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Is It Worth Buying a Food Trailer Air Conditioner?

food trailer air conditioner

Do you really need a food trailer air conditioner? Let’s face it. Now, the food trailer air conditioner is a hot choice of equipment kit for most of our buyers, particularly those who run a food vending trailer business in summer. You will ask for the installation of one if you have ever stayed in an enclosed food trailer during this intolerable summer. A food trailer with cooking appliances in full operation is a stuffy stove, pushing the temperature inside up. On average, the difference in temperature between a food trailer and the outside environment is in the range of 40℉-50℉. It will be wider when you use heat-radiating appliances to cook for a batch of eaters. In Texas, food trailer owners enjoy their sauna in the vehicle from June. They have to serve their customers with a friendly smile when they work at a temperature of over 100℉. That is uncomfortable and risky, causing great damage to people’s health and willpower to run businesses. Health is more important than dollars, right?

A food trailer air conditioner is the best solution for the question of how to cool a food trailer. This blog mainly answers questions you may have when choosing a food trailer air conditioner, including its type, power, cost, installation, and maintenance. If you have other questions about the air conditioner, you are welcome to send us an inquiry!


How to Choose the Right Food Trailer Air Conditioner for Your Need?

The food trailer air conditioner supplies more than a comfortable working environment. It boosts your spirit. You are in your food trailer for more than 8 hours a day. So when the heat wave comes in summer, you need an air conditioner to cool your food trailer. Like the investment in a food concession trailer, you need the right food air conditioner for you. This guide will help you find it!


2 Hot Types of Air Conditioners to Cool a Food Trailer

We like to offer more options when clients customize their food trailers. Working with leading A/C unit manufacturers, we have more than one type of food trailer air conditioner. Here are 2 models that most clients choose.
  • Wall-mounted A/C Unit

A wall-mounted A/C unit is a kind of built-in cooling appliance, which is fixed in a location permanently. It has two parts: a wall-mounted unit indoors and an outdoor unit on the tongue of the food trailer. They are connected by pipes.

wall-mounted food trailer air conditioner
  • Roof-mounted A/C Unit

A roof-mounted A/C unit is smaller. It is installed into the ceiling of the food trailer so that you can have more wall shelves. Most important, it is a 10,900 BTU air conditioner that has a better ability to cool a large food trailer.

roof-mounted ac unit for food trailer


What is the Size of Your Food Trailer?

How to cool a food trailer efficiently? Having an ideal A/C unit. The size of your food trailer is the main factor when buying one. BTU, a thermal unit, indicates the hourly amount of heat brought by the air conditioner. It helps you to determine the types of food trailer air conditioner. In general, 20 BTU is required for each square foot of room in the food trailer at least. Ideally, a 7ft x 7ft food trailer needs a 1,000 BTU air conditioner. But, a more powerful cooking unit is advisable, given the open concession window and kitchen equipment in operation. The wall-mounted air conditioner is recommended if you have a 6ft-10ft food trailer, while the roof-mounted air conditioner cools a larger trailer quickly!

What is Your Budget?

Most buyers prefer the wall-mounted A/C unit because of its relatively low price. Its price is about $500-$700, depending on its model. However, the roof-mounted A/C Unit is a palatable choice for those who need a premium cooling unit for their large mobile food trailers.


How Much Power Does it Take to Run a Food Trailer Air Conditioner?

Before adding more electrical machines to the food trailer, people tend to figure out how much power it consumes. An overloaded generator is nothing fun, after all. A food trailer air conditioner needs more power than other kitchen appliances. The food air conditioner we source is standout with its features of energy-saving technology. A 9,000 BTU air conditioner uses 735 watts.
Please consider the total power of all the electrical machines in your food trailer, including lights, before you buy a generator. The output of the generator must be higher than the total sum, giving you much leeway in electrical demand. So, the power system will not be overloaded during rush hour.


Where is the Best Place to Install a Food Trailer Air Conditioner?

A reasonable layout of a food trailer is important. A food trailer air conditioner, if installed in the right place, not only allows you to have more space and room for storing but keeps your food trailer cool efficiently. Usually, the food trailer air conditioner is fixed on the wall. But, it is not every wall is suitable for the air conditioner.

