is it worth it to convert this trailer?

Junior Burger
2012/07/20 13:00:16
I bought a used trailer, previous product was elephant ears and other fried goods.  It has 5 deep fryers, 4 tiny sinks, a small propane powered water heater, small water tank and grey water tank.   The electrical box (rusty) is mounted underneath the sinks.   It has 3 big windows, really good light and across the perimeter of the roof there's a string of carnival-style dancing lights.
I don't want to sell fried food, I want to sell healthy sandwiches/soups/salads.
I am considering removing the fryers and the little sinks and adding a moderate sized commercial 3 compartment sink, a grill and 2 burners and a refridgerator.  I'd also be replacing the countertops, cabinets and adding shelving.  I was planning on doing as much of the work as possible myself and having friends with expertise in plumbing/electrical/construction helping out.  
At this stage, I'm wondering:
1) the electrical box is currently under the 3 part sink.  I'm going to move the sinks from their current location to be located directly adjacent to the water tanks.   If I leave the electric box in place it will be low to the floor.  In a concession trailer is it generally permissable to have an electric box located inside a cabinet with work surface (but not sink) overhead?   In the cabinet the box would be easily accessible via front & side cabinet doors.  
2) is there any reason I would not want to purchase a standard commercial 3 compartment sink?   I'm thinking it would be much more efficient and thorough process of washing dishes if I have the luxury of space to dunk the pans and bowls.   I ask because I keep seeing ads for "concession trailer sinks" which all seem much to small to be useful.
3) Since I'm going to be washing greens and vegetables, I'm going to need a good supply of water.  HD requires 15% more grey water capacity than potable water.    I was considering a 42 gal wastewater tank with a 30 gallon plus a 5 gallon potable tanks, with the two potable tanks running in series.  Is there a better solution?
4) the charming string of dancing lights is controlled by an archaic series of switches triggered by a spinning mechanism.  It's the sort of thing that is on carnival rides.   Has anyone had experience getting approval from the permitting authority (if not HD then building inspector) for this type of wiring?  (I realize I can ask the permitting authority but getting them to answer the question is an expense & I'm at a crossroads now) 
5) Rather than do this expensive rebuild and clean-up (after 30 yrs of elephant ears the trailer needs more than a good scrubbing) would I be better off finding someone who wants to use the trailer to sell fried food and start searching for a more appropriate cart?
post edited by tempehtime - 2012/07/20 13:02:18
Dr of BBQ
Filet Mignon
Re:is it worth it to convert this trailer? 2012/07/20 15:20:08
First welcome to RF.
Have you figured the cost for the change over/remodel?

To check with anyone in charge, local plumbing/electrical/health department is free, and I strongly advise you to contact them asap.

The sink size: Your sink needs only to pass the requirements of your local HD. Your in the food business/selling it, not washing dishes. LOL
You didn't give any indication as to the overall size of the trailer or investment so it's next to impossible to give advice on the changes and questions your asking.
But as to an electrical box under a sink LMAO I can't believe anyone is silly enough to do that. If you put your new box in a cabinet I don't see why not but it'll be harder to do the wiring and set up.
If your trailer is 30 years old sell it and start with a much newer rig.
post edited by Dr of BBQ - 2012/07/20 15:24:10
Junior Burger
Re:is it worth it to convert this trailer? 2012/07/20 15:40:45
It's just a little over 30 years old.  
I have a call in with the building inspector with regard to the electric box location.
I'm considering with proceeding with the movement/replacement of the 4 little sinks away from the electric box to get it to a HD passable state and then listing it for sale with the deep fryers intact.   To me it is slightly more charming than most trailers and that's probably why I'm struggling with the decision.   I wonder how others dealt with the same sort of dilemma.
Dimensions are 7" x 14".    
Dr of BBQ
Filet Mignon
Re:is it worth it to convert this trailer? 2012/07/20 15:50:58
7 x 14 is pretty small when it comes to producing a food product.
On the other hand if your just frying frozen product, size wise it's ok.
Charming LOL  is not important, and yes I understand ....but being comfortable, safe, and producing a good product is what you need now.
Bistro a go-go
Re:is it worth it to convert this trailer? 2012/08/01 11:09:40
hey friend, originally from fairmont wv i now live in the south but why not do things like pepperoni rolls? also this is not brain surgery and if theres one thing ive learned its the old kiss that will apply here, Keep It Simple, Stupid. Dont overthink this stuff and a gut job on a 30 yr old trailer will be opening a bucket of worms and more tearout and rebuild than you might want or need. one thing id address is just move electrical UP the same wall or away from sink but otherwise, either go make some cheese, or sell and buy new diggs. good luck and let us know what you do. regards, homeboy!! mark
Re:is it worth it to convert this trailer? 2012/08/01 16:38:32
Don't know what you paid for it, but if you can sell it, even for a small profit, That's what I'd do.
Being as old as it is, once you start taking things apart, you don't know what kind of mess you'll be running into. Probably cost more to fix than buying a later model. Keep looking.