At M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks, one shift we’ve recognized over the past 15 years manufacturing concession trailers is more vendors are requesting a bathroom to be installed within their BBQ concession trailers. Sure, determining what kind of smoker and other cooking equipment should be equipped on the vehicle still takes the priority one among pit masters, but the toilet usually isn’t far behind!
And there are a lot of advantages to doing so that both from a personal comfort level operating the trailer and from a customer service perspective as well. In this post, we will outline some of the benefits of getting a bathroom installed onboard your trailers and address some of the things to consider so you can make the right choice for your situation. We’ll also show you some examples of trailers with bathrooms installed right onboard.
When you’re a BBQ road warrior traveling from event to event, it’s nice to have some of the creature comforts of home such as your own private toilet. Depending on the type of event you’re at the facilities can be a mixed bag. A porta potty isn’t always the most sanitary or comfortable place to spend your time and public bathrooms at fairs are often cleaned infrequently or have long lines during peak times.
In addition to personal comfort and convenience, there can be benefits to the perception of your customers as well. No customer wants to see the individual that served or cooked their food in the bathroom or leave a portable toilet without an option of immediately washing their hands. Not very appetizing is it! Having a bathroom installed onboard prevents this from being an issue.
Overall having a bathroom installed onboard your BBQ trailer is not a difficult enhancement. In fact, the process is nearly identical to putting one into an RV. But there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind that we will cover below.
Things to Consider
Before you install the most immaculate thrown inside your trailer, there is one important factor to keep in mind. How much space are you willing to dedicate to having a bathroom installed onboard? This is extremely important when operating within a limited space on a trailer. In the past, we’ve installed bathrooms on Ford Transit vans because it worked with the menu and food concept of the vendor, but it wouldn’t work for everyone. If you plan to install a bathroom, make sure you remain satisfied with the amount of space you have available onboard for prep and can install the refrigerator, cabinets, and other equipment you need to operate.
At M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks, we create custom blue-prints of food trucks and trailers prior to any build so you can view exactly how much space each piece of equipment will consume and provide our feedback on whether or not that’s enough space.
Ultimately the decision is yours how much space is sufficient and much of this will depend on your preferences and situation. If you’re under 6 feet tall and have a smaller frame, then you might be comfortable with less open space in the trailer than a larger person.
Although it can be hard to imagine when you’re still in the draft process of a BBQ trailer, you should also try to imagine yourself spending a lot of hours inside the truck. When you’re vending at special events it won’t be uncommon for you to be inside the vehicle for eight hours or more per day for a period of many months or years. That’s a significant chunk of a time! Many people can take working in a cramped location for a little while, but it can become a real pain point after a few months. You will want to be comfortable while you do your work, which is why we harp on this point.
Finally, in addition to making sure you have enough open space and cooking equipment space, you will want to make sure the bathroom is an acceptable size. Again, you don’t want to install a full-size bathroom like the one in your home because that would take up too much space, but you also want to make sure you can get inside of it comfortably. We’ve seen bathrooms installed in trailers that are only about 2 feet wide, which leaves a bit to be desired in terms of comfort.
As we mentioned earlier in the article, installing a bathroom on a BBQ trailer is nearly identical to having one on an RV. If you’re still trying to figure out what size or type of bathroom you would like installed, we recommend reading this post titled “Bathroom Features to Look For In Your Next RV.” Although this piece was written with the serious RV’er in mind, many of the same concerns apply to you on a BBQ trailer.
At the end of the day our goal at M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks is to build the concession trailer of your dreams. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly to discuss your next build.