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Food Trailer Size & Dimensions : Which is the Best for Your Food Trailer Business?

What do you value the most when buying a food trailer for your business? A vintage food trailer design that adds a classic and rustic style to your food trailer business, an efficient mobile kitchen with all the features you need, or the quality of the trailer? Choosing the right mobile food trailer for your business is more than that. The food trailer size and dimension should be given the same importance.

In this blog, we're going to discuss why choosing the right size for your food trailer business is crucial and the factors you should consider to find the best food trailer size. Moreover, we will provide you with detailed sizes and dimensions of food trailer models as an example, so you can get a better idea of which one would work best for your mobile food business.


Why Food Trailer Sizes & Dimensions are Important to You?

When buying a mobile food trailer from overseas manufacturers or dealers, the exact food trailer size and dimension play a huge part in telling you how large is the trailer and helping you determine if it can meet your expectations. You know, the pictures can be deceptive. You may see a food trailer that meets your requirements in the design and features online, and its price is incredibly cheap. So, you buy it without hesitation and rejoice at the good bargain you just found. After about a month, you finally get the delivery. Then, you find the interior height of the trailer is a litter lower than you thought, making the kitchen cramped. Returns are a solution when receiving a food trailer you don't feel satisfied with. But, hey, it is not a T-shirt. The entire returns process is costly and arduous because of the food trailer weight, shipping distance, and inspection. Although some manufacturers allow factory tours, not everyone has time for the cumbersome process of applying for a visa and a long journey on the plane. Hence, it is important to figure out the specific dimensions of the food trailer model you prefer before the purchase. In addition to the food trailer sizes and dimensions, here are more you should know to make sure the vehicle won't let you down:
  • Food trailer gross weight
  • Food trailer net weight
  • Maximum loading weight
  • Service opening size
  • Food trailer specification
  • Food trailer design
  • Mobile kitchen floor plan


What Are the Average Food Trailer Sizes & Dimensions?

In general, mobile food trailers tend to be smaller compared to food trucks, which results in convenient transportation, easy management, and affordable prices. Regardless of size, they have the same features and functions as a food truck, making them the best option for getting started in the mobile food catering business. So, how small are mobile food trailers? What are the standard sizes and dimensions?

In fact, there is no such "standard" food trailer size. There is a variety of mobile food trailer sizes, and the exact dimensions are dependent on the specific food trailer model and customization. At ETO, the average food trailer sizes start at 7ft and stretch up to 26ft in length ( or, let's say, 2.2m to 8m ). The food trailer width ranges from 5.2ft (1.6m) to 8ft (2.46m), while the height is above 6.6ft (2m). Of course, there are smaller food trailers measuring 6.6ft (2m) in length, a great small entry food trailer size. Too vague. So let's take the roundtop food trailer model as an example to display the specific food trailer size and dimensions:
Roundtop Food Trailer
Model Dimensions (cm) Dimensions (ft)
GL-FR220WD 220*200*230 7.2*6.6*7.5
GL-FR250WD 250*200*230 8.2*6.6*7.5
GL-FR280WD 280*200*230 9.1*6.6*7.5
GL-FR300WD 300*200*230 9.8*6.6*7.5
GL-FR350WD 350*200*230 11.5*6.6*7.5
GL-FR400WD 400*200*230 13.1*6.6*7.5
GL-FR500WD 500*200*230 16.4*6.6*7.5

roundtop food trailer models

As we mentioned, the food trailer sizes vary from model to model. If you are looking for a large catering trailer, the Box Trailer Series can be extended to 26ft in length. Send an e-mail for detailed food trailer sizes and dimensions of all models.  

box trailer models


What is the Best Size for a Food Trailer?

Now that you have a clear glimpse into the common food trailer sizes. Here comes the hardest part of creating your build - choosing the food trailer size that is the best for your business. It can be a daunting task to figure out how much space a food trailer needs for your catering business, especially when you are new to the industry.

Are you planning to finance a large enclosed concession trailer, as someone else does? That is a fact that many people prefer large mobile food trailers, those with a length of 20ft, or more because of the plenty of storage room they come with. Storage in a food trailer is never enough. Having extra square feet is better than having too little space in your food trailer, even if they are not needed at present or forever, doesn’t it? However, a large size usually comes with a high price. At ETO, the cost of a 23ft mobile food trailer is about $9,000, and you have to pay more extra if you require specific equipment, such as 3-compartment water sinks with NSF certification, air conditioner, and cooking appliances. Don't forget other expenses, like delivery, fuel, permits, insurance, and food. So all together you probably need $30,000, or more, to start your business. Are you sure that is the best option for beginners, particularly those small entrepreneurs who are short on budgets?

In fact, choosing the right food trailer size for your business involves considering more factors beyond just the how much storage room do you need. How many items are in your trailer? How many employees do you have? Are you going to start small or try to establish a food trailer kingdom ambitiously? And, of course, budget is always a concern. Here are some questions that help you determine what is the best size for your food concession trailer


What is Your Food Trailer Business?

