clean and is retarded efficient.  Sips fuel, 500 hours maintenance intervals, 18k-20k life expectancy, etc.  You can get a great generator for much less than you're looking to spend.  Propane is great, clean and quiet too but they also use a lot of propane.  Way more than a diesel and even more than gasoline.  If you want to streamline and go superquiet and don't need much power look into the Honda inverter generators.  All these things can be put into a well made enclosure towards the front of your trailer just be sure you mind the ventilation and put a proper fan.
     
    KingofCreams is right about having any general contractor do anything as well...as soon as you have those guys come through your budget job goes through the roof.  You might have luck checking Craigslsit for anyone contractor down on their look or someone looking for some cash sidework.
     
    If you found a built out trailer and wanted to add a larger window you could do that with no problem...there would have to be a little bit of work done to make it happen but it wouldn't be anything crazy at all.  Follow up with those people through the ebay listing and see what they would be willing to work with you on.  Between that, some used equipment, a good generator (not your $10k one) and a wrap you'll be under $30k easy
    #6
    fishscale28
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    Re:Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off 2014/01/15 11:19:59 (permalink)
    #7
    RichardFla
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    Re:Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off 2014/01/19 11:10:52 (permalink)
    fishscale28

    That's a lot.  Even the generator can be had at half the price.  I bought a 10kw diesel (from California) and hot a deal on it for right around $5k.  It's not the neat little compact deal that Cummins has but, when installed correctly, is every bit as good and has longer life and longer maintenance intervals.  I would shop around, look used, look online for whats up for sale, look at several different builders (around the country) and be ready to wheel and deal.  If you have cash-they'll work with you.  I built my truck for a FRACTION of what a comparable truck would cost from a builder.  And its laid out exactly as I would like.  Certainly not perfect but it works.

    You should be able to get into something for $25k...just do lots of reading and searching.  You'll get hosed on buying a newly built.  Good thing about this industry is the horrible reality of failure...you can find a barely used truck/trailer for way, way less than another person bought it for and have lots of left over cash for operating and marketing

     
     
    I agree,as a builder,I get around $18,000 for a full build on a 24' truck including equipment all SS,a used Vulcan or Imperial stove is just as good as new at 1/3 the price,I have sold all brand new outfitted 18' trailers for $30,000. I guess I am in the wrong state to be building.
     
    It does go without saying one can build for themselves cheaper ,I would think it is way more costly to be in business in Cali and would reflect on the finale cost factor.
     
    A True brand cooler used with a new compressor is 1/2 the price of new as long as it has a nice cabinet it will give years of service.
     
    When I undercarriage mount generators I use automotive style mufflers so the only noise one hears is the mechanical aspect,using synthetic oil helps a bit also.Onan and Generac use belt driven generators on some RV models and are much quieter running at 1800 rpms,30 to 50 amps verses most at 3600 rpms ,gas or propane.
    #8
    cue
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    Re:Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off 2014/01/19 22:54:47 (permalink)
    I paid a company in Houston to build mine.  I bought a 18' Fed Ex truck and drove it down to them (I live in Oklahoma).  I have $40,000 invested in mine.  If you have someone build it for you,  make sure that there is a stated time that it is supposed to be done.  And any longer than that then you deduct money per day, week or however.  Mine was 6 months past due.  Thats a lot of money in sales, not to mention the only reason I had them build it was so I could be in operation sooner than if I built it myself.  I have the ability, it just would have taken me until about now to have built it myself.  So I basically wasted my money in paying them to build it.
    #9
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off 2014/01/23 14:40:11 (permalink)
    10k for a generator.. not sure why you need an 8k gen for what you are doing.
     
    16ft trailer can run up to 10k
    7ft hood maybe 2k plus bell exhaust another 1k
    electrical hook up  1500-2500
    plumbing  1k
     
    that's 16k plus 11k for the equipment,  so if you want to save money, i advise a DIY build
     
    #10
    daddywoofdawg
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    Re:Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off 2014/01/23 17:14:50 (permalink)
    That is wayyyyy to much.you can buy a schantzmfg.com state fair type trailer for those prices,or something like this http://www.festivals-and-...-denver-colorado.html.
    I also Have one with a 8'window for 8k. 16x8x7
    But whatever you do get the floorplan or a basic one and submit it to your local hd they can say well you have to have this or two of those.
    Also if you buy new demand pressure treated plywood floors and bedliner coating on the underside of the floor.why because I have been in business since 1990 and every trailer I have bought doesn't have pressure treated ply and everyone has had soft spots in the rear of the trailer due to spray soaking the underside and rotting the floors.If you don't you'll need to replace them in about 5-6 years.
    Spending 40-90k for a trailer you have to know you will never be able to get anywhere close to your investment back when you sell.If this is your first time and a new concept go used;live with it for a couple seasons and learn what you need and can live without and where the best place to have things for your operations.If you have a room or garage,get some appicance boxes,painters tape,and layout your floor plan use the boxes as your equitment and tape the outlines like a floor plan,go though the way you would do orders,and clean up and wash dishes,etc. You may find the layout you think you want isn't the best to work in.after you get what you want then just get some graph paper and draw it out.it doesn't need to be "art"Just good enough so someone can understand what you want.all your doing is putting stuff in,and getting power/water to it.but again after you draw it up let the HD look at it.things like 3 bay sink are required almost everywhere,and if you plan to sell it down the road the buyer will want it.there is no such thing and to much storage space,paper goods come in big boxes have a spot for them,etc.
    JM2C 
    #11
    thatsawrap
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    Re:Please help !!! :( Building a concession trailer in CA and feel I am being ripped off 2014/01/30 23:51:24 (permalink)
    Finding someone to build my truck was the most painful of the entire experience.. Roughly 3 months later, it still is. Also that generator price is very high. I have a 12.5 Onan quiet diesel and paid JUST under 10 grand for it brand new. Did you get a breakdown of the estimate? See how they are charging you for each item then, if you can find cheaper order it yourself and ship directly to the builder (if they would be ok with it) I did that with mine.
    post edited by thatsawrap - 2014/01/30 23:55:00
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