The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Building a portable pizza oven for a trailer

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amsing's picture
amsing

Building a portable pizza oven for a trailer

We are building a trailer for a portable pizza oven and I am wondering if anyone has built their own oven for use in travel and what their experience has been.  I am torn as to whether to buy a ready made one or make a diy one.  My concerns are if it will stay in one piece durring travel, bumps, potholes etc.  Also I wonder what the best materials could be...earthen, brick etc.  How about heat, is one better than another?  Also, has anyone ever done a dual heat source such as propane?  And I also wonder about wood, how much you would need to keep one warm all day long.  We have plentiful mesquite and I don't know if the kind makes a difference.  Thanks!

Amy

kmrice's picture
kmrice

If you intend to build a wood fired oven, go to the Forno Bravo Forum at http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/

The forum has many threads on portable WFOs.

Karl

ClimbHi's picture
ClimbHi

My recollection is that Alan Scott's book, The Bread Builders, has a chapter on trailer-mounted ovens. IIRC, the gist of it is that, built per Alan's specs, the ovens stand up well on a trailer (so long as the trailer is designed to carry the load). This seems logical in that the Scott design is basically a reinforced concrete bunker with an internal brick lining. ;-)  I'm guessing that an earthen oven would not fare so well.

As for keeping it warm all day, it really depends on your oven's thermal mass and insulation. It takes my small oven about as much wood as I can carry in one large armload to initially heat. As for keeping it warm, that'll depend a lot on what you are doing with it -- fire-in or retained heat cooking, door opened or closed, the wood you're using (yes, it does make a difference -- you can look up BTUs per pound for various species on the Net), etc.  It's safe to say that, once heated, it takes a lot less fuel to maintain than to heat initially, but each oven is different, so all I can say is try it & see. 

As for alternate fuel sources, commercial masonry ovens are often gas-fired, and (again, IIRC) Scott's book mentions the possibility, referencing burners that you can insert for spot heating or re-warming. I've never seen a source for such burners, but then again, I haven't really looked.

ClimbHi
Pittsburgh, PA

Davidkatz's picture
Davidkatz

http://www.handprintpress.com/authors/trailers-for-mobile-ovens/

From the Bread builders....lots of info...

Let me know how you progress - I'm also planning a mobile WFO.

My jeep can only pull 3 metric tons....including the trailer.

So be carful.

Wing talks about the bumps on the road etc.....

A clay oven may crack, but can easily be repaired. Food for thought.

 

 

 

scott312's picture
scott312

Thank you guys. That just may be the book I have been looking for.

 

 

Scott

Marty's picture
Marty

I suggest you also check out

www.pizzamaking.com

Quite a few portable pizza oven operators and builders there.

 

gepco's picture
gepco

Yes I built a brick oven and mounted on a trailers for way less money then the ones you see on line its my third year and it works great  save money build your own

JoshuaFinancial's picture
JoshuaFinancial

Here's to your success, everyone who makes a go at it

Gepco - would you consider selling plans?  I am of the same frame of mind - I want a trailered oven but don't want to drop $20K on a retail production.  But I suspect a lot of folks in these forums are like me - Foodies, not Builders.   So I'm not clever mechanically.  Lots of info out there on how to build an oven in the yard - not finding much about building a trailer and building an oven for portability.   I'd say a 3-year track record is as much as I or anyone else would  ask from a DIY project.

Let me know if you'd consider some sort of arrangement that comps you for your consulting and lets us get up and running on wheels on a budget and quickly.  I'll be your first client.

 

gepco's picture
gepco

yes i would be glad to tell you what i did and send you some pics can you send me your email?

JoshuaFinancial's picture
JoshuaFinancial

Cool, thanks!  It's joshua [at] joshuafinancial.com

That's really nice of you.   

