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If you’re ready to jump into the food industry full-time, you’ve probably at least considered the possibility of gaining a foothold in the marketplace by launching your business in a food truck or concession trailer. Compared to financing and launching a brick-and-mortar business, food trucks and trailers have relatively low overhead, everything within reach in a small kitchen that you can manage with little staff, and the flexibility to change either your location or your concept as needed, if (when!) things don’t all go according to plan.

Compared to full-fledged food trucks (which can easily cost upwards of $100,000, when fully tricked out to your specifications), concession trailers are relatively inexpensive (starting at just a few thousand dollars, without equipment), and can be used in either a mobile or semi-permanent capacity.

Active Used And New Concession Trailers For Sale by Owner

Most of the topics we’ll cover here pertain specifically to concession trailers (which we’ll define as any food preparation unit that doesn’t operate under its own power, and must be towed behind a vehicle), and more specifically to buying a used unit.* Let’s get started, shall we?

*If you’re the kind of magnificent high-roller that is building a brand new concession trailer from the ground up on an unlimited budget, our advice for now is just: “Do whatever you want.” Leave us budget-conscious people over here in the corner, talking amongst ourselves and eating discounted tuna fish out of a can.

View Our Used Concession Trailer Listings Here

Used concession trailer listings.

Figure out how much concession trailer you need. The first step when shopping for a used concession trailer, is to figure out exactly what your needs are. Will your trailer remain mostly fixed in one spot, or will it be mobile? Will you need to have staff helping you, or will this be a single-person operation?

Will you be catering events where water and electricity are supplied, or will you need to be able to operate under your own steam? Many people tend to focus on smaller trailers, because they are less expensive and seem like they’d be easier to move around, but here’s a simple truth: Towing a concession trailer is an enormous pain in the ass.* Powering down all of your equipment, draining the fryers, packing up your signage, and locking down all loose items in preparation for moving is just as much of a hassle when your trailer is 8×20, as it is when your trailer is 8×10.

*I’m terrible at towing, which is why my own concession trailer tends to stay in one spot. Even though I understand the mechanics of backing up with a trailer, and my brain knows what my hands are supposed to be doing, my trailer consistently ends up jackknifed next to me, staring at me through my driver’s-side window.

A smaller trailer may seem more manageable and easier to move, but make sure that in your quest for increased mobility, you don’t compromise how productive you can be in your mobile kitchen. Smaller concession trailers mean less equipment, which will place an arbitrary cap on how much food you can store and produce,