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Digger talks to James at Silverbean Trailers who make bespoke trailers that can make a powerful statement about your business.

Silverbean Trailers come in four different lengths - 16ft, 18ft, 20ft and 23ft. Each one is handmade, from the galvanised 'ladderframe' chassis right up to the individually riveted aluminium panels.

Inspired by the vintage American Airstream trailer, the Silverbean has a highly-polished exterior skin and unique curved end caps. The 4 standard lengths mean James can provide you with a unique and amazing eye-catching trailer, tailor-made (or should that be trailer-made?) for Corporate Entertainment, Events, Catering and more.

Digger: Can you please tell us a little bit about your background and the background to Silverbean Trailers?

James: I started converting coffee vans in 2005. In 2010 I decided to start converting bigger vans/trailers for catering use as the only catering trailers I could see at shows were the standard white box with various standards of sign writing. So I looked into H - vans, airstream trailers, vintage milk floats, bay window and split screen VW's and I even drew up plans for a cart (as in horse and cart!) for an eye catching unit! Bad idea - horse's and food are not an ideal match! I decided to go for the Airstream trailer because of it's iconic looks and the internal space. All the airstreams I could find were very old and needed a significant amount of work to bring them up to a standard suitable for Environmental Health and suitable for road use. So I spoke to my friend Peter, who had been restoring all things American and vintage, including Airstreams. We decided there was a gap in the market. The problem is sourcing and restoring a vintage trailer, and bringing it up to modern standards, is only fractionally cheaper than building a brand new one. So off we went to the drawing board. We built a 16ft caravan first, and it looked amazing! New galvanised chassis, new brakes, new electrics, new everything. We then built the same style caravan, or shell, as a catering unit with a serving hatch on the near side. I still have that trailer and use it regularly at shows and outdoor events. The design has improved a lot since the first two trailers, but the eye-catching look and high build quality remain the same. 

Digger: Please tell us more about what people can expect at Silverbean Trailers and about the sorts of conversions you have done.

James: Silverbean Trailers specialises in selling high quality trailers for commercial use as a catering trailer or promotional trailer.

Digger: What various options and services are available?

James: If it's a commercial unit you want then our imagination is the only limit we set. The most popular trailer is the catering trailer with stainless worktops all round the edge of the trailer and counter-sunk sinks near the A frame.

Digger: What are your particular retro/vintage passions?

James: A cherry red and white VW samba 1950/1960 model. In my dreams... In truth, I love anything well designed. I have a particular passion for the phrase "over-engineered" because I get in a rage with flimsy design. Throw away society do not understand this concept. A cheap pair of shoes from the 1 shop will not make an economical purchase in comparison to a pair of bench-made Loakes.  

Digger: You also do coffee van refits and customisations for catering as well as coffee machines. Please tell us a little more about those.

James: I take a modern (sorry!) van - a VW Transporter preferably though a Mercedes Vito will suffice, and fit solid butcher's block worktop, a Victron power supply, an under vehicle LPG tank, a dual fuel espresso machine and some refrigeration and storage. A true mobile espresso bar.  



Digger: The retro-style trailers are very popular these days. What are your thoughts on why this is?

James: I'll go back to my grumpy old man stance.... It seems to be that new equals cheap. A roadside burger van local to me changed his trailer about two years ago for a new trailer. It is a plain white box, perfectly good for greasy spoon catering. The chassis of that trailer now has surface rust, two years old!! Why not invest a bit more in a galvanised chassis?? It seems the older generation understood this and all things retro are still here because they are built properly. So, retro is back because it is still here! In fifty years time what caravan will we be reminiscing about? No caravan that comes off a production line is worth remembering.

Digger: And what is this enduring fascination people have more generally with Retro and Vintage in all its forms?

James: See above rant!

Digger: Who are your typical clients and where are they coming from?

James: Typical clients are business-minded sole traders. Though we have done work for bigger companies, Holland's Carphone warehouse and Isla Negra wine for example.

Digger: And what sort of feedback and comments have you been getting from clients?

James: A big smile!!

Digger: What are the biggest challenges and what do you most enjoy about running Silverbean Trailers?

James: Cash flow, or lack of it! Trying to grow a business is slow and expensive. The biggest challenge is getting ideas turned into reality without a bottomless pot of money.

Digger: What are your plans for the future for Silverbean Trailers?

James: I do have plans for a luxury caravan that will be luxuriant, indulgent and absolutely stunning!

Digger: Sounds great. Can I give it a test run? Thanks James.





Our biggest investment in recent years has been our range of Silverbean Trailers. Influenced by the retro American Airstream trailer with a traditional polished aluminium skin, our brand new, bang up to date shiny trailers will put a smile on anyone's face and make a powerful statement about you and your business. 

Hand built in the UK, the Silverbean range of trailers comes in 16ft, 18ft, 20ft and 23ft lengths. Whatever your business, if you want to go mobile, do it properly with a Silverbean Trailer. Built to last.

You can contact us at our address:

The Coffee Van & Silverbean Trailers
Dunblane FK15 9NF

By telephone:
Tel. 01786 607071
Mob. 07933679086









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