Bathroom Trailers Thrive In New Markets

Bathroom trailers—luxury, basic, shower or otherwise—are a growth industry. People are still getting married, still going to large outdoor events, and still building things on long-term job sites. In each instance, people need to go to the bathroom and their needs go beyond a basic portable restroom.

Comforts of Home has posted eight straight years of growth. “We’ve seen an emergence of emergency trailers and decontamination trailers,” says Dan Fischer, sales manager at Comforts of Home.

Manufacturers like Black Tie Products and Comforts of Home sell to end-users, such as governments and special event sites, and operators alike. While end-users buying trailers may mainly help the manufacturers, it also raises awareness and demand for the trailers. For others, they still want the luxury or convenience of a bathroom trailer, but owning one is not feasible. That’s when expanding into the business becomes profitable.

Weddings and Special Events

Weddings are among the biggest markets for luxury restroom trailers, like the Eltia from Black Tie Products or the custom-designs from Comforts of Home. As weddings get more creative and expensive, many brides are opting for an outdoor venue where bathrooms can be elusive. The solution is a bathroom trailer! Since the guests are typically dressed up, need to wash their hands, and change diapers, the luxury trailers are the perfect solution.

You can put just about anything in a luxury trailer: sitting room, full mirrors, granite countertops, and flat screen TVs. As Fischer says, “if it’s in your home, you can probably put it in a trailer.”

Black Tie Products bathroom trailers have made appearances at the PGA Championship, Daytona 500, the Ryder Cup, former President George W. Bush’s ranch, Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s wedding, and Chelsea Clinton’s wedding to name a few.

Comforts of Home bathroom trailers offer relief for production staff at the Riverfront Theatre in Chicago, which boasts a 70-foot tall, 22,000 square foot temperature-controlled tent for the plays as well as a 13,500 square foot pavilion tent and promenade area that drew more than 110,000 attendees last year.

Construction/Industrial

“Now that more oil fields are opening back up, there is a bigger need for portable restrooms and showers in the field,” says Fischer.

OSHA already has shower requirements in place for those workers who come into contact with corrosive materials.

“Big construction or long-term projects are moving towards restroom trailers,” says Fischer. “If they are building a power plant in Louisiana, and are going to be there for 16 months, it’s cheaper for them to buy trailers than dig and run sewer lines. So, we’ve seen a pick up in those markets too.”

One of Comforts of Home’s most luxurious trailers was built for a cruise line out of the Virgin Islands. A 53-foot goose neck trailer was used down on the dock for passengers waiting to board the ship and also for their dock workers. “The trailer was equipped with two 50″ LCD TVs, 14 individual bathrooms, two individual shower compartments, additional storage and a lowering ADA module box for an ADA restroom,” says Fischer. “It could also be set up for employees to sleep and had temporary walls to serve for privacy.”

Disaster Relief

After several cities have dealt with the headaches that natural disasters like hurricanes can bring to an area, many are taking a proactive approach and looking into providing bathroom, shower, and even bunk house trailers for their emergency responders and the public.

Some states are buying them to be deployed when disaster strikes, while others like Louisiana, want to have a contract with a portable restroom operator in place before an emergency to provide the bathrooms at the drop of a hat. While these trailers won’t have the bells and whistles, a nice shower and clean water can feel luxurious when you would otherwise go without.

Other Markets

“The military is becoming more mobile too,” says Fischer. “We deal with a lot of different markets that need to set up for awhile and then pick up and go. They may need shipping containers, shower, laundry, or bathroom trailers.”

Comforts of Home also has two trailers along Myrtle Beach and at two of the area hotels. “Because of new laws along the sea coast, they aren’t allowed to dig new sewer lines and needed to come up with a solution,” says Fischer. “They are more for public use, so they need to stand up to that. The customers chose the more basic interior with a heavier coin floor and aluminum trim for easier cleaning.”

Fischer says that the industry is wide open in many parts of the country for portable restroom operators to expand into the trailer market. “Many of our customers have both.”

Vineyards, farmer’s markets, parks, movie sets, production companies, and campgrounds are other markets that have used trailers.

Innovations

Now under new ownership with the Lanco Group of Companies, Black Tie Products has come up with an automatic shut off for all water valves, sinks, and toilets. “Now, when our customers have them out for events, they don’t have to be as worried about overflow problems,” says Ryan Meegan, sales representative with Black Tie Products.

Black Tie Products and Comforts of Home have also implemented solar options. “We recently installed 200-watt solar panels on a three room 14′ unit,” says Meegan. “It works great and runs the vent fan, interior and exterior lights, and the fresh water system for up to seven hours. That means that if you need air conditioning, then you only need one plug, or if it’s a nice cool spring day, then the trailer just runs by itself. Our customers have been thrilled with it.”

Viewing and Buying Trailers

There are a variety of trailer manufacturers around the country. In addition to viewing models on websites, you can see several at the PSAI convention at the end of October, or at the Pumper show.

Black Tie Products and Comforts of Home welcome you to their plant. However, if driving or flying there isn’t an option for you, then they will set up a time with one of their local customers for you to see a trailer.

As bathroom trailers gain traction, this is a growing market to get in on.

Story by Jennifer Taylor

Resources

For More Information:

Black Tie Products, visit www.blacktieproducts.com

Comforts of Home, visit www.cohsi.com or email Dan at dan@cohsi.com

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