Kglasky's picture
Kglasky

Hi, I was interested in building an oven to put on a trailer and saw that you had made one. I would love to find out how you  did it and any tips you might have. Thanks so much ! Kevin 

Chefjew's picture
Chefjew

I would really love if you can help me with any information on how to build a mobile brick oven because I'm trying to expand my culinary knowledge my email is chefjew at gmail.com. Pleaseeee and thank you!

alexking95's picture
alexking95

Hey Gepco, I was wondering if you could send me the same info and pictures you sent Joshua. I am a senior in high school and going to build one of these for my senior project. I would love some advice. My email is alex.soccer.car@gmail.com .   Thanks a bunch.

tomster101's picture
tomster101

gepco, if you would send me some information on how you built a trailer I would also be grateful.   I am hooked on the idea of this business!  My e-mail is tom9494@live.com.  Thank you, Tomster101

cheflee's picture
cheflee

Hi , I am interested in your thoughts and plans with your WFO as well . Email is Dustinleecoffing@gmail.com. thanks

ScottyJohn's picture
ScottyJohn

Hi Gepco, I'm going to build a pizza oven on a trailer too hopefuly. I see from this thread that you may be able to offer some advice. If you could could, I would be very grateful. My e-mail is  

johnmcinnes2002@hotmail.com

Kind regards,

John

 

Grozio's picture
Grozio

Hi , I too am on a mission to build a portable oven on a trailer. I want to get my feet wet with a homemade one and test the Minnesota waters. I built my own brick oven on my patio and love it. I would really like to see your design and get the details. I can be reached at gblevins@good-sam.com

Foodiegirl's picture
Foodiegirl

Hi Gepco, I know you've probably been swamped with enquiries for your mobile oven. I have made a few enquiries to have one made here in New Zealand. However lack of resources and manufacturers specialising in authentic wood fired ovens here have made me want to make my own. I would how ever outsource the labour to build a custom made trailer. May I ask what your plans are for what you made are? I don't mind having to pay you for your plans :) kind regards Rach

 

Foodiegirl's picture
Foodiegirl

 

Sorry i forgot to send my email slog with my earlier message it's:

Rachaeldmagner@gmail.com

thank you

Apizza25's picture
Apizza25

Hello señor gepco, I realize you've been bombarded with tons of requests for trailer specs, but here it comes again.  I attended the fire within workshop in CO and as much as I'd like to purchase their product, I feel like its important to me to create my own.  I would like to ask for your help...

Please respond if able and willing to share.

Thank you Sir!

mattman's picture
mattman

Here it comes again. I too am experimenting with a 6x8 foot trailer and am having trouble figuring out which direction to go with it. I would love to find out how you  did it and also any tips you might have. I also would compensate you for your assistance as I am retired and cannot really afford a Forno Bravo Cadillac even though that would be my dream. I wish that I could duplicate the cob/ adobe oven that I made last Fall for my backyard and duplicate it onto a trailer. Thanx in advance! From Southcentral PA. Dan

e-mail: trixie1946@comcast.net.

ericbakken's picture
ericbakken

My brothers and i have built three mobile wfo, the first on a beefy utility trailer we had fabricated to carry the load, the second In a converted FedEx truck, the third in an enclosed utility trailer.  Our design inspiration comes from Kiko Denzer of build your own earth oven.  The ovens were cast from refractory concrete reinforced with stainless steel needles, and have held up very well for all the miles we have put on them.  

The project would not have been possible for the cost we spent had we not had significant building and welding experience and tools.  There is a reason the trailers cost $20k

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Eric,

Couldn't agree more.  One thing that has not been mentioned is suspension.  Quite apart from the fact that any wfo on a trailer will be extremely heavy, it also will be very top heavy, so adequate suspension, including anti-sway, is vital.  Bend an undersuspened trailer around a corner at too high a speed and you'll likely flip the thing, taking your hitch and maybe the bed of your truck with it.  Very careful design for any trailer is a must if you want to be safe.  Any vendor of a ready-made trailer wfo should work closely with the American Trailer Association to insure adequate specs.

Dobeda's picture
Dobeda

Check out Riganipizza.com  Saw them at a fair in VT and their pizza's were delicious;  They purchased the wood burning unit and then built their own set up on a trailer.....their baking area set up was the real deal.  No doubt they would advise you as to how to proceed.

alexking95's picture
alexking95

Hey Gepco, I was wondering if you could send me the same info and pictures you sent Joshua. I am a senior in high school and going to build one of these for my senior project. I would love some advice. My email is alex.soccer.car@gmail.com .   Thanks a bunch.

tomster101's picture
tomster101

Anyone and Everyone, I posted this late in the wrong part of the forum but anyone that could send me information or leads on how to get a mobile pizza oven completed for a great savings on what the completed ovens sell for would be a friend of mine!  I would like to know where you get these things for $20K?  Most of those that I see are over $30K.  Anyway, my e-mail is tom9494@live.com and I would greatly appreciate any and all help, suggestions, pointers and a start in the right direction.  Lots of Thanks in advance.

mikku's picture
mikku

As a hobby, I restored a Jaguar XKE ---a while back!  After finishing the restoration, it was too beautiful to drive so I ended up building an enclosed car carrier to transport the car to and from car shows so that I did not have to deal with the extensive cleaning required to prepare a car for show. 

