Upscale Clients: It’s What’s Inside That Counts

Upscale Clients: It’s What’s Inside That Counts
Five-station, Alpine 815 restroom trailer with Craftsman Décor from Rich Specialty Trailers

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Dave Leal, co-owner of NOR-CAL Portable Services in Gilroy, Calif., believes in making a good first impression. That’s especially true when catering to clients accustomed to first-class treatment. 

Along with his wife, Kelly, Leal owns approximately a dozen upscale restroom trailers. “I just bought two more – 28 or 30 feet – 10-stall restrooms,” he says of the fleet that features hands-free faucets, air conditioning and stereo. Leal also has two handicapped-accessible trailers – one manual and one that hydraulically lowers to the ground (Rich Specialty Trailers and Comforts of Home). 

But it’s what’s inside that really counts, he says – from laminate hardwood floors to Corian countertops, six-panel wood doors, skylights, wood trim and wainscoting throughout. 

“Early on I decided to be the Nordstrom of portable restrooms, not the Target,” Leal says. “In this industry, a lot of people buy less expensive used trucks and cheaper restrooms, and go cheap on price. I did the opposite. I went with higher-end restrooms, new higher-end trucks and charged higher prices. And so far it’s been working.” 

Here are some trailer suggestions if you want to be “the Nordstrom of portable restrooms” like Leal: 

  • The five-station, Alpine 815 restroom trailer with Craftsman Décor from Rich Specialty Trailers features bright, waterproof fiberglass and composite interior walls. Interior features include composite baseboard trim, composite chair rail and water-resistant rubberized flooring. Entrance doors are 30 inches wide (38-inch wide doors available). Other features include slide-resistant, easy-glide steps, double-sealed membrane roof, electric heat strip (electric water heater available). The 530-gallon holding tank is made of acid-resistant, 1/2-inch thick polymer (sealed, steel waste holding tank available).  
  • The E20P restroom trailer from ART Co. LLC is designed for quick setup and features a streamlined appearance. Optional hydraulic jacks allow for easy leveling. Steps store beneath the trailer and lock into place. Available in several configurations, the 20-foot trailer can accommodate up to four stalls on the women’s side and two stalls and two urinals on the men’s side. Standard features include hidden dump valve, 770-gallon waste tank and ducted heat and air conditioning. Available upgrades include hands-free faucets, push-button flush toilets, pocket stall doors, solid-surface countertops with integrated sinks, simulated hardwood vinyl flooring and onboard freshwater tank.  
  • The Alpha 2 Xpress VIP restroom trailer from Alpha Mobile Solutions is an economical alternative to the Alpha 2 model. The 6-foot by 16-foot restroom trailer includes waste tank and freshwater tank for 760 flushes. It has two, 6-foot by 4-foot, 8-inch private restrooms. Features include metal vanities with lockable doors, composite countertops, stainless steel sinks and one-piece, heavy-duty vinyl flooring. The unit (3,350 pounds curb weight) has three roof-mounted vents, flip-down steps and swing-away grab rails for quick setup. 
  • The City Mains restroom from PolyJohn offers elegance in a standard-sized portable restroom. Featuring sewer and water connectivity, the restroom can be used for semi-permanent or permanent applications, as well as trailer mounted for special events, golf courses, parks or municipal use. 

Leal delights in hearing clients remark that his restroom trailers are better than home. 

“I just think it looks classier,” Leal says of his restroom inventory that includes solar-powered units from NuConcepts and an 18-foot Cottage Series solar restroom from JAG Mobile Solutions (two stalls for women, one for men and three urinals). Leal says customers in eco-conscious California increasingly ask for the solar-powered units, and he likes that they don’t require a power source. 

Consider these restroom units if you want to treat your customers to a classy experience: 

  • Solar-powered, self-contained restroom trailers from NuConcepts are designed for the entry-level, special events market where space, capacity, electrical or water connections might be limited. Features include 65-gallon waste and 40-gallon freshwater tanks, incandescent lighting, enclosed stainless steel sink and flushing china toilet. Each restroom offers an average capacity of 125 uses (500 total for a Quad VIP trailer). Options include 110-volt air conditioning, powered roof vents, hot-water heaters, interior heaters, power converters and winterization units.
  • The Explorer Comfort Site Comfort Station from McKee Technologies Inc. is designed for industrial use in remote and extreme conditions. It has a continuously welded outer shell, high-efficiency insulation and climate control system. Made of heavy-duty carbon steel, loading and transport is aided by lift hooks and forklift skid. The unit includes stainless steel sinks, fiberglass-reinforced plastic interior wall panels and metal floors. Equipped with a 130-gallon sewage holding tank and 90-gallon freshwater tank, other features include utility closet with service access to thermostats, water and 110-volt service. 

Adding to the better-than-home restroom ambiance is softer LED lighting and even a fireplace. “That was at the America’s Cup clubhouse in San Francisco this summer and they just loved it,” Leal says. 

“Right now we’re doing some corporate events with Apple and Google. And we’re at a couple car dealerships that are being remodeled; they want their bathrooms to be nice. We’re doing weddings. And we did a party for the San Francisco 49ers a couple weeks ago at the house of one of the 49ers’ guys.” 

Check out July PRO for a full story on NOR-CAL Portable Services

(Equipment listings from PRO Product Focus, April 2012.)

How do you decide which portable restrooms and restroom trailers best fit your business? Post a comment below.


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