The Ultimate Guide to Buying Concession Trailers: Everything You Need to Know

‍ Buying Concession Trailers Image Source: Pexels

## Introduction

Are you considering starting a mobile food business? One of the key decisions you’ll need to make is choosing the right concession trailer. Concession trailers offer flexibility and convenience, allowing you to sell and prepare food on the go. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different types of concession trailers available, the equipment and features to consider, and where to find the best deals. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision and kickstart your mobile food business.

Types of Concession Trailers

When it comes to concession trailers, you have several options to choose from. The most common types are:

  1. Concession Trailers: These trailers are designed to provide a versatile space for food preparation and selling. They come in various sizes, ranging from 14 to 34 feet in length. Larger trailers allow you to cook inside, while smaller ones are ideal for selling food prepared elsewhere.
  2. Food Carts: Food carts are compact and mobile, making them perfect for street food vending. They are smaller than concession trailers and can be easily maneuvered in crowded areas. Food carts are a popular choice for selling snacks, beverages, and quick bites.
  3. Food Trucks: Food trucks are essentially mobile kitchens on wheels. They offer ample space for food preparation and storage, allowing you to serve a wide variety of menu items. Food trucks are equipped with cooking appliances, refrigeration, and serving counters.

Planning Your Menu and Equipment

Buying Concession Trailers. Before purchasing a concession trailer, it’s essential to plan your menu and determine the equipment you’ll need. Consider the type of food you want to sell and make a detailed list of the tools and appliances required for your recipes. This will help you estimate the space needed to store your equipment, ingredients, and supplies.

If you have a specific food concept in mind, you may opt for a specialized concession trailer designed for that purpose. For example, there are coffee trucks, grill trucks, taco trucks, and even ice cream trucks available for sale. These specialized trailers are tailored to meet the unique requirements of each food type, making your operations more efficient.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Concession Trailer

When searching for a concession trailer, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Size: Determine the ideal size based on your business needs and available space. Consider the equipment and storage requirements for your menu items.
  2. Equipment and Features: Take note of the equipment and features included in the trailer. Look for features like serving windows, display shelves, refrigeration, sinks, and cooking appliances.
  3. Condition: Decide whether you want to buy a new or used concession trailer. New trailers offer several advantages, such as avoiding costly repairs and customizing the trailer to your specific needs. However, used trailers can be more affordable and may already have some equipment installed.
  4. Budget: Set a budget for your concession trailer purchase. Consider not just the upfront cost but also ongoing expenses like maintenance, insurance, and permits.
  5. Customization Options: Some vendors offer customization options, allowing you to tailor the trailer to your specific requirements. This can include branding, layout modifications, and additional equipment installation.

Finding Concession Trailers for Sale

Now that you have a clear idea of what you need in a concession trailer, it’s time to find the right one for your business. Here are some places where you can find concession trailers for sale:

  1. Online Marketplaces: Platforms like eBay offer a wide selection of new and used concession trailers. You can browse through listings, compare prices, and contact sellers directly. Look for trailers that meet your specifications and budget.
  2. Food Truck Builders: Many companies specialize in building custom concession trailers. These builders can create a trailer tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Research reputable builders in your area and discuss your requirements with them.
  3. Local Classifieds: Check local classified ads in newspapers or online platforms for people selling their concession trailers. You might find some great deals from vendors looking to retire or upgrade their equipment.
  4. Food Truck Associations and Events: Attend food truck festivals, trade shows, or industry events where vendors often showcase their concession trailers. You can network with other food truck owners, gather information, and potentially find trailers for sale.

Cost Considerations for Concession Trailers

Buying Concession Trailers. The cost of a concession trailer can vary greatly depending on factors like size, equipment, age, and customization. It’s important to establish a budget and consider both upfront and ongoing expenses. Here are some cost considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Upfront Cost: Determine how much you’re willing to invest in a concession trailer. Remember to factor in any customization or modifications you may require.
  2. Maintenance and Repairs: Consider the potential costs of maintaining and repairing the trailer over time. Used trailers may require more frequent repairs, while new trailers come with warranties and are less likely to have issues.
  3. Operating Expenses: In addition to the trailer itself, budget for ongoing expenses like permits, licenses, insurance, fuel, and kitchen supplies. These costs can vary depending on your location and the scale of your operations.
  4. Financing Options: If your budget is limited, explore financing options available for concession trailers. Some vendors offer financing plans to help you spread out the cost over time.

Tips for a Successful Concession Trailer Purchase

To ensure a successful concession trailer purchase, consider the following tips:

  1. Do Your Research: Take the time to research different trailer options, vendors, and pricing. Compare multiple listings, read reviews, and gather as much information as possible before making a decision.
  2. Inspect the Trailer: If buying a used concession trailer, inspect it thoroughly for any signs of damage, wear, or mechanical issues. Ask for maintenance records and test all equipment to ensure they are in working condition.
  3. Ask for Recommendations: Reach out to other food truck owners or professionals in the industry for recommendations on reputable vendors or builders. They can provide valuable insights based on their own experiences.
  4. Negotiate and Secure a Warranty: If buying a new trailer, negotiate the price and secure a warranty. This will give you peace of mind and protection against any unforeseen issues.
  5. Consider Future Expansion: Think about your long-term goals and whether the trailer you choose can accommodate future growth. Will it be easy to upgrade or add additional equipment if needed?


Buying a concession trailer is a significant investment, but with the right research and preparation, it can be a rewarding venture. Consider your menu, equipment needs, budget, and preferred features when selecting a trailer. Explore different avenues for finding concession trailers, such as online marketplaces, food truck builders, and local classifieds. Remember to factor in costs beyond the upfront purchase price, including maintenance, permits, and operating expenses. By following these tips and guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to owning a successful concession trailer and starting your mobile food business.