Used Food Trailers: Are They a Smart Investment?

It’s easy to see the endless opportunity of owning and operating a food trailer.  One of the biggest questions that many potential entrepreneurs may face when entering the industry is: what are the differences between purchasing a used food trailer and buying a custom-built food trailer?

Here we break down the differences you can expect to encounter as you decide if purchasing a used food trailer is worth the investment for your business. 


One of the biggest factors in making any purchase.  The lower entry price is tempting.  It’s important to keep in mind that when you are purchasing a previously owned food trailer, though the cost is initially lower, it is likely that you will have to put money into the mechanical work or customizing the trailer to fit your needs. These fixes can add up quickly and the lure of the initial price tag will start to fade. The cost of a previously owned food trailer can easily double the initial price tag after you factor in all of the money that may be necessary to repair or customize it.

Equipment and Layout

A food trailer customized with the equipment best suited to efficiently operate your specific niche is essential. When purchasing a previously owned food trailer, what you see is what you get. The used trailers will have cooking equipment installed that you may not need and in a layout that doesn’t work well for your business.  This could spell major problems when trying to efficiently cook and serve customers. Modifying a current trailer is not an easy or cheap process. When you go with a custom-built food trailer, the type of commercial equipment and layout is completely up to you. An experienced custom builder, such as Custom Trailer Pros, will have the depth of knowledge and experience to help guide you.


Knowing that you have back up plans is important for your food trailer business, and this is where warranties can really give you peace of mind. When purchasing a previously owned food trailer, it is highly unlikely that you’ll have any warranties and if anything happens to the food trailer, then you are out of luck.  When purchasing a custom-built trailer, you’ll typically find many warranties.  Such as coverage for your refrigeration equipment, generator and cooking equipment.

Health Codes

Another buyer-beware when purchasing a previously owned food trailer takes into consideration health codes.  Whether used or new, they have to be met. If you purchase a previously owned food trailer in a different location than you’ll be operating in, you may find that the trailer is not up to code and not able to be used in your city. This is because health codes vary by location. You don’t want to run into the issue where you purchase a used food trailer and then you can’t even use it at all. This is where custom builders can help. Custom Trailer Pros will ensure that your trailer is guaranteed to operate wherever it is that you intend to operate your business.

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether purchasing a used food trailer or a custom-built trailer is the best option for you.  If you’re serious about jumping into the concession trailer industry, then it is important that you select a trailer that will be able to meet your business’ needs and last you for years to come.

Contact Custom Trailer Pros today to discuss your ideas and discover your options.

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