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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Old 04-08-2012, 05:23 AM   #1
MattG
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Join Date: 06-29-09
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Default Vending Event Trailers

To all of you who vend fairs and other events I have a question. What size trailer do you use? I am looking at a 2010 Horton Hauler that's 20x7.5. I like it because of the back porch is about 7x7.5. It already has the 3 sinks and the hand washing station, hot/cold water, serving window, A/C. And it would be great for comps. And the guy is only asking $12000 for it. But is it too big. I like the idea of having everything in one unit. But again is it too big. Is it worth paying for the extra space at Events because it's so big. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:29 AM   #2
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Sorry its an 8.5x 20 trailer
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:30 AM   #3
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I have a 7x16 and I place my smoker behind it when doing festivals or road side concessions. The trailer you speak of is basically a 7x13 to work out of and that is a little tight to work out of I think but the can work great for a starter unit. I do have problems sometimes getting in to locations especially if vendors beside me have already set up, I don't know if it would be worse with a trailet that is a little longer or not. The good thing about have the smoker on the trailer is you can travel farther and all in one trip as I have to make two trips (one with trailer and one with cooker). You will most likely have to pay additional vendor spot fees as your total trailer length to the end of the tongue is probably 24ft. So keep in mind the size of the vendor spot they are giving you for the price and inquire if additional costs would be if larger. How about water storage, electricity, water heaters etc.?

All in all 12k sounds like a good deal and I would go for it. Heck if I found that around here at that price I would probably add a second unit to my business. Go for it!
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:28 AM   #4
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Matt,
Since you are in GA, it should work fine for most events here in the SE Tr-State area.
Most (but not all) events have moved to larger spots to accomodate the huge number of teams with trailers.
There may be a few smaller events that would be tight, but not many in my experience.

If you decide to pass on it, let me know---OK?

TIM
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:52 AM   #5
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I have a 8.5 by 20 and the only thing I wish I would have done was got a detachable tounge. If its for just comps it maybe a tad big but then again depending in the layout you might be able to put 3 people in the trailer.

I don't know how used or what he has for equipment there but sounds on par or a little high in comparison to have I have invested into my trailer
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:30 PM   #6
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I have been a mobile food vendor for a very long time. With a trailer that is 20ft long you would need like a 30ft space to set up in to vend. If you plan on doing fairs and such you will get eaten up by the extra feet charge... Most larger events sell 10x10 spaces and then $x per foot more you need... Just something to think about...
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:02 PM   #7
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I don't think he is talking about comps
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kapn View Post
Matt,
Since you are in GA, it should work fine for most events here in the SE Tr-State area.
Most (but not all) events have moved to larger spots to accomodate the huge number of teams with trailers.
There may be a few smaller events that would be tight, but not many in my experience.

If you decide to pass on it, let me know---OK?

TIM

Will do.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:11 PM   #9
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I'm not so worried about the comps. It's the festivals and Fairs that I'm most concerned about. I figured a 10x30 space is what I'm going to need for any Fair, Festival, or Comp.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightning View Post
I have a 8.5 by 20 and the only thing I wish I would have done was got a detachable tounge. If its for just comps it maybe a tad big but then again depending in the layout you might be able to put 3 people in the trailer.

I don't know how used or what he has for equipment there but sounds on par or a little high in comparison to have I have invested into my trailer

It has no equipment in it other than the 3 bay sink, hand wash sink, all of the water waste hook ups, 1 set of cabinets, A/C, 2 inside lights, 1 outside porch light.
Spoke with our Health Dept on getting permitted to vend roadside. I was told the state of Georgia does not want you to have a trailer on side of the road vending. (HD employee is a good friend of mine) She gave me all of the things required by the state to operate legal and I said "Shot it would be better to open a restaurant." She replied "That's Right!!!" So I thought I could try vending Fair and Festivals to recoup some of my cost.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:16 AM   #11
Lightning
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Well Matt, I paid $9k for may bare trailer, it had all the hook ups and 40g water tank and 50g holding tank. It also has 50a service with the same lighting. Trailer was built in your part of the woods by Cargo South.

Now my question is, do you feel that there is $3k worth of equipment and flooring in the trailer?? Also are the sinks big enough???

The second thing you need to think about is what you are going to put on the porch as a smoker. You should be about 6x8 of space. Once you figure that out it will determine how much product you can produce. So would you be able to run at a big event and be able to keep up with the demand? The amount of your producible product may dictate the size of events you can or can't vend at.

What I am finding out there bigger the event the higher the cost to get setup at. Smaller events like swap meets, car shows, small county fairs seem to be less of a hassle space and cost wise. I knew some people this past bike week that were vending and with all the long hours of work the barely made any profit due to location cost (so they said).

Also the last consideration to take in account is what are you going to pull the trailer with? Will it be able to pull it with decent fuel efficiency? Is it big enough to get the job done with out over taxing the drive train?? Transmission repairs can be quite expensive!! You also have to take in account fuel cost for both directions as overhead. GA is a huge state!!

If you start thinking about doing big multi day events. What are you going to do about lodging for yourself and staff and cold storage for that much product for entrees and sides?? It would have to be real close to where you live without owning a RV and a freezer truck.

I would say take a real close look at what your buying and compare it to what you could buy from the manufacturer or dealer or even other used deals. Then look at what you think it will cost to finish doing the build out. Make sure you can pull something of that size without destroying the vehicle in the long term or eating up too much fuel. Then do some major research on various events locally and see what it will cost for vending vs what the projected turn outs will be. I'm finding a ton of small stuff that I could vend at and not pay a dime to setup at and park my 20' trailer at just because they find it a valued asset to have a food vendor there. Basically you just have do a major cost analysis and research what events fits your bill to see if all the pieces fit together.

Best advice I can give is start as small cost wise as you can go with out sacrificing quality equipment and grow from there. Seriously not trying to scare you off but hopfully bringing up some points to think about when investing alot of money that you want to see a return on. The economy isn't that great still so making the wisest decision possible is not the easiest one without looking at everything from every angle first.

Aaron
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattG View Post
Spoke with our Health Dept on getting permitted to vend roadside. I was told the state of Georgia does not want you to have a trailer on side of the road vending.
Matt - It can be done with a little work. We have vended for 2 years on the side of the road. Here in Cobb Co. the biggest hurdle was finding the commissary to work out of.

I am currently selling my 8x16 trailer (it's posted here in the for sale section) because we are looking at converting a toy hauler into a vending trailer. PM me your number and I'll tell you about my experiences with the HD!

Dave
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:46 PM   #13
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I use a 8.5 by 25..yes i have to pay for the extyra space when vending some events not all..but I just could not work out of a smaller one..my porch is 8 ft..make sure you have heavy duty axles on what ever trailer you buy
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