There is a question probably most of us have asked ourselves: “How to turn an airstream into a food truck?” There are two ways to make this happen. Either you will pay someone to do it for you or you will do it by yourself. The first option is more expensive but it saves you a lot of time and the second one is more time consuming, but it saves you money. So the first step is to decide what is more important to you, money or time.

Get professionals to take care of it

Since it is their job, they will convert an airstream into the food truck with ease. Your only task is to explain how you need it to be done.

Get it done by yourself

This way takes a lot of personal time (which you could use to get some other things done), but if you have spare time and you are craving to get your hands dirty (with help from few more pairs of hands), do it. There are electrical, plumbing, and many other works for which you need to have a handyman’s set of skills, so this job is definitely not going to be easy. For some tasks in the further text, we recommend you to hire professionals. 

In the following text find out what are the steps to making a food truck.

1. Check frame

Older the trailer is, frame rusts more.

2. Check rear-end separation

Try to avoid trailers with that problem. For ones who don’t know: rear-end separation is a separation of the frame from behind the back axle on a tandem axle. The back of the trailer will develop a gap between the bumper storage compartment and the super-structure of the trailer itself. It will also start to “pull” in the belly pan below. 

3. Reinforce chassis and replace the axles to keep the balance and weight distribution correct

This is one of the most important tasks to do on your trailer because the correct balance will keep you safe on the highway.

4. Check flooring and wall insulation

This is one of the most important tasks to do on your trailer because the correct balance will keep you safe on thIt is suggested to remove the existing interior all the way to the exterior shell. With time they start to rot and sometimes harbors insects and rodents. Get fiberglass insulation out of the walls because they absorb water from cleaning and condensation from cooking, dishwashing, etc.. Flooring and wall insulation need to be made out of non-flammable material. You should get an all-aluminum interior as it meets health code for every state.

5. Service window

It helps you get equipment in the trailer since the door is not big enough. The easiest way to make it is when you get all interior out of your Airstream.

6. A/C

Most of the food trucks need to have A/C. The best option is to cut an opening for AC at the roof.

7. Source of power


It is a must-have for every food truck. Usually, it is built-in at the back of an Airstream or under the construction. but you should consult with your local authorities. A generator needs to be firmly positioned. The problem with them is that they get hot, so they need to be located in a well-ventilated area.

Propane tank

Check with your local safety and fire regulations on how to set up your tank correctly. After you get all the information’s about regulations, manufacture and install a tank rack, gas manifold for equipment and regulation.

8. Electrical works

Setting up electrical wiring is one of the essential tasks to do right because you need electricity to serve food to your customers. When an Airstream is fully assembled it is hard to determine what is wrong with the wiring, so if you have no experience in electrical works, get help from a professional electrician.

9. Plumbing

This is another job we recommend you to take professional help. Try to find a plumber who has experience working on the trailer, because if he or she has no experience with food trucks, it will take him additional time to figure everything out (the time you need to pay).

10. Equip kitchen as it suits your food truck business

First, you should determine what is the equipment you need and how much space it takes up. When you found all the needed food truck equipment, make a blueprint for kitchen design layout which will help you check how much space does it take up, and is it possible to built-in as required.

Take care of your trailer meeting local health and safety codes

Once again, every state has different health and safety codes. If you don’t know how to interpret the law and codes, or you are not sure about them, ask your city representatives for help.

To summarize, restoring Airstream trailer isn’t easy job. Hiring professionals to turn your Airstream into a food truck is a much better option if you look at it in a way where for a certain amount of money you will be sure that everything is done properly in a decent time period. Still, if you are more of a DIY person, these tasks will assure you a lot of time spent on making everything work and, later on, happiness while showing it proudly to your friends, family, employers, and finally, customers. We hope that we explained how to turn an Airstream into a food truck!