How To Make A Vintage Trailer Into A Food Court

How to make a vintage trailer into a food court involves finding a classic trailer and making up a plan that suits the type of food you'll be marketing. Vintage trailers are an excellent way to attract attention in a busy marketplace. You'll need some basic equipment to trick out your vintage trailer for a food court design, including;

  • paint
  • fabric
  • cook top
  • refrigeration
  • flooring
  • service and prep tables
  • canvas
  • hammers and screwdrivers 
  • nails, brackets, screws and braces
  1. Clean the trailer. The first step in how to make a vintage trailer into a food court is to clean the trailer thoroughly, clean enough to eat food off the floor. This is may be the most difficult, not to mention disgusting, part of the entire transformation. Recycle vintage items that may not need to go to landfill and toss the rest. Wood can be recycled, so check out anything that may be trashed, but make good paper product. The same goes for aluminum and some other metals. You won't make a mint on recycling any aluminum, but it may be enough to offset a small part of the renovation. 
  2. Measure the trailer. With the interior empty, measure everything including height, width and length. Measure the trailer in segments, if there are permanent dividers that remain in place.
  3. Lay out a trailer design. The most important step in how to make a vintage trailer into a food court involves the design layout. This is the dream design, so go for broke. Think about what you want to do with the inside and sketch it on paper. Go online or to a restaurant equipment store to jot down measurements for a stove, countertop and any other equipment you've picked out.  Keep working with the measurements and the dream equipment.
  4. Make a budget. Figure out what you can afford and compare this with your dream design. Eliminate things that are too expensive and adjust your design.
  5. Order the main appliances. Appliances may take time to make and deliver, especially if they are special order items. Do this early enough to make sure the trailer food court all comes together at the same time. 
  6. Paint the interior. Start with the paint and polishing any metal that is left unpainted. Tape off places so the paint is neat and sharp. 
  7. Install the permanent equipment. Install the counters, cook top or stove and any sink and plumbing. If electric work needs to be done, do everything at once and then touch up any paint that might have been nicked in the installation.
  8. Put in the flooring. Be sure to cut around any of the permanent appliances and match seams at the doorway.
  9. Trick out the trim. Add flash now. Put up menu boards and any graphics. Add any draperies or curtains at this point.
  10. Paint the exterior. Clean chrome work and paint the exterior of the vintage  trailer. Replace any metal that may be rusted. First appearances will attract  customers to your food court. Don't scrimp on the outside, or the buyers will never make it any further than the outside. 
  11. Add awnings. Canvas awnings or tables and umbrellas add a nice touch and make a comfortable place for folks to eat their food. Plan small and then add extra seating as your business expands. 


Keister, Douglas. "Teardrops and Tiny Trailers." Gibbs Smith, 2008.

Field-Lewis, Jane and Chris Haddon. "My Cool Caravan." Pavilion, 2010

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