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Heat/cool for a real trailer

Customer of mine has a food truck, but is building an enclosed trailer to serve bbq out of year round. This will need heat 24/7 in the winter to prevent freezing. I've wired shore power at his house, and he has 240volts available where he travels as well. Trailer will be insulated to at least R10. 

I'm thinking this is perfect for a mini-split, but are there any which are rated for this? Being attached to a moving vehicle (while not running) and then being energized immediately after becoming stationary again. 

I'm going to install a small electric wall heater in there as well. 

72 square feet, 504 cubic feet total. 
Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552
    All sorts of options in the RV industry for trailers that size. I see mini splits on tiny homes and expedition RVs all the time.
    These are built near me and I see mini split condensers on the rear bumpers.
    https://www.globalxvehicles.com

    I built a 20' tiny home, put radiant floors and a 6,000 window AC unit. I used a Thermal 2000 electric boiler, needed a 30A 240.

    Diesel and LP combi heaters are available also.
    https://truma.net/heating-systems
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 1,864
    Mini on a food truck with all that grease?

    Budget a new one every year!
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,418
    I winterized a food trailer a few years ago. The sides and lid had an inch or so of insulation stock. Since the trailer never traveled much, we sprayed a few inches of closed cell insulation on the underside and the tanks.

    The thing you need to keep in mind is that the type 1 hood will pull ~300 CFM per lineal foot all the time. Unless you have a MUA unit, you cannot close the doors and windows when cooking or the pressure will go negative and you won't be able to open them.

    We just installed a small electric unit heater to keep it from freezing at night and to provide a little heat for the counter person. With all that cold air whipping through, you really cannot maintain a steady temp in the trailer.

    I think the best setup would be a radiant heater at the service window.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,127
    I set up a food trailer (mmmm, tacos) with radiant floors heated via an electric water heater a couple years back and have done a number of ice houses and a couple RVs the same way. As Zman mentioned, the exhaust hood can become an issue when they have the serving window open but for the most part there's not a lot of smoke/fumes to exhaust in the case of the taco wagon. They set that unit up with a roof AC from an RV for summer months as well, and last I heard they've been loving it.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,249
    edited August 2020
    pecmsg said:
    Mini on a food truck with all that grease? Budget a new one every year!
    No cooking happens in there. He smokes all the meat in a wood smoker at his house every night. Serves/assembles sandwiches etc. in the truck. 

    No exhaust hood or frying happens. Just need it to not freeze all winter as it gets used every day. He said the aluminum floor truck turns into an ice rink. 

    This is a personal friend and I'm helping with the whole project. 

    We are planning on 1.5" of blueboard sandwich floor, with plywood on top cover with a commercial vinyl floor. 

    1.5 - 2" of blueboard aeverwhere else covered with either stainless sheets, diamond plate aluminum, or FRP depending on location. He currently uses a 6,000 btu window shaker for A/C in the summer and his LP serving equipment heats somewhat in the winter. It regularly reaches -30F here. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,726
    With an open serving window, radiant might be a more comfortable choice, maybe even hydronic as @GroundUp mentioned. Also, I think I'd stay with the window shaker (or a larger one if the 6k isn't enough) for the replaceability of it—it'd be a lot more expense to replace a mini split head & I do believe as @pecmsg, that it'd be a greasy mess after a while.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,418
    With no cooking, the mini split system sounds like a good solution.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,249
    Yes, so does anyone have any knowledge of a mini-split which is listed/tolerant of being attached to a vehicle? That's the real question. Or will any of them work? I can reach out to my rep, but wanted anyone's first hand experience. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,249
    After talking to a couple of suppliers, they all said there would be no issues with a mini-split traveling around while not energized, in fact they echoed what @hot_rod said. Many units on tiny houses, demo trailers, even RVs, no issues!

    Ordered a 9,000btu unit. The owner opted to have the entire trailer spray foamed (walls/roof, and under floor) so the stationary heatloss will be very small. When the window is open, well, it will be what it will be. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • bio_guy
    bio_guy Member Posts: 69
    9000 sounds like a lot of capacity unless the number of people packed in there calls for that much cooling or low temperatures make it necessary for heating.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,249
    edited September 2020
    Thinking about the open serving window. Also -30F here.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
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