I am a real cheap person but love working on things mechanically.  I had to learn how to weld--to be able to do a proper restoration!  That meant learning to weld thin metal without warping and doing it well enough to be able to replace entire body panels.  I purchased a Miller wire-feed welder and practiced until I was able to do simple and complicated welding.  But the welder was expensive maybe in the 1K range for a good unit!  This welder made it possible to weld all kinds of steel without a bunch of slag to chip off.  Excellent welds every time!

So where in this world does a 20K or 30K simple trailer come from?  You need to know your weights, but you can build your oven and mount it onto a trailer frame.  All that you have fabricated.  Decide if you want a single axle or double...probably double is preferable.  Leave the axle mount locations open.  Get your entire oven built and move your axle location so that you have tongue weight on your hitch.  That is the most important issue.  Tail heavy will make the trailer ---trail uncontrollably...it is just a matter of locating where the balance point is!  Find the balance point and put the axle location to the rear of that point.

Steel can be purchased anywhere, learn to weld, learn to do some painting, buy springs, brakes, fenders from various online sources.  When I was doing this work, Harbor Freight was a good source... Surge brakes work fine, learn how to do wiring harnesses and how to get a license for your trailer.  The rest is a no brainer. 

 

The enclosed trailer that I built carried a classic 1969 Jaguar XKE all around Minnesota, and Wisconsin to various car shows.  This was a good hobby, but I lost interest ---restoration is a hobby, showing off your handywork is a lot to do with vanity!  New hobby...build USA style housing in Japan!  That has been keeping me busy for the last 20 years!  Now WFO's are my new hobby...but where does the 20K or 30K come from?

Even if you bought all the tools new, cannot come up with those numbers?  Maybe mobile WFO's have to be my new hobby and send them to the good old USA!

I guess, if you do not want to take the time to learn the various skills, then you have to pay the piper!  But 20K or 30K is crazy expensive.  didn't pay even half that for an 8 year hobby restoring a classic Jaguar and that included the welder and all the other basic tools!

A WFO is just a big chunk of masonry, nothing special.  make it out of castable refractory and put some shocks on your trailer ---have a great time trailering it all around the USA!  Make sure you have a vehicle that can pull the extra load!  Mine was an E350 with the biggest V8 Ford had for sale, dual fuel tanks and all the goodies!  That 7.8 Liter V-8 put out enough HP to pass anything on the road with a car carrier in tow!  Cheers to all you enthusiasts out there.  If you want something bad enough, learn how to do it yourself!

Huckleberry's picture
Huckleberry

Hi Gepco, could you please send me the plans for the wood burning oven? I have my wedding coming up and would love to build one. Sounds like a great project. my email is: robert_ward9 at sky.com.

If not if you could point me in the right direction of the first steps.

Thank a lot

Rob

 

h2opologt's picture
h2opologt

Could you please share with me any information/advice/instructions that would help me in my mission to build a wood oven burning pizza on a trailer?

I am on a mission to build one of these and it would be wonderful to be able to pick your brain.

I am down in south florida, and we are actually looking to use this for something other than pizzas!

Thanks.

email is h2opologt AT gmail.com

bustamove's picture
bustamove

sorry i did not read the thread  - i noticed that my oven got mentioned here… the oven is actually a combination of an Alan Scott  - Some Turtlerock Masonry and a few of my own designs.. this is built for baking bread..though great for pizza…three /four pies at a time... it has a hearth that is 42 inches wide and about 68 inches deep.  The big difference is an integrated flue that is cast refractory.  This allows me to have a door that spans the entire hearth.  I have two sets of doors - one for baking and one for firing .  While firing the baking doors are in the down position.  Because the oven is so deep i have a loader that allow the dough to be put in very quickly.  If you are in southern california  check out Grist and Toll this weekend… doing a community bake.  I have tried to detail all steps of the process and the manufacturers that i have purchased from.  good luck.