How to Build Your Own Concession Trailer

Written by ann goering | 13/05/2017
How to Build Your Own Concession Trailer
Having a concessions trailer can make serving concessions much simpler. (Nachos, melted cheese, salsa, jalapeños, sour cream image by Moritz Frei from

Selling concessions at fairs, sporting events, community celebrations or auctions can not only be enjoyable, but is also a good way to make extra money. If the places where you wish to sell concessions do not have a concession's building, taking a concession trailer can be an efficient and hassle-free way to have shelter to sell your items from. Although you can buy concession trailers, you can also make your own.

Visit your state's health department website or go in to your county courthouse to find out about specific regulations for concession trailers in your area. Also check the rules of some of the events you would like to sell concessions at to check the requirements for concession trailers.

Purchase a trailer to pull behind your vehicle for use as the base of your concessions trailer. A wooden trailer with sides works well.

Build a frame for your concession trailer with 2 x 4 boards. Determine how tall you want your concession trailer to be. Calculate how high you have to build the frame above the sides of the trailer to reach the desired height. Make the necessary cuts to the lumber with a circular saw, cutting five 2 x 4s all the same length. These will be the side supports. Cut two 2 x 4s the same length of the trailer, and two 2 x 4s the same as the width. These will be the top frame. Use glue and nails to secure the top frame together in the same shape as the trailer base. Determine which side of the trailer you would like to be the front side. Lay three side supports evenly spaced to divide the length of the trailer into thirds. This will be the back side of the trailer. The front will only need a support on each side to allow for a window opening. Attach the side supports to the top frame with wood glue and nails, making sure that it is sturdy. If necessary you can add extra side supports.

Attach the frame to the trailer. Your specific trailer will determine how you will fasten the frame to the trailer. If it is all wood you can use nails, wood glue, screws and brackets. If it has a metal rim, you may have to attach it below the rim.

Apply the exterior to the frame. Use plywood or individual boards to enclose the trailer. Nail and glue the exterior lumber of your choice to the frame and secure it well. Leave an opening in the front of the trailer for your serving window. Ideally the serving window should be large enough for two people to stand side-by-side so one person can serve the food while the other takes orders and money. Attach hinged shutters to the outside of the trailer window. The shutters need to be able to close and be secured when your concession stand is closed. Leave an opening for a door on the back of the trailer to allow entrance to the concession stand. Purchase a door at your local lumber yard and install it according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Install pre-made cabinets or build your own storage area in the trailer to meet your specific needs. Make sure the storage you build can secure your supplies, even when the trailer is moving down the road from site to site. Depending on what you're selling, you may also want to install a work counter where you can assemble food.

Consider your lighting and electrical needs. Many places where you may sell concessions will have electrical hookups, but there is no guarantee. Install the lighting that you think you will need and put appropriate extension cords and power strips in the trailer.

Paint the exterior and interior of the trailer. You can add other details such as your business name or your menu. Remember that the more visually appealing your trailer is, the more likely that people will purchase your concessions.

Things you need

  • Wooden trailer
  • 2x4s
  • Nails
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Brackets
  • Circular saw
  • Finishing lumber (such as plywood)
  • Wood shutters
  • Door
  • Cabinets
  • Lighting
  • Paint

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