It’s a question that every experiential marketer faces when planning a mobile tour. Does it make more sense to purchase a trailer or to lease one?

There are pros and cons to each, so let’s dive right in.

When to purchase:

If your agency has the space to store a trailer in between mobile tours, the means to maintain it, and enough business to justify it, then purchasing is probably the way to go.

The biggest pro of purchasing a trailer is that you gain an asset that can be reused time after time and save you money. However, that does come with other costs.

Usually, the cost of a trailer is paid for within an activation budget, but unless both the agency and the client know the program will continue for multiple years, the client likely won’t want to take on the cost and responsibility of purchasing it. In that case, it would then fall on the agency to make the decision of whether or not to take on the asset.

That can be a risk if the business you have coming in is for smaller programs or activations that don’t require use of a trailer. The trailer just sits on your lot collecting dust, and when it eventually comes time to use it again you have to find budget to cover any required maintenance costs needed to get it ready to hit the road.

In addition, your account team that first procured the trailer may no longer be around (or in the same office, position, etc.). That means time and energy will have to be spent finding the right people to pick up the trailer from wherever it is being stored, take care of any needed maintenance, arrange for graphics installation and custom fabrication, and figure out towing and potential DOT needs.

Pros of purchasing:

  • Your agency owns an asset
  • You can reuse it for future programs
  • Save money in the long run

Cons of purchasing:

  • You’re responsible for storage space and costs
  • You’re responsible for maintenance and upkeep
  • If you don’t have future business that needs a trailer, it just sits
  • Time needed to get trailer ready for next program, wrapped, and fabricated
  • You need to also have a truck to pull it, or else rent one when it’s time to prep for your next program
  • If account staff move around, you need someone who can manage the trailer

When to lease:

If you have a short-term mobile tour (let’s say, up to 6-9 months) and you don’t want to have to worry about all of the other “stuff” involved with a trailer, then you’re better off leasing it.

The biggest pro of leasing a trailer is that you can let the trailer company handle all of the details that eat up your time, allowing your account team to focus on ideating, planning, and executing the best possible program for your client.

Keep in mind that the trailer company is full of experts about trailers. Your account coordinators and account managers are great at client service and creating brand experiences, but usually aren’t well-versed in the ins and outs of trailers. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but the more time they have to spend on the minute details of a trailer the less time they have to dedicate to their client and program.

While the trailer is on the road, your trailer company can advise on any problems that may arise and direct your tour staff on the proper course of action. Once your tour ends, you can return the trailer to them and they will handle all storage and maintenance. When the need for a trailer for another program arises in the future, you now have an established relationship that you can lean on for your next trailer.

Pros of leasing:

  • You aren’t responsible for storage and maintenance between tours
  • Trailer company can support and advise while trailer is on the road
  • No need to handle trailer wrap and fabrication yourself prior to launch
  • Established relationship with trusted trailer partner

Cons of leasing:

  • Typically more expensive
  • You don’t have an owned asset

Your trailer advantage

Advantage Trailer is uniquely positioned to be an asset for experiential agencies and brands. Because of our vast trailer inventory, we have a variety of options at your disposal, both to purchase or lease.

If you are in a position to purchase a trailer, anything on our lot is available to be sold, wrapped, and fabricated. If you have enough lead time, we can have a trailer built from the ground up to suit your exact program needs.

If you are looking to lease a trailer, anything on our lot is available to be leased, wrapped, and fabricated. If you have enough lead time and a program lasting at least 6-9 months, we can have a trailer built from the ground up to suit your exact program needs.

In either case, since we’ve been in this business for 30 years we’ve done just about anything you can think of. We can turn around quotes quickly along with prints that help give you and your client a visual of the trailer. Because we have more than 10 years of client service experience within an XM agency we can recommend the best trailer to use based on your activation needs or the ideal way to fabricate to help you get the most out of your budget.

In other words, we aren’t just another vendor looking for your money. We’re a trusted partner looking to serve you. We love helping to create epic experiences (because we’ve been there!) and we believe that a trailer is one of the best vehicles with which to do so (because that’s who we are!).

