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Power for "Food Trucks" or "Food Trailers"?

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    Power for "Food Trucks" or "Food Trailers"?

    Customer wants a bid for some power (pedestals?) in a park area wher they could possibly plug in some food trucks of Trailers.

    They haven't specified exactly what they need for outlets. They're kinda leaving that up to me.

    Does your typical food truck/trailer need more than a 20 amp 120 volt receptacle?

    Is it like a camper that would need a 20 and a 30 because ou A/C?

    Thanks

    #2
    Will the outlet be providing power for grills, deep friers, and other cooking equipment?

    Comment


      #3
      If you search back through the forums, you'll find many threads complaining about food trucks & outdoor caterers .

      I've seen-
      5-15/5-20 (from 1 to maybe 6 separate circuits)
      L14-20
      L14-30
      14-50 (electric range)
      CS (50amp 240/120v)
      bodged-up versions of all those
      combinations of all of those

      Mostly it depends on whether they heat with gas or electric and whether they have large appliances like a soft-serve icecream machine or an espresso machine. Since the events I do generally prohibit on-truck generators (we supply all the power), probably a third of the trucks/stands use one or two 20amp circuits, a quarter use a L14-30, a quarter use a 50amp 2-pole of some kind, and the rest are other random connections.

      Beware of GFCIs and trucks/trailers. Many trucks, especially if they also use their own generator, have a N-G bond in the truck (fixing them usually gets me free meals for the weekend).

      If you're planning for a generic installation, maybe two 5-20's and a L14-30 at a site should cover many needs and don't assume that one site won't use all the power available .

      Comment


        #4
        In general if you supply a 50 amp 120/240volt 4 wire receptacle (range receptacle) same as used for larger RV’s it works well for a good number of food trailers. Just from experience from fairs in this area. There are others that do require more or less.

        Comment


          #5
          You could always install RV pedestals that would have a 50-amp 120/240-volt; a 30-amp 120-volt and a 20-amp gfci receptacle (plus a light).

          Not a cheap way to go, but nice.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by mopowr steve View Post
            In general if you supply a 50 amp 120/240volt 4 wire receptacle (range receptacle) same as used for larger RV’s it works well for a good number of food trailers.
            That works well if there is someone to wrestle spider boxes or adapters for the others; if they're going to pull-up/hook-up, better to have what they're most likely to use directly. (I know of one city that mandated trucks must use either (one or two) 5-15 or L14-30 to connect with city power, they also pretty much mandated propane for cooking.)

            As usual- conditions differ, your mileage may vary, void where prohibited, some inspectors have Opinions about this, etc.

            Comment


              #7
              Most of these concession guys have a multitude of connecting options whether it be Pigtails, Camlocks, and Cord Caps so they can hook to what-ever is provided at whatever location.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by mopowr steve View Post
                Most of these concession guys have a multitude of connecting options whether it be Pigtails, Camlocks, and Cord Caps so they can hook to what-ever is provided at whatever location.
                They do..... L14-20 (supply) to 30amp "rv" crowsfoot, then that to a 5-15; I think I've seen the reverse, too. (I hope they never have an opportunity to tie in bare ends.)

                Or this beaut-
                Click image for larger version

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                there's a 14-50 plug on the other end of the 6/4. We had a "discussion" about it.

                The problem is that most of the folks know cooking, they don't know electricity, so sometimes they do whatever works regardless of how unsafe it is; they don't know any better. Or Jeff down at the RV place said "It'll work." and it has at other sites.

                Almost my entire collection of burned caps/connectors have come from mobile catering .

                Anyway, give'em something standard, tell'em what it is, and take a vacation day when they hook up.

                Comment


                  #9
                  One day they will put food trucks in the nec.... Right now there isn't an official inspection of the vehicle other than the health department. We have done a few-- one went to Chicago and I was old that the health officials were very impressed with the wiring. Little bragging there....
                  They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
                  She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
                  I can't help it if I'm lucky


                  sigpic

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
                    One day they will put food trucks in the nec.... Right now there isn't an official inspection of the vehicle other than the health department. We have done a few-- one went to Chicago and I was old that the health officials were very impressed with the wiring. Little bragging there....

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I haven't done any food trucks. I had 1 business owner asking about putting outdoor receptacles for them. I gave him a NEMA chart & asked him to share it with the truck owners so we could see what they all used. His panel had little space open so I thought of putting all needed outlets, 2 per ckt, with a selector switch between. He said he would usually have 1 truck at a time. We talked a time or 2 and I never heard back from him.
                      Yes, I'll be happy to do a first class job for less than anyone else and take a dollar a week for 10 years.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Don’t kill yourself providing all kinds of outlets for them. It’s really a free for all frenzy how from one concession to the next electrical needs go. One guy will say all I need is 30amps, next guy you ask if he’ll hold on 30 will say no I need 40amps, another guy will say 50amps, yet another will say 60amps, then comes the Coup-de-gras guy who runs all electric fryers doing fish says he needs 200amps and by god he wasn’t sh—ing he really drew 200 amps.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
                          One day they will put food trucks in the nec.... Right now there isn't an official inspection of the vehicle other than the health department. We have done a few-- one went to Chicago and I was old that the health officials were very impressed with the wiring. Little bragging there....

                          If I have any say, I would recommend that food concession trailers come with minimum 50amp 120/240 volt supply cord and connector so that it would become a widely used standard, as it would work well with pedestals and surface power receptacle boxes already in the market for RV’s. In addition to that, if 60 amp service is needed the pedestal manufacturers also provide 60amp receptacles as auxiliary equipment for their boxes.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I would propose the CS6365 for food truck builders and those of us wiring food trucks.
                            It's 125/250V 1 PH and gives you the added protection of locking.
                            Its common on generators so if the vendor needs to get a generator for other events they are all set.
                            It the standard plug we install at larger venue's like fairgrounds and convention centers.
                            Stage / and sound type folks use them for outdoor lighting or spider boxes etc.
                            So if your wiring a courtyard that might be used for other purposes like a outdoor event your good to go.

                            https://www.hubbell.com/wiringdevice...365C/p/1634357

                            Just my 2cents
                            Cheers
                            Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by tortuga View Post
                              I would propose the CS6365 for food truck builders and those of us wiring food trucks.
                              It's 125/250V 1 PH and gives you the added protection of locking.
                              Its common on generators so if the vendor needs to get a generator for other events they are all set.
                              It the standard plug we install at larger venue's like fairgrounds and convention centers.
                              Stage / and sound type folks use them for outdoor lighting or spider boxes etc.
                              I'd suggest that, too, but unless you're doing a general infrastructure (not sites specifically for food trucks), you end up over-provisioning since IME most trucks don't need even 30A, and only about half of the trucks need 240v- hence my comment earlier about adapters and spider boxes. If the OP wants trucks to be able to roll up and plug in, installing only CS connectors doesn't help much.

                              How many portable generators have CS outputs? Usually the biggest is an L14-30 unless you get into trailer-mounted units. (Not saying they don't exist, only that I've never seen one.)

                              Comment

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