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Old 08-02-2011, 11:23 AM   #1
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really excited outfitting Airstream as Food Vendor unit

I'm leading a team in the DC area to outfit a suitable unit as a food vendor. Were really excited and eager to move forward. Part of our plan is to solicit ideas from this community as to how best approach our project. Please give us your ideas on what your vision or best suggestions to layout, design, and operate an Airstream for this use. No holds barred. We are committed to doing this right and smart. Thanks!
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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Is this going to be a commercial venture? If so, shouldn't you be hiring a local designer to help you reach your goals? You're sort of asking for the members here to provide you with a free service that you will ultimately profit from. Also, there are issues that we can't possibly know that would impact how the trailer would need to be set up, most importantly your local health codes. Your health department would have a checklist of requirements that they will require be met - whether the food service is mobile or stationary. What of your municipal bylaws that would also have some requirements for such an enterprise? Assuming that they permit such a use. There's a ton of stuff to be researched and considered before you can even begin discussing design. A local designer who is knowledgeable about local requirements would be able to help you through the whole process much more efficiently and accurately than any group here could do. There would be a cost to these services, but also value added in the knowledge. So for the cynical post, but as an Architect, this is an issue that is close to my heart.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:51 AM   #3
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There are a lot of Airstreams converted to food carts out there already. Just please please please make sure you know what you're doing, local rules and regulations, and what your goals are before you cut it up! There is one in my neighborhood that's been for sale on CL all summer - an unfinished project with a big hole cut in it's side
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameront120
Is this going to be a commercial venture? If so, shouldn't you be hiring a local designer to help you reach your goals? You're sort of asking for the members here to provide you with a free service that you will ultimately profit from. Also, there are issues that we can't possibly know that would impact how the trailer would need to be set up, most importantly your local health codes. Your health department would have a checklist of requirements that they will require be met - whether the food service is mobile or stationary. What of your municipal bylaws that would also have some requirements for such an enterprise? Assuming that they permit such a use. There's a ton of stuff to be researched and considered before you can even begin discussing design. A local designer who is knowledgeable about local requirements would be able to help you through the whole process much more efficiently and accurately than any group here could do. There would be a cost to these services, but also value added in the knowledge. So for the cynical post, but as an Architect, this is an issue that is close to my heart.
All good points, thanks. We are 30 yrs in food service and are working very closely with our local health code enforcement group. We have a designer involved and a local shop capable of any strctural change and refurb. I'm solicitng comments from hopefully other vendors and foodies who use mobile food vendors, especially vendors who might not be open as vendors here, and from professionals as yourself, who understand the depth of planning and compliance required. You made all valid points that we agree with and appreciate. Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:14 PM   #5
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For starters it's going to be a heckuva lot heavier than the frame was designed for. A/S is a semi-monococque design where the frame, walls and subfloor -- tied together -- provides it's strength. The frame, alone, is not all that strong, nor is the quality of steel "high strength" (as I understand it). I would research "tail droop" and "elephant ear repair" on this forum as a start. This thread is a beginning.

Timeless Travel recently showed some custom builds that weighed around 13K IIRC, or, about 1.5 to 2X the expected weight of an A/S TT that size due to unique requirements. You've your work cut out in this regard as they will also be unique. All other considerations are subservient to this. problem of weight, thus strength.

If the thought of an enclosed support trailer is already in mind, then expand on it, IMO. I am not saying it cannot be done or should not be done, it has and will continue to be. But forewarned is forearmed as budgets are created. Search also "mobile food". Here's one on that.

And here's a thread from another site where truck campers, fifth wheels and travel trailers are mounted on goose-neck flatbed trailers in order to accommodate other vehicles and gear. See the "mobile mansion" thread for a representative build.

.
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:05 PM   #6
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Timeless Travel Trailers has a kitchen unit currently for sale which we built a year ago and took back on consignment for sale. The details are here: Timeless Custom Airstream Catering Kitchen - Airstream Trailer Classifieds - Airstreams Trailers For Sale

The seller is very motivated and has lowered the price substantially. They may also offer a lease/purchase agreement.
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