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Top 10 Trailers of 2019: #1: Prudential Rooftop Pop-Up Restaurant Airstream Trailer

As 2020 hits full stride, we are completing our look back at a few of our favorite custom trailers from the past year. Of course, we will never discount the everyday trailer sales that are the meat and potatoes of our business, but the big marketing trailers that require extended fabrication are what really make us proud.

Over the last few weeks we have featured the first six of our top 10 countdown of our favorite custom trailers of 2019 as voted on by our employees. Now it’s time for the top four.

From the sales team to the admin team to the service team, every person may or may not have played a direct role in each trailer along the way, but each person has played an important role in keeping the business going, providing excellent customer service, and getting trailers back up and running quickly, which is something to be celebrated.

#10 – National Grid First Responders Training Trailer
#9 – Harbor Hill Mobile Wine Bottling Trailer
#8 – Illini Tailgate Trailer
#7 – Spiderz Batting Gloves Mobile Retail Trailer
#6 – Hudson Boat Works Marketing & Mobile Repair Trailer
#5 – The Lash Bar Mobile Lash Bar Trailer
#4 – Kroger & Dare to Care’s Zero Hunger Mobile Market Trailer
#3 – Kroger Treasure EmporiYum Mobile Tour Trailer
#2 – Florida Blue Mobile Healthcare Consultation Trailer

#1 – Prudential Rooftop Pop-Up Restaurant Airstream Trailer

Coming in at No. 1 in our Top 10 Trailers of 2019 countdownis the Airstream trailer that we gutted and fabricated into a pop-up restaurantfor the Prudential Plaza roof deck. We love this trailer because it was a high-profile project for one of the city of Chicago'stop developers and a long time in the making.

We don’t often work with Airstreams, but when Sterling Bayapproached us about putting one on the roof deck of Chicago’s firstpost-depression skyscrapers, it was an opportunity we could not pass up. 

As onecan imagine, the process of getting from concept to reality with a project ofthis scope was lengthy and full of red tape. It’s not as simple as placing a trailer onto a roof 150 feetabove Michigan Ave. and calling it a day. The city of Chicago required the trailerto be permanently affixed to the rooftop, which meant disassembling theAirstream’s frame and fabricating an entirely new frame that would turn atypically mobile trailer into a stationary one.

The next challenge was the functional purpose of the trailer: building a full kitchen from which a chef could cook and serve food to the tenants of thebuilding during and after work. Our fabrication team installed a three-piece cook line, refrigerator, prep space, and air conditioning into the tiny Airstream while still leaving space for the chef to function.

The third challenge was the process of getting the trailer upto the roof deck. It had to happen on a Sunday morning when that area of the cityhad the least amount of traffic, and thus, have the least impact on traffic and the surrounding businesses. It also had to happen on a day with low wind,which is easier said than done on the Chicago lake front. Permits had to beobtained to shut down Michigan Ave. and Randolph St., and a helicopter had toraise the trailer high enough to clear the building’s edge and then lower itinto its proper place. It was a tense situation with no margin for error.

Since the trailer was being lifted by a Sikorsky S-58T helicopter, the trailer itself couldn’t weigh more than 4,500 pounds. Kitchen equipment is heavy and our teamhad to remove a few items in order to get the weight to comply.

On lift day, random passers by were treated to an unexpected show, prompting amateur video, a thread on Reddit full of speculation, and it even got media attention from 95.9 FM The River and 101.9 The Mix’s Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip. 

Once the trailer was in place, our fabrication team then hadto finish the kitchen installation while complying with all city building codes and regulationsin order to get it ready to open.

When all was said and done, Federales Tacos & Tequila tookover the Airstream with a grand opening on July 24. Throughout the summer andfall, Federales served up tacos, salads, chips, salsa, guac, and a widevariety of drinks out of the Airstream during lunch and post-work happy hours.

While the roof deck is closed for the winter, we can’t wait forthe Airstream to begin operating again come spring. If you are interested in acustom trailer, whether an Airstream or not, please don’t hesitate to give us acall at 630-524-2029 or email marketing@advantagetrailer.comto get the conversation started. 

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