Our pastry business is doing well, and we have a venue that we service frequently during the summer that is, on average, about 2 hours from our commissary. It's time to buy a refrigerated van; something that you don't need a CDL to operate, something that gets good gas mileage, and is small enough for anyone to drive, but large enough to transport 20 to 25 half sheet boxes and four tiered wedding cakes (in 16x16x16 or 18x18x18 cartons).
I especially like the look/size of the Transit Connect, the Dodge Ram, the Nissan NV2500 and wonder if I should buy a new one and then get the refrigeration installed or look for a used refer van.
I don't know anything about how refrigerated vans work, so I've come to you for help in learning about them, learning from your past mis-steps and successes in buying/servicing them, and one question I am embarrassed to ask - but have to! is, can you turn off the refrigeration unit when the cargo area is empty so you're not wasting fuel or running the unit needlessly? Normally I would not buy used refrigeration but this is a vehicle and not just refrigeration so what other concerns should I have?
Any and all advice is appreciated.