Hi, I am James and I need advice! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-04-2019, 01:58 PM   #1
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Name: James
Trailer: In the Market
Tennessee
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Hi, I am James and I need advice!

I am looking into opening a vintage coffee trailer, but I don't know which trailer type would be best. I am going to have it renovated.

I was looking for an 80s Perris Pacer because I saw a cool one someone had used, but I can't find many online.

Any advice?
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:59 PM   #2
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Perris Pacers are nice for vending because of the very large streetside window. Off-hand, the only other one I can think of with that particular feature is the Lil Bigfoot, but there may be other less common vintage models.

The problem is they are very rare. Even the common ones like Scamp aren't all that common. Your best bet is just to watch what comes up. Go see a few and decide if any will work for you. If you plan to modify the fiberglass to make a vending window, you'll probably want to avoid the double-hull models like Burro and U-Haul. Know that on many, the floor is not all one level. Often only the center has full stand-up headroom.

Best wishes with your project!
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:00 PM   #3
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Pick something a lot more common. Your business will be waiting until you find one.

The coolest trailer food truck I have seen was an Airstream. I'm not a big Airstream fan, but the polished aluminum plus easy to recognize shape can be a winner.

In the world of smaller vintage molded FG trailers, Scamps are probably the most common.

The Scamps use rivets for construction, making renovation somewhat easy. In the USA, Scamp and then Casita are the most common. I spent a year looking for a good Trillium 1300, and traveled over 600 miles ONE way to pick it up. And the price was not give away, and it would not make a good choice IMHO as all the cabinets are fiberglassed in place (harder to rearrange interior).

You have two basic shapes used on molded FG trailers. You have the rounded egg shape like Boler, Casita, and Scamp. And then you have the more boxy shape like the Trillium.

I wonder if Scamp would sell you a shell/frame combo? I'd be calling them if I were you. The Perris Pacer has basically a Scamp shape, with a longer driver side window.

Theres a Scamp 13 project on eBay right now, asking $4000. Its all there, needs some love. could make a good base for a rebuild.

There's an interesting Boler food truck for sale in WA state, not exactly convenient. But the pictures could give you some ideas. Its on the fiberglass RV 4 sale web page.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1985-13ft-S...t/254346681335

https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/...-gig-harbor-wa
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Old 09-05-2019, 05:32 PM   #4
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How about a Hunter Compact Jr 1972? I want to sell mine.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:43 PM   #5
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Name: K C
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Most important....being able to stand up inside. That knocks out consideration a lot of trailers such as the small Scamps as well as the Compacts and the Campster.



Second most important a good window height for the customers to get serviced. Window openings can be modified and customer friendly windows put into the new openings. Remember that all the molded fiberglass trailers have sloped sides. You do want to have an awning above the window for customers because with those sloped sides if it is raining the rain will go right into an open window. As part of the remodel you might want to reinforce the shell on the inside so that you can put a fold down counter on the exterior just below that awning.


If you want to have both a walk up and drive up window then you will need to look at those modifications to make sure you still have the window opening protected from the rain but still allow cars can pull up close enough. If you are not that great at such design decision hire a company to do the design work for you.



Then you need enough interior space for your fridge, water tanks, sink and coffee machines and supplies. But of course some of the storage space of supplies could be inside of a tow vehicle. A van would be ideal for that situation. The health department requirements drive EVERYTHING you are going to do in the final decision of what can be done.



You will need a good sized generator if you don't have a site with electricity. In that situation you would want to have a pickup truck that instead of a van so that the truck becomes the portable generator platform.


You are going to pretty much end up gutting the trailer as the layout of the interior will be completely different. Also your wiring will have to be all new, your plumbing will be all new and so will your lighting and cabinetry and countertops.



The person operating the coffee stand will still need to use a toilet now and again so that has to be sorted out too. Will it be part of the interior...not a great concept or will there be one on site?



The other day a guy who owns a local food truck asked if my trailer was one that sold coffee. I told him no, because it does not have full standing room throughout the trailer it would never useable as a good coffee setup.


Cute helps, cute sells coffee, go for something so darn cute it makes everyone smile just to see it. So cute that everyone wants to see it up close and buy something. Jenna owner of a recently remodeled tiny fiberglass trailer had a woman on Etsy make some custom awnings for her trailer. They are absolutely perfect for creating that "festival retailing" atmosphere that will attract lots of business. You can see them on her website and she gives a link to the person who made them for her. Here is the link to see them, she also did the exterior of the trailer just right for paint color and decorations. If you want a consultant to help you pull the look together I would suggest you try to hire her. She does understand marketing. https://tinyhousegiantjourney.com/20...intage-camper/
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:56 PM   #6
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Name: Nancy
Trailer: Happier Camper
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Check out Happier Camper. They customize the trailer for vending with a large window plus a wrap around counter top outside. The trailers themselves are darn cute and most people are surprised when they find out my Happier Camper is not vintage. I have a blast with my small camper.



https://happiercamper.com/
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:59 PM   #7
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Name: K C
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Originally Posted by Nancy C. View Post
Check out Happier Camper. They customize the trailer for vending with a large window plus a wrap around counter top outside. The trailers themselves are darn cute and most people are surprised when they find out my Happier Camper is not vintage. I have a blast with my small camper.



https://happiercamper.com/
That is a great idea for a recommendation, I had forgotten that they do them for vending purposes.



Another of the new figerglass trailer makers who has in the past participated here is Dub Box. They are also doing vending trailer setups. Another really fun attention grabber, they are inspired by the VW buses.

https://dub-box-usa.com/
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:02 PM   #8
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James, if you can find a Lil Snoozy that would be perfect for vending as the side window pushes out as well as slides!
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:36 PM   #9
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Name: James
Trailer: In the Market
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Thanks

These are all really great suggestions, and y'all have given me a lot to think about. I really appreciate it.

I'm definitely looking for something cheaper so I can make it what I want, so I can't consider the $20,000+ ones.

I found a 16' 1984 Scamp for sale in my current town for $6,100. New A/C, refrigerator, and plumbing. Thoughts on that one?

And if anyone has any for sale (I know there have been some mentioned) feel free to post a link or some pictures!
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamrcox View Post
I am looking into opening a vintage coffee trailer, but I don't know which trailer type would be best. I am going to have it renovated.

I was looking for an 80s Perris Pacer because I saw a cool one someone had used, but I can't find many online.

Any advice?
I once had a Burro17WB which was re worked to sell hotdogs and fries. It was a nice size for the job and the customers were served out the back window. the extra space and high ceiling would probably work best for working and storage. Also the door is 3ft wide!

You may need less space, if so a Trillium13 would be a great candidate.


Here is a picture of the Burro after it was abandoned for a while in a field when they quit using it...
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