In general, a food trailer air conditioner is installed at the top of the side wall, in the direction opposite the door. This place is beneficial for 2 reasons:
  • Hot air has a higher density than cold air, so it is usually at the top of the food trailer. As the food trailer air conditioner works, cold air hits hot air, leading to convection in the air. Then, the temperature of the food trailer will drop quickly. Besides, if the A/C unit is higher than the condenser, condensed water is likely to go back through the pipe and wet the wall.
  • The distance between an A/C unit and its condenser should be short because it ensures a neat environment and a high cooling efficiency. A long tube wastes more space in your food trailer, after all. The side wall is near the food trailer tongue, the best place for the outdoor unit. A hole near the unit is for the pipe, making sure that the pipe takes less room in the trailer.

installation of food trailer air conditioner

Speaking of the roof-mounted air conditioner, it is fixed on the ceiling of the food trailer, saving you a lot of room for wall shelves. If you want to have more wall space for storage, a roof-mounted air conditioner is your top choice.


Is It Expensive to Have a Food Trailer Air Conditioner?

An air conditioner is priced at thousands of dollars in the markets, which perishes people’s idea of having one in their food trailer. Is it expensive to have a food trailer air conditioner? How much does it exactly cost?
In fact, the food trailer air conditioner differs from its counterpart which is designed for homes. It is smaller but more cost-efficient. You can get a functional food trailer air conditioner for $500. Of course, a premium one costs more money, but it is affordable for most buyers still. The following is the price list of food trailer air conditioners you can choose for your food trailer.

Model Price Installation Fee
Wall-mounted A/C Unit for Small Food Trailers (6ft-10ft) 500$ Free
Wall-mounted A/C Unit for Commercial Food Trailers (10ft-16ft) 700$
Roof-mounted A/C Unit 1,250$

food trailer air conditioners


Tips to Maintain Food Trailer Air Conditioner

We only provide our clients with the best, from the food trailer made of fine steel and alloy to commercial kitchen appliances from leading manufacturers. The food trailer air conditioner installed on our trailer has a long service life. If it is maintained well, the air conditioner will last over a decade. Here are tips for maintaining the food trailer air conditioner:


Clean the Filter Regularly

A blocked filter reduces cooling efficiency or causes noise problems. You need to take them down and use hot water to wash off dirt, especially after a long winter.

Check the Bolts and Screws

Our 2 hot types of food trailer air conditioners are fixed by bolts and screws. Moving with your food trailer for a long time, they are likely to become loose. Loose bolts and screws lead to unexpected accidents. Therefore, check them before you hit the road. Don’t forget the condenser!

Clean the Outdoor Unit

Check the air outlet and inlet of an outdoor unit regularly to prevent them from being blocked with dirt or soot.

16ft food trailer with air conditioner


How to Cool a Food Trailer Without AC Units?

The option of installing an A/C unit to a custom food trailer is offered when we discuss the design and layout of the trailer with our clients. If you have a used food trailer without an A/C unit, there is a tricky problem for you - installing a food trailer air conditioner. People who master electrical engineering find it easy to deal with, while most people need to seek help from the manufacturer. That is one of the reasons why buying a used food trailer is not advisable. So, are there effective ways to cool a food trailer without a food trailer air conditioner? Here are 5 tips for you:


1. Have More and Wider Concession Windows

In the process of building food trailers, we provide the option of adding more concession windows to our clients. These windows, if they are open, are good for ventilation.

2. Select a Cool Parking Location for Your Food Trailer.

If there are trees, the shade they provide can keep out the scorching sunshine during the afternoon.

3. Have an Awning

An awning provides shade to concession windows so that your customers and staff can be protected from sun rays. It is usually a part of the concession windows. You can open or close it handily. Alternatively, a canvas top is another excellent option.

how to cool a food trailer

4. Install Sliding Windows or Up and Down Sliding

WindowsYou can put ice in your food trailer, and these windows with screens keep heat out.

5. Turn Off Cooking Equipment if Necessary

Running cooking equipment gives out heat constantly, so a food trailer is hot inside when its owner is cooking for his eaters. In fact, it is not necessary to turn on all your kitchen appliances (except cooling equipment, which is used to keep your ingredients fresh). A warmer light or a warmer showcase will make things cool for you (not your food). Just process your ingredients in advance and store them in these devices that keep the texture and temperature of your food at an ideal temperature. Then, you don’t need to bustle around to cook.

6. Cook Outside if Available

Some kitchen appliances, such as electric ovens, lava grills, and griddles, like a radiator, heat up your small food trailer within seconds. Check local codes and regulations first. II it is legal to cook outside, using these appliances in an open place.

7. Drink Water as Much as Possible

As you sweat, drinking water is a good approach to avoid heat stroke. Moreover, you can put a wet towel around your neck, which is an effective way to cool yourself.
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