Buying a mobile grooming van advice

Discussion in 'Dog Grooming' started by Bron810, Aug 5, 2013.


  1. Bron810

    Bron810 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello,

    I'm going to look at a mobile grooming van this week that's for sale.

    It's pre owned, has anybody got any advice on what I should look for inside and the signs of good kit and equipment?
    I'm taking a mechanic friend to check out the van it's just the equipment I have no clue about!

    Any advice is greatly appreciated

    Bronwen :)
     
  2. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

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    Generally, it's the hydrobath that's the main part of a grooming van, all of the other equipment is the same as any other salon - a table, dryer etc. Hydrobaths are brilliant and last for years, a very sound investment. However, they're not easy to clean and need cleaning regularly or they have a horrid smell to them. You can clean them though, it's just a really big job if you let it build up because the soap is mixed in the bath and comes through the shower so it isn't just clean water that comes through the hose.

    Look out for how clean it's been kept. Check behind the bath and the hard to see places.

    Look out for holes that water may have escaped through. If the flooring is lino for example, sometimes stress of use can cause it to tear and it sometimes needs re sealing, look out for holes and if they have been repaired because if they haven't, you don't know what rust it could have been causing to the van. Look in the corners and around the edges etc.

    When I sold my grooming van it was immaculate inside and out. My Dad made mine for me (he converts vans into camper vans by trade) but he can make grooming vans on specification so if you don't like the look of this van and you are interested in an affordable new conversion, send me a message.

    Look at the van from a practical point of view too. I designed my van and I had space for a crate so if you had a customer who had two dogs and they wanted to nip out, they could leave their other dog with you so they didn't hold you up if they weren't back for when you were ready to start the next dog.

    Also, check for the anchor points. My vans original anchor points were covered over but my Dad installed new ones for me so I had places to tether dogs too if I needed to.

    If you're getting a blaster in the deal, is it wall mounted? If not, is it a brand that you can buy a wall bracket for? Other wise you will have to put it away each time you want to travel, which takes up time.
     
  3. Bron810

    Bron810 PetForums Newbie

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    Hardwick hounds,

    Thank you for the great info and advice, I'm not on my course until feb next year so had no clue what I'll be looking at.
    I will defo email you if this falls through as its a one off as I'm in inverness and this is the first van I've seen for sale up here.
    I'm living down south at the moment until march next year when I leave the army and join my hubby in inverness so lots of scope to buy a van and get your dad to convert it!

    Thank you again :)
     
  4. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

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    You're welcome :) If you're planning on going mobile, you really need to make sure everything is set up secure for transit - any time spent is setting up your equipment each time you arrive at someones house is time not well spent. You need things like a wall mounted blaster, wall mounted shampoo holders with pumps, sturdy table, hooks for clippers etc. Have a look at getting a scissor belt too.

    I didn't take my van mobile. Instead I used it to start my business up, which was at a garden centre, which meant low financial risk - if it didn't work, I would sell the van and put it down to experience. Now, I have a brand new salon at a better garden centre down the road from before and about 300 clients. I sold my van about a month ago. I didn't even advertise it but I kept my hydrobath and we put a brand new one in for them.

    There are now a few different hydrobaths on the market, Redcape, K9 dogbaths and Pro Dog Baths. Some have a tank built in but if not they have a tank next to it, buolt into the van. You need at least 100L. I used to use 25L per dog (westie size). You need to know how the van is set up for waste water too.
     
  5. ENDIJS

    ENDIJS PetForums Newbie

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    HI EVERYONE IM LOOKING AT STARTING MOBIL GROOMING AND WILL BE NEEDING A GOOD PREOWNED VAN ANYONE GOT ANY IDEAS PLEASE :blush:
    EAST ANGLIA AREA/LINCONSHIRE
     
  6. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

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    £6k per year! :yikes:

    "Hire is a minimum of 12 months at £120.00 per week with a one month’s upfront deposit."