Advantage’s trailer leasing program

We have a great leasing program that rewards brands and agencies for leasing from us.

  • Rent 2 months, get 3rd month 25% off!
  • Rent 5 months, get 6th month 50% off!
  • Rent 8 months, get 9th month free!

The rental cost is completely based on each trailer and the duration of your lease, so if you are looking for a trailer lease, please give us a call at 630-524-2029 or email Justin(at)advantagetrailer.com for a quote.

You can browse our currently in-stock trailer inventory and pick out a trailer that looks like it would work for your program, or just reach out and let us know what you are looking for and we’re happy to lead you through the process.

Here are a few listings that are ideal for mobile tours, festivals, trade shows and other high-traffic events:

ATC 24-foot stage trailer (for lease only)

24-foot Stage Trailer

This trailer was most recently used by Autodesk as the centerpiece for one of the quads at their largest annual trade show, Autodesk University. Since it has been previously leased, this trailer is available for lease only. We also have a brand new version of this exact trailer that just arrived on our lot, available for purchase or lease. 

Features:

  • 15-foot power fold-down stage
  • Power awning
  • 7.5-foot by 7-foot power fold-down rear stage
  • Front upper and lower cabinets
  • Movable wheel well cabinet and back wall cabinet
  • Black rubber coin flooring
  • A/C prepped

ATC 20-foot stage trailer with 4-foot wedge

20-foot Stage Trailer with 4-foot Wedge

The trailer we currently have available to purchase or lease is brand new, but this is the exact same trailer that Cincinnati-based experiential agency AGAR purchased to use for their Kroger Treasure EmporiYum Tour. Available for purchase or lease. 

Features:

  • 14-foot power fold-down stage
  • 19-foot power awning
  • 7.5-foot by 7-foot power fold-down rear stage
  • Entry door next to stage
  • 4-foot wedge secure storage area
  • Custom wood-look vinyl flooring
  • A/C prepped

Stealth 16-foot mobile retail trailer

16-foot Mobile Retail Trailer

Because of its smaller footprint than a stage trailer, this trailer is ideal for a mobile retail activation, product sampling program, or a trade show. Available for purchase or lease.
Features:
  • Two large flip-up concession doors
  • Two lockable entry doors with pull-out step
  • Rear fold-down ramp door with stabilizer jacks to extend usable footprint

ATC 18-foot mobile pop-up trailer

18-foot Mobile Pop-Up Trailer

Similar to the mobile retail trailer above, this pop-up trailer is perfect for mobile retail activations, product sampling programs, or trade shows. It's two feet longer and available for purchase or lease.
Features:
  • Two large flip-up concession doors
  • Two lockable entry doors 
  • Rear fold-down ramp door with stabilizer jacks to extend usable footprint
  • All LED interior lighting
  • Wheel well cabinets

Custom built clear view display trailer

Custom Clear View Display Trailer

The most unique option we currently have is this 8.5-foot by 11-foot clear view cube trailer. Meijer used this for a Back to College campaign at colleges and universities and it's a great, compact option for product display at an event or trade show.
Features:
  • Custom grid wall for product display
  • Clear acrylic wall panels
  • Two mounted TVs with HDMI
  • Rear cargo doors and steps
  • Top signage ready
  • Sub-floor storage

MTI 5x10 Enclosed Cargo Trailer

5x10 Enclosed Cargo Trailer

If you simply need a trailer to haul your activation equipment or product from market to market and serve as a branding backdrop on-site and on the road, consider an enclosed cargo trailer. This one is on the road for G7 Entertainment Marketing until mid-July, but will be ready for sale or lease after that. We can do the same with any enclosed cargo trailer on our lot.  
Features:
  • Rear ramp door
  • Stone guard
  • Two flow-thru vents
We also have a brand new marketing trailer option coming very soon that will be different from anything shown above. Stay tuned for that announcement in the next couple of weeks, but inquire if you are interested in the meantime. 
Whether you are looking for a trailer purchase or trailer lease, we would love to work with you. Call 630-524-2029 or email Justin(at)advantagetrailer.com today.