View Full Version : converting trailer for vending.

12-22-2010, 02:28 PM
I've recently gotten my feet wet in the vending and catering side of things and even though my first recent event was a failure in terms of turnout, the experience was enjoyable and has left me wanting more. (I was told to expect 5000, I cooked for 500, and maybe 50 people showed up, of which only 10 bought food.) The event did gain me contacts, experience, and future business, so I at least managed to turn the bowl of lemons into lemonade.
To that end - I have recently been given an old 26 foot travel trailer and tow vehicle to use for vending purposes. It was free so I couldn't say no. The trailer needs to be gutted and modified for use, but my question comes from thinking about cold storage.
There is enough room in the front of this monster to build a custom 5' deep x 6' wide x 6' high walk-in cooler. Has anyone ever attempted an idea such as this, and if so, can you share your experience on such a project?

The overall idea is to build the trailer out so that it has the electric-run cold storage up front, vending/work space in the middle, and an in-wall propane rotissere smoker in the rear (Think southern pride style). If codes prohibit the smoker being built in this way, then an alternate idea would be to have the smoker accessible from outside. The location of the smoker and cold storage could also be switched as well since I'm still in the drafting stages.
It may seem like a huge undertaking but after breaking the project down into seperate stages, it's completely do-able, albeit it will take the better part of the upcoming year to complete the entire thing.
I'm open to ideas and comments if you have them.

12-22-2010, 03:44 PM
Are you that handy?
Your talking about a big job

12-22-2010, 03:48 PM
Meet...... Me

The Funkotorium

Phase I - http://www.youtube.com/user/PopdaddysBBQ#p/u/61/7bh6Kfm4Wxc
Phase II - http://www.youtube.com/user/PopdaddysBBQ#p/u/60/mvlENCvEjIg
Phase III- http://www.youtube.com/user/PopdaddysBBQ#p/u/46/C9uDtpEm6D0
Phase IV- http://www.youtube.com/user/PopdaddysBBQ#p/u/63/SaE9tELJmM0
Phase V - http://www.youtube.com/user/PopdaddysBBQ#p/u/55/wx61VGYV_j4
Phase VI- http://www.youtube.com/user/PopdaddysBBQ#p/u/45/rAgDz-3LXoc
Phase VII- http://www.youtube.com/user/PopdaddysBBQ#p/u/44/olIJoZq1sVY
Phase VIII- http://www.youtube.com/user/PopdaddysBBQ#p/u/47/JCn-ttZ4CqY

Associated Broadcasts From the Funkotorium

Brisket http://www.youtube.com/user/PopdaddysBBQ#p/u/41/_ETt0-WT2Zs
Ribs http://www.youtube.com/user/PopdaddysBBQ#p/u/41/_ETt0-WT2Zs
Turkey http://www.youtube.com/user/PopdaddysBBQ#p/u/39/JK_pEDi7G2k

The End of the Funkotorium


The story of the Funkotorium

I had reached a point in catering where my possibility of going full time hung in the balance. I had at one point access to a gas station that had a kitchen in it with all sort of deli equipment and was doing well out of it merely selling smoked meats to local delis. Then the owner died and the daughter kicked me out but never did anything with it. I also had relationships with a wedding caterer who hated cooking while I hated baking all the details. At home as the biz grew (34K net PART time by 2008) my house began to smell like bbq and the wife was pissed at all the gear.

I bought a rotted out leaky 31 foot trailer for 500 and planned to put both the Meat Mama 3000 you see in the vid OR my pig smoker I was gonna make o be wincn it. They could be winched on or off for whatever event I needed.

The smoking platfomr was as you see on front, kitchen in the middle and the rear... was already wired for digital sat, wireless internet and a dj booth if needed. I was ready to paint it and had already done maybe 12 events when I lost my job as an internet marketing manager for a car dealership. Soon after Ike happend and we moved to Texas leaving it behind.

I loved it... the wife loved it. I was out of her hair... the smells and mess were not in the house and I got to Hone the Tri Level Rub.... something I had worked on for 12 years.

I miss it terribly.

12-22-2010, 03:58 PM
Are you that handy?
Your talking about a big job

Actually the conversion and associated fabrication is fairly easy and quite fun for me, so to answer that question... yes. :)

12-22-2010, 04:35 PM
Me too... the birth of two sons and a frightfully short season (winter) and either short of money... or having plenty of money cuz I was working overtime thus having limited time made this a longer project than it needed to be.

There are about three -five things I will differently next time... and there Will be a next time

12-22-2010, 05:16 PM
NSF sticker is required in most places for refrigeration. I'd check the local HD first.

Also find out rules on walls, ceilings, floors, drains, water tanks, sinks, other equipment. If the smoker is accessible from the inside there's a good chance you need a hood. And that's just touching the surface of the regulations you will probably face.

And in Florida you will need a commissary.

12-22-2010, 06:22 PM
I didn't think about the NSF about the walk in - will have to do just that and check with the HD. Thanks.
The walls and ceilings will be smooth non-porous white fiberglass panels, 4 sinks, 15% larger wastewater tank than potable water tank. I've got the initial 'nod' from the HD about those items, so they are on the list of the plans to send in for approval.

I was thinking about the smoker being inside... most likely I'll change the design to be external for a few reasons, one of which is the excess smoke infiltration to the inside of the trailer.

Oh, and I've got the commissary sorted. Renting the kitchen from a local lodge since churches are apparently no longer covered under the HD. :)

Great ideas... please - keep 'em coming.

12-23-2010, 11:25 AM
I would call James @ Extreme BBQ Trailers he's a Brethren and builds Amazing stuff.