    It would be better to get finance to purchase one IMO
     
  7. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

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    I wasn't criticizing, I thought it was a great idea, the start up costs is a big reason that puts people off, that's why I looked at your website. I personally think £6K is unrealistic, but that's why I put 'IMO'.

    I didn't make any negative comments at all. I am not worried about any competition because I am not competition.

    A forum is where people discuss things and give their points of view, not for advertising. If you're not open to other peoples opinions - don't post.
     
  8. ENDIJS

    ENDIJS PetForums Newbie

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    thanks will take all comments in then decide
     
  9. teyfont

    teyfont PetForums Newbie

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    HI, I AM LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO SEAL, FIT ELECTRICS AND THE NEW HYDROBATH IN MY VAN, I BROUGHT AND X AMBULANCE, SO IT HAS ALOT OF THE INSULATING.. I WOULD LIKE SOMEONE TO HAVE A LOOK AND TO TELL ME WHAT THEY THINK.
    HARDWICK HOUNDS? YOU SAID YOUR DAD CONVERTS THEM?:thumbsup:
     
  10. mastergroomer

    mastergroomer PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Dave

    wondering if you could share any info on renting a grooming van?
     
  11. hellabella

    hellabella PetForums Newbie

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    Hardwick hounds, I'm about to buy a Mercedes Sprinter to convert into a grooming van. Does your dad still do conversions and if so can you forward me some details please.

    Thanks

    Katy
     
  12. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

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    Sorry, my Dad is booked up with camper van conversions still even though the season is ending so cannot take on any grooming van conversions atm. Thank you :)
     
  13. Pedley

    Pedley PetForums Newbie

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    Hi HH,Could you give me a "ball park" figure for a van conversion please.
     
  14. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

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    I am pleased to say that my Dad is back doing vans on a pre-order basis (doesn't convert a van to sell as a complete sale so you would need to provide the van) and for a ball park figure it would cost around £5500. This would include the hydrobath and a hydraulic table and a wall mounted blaster :)
     
  15. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

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    I get loads of enquiries from this thread but unfortunately we've stopped doing grooming van conversions for now as I've just gone on maternity leave with my 2nd child. I have, however, self published a kindle book on how to make your own dog grooming van, from sourcing the van to operating it.

    How to Make Your Own DIY Dog Grooming Van Conversion
     
  16. Pe2e

    Pe2e PetForums Newbie

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    I have a company called groomingvans4U and can pretty much fit a conversion in straight away, if you want to give me a call on 07765810555,
     
  17. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

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    Our most recent grooming van conversion that we've done on a customer's van here. Our conversions start from £6495. This one includes a wall and a generator and cost £7895. Everything you see in the photo (except the van itself) was included in the price. All our grooming van conversions are fully insulated with safety altro flooring.
     

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  18. Tracey B

    Tracey B PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Hardwick Hounds. I was interested in your post about setting up your van from a garden centre when you started out. I've recently brought a van and thought about doing the same. How did the set up work for you? Did you use their electricity and pay them? Did you pay any rent? I have a generator in my van but wouldn't want to use it all the time.
     
  19. Hardwick Hounds

    Hardwick Hounds PetForums Senior

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    hi Tracey B. I started out with a generator. It was an SDMO 3000 petrol one, excellent machine but incredibly noisy and after six months the neighbours got fed up and started to complain. You can get much quieter ones but that was all I could afford. So after the complaints the owner said I could have a power point installed if I paid for it. It cost me about £150 to have an old fuse box reconnected and an outdoor socket run from it, about 6 years ago. I built up a great customer base within a year and wanted to stay put but the owner wouldn't let me have a cabin built. Luckily there was another garden centre less than a mile away so I approached them and moved there in 2013. Now we operate from a full size portacabin and I have a full time groomer and two part time assistants and we have a self service salon. Im almost at capacity now as I don't want to compromise my minimal day plan and get too crowded.
     
    Tracey B likes this.
  20. Tracey B

    Tracey B PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks very much for the reply. As it was a separate fuse box I assume they could separate out the electricity you were using? Did they charge you any rent for parking on their site or did they see it as an asset to their business?