Rockin’ the Rockin’ Donuts Van

In July of this year, Vehicle Modification Specialists (VMS) were contracted to build a 1950’s retro style food van for Rockin’ Donuts.

The design brief started as nothing more than that, and was further scoped out into a detailed plan and project, following meetings and many phone conversations between the owners and VMS Management.


The Food Van Fitout

The Rockin’ Donuts van was have the facilities to make and serve fresh donuts, coffee and cold drinks under its own power or with mains 240vac power that would be available at sites the van would attend. To that end, two 5.8Kw EFI Cummins/Onan generators were sized and installed to power the van’s refrigerators, coffee machine and grinder, hot dog machine, hot water service, water pump, automatic tap, MP3 Player and lighting.

Rockin Donuts Food Van

In order to keep the perishables fresh and cold, both during transit and at venues, in accordance with local council health rules, the perishables need to be kept below 5degC and that means during transit also. The Cummins/Onan generators are designed specifically for that purpose and are quiet in operation. VMS are a wealth of knowledge and well experienced in having the food vans designed and manufactured to be compliant for each of the councils they will be operating under.

The chassis of the van is a locally built, 2 pack finished, twin axle  trailer chassis, complete with electric brakes and an electric brake away system installed by VMS. For compliance, the tow ball weight had to be a key consideration of weight placement in the van throughout the design and build process. During all parts of the build and at the end of the project the tow ball weight was kept within specification and came as per the requirements. The owners say the van is solid and tows very well behind their car.

Coach Building Expertise & Innovation

As this was a one off design, with many unique curved surfaces, the staff at VMS, with their strong coach building background, had to innovate throughout the design in order to deliver what the customer wanted and to bring the project in within the budget allocated.  VMS helped the customer specify the equipment they needed to make the food van fully functional, everything in the van is custom sized for the application and custom fitted. A necessary part of the work is to listen to what customers want and to work to help them realise their dream.

Rockin Donuts Food Van

The electrics, both AC and DC, are done by VMS staff and compliance tested and approved prior to hand over. In order to keep weight down and power usage within the power budget, LED lights were used, as they are compact, light and bright.  Circuit breakers were used in place of fuses as they are able to be utilised, once a circuit fault has been rectified, which is particularly helpful, when on site and the business of running the van is paramount.

The Rockin’ Donus food van is now in circulation, attending venues and earning its living, a showpiece and an attraction in itself and will be on show and operational as part of the VMS exhibit at the Geelong Revival.