How do you install a window in a food truck?

If you’re designing your food truck, you already know the necessity of a food truck window. Concession windows are important for taking orders, delivering food, and charging customers. You have many options for these windows.

Your truck’s window can take up the length of your truck or partial measurement. You can use a horizontal sliding window or a traditional vertically split window. The window may also use a screen or two slides. County health and fire codes may determine some specifics of your food truck window.

Read on for everything you need to know about installing a window in your food truck. You’ll be more than ready to sell concessions out of your food truck.

How to pick the right food truck window

With so many concession window options, it’s important to pick the right one for you. You can include extra features like awnings, screens, and different mounting tools. Let’s take a look at your mounting options first.

Lift supports

Most food trucks come with struts or lift supports that open with ease and stay open until you’re ready to close down for the day. These come without locking bars, so you prop them open, and they stay that way. Lift supports reduce the time needed to prep. Lift supports are available in various sizes that hold different weights.

To find the right strength food truck window, you need to weigh them. If your windows aren’t yet installed, weighing them is easy. If not, either remove the windows and weigh them, or prop the windows open and place them on a scale to approximate weight. You can find lift supports for a variety of window weights, including:

  • 75 pounds
  • 115 pounds
  • 190 pounds
  • 200 pounds

Mounting brackets

If you’re not considering using lift supports to prop open your food truck window, think about using mounting brackets. Find mounting brackets that are compatible with struts that use 13-millimeter ball stud end fittings. This is the most common size of ball fitting for mounting brackets. Note that mounting brackets wear out over repeated use and may need replacing. You should be able to find replacement struts with 13-millimeter end fittings to fit your original mountings.

Food truck worker waiting for customers

How big is a food truck window?

Another detail that might impact installing your food truck window is vehicle size. You can find food truck windows in custom sizes from retailers like J&R Aluminum or in standard sizes from places like RecPro. There are tons of options out there, based on how you lay out your food truck’s flow of ordering and delivery. Consider the size of your food truck when you choose a window size. Make sure you also consider:

  • Visibility with prep and cleanliness
  • Passing food to customers
  • Where customers order and pay

An ideal dual-window setup often includes a 3-by-5-foot window and a 3-by-6 foot window as standard sizing. The first window could be for orders and the second for serving. Signage is helpful, but you can always tell customers where to stand, too. If you’ve got a long window, make sure it’s divided, so customers aren’t confused.

How do you close a food truck window?

You can close a food truck window two ways. If it’s on lifts or mounting brackets, you’ll latch and lock it shut. A sliding window needs to be flush in the frame and locked into place.

How do you install a window in a food truck?

You can install a window in a food truck on your own or with professional help. If you’re purchasing a custom or standard window, you’ll likely find an installation service as an extension of the product. If you’re planning a DIY food truck window installation, read on for materials and necessary steps.

What you need:

  • Tape measure
  • Window frame
  • Awning
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Struts or brackets
  1. Measure from inside the window frame end to end and top to bottom. This measurement isn’t the same as the full-length exterior, as it excludes the lip.
  2. Measure on the food truck where you’ll need to cut out the exact window size.
  3. Level as you draw the full outline to ensure an exact fit. Any small gaps left from inaccurate cuts can be shunted later on, but it’s ideal to avoid this at all.
  4. Remeasure to ensure accuracy. If your truck has rivets, bolts, or screws, or secured paneling, make sure your previously drawn cut lines work around or over these fasteners.
  5. You can go the extra mile and install additional insulation between any internal paneling and the external wall of the truck. If you don’t know how to install insulation, feel free to ignore this step. Insulation helps keep your vehicle cool or hot, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Measure again to double-check and avoid any gapping.
  7. Start cutting with a saw strong enough to cut through your truck’s external paneling. Take your time to do this and avoid the metal bending with extra long cuts.
  8. Cut off any excess within the interior.
  9. Screw in the window and metal frame to finish. If you want a built-in awning and extra security, consider a lifting window with locks on the exterior.

Final thoughts

You have a few decisions to make about your food truck window: lifting supports vs. mounting brackets, one or two windows, and size. Once you make these decisions, follow the steps for building a DIY concessions window.

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