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Food Concession Trailers Galore at 2020 IISF Trade Show
Lifetime Products unveils its first food trailer in almost 20 years

Lifetime Products

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The second day of the IISF Trade Show and Extravaganza was another sunny one with temperatures reaching 80 degrees but high winds in the afternoon affected a near-perfect weather day.  Thursday also kicks off the opening of the Florida State Fair where many attendees and guests normally spend the afternoon and evening seeing what is new and novel on the Wade Shows midway and throughout the fair.  Unfortunately due to high winds, the fair was forced to close early at 5pm on its opening day.

As we reported yesterday, there are a lot of food vendors at the show this year.  We highlighted Uniglide and their two trailers on display near the entrance but throughout the grounds, it seems the food trailer industry is thriving.  Here is a recap of what you can expect to see at the show:

Gautier Trailers is further down the main drag and they had an impressive Mini Donut Express on display with an open design.  The trailer will be going to Rick Gray.  Also on display at their booth is a balloon trailer game and double decker game trailer.

Chester Built Trailers also had some impressive trailers on display including a sausage trailer for Alan & Charlotte Clark, a Popcorn trailer for Kim Halifax and a Funnel Cake going to Island Rides.

Schantz Manufacturing with their millennial series had a grab trailer going to Roger & Paula Westmoreland.  Also in the Schantz booth were game trailers and guest relations trailers as the company seems to be expanding their offerings beyond just food trailers.

Rapsure also had a trailer on display, a new Ice Cream trailer going to Gene Garden.

Down at the Waymatic booth a beautiful Red's Candy Apple trailer was being showcased.  The stand was built for Lindsey Constantine.

Show Me Manufacturing built a trailer for FunTime Shows which will sell Corn Dogs/Cotton Candy and Hot Dogs.

Finally, Trailex, near the back of the show grounds, had a Shirley's Sausage trailer on display.


Walking around the grounds, coming up the backside there was a beautiful looking lemonade trailer.  The stand —  themed Grandma Diane's Lemonade — had a familiar look to it and it was sitting in the Lifetime Products booth, owned by Gary Otterbacher and his family.

Of course, Gary was the owner of Otterbacher Manufacturing, a groundbreaking trailer manufacturer who popularized large, custom trailers, bright colors  and marquees that can still be seen on midways to this day.  Otterbacher built his last food trailer in 2000 before moving to Florida and opening Lifetime Products.  Lifetime, up to now, has primarily been in the bunkhouse business but according to Otterbacher, his former customers never stopped asking about food trailers.

“As soon as we started exhibiting here at the show again, we had inquiries about food trailers”, said Otterbacher, Each year, he would be asked about building a food trailer but he always resisted, wanting to concentrate on his growing bunkhouse business.  Finally, a request from a close friend finally led him to building his first food trailer in 20 year years.  “Danny Huston's son Blake asked us to build a food trailer for him and given the close relationship I had with Jeff and Danny from Pugh Shows and later, NAME, I decided to consider building a trailer.  The result is what you see right here”, he said, pointing to Diane's Lemonade.

Otterbacher said the company used largely the same techniques that Otterbacher used in past trailer designs with some important updates.  New advances include increasing the size of the aluminum used in construction, adding all stainless steel countertops and the addition of the new-style billboard marquees.  

New technology and improvements in manufacturing have also come into play such as the wider use of vinyl and LED lights instead of the old vac-foam plastic and turbo lights his older trailers were built with.  

While this first trailer has the billboard-style marquee, Otterbacher will also be able to build back-lit marquees like in the past.

Otterbacher says one of the reasons he was reluctant to re-enter the food trailer business was because of the wide range of customization in the buying process.  In the past, trailer contracts would run a dozen pages or more itemizing all the different options available.  Otterbacher said he has streamlined the purchasing process with a food trailer series he is calling “THE ONE” which will include in the base price all the most popular standard amenities and many that are optional with other companies.  

“These are the features people want and need so we thought we would include them all in our base models.  The only things they need to select are graphics, equipment and colors”, he added.  

Included in “THE ONE” are the aluminum body and steel chassis, counter tops, plumbing, electrical, awnings, glass and marquee, along with other popular features.  

The food stands are enabling the company to grow and take an exciting new direction and Otterbacher is happy to have added his son Nick to his team to assist along the way.  Nick worked as a college football coach for several years before joining his father full time in the family business.

The Otterbachers will continue making what they call “the premier bunkhouse in the business”.  Lifetime pioneered the all-aluminum body and they continue to make improvements to the design.  Charging stations for cell and computer use, air conditioners with temperature controlled in each room and custom room configurations are some of the new features the company is known for.  With two shower rooms per bunkhouse, they have had a big hand in improving the life of the worker on the road.  

On site in his booth are bunkhouses for Dreamland Amusements and Big Rock Amusements.  He has built his bunkhouse business and is rebuilding a trailer business by relying on repeat customers and a reputation for delivering top quality equipment that is built to last.

Wisdom Sizzler SALE

Finally today, Wisdom Rides announced they are offering a special trade in special on Sizzlers for the first 5 customers.  Those with older model Sizzler or Sizzler-like rides will receive a minimum $100,000 credit towards the purchase of a new Sizzler with all the new modern updates.

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