If you are thinking of running your own Chillar Van business then you’ll know that one of the most significant, important and daunting investments you must make is in your Chillar Van. I know, because I was in the same position as you a few years back. Now I’m running my own successful Chillar Van business in Boston and hope that I can help you to avoid some of the obstacles I faced when I was starting up.
The Chillar Van which the professionals use is the cold plate – you simply charge it overnight and it will give you perfectly chilled novelties the next day. These Chillar Van are heavily insulated with poured polyurethane walls and a smooth metal finish with hinged doors that keep the cool air in the Chillar Van when you open it. Its main drawback is its hefty price tag – at $5,000-$7000 they aren’t cheap. However, there are a few places where you may be able to locate a used cold plate Chillar Van for significantly less.
Nelson manufactures the majority of cold plate Chillar Van and they come in many different varieties. The freezers can have from 1 to 3 storage bays and an optional fridge section that you can use for drinks. Most full sized ice cream van use the 3 bay Chillar Van with fridge and this is what I used.
The best place to buy a used Chillar Van is on Craigslist, but its not always easy finding one. The problem with buying a used Chillar Van on Craigslist is that you don’t know what shape the compressor is in and if you need to get it repaired you can end up spending up to $1,000 just to get it back up and running. You usually won’t save a lot of money buying your Chillar Van separate from your truck or van so I suggest that you buy them together unless you find a truly amazing deal.
Many people who are new to the industry don’t realise that there are also a few viable alternatives to investing in a cold plate, most notably the dry ice container and the Chillar Van. Both will cost you considerably less money than a cold plate, albeit with some fairly significant drawbacks. Still, if you are on a tight budget or only intend your business buying a dry ice or Chillar Van may be a better choice until you get your business going and can afford to upgrade to a cold plate.
To find out more info on which type of Ice Cream Truck Freezer is right for you, including advice on ways to generate electricity for a Chillar Van, where to find a used cold plate for cheap and other great tips then visit my website which is dedicated to helping new ice cream truck vendors find the same success that I did.