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A Citroen H(Y) van is an almost perfect food truck chassis. Born as a workhorse for French industry in the fifties, the original vans made after 1962 are extremely versatile and durable with many old-timers lovingly restored to mint condition or as vintage catering vans by experts.

Citroen H Food Truck Coffee Truck


Buying a Citroen Food Truck – What Are My Options?

Not as spacious as the maximum length Step Van food truck, but with a long wheel base, Citroen catering vans can be over 20ft in length.

Karpatia offers more than vintage food trucks for sale. A brand new Citroen Jumper or Dodge RAM ProMaster can be outfitted with cosmetic corrugated paneling to look like a classic type h van, with all the perks of driving a new truck. Or consider one of our two other options, a static van restoration or replica.


Pricing an original restoration is tough. They are very time intensive and each pre-owned truck has its own peculiar set of problems. A base version, derelict on a french farm or just barely not in use as a food truck, can be found on major listings sites with wildly varying ranges from $10k to ~$50k+.

Yet they all usually end up around a minimum of $100k EXW when fully converted including all works and equipment. Are there bargains? Yes, but do not base your business plan or conversion cost on that.

We offer a transparent pricing and quote with the van, restoration and conversion works and materials all listed separately. 


There are Citroen H vans with longer wheelbases – up to 20ft. These are quite rare and priced accordingly. As such it is usually a faster option to extend the wheelbase of a regular Citroen van.

A longer wheelbase van is not the same as an extended van. Extending a van means extending the body beyond the rear axle whereas an extended wheel base moves the rear wheels and axle further to the back.

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Karpatia offers replica trailers made in Mexico, to US standards, starting as low as $40k.

Replica vans are not road legal vehicles – but ours is a trailer, made in-house by Karpatia Mexico to NHTSA and DOT standards, complete with a VIN and title.

This offers several advantages such as much lower tariffs, taxes, and no need for vehicle insurance. Additionally, there is virtually no maintenance involved and you can maintain it like you would any kitchen equipment.

Replica trailers are best for fixed vending units or in use for an event catering company or other mobile business. Not officially being a vehicle has as a downside that some jurisdictions will not allow you to obtain a food truck permit or license using a trailer as they mandate a truck (e.g. down town LA, New Orleans, Dallas).


A great alternative to a replica is restoring an original vintage van without doing the mechanical and engine overhaul. Vintage restorations are measurably less costly and certainly faster if we can disregard the brakes, engine, and all other mechanical bits and bobs.

If you are a restaurateur or hotel using the food truck as a static decor item for your service then this might just be the perfect solution if you do want the genuine brand experience but have no need of a truly mobile unit.

For catering companies too, the practicality of driving an oldtimer tens of thousands of km per year will get to you no matter the restoration quality, which is why we recommend to always transport by or as a trailer or get an engine replacement done.


Using a new Citroen Sprinter or Dodge RAM ProMaster as the base and applying cosmetic paneling, we are able to recreate the classic look of a type h van using a fully modern truck profile as the base.

The biggest advantage in doing this is the singular reliability of the van, allowing you to not only pass the DOT/DMV/MOT but to also have a significantly reduced worry about engine trouble when driving and being able to ditch the trailer, operating as a fully independent truck.

Another advantage is that a lease on the van itself can be obtained at much lower interest rates than for equipment financing as is done for food trucks.


Karpatia is able to offer Citroen Type H vans for sale in the USA at competitive prices as we essentially “dropship” them. Not from China of course, from Europe. This means that these vans are with us in Europe, waiting to be restored and converted to the food truck of your dreams.

As virtually all of our customers are looking to convert a type h van into a food truck, we can do some of the conversion and revision to a very high quality standard in Europe, and do the final kitchen installation and food truck buildout in the USA in our Atlanta workshop with licensed, insured and bonded plumbers and electricians.

To make you life easier, Karpatia also has a partner to handle all the import- export paperwork, technicalities, and logistics.

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Shipping Containers for Sale & Rent - Custom conversions of shipping containers for food service and hospitality

There are literally hundreds of food truck builders.

so why karpatia?

  • Karpatia provides one of the best quality-to-value ratios in the industry. From 100% made in the USA, to high end European classics like Citroens and authentic conversions, we can do it all.

  • With Karpatia, you have an endless amount of possibilities. We will provide you with the best kitchen equipment and customizations such as full body wrap or painting. Working with us is fast and easy!

  • We also provide additional services to help you get started – from financing to food truck websites. We want to see you succeed, which is why we offer many options in hopes it will help their business be successful. 

For more information about citroen food trucks or to request a free quote, call us anytime at 404-999-1864 or fill out the form on our contact page.

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Learn more in our knowledge center ►

If you have a MOT (RDW/TÜV or other local) pass then yes, even the old-timers can be driven road legally. Replicas can not be driven legally on the road.

Most low emission zones will first ban the older Citroens based on their actual CO2 output, then also make a carveout for old-timers or professional vehicles used to carry out the business. In our experience it is possible to obtain an exemption in most cases but make sure to ask your local council first.

We have our refurbishment and conversion workshops in Eastern Europe, a short distance away from international airports of BUD and VNO. In addition, we do not use original parts in a restoration when it is not necessary.

A true aficionado may die a little on the inside when using off the shelf wipers for their Citroen restoration, but the people ordering coffee or fries at your service window will not notice the difference.

Yes, of course! When restoring an original van to working condition as a catering van, one of the biggest things to start off a quality build with is sourcing a good used vehicle. If you’ve already found one that is great and we are happy to assess the works needed to get it back in shape.

Absolutely. We restore vintage units to mint condition for approval and “new vintage” Citroen Jumpers with the cosmetic h van paneling are some of the most reliable catering vans out there and both will meet the DOT standards without issue.


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