What is the type of your mobile food trailer business? Or, let's say, what do you sell? The items on your menu determine the kitchen equipment you need, mobile kitchen layout, and storage space which are factors you have to consider when calculating how much space your food trailer needs. The coffee business requires just a tiny space. You can set up a mobile coffee shop at the corner with a 8ft food trailer and focus on selling espresso only. If there are more than 10 flavors of bubble tea on your menu, a larger beverage trailer, let's say a 14ft trailer, has more storage room for all your tea, toppings, milk tea powers, and consumables. For those who need to cook in the trailer, a catering trailer with a commercial kitchen has ample space for performing all kitchen tasks, from refrigerating fresh ingredients to cleaning used cooking utensils. Its size mainly depends on the function of the kitchen and the choice of kitchen equipment. A mobile pizza trailer reaches 12ft in length, while a fully equipped mobile burger can be as long as 25ft.

beverage trailers
Our team of expert food trailer designers can create a highly efficient kitchen layout within your trailer, equipped with all necessary equipment and ample storage space, regardless of its size. We optimize every inch of the trailer to ensure that it is utilized efficiently and generates maximum profit for your business.  

13ft food trailer floor plan

9ft food trailer layout


How Large is Your Business?

In addition to what is on your menu, you have to consider how large your mobile food trailer business is and will be. Are you going to provide a private catering service to large-scale events with 100 people or planning to sell 100 hot dogs a day and then go home? You know, the more customers you serve in a day, the larger the cooking equipment and storage should be in your food trailer. A 19ft trailer or larger is  perfect for large-scale food catering, as it still has extra room for storing a large number of supplies, though equipped with various cooking equipment and appliances. You are totally self-contained, without the need to cook in a commissary in advance. Besides, investing in a large mobile food trailer can be a wise decision for those who aim to expand their food trailer business and establish their own brands in the future. These concession trailers have plenty of room to grow and expand menus.

19ft mobile catering trailers

If you are a beginner in the food trailer business or attempting to test a new location with a food trailer, 7 ft-10 ft concession food trailers are highly recommended. Firstly, they offer a cost-effective option with significantly lower initial investment and operational expenses when compared to their larger counterparts. Secondly, their size enables them to navigate through tight spaces and enter a wide range of locations that larger food trailers and trucks may not be able to access. This provides greater flexibility in choosing the best location for your food business and also reduces the number of parking restrictions you may face. With a small food trailer, you can set up a pop-up restaurant in high-traffic areas and reach more customers.


Do You Prefer Teamwork?

Is your food trailer a family business? Do you need to hire employees? Your trailer should have a working area that accommodates all workers. Consider how many people you need to operate your food trailer to determine the square feet of the kitchen. We find 7-10ft food concession trailers have a perfect kitchen layout for two persons. But it soon will become crowded once one more people get inside. If your team has more than 5 people, 20ft or large mobile food trailers can provide a comfortable kitchen where they work together in a line.
The Number of Workers Food Trailer Size
1 7-9ft
2 7-13ft
4 14-20ft
More 20-26ft

What is Your Budget?

The best food trailer size is also up to how much money you are willing to invest in a food concession trailer. The food trailer price depends on a specific model, equipment, and customization. Generally speaking, small food trailers are much more affordable for most people. Our smallest food trailer measuring 7*5*8ft starts at $2,200, and it can be used to operate all types of food businesses with included kitchen equipment. For mobile food businesses below $2,000, food carts are perfect solutions that take your food to customers in every corner of the city.

With a price range from $5,000 to $8,000, the largest food trailer size you can afford is 20ft provided that you don't require extra kitchen equipment. If it is too large for your business, buying an 8ft-11ft airstream food trailer that features a shiny look is a perfect option to add modern style to your food trailer business. Here are the prices for airstream concession trailer models:
Airstream Concession Trailer
Model Size (cm) Price (USD)
GL-SS250 250*210*245 5,850
GL-SS300 300*210*245 6,300
GL-SS350 350*210*245 6,950
GL-SS400 400*210*245 7,650
GL-SS500 500*210*245 9,800
GL-SS600 600*210*245 11,100

airstream food trailer models

There is one thing you should know: high profit is not a consequence of a large amount of investment. Someone starts a street food business with $5,000 and gains the investment back after a few months, while there are people who spend over $40,000 on a food trailer and end up with nothing. If you are a beginner in the food trailer industry, it is wise to start small. Read this blog to learn more about why you should buy a small food trailer and how it benefits your business: How a Small Mobile Food Trailer Benefits Your Business?


Are There Specific Regulations & Codes about the Food Trailer Size in Your City?

There are many strict regulations and codes on food trailers that specify the specification for the essential food trailer equipment and offer guidelines for proper food preparation and storage. Most states and cities have no size limit, such as Oregon and Virginia. Mobile food trailers can be registered on the condition that they are built to local regulations and have the required equipment. But, exceptions always exist.
  • Texas: Food trucks and trailers that exceed 14ft in length and 6.5ft in width must have a permit before operating in a particular area.
  • Nevada: The unit should be fully enclosed and tall enough for standing upright on the inside. The minimum interior height is 6ft.
  • Portland, Oregon: 16ft food vending carts or large are not allowed in most zones that allow retail sales.
  • Cambridge: Food trucks shall not exceed 13.4m(44ft) in length and 2.6m(9ft) in width

If your mobile food trailer fails to meet the local codes and regulations on size, it won't be allowed in the place where you are going to operate a mobile food catering business, no matter how good its quality and design are. Given that each state and city has its own rules, please consult with the local authority about all regulations first in order to make sure your trailer meets all the special requirements in construction and specification.

If you're uncertain about what size is the best fit for your food trailer business, don't hesitate to reach out to our expert team for guidance. We'll collaborate with you to design a quality food trailer that caters to your specific requirements and preferences.

Go to our gallery to explore all the food trailer sizes.
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