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Semi-Trailer Turned Into Mobile Kitchen
Jon-Richard Little has a lot of friends and they like to do things together, like attend the Burning Man festival each year in Nevada. After years of cooking big meals out in the open, he decided to put together a restaurant-quality mobile kitchen.
  “I bought a semitrailer for $2,000 and then started going to restaurant auctions,” explains Little. “I’ve put about $20,000 into it, mostly in commercial cooking equipment and stainless steel shelving and fixtures.”
  The self-contained commercial grade kitchen has 3 ovens, 10 burners, a griddle and a stockpot cooker, all running on propane. It also has a commercial size cooler, dishwashing station, hand washing sink, and a shower. Power is distributed through multiple outlet banks, each with its own breaker.
  Three 400-gal. totes provide drinking, cooking and cleaning water for a week. Wastewater drops into a sump for pumping to a tote. A propane tank for the kitchen and the stand-alone generator are set up outside. Inside, there is substantial free space for all the camping gear and supplies needed for a group of about 80 on a week-long adventure.
  “I used the largest possible trailer so there is room for a dolly to run down the center aisle for loading and unloading supplies and gear,” explains Little. “At the rear of the trailer the water totes are secured under a deck with room for storing gear and supplies. A second deck clicks in place over part of the kitchen area while in transit, providing more storage.”
  Even the large cooler can be used for storage. It has load bar doors that can be popped off, and 2 pallets of supplies can be wheeled inside.
  A number of the trailer’s features are designed to keep things running smooth and clean. He has a water tank level visible near the showers to encourage conservative water use. Shower users enter through a side door, keeping them out of the kitchen. Water pressure for the shower is on a 10-min. timer, and the water is on a hand release garden hose head. Little also built a swamp cooler to hang on the side of the trailer when on site. Air pulled through it helps cool the kitchen area. A hand sink is at the entrance to the kitchen area.
  “There is no reason for anyone with dirty hands to be in my kitchen,” he says.
  He says the investment in time and money was well worth it. He highly recommends doing something similar if large family or friend groups get away to remote areas or festivals once a year or more.
  “Hopefully I can rent it out a few times a year to get my money back,” says Little. “Even so, it paid for itself in less time setting up a kitchen tent and being able to shut the doors when the wind kicks up.”
  Little considered using a fifth wheel trailer but is glad he settled on a semi-trailer.
  “I contract with a transport company to deliver it to the site. I don’t have to worry about a transmission going out or other problems. Commercial delivery guarantees it will get there and everyone will be fed.”
  Little says he would be happy to help someone else set up a similar trailer or do it for them. “The neat thing is you can put anything in there you need, bathrooms, a garbage compactor, flat screen TVs or specialty cooking equipment,” he says.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jon-Richard Little, 13333 Carson Hwy., Fallon, Nevada 89406 (ph 775 666-5948; payphone@primate.net).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #6