BlogExperiential Marketing Trailers

Should I lease or purchase a trailer for my experiential marketing program?

marketing program

It's a question that every experiential marketer faces whenplanning a mobile tour. Does it make more sense to purchase a trailer or tolease 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 betweenmobile tours, the means to maintain it, and enough business to justify it, thenpurchasing is probably the way to go.

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

Usually, the cost of a trailer is paid for within anactivation budget, but unless both the agency and the client know the programwill continue for multiple years, the client likely won’t want to take on thecost and responsibility of purchasing it. In that case, it would then fall onthe 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 forsmaller programs or activations that don’t require use of a trailer. Thetrailer just sits on your lot collecting dust, and when it eventually comestime to use it again you have to find budget to cover any required maintenance costsneeded to get it ready to hit the road.

In addition, your account team that first procured thetrailer may no longer be around (or in the same office, position, etc.). Thatmeans time and energy will have to be spent finding the right people to pick upthe trailer from wherever it is being stored, take care of any neededmaintenance, arrange for graphics installation and custom fabrication, andfigure 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 atrailer, it just sits
  • Time needed to get trailer ready for nextprogram, wrapped, and fabricated
  • You need to also have a truck to pull it, orelse rent one when it’s time to prep for your next program
  • If account staff move around, you need someonewho can manage the trailer

When to lease:

If you have a short-term mobile tour (let’s say, up to 6-9months) 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 thetrailer company handle all of the details that eat up your time, allowing youraccount team to focus on ideating, planning, and executing the best possibleprogram for your client.

Keep in mind that the trailer company is full of expertsabout trailers. Your account coordinators and account managers are great atclient service and creating brand experiences, but usually aren’t well-versedin 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 theless time they have to dedicate to their client and program.

While the trailer is on the road, your trailer company canadvise on any problems that may arise and direct your tour staff on the proper courseof action. Once your tour ends, you can return the trailer to them and theywill handle all storage and maintenance. When the need for a trailer foranother program arises in the future, you now have an established relationshipthat you can lean on for your next trailer.

Pros of leasing:

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

Cons of leasing:

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

Your traileradvantage

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

If you are in a position to purchase a trailer, anything onour lot is available to be sold, wrapped, and fabricated. If you have enoughlead time, we can have a trailer built from the ground up to suit your exactprogram needs.

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

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

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

Advantage’s trailerleasing program

We have a great leasing program that rewards brands andagencies 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 theduration of your lease, so if you are looking for a trailer lease, please giveus a call at 630-524-2029 or email Justin(at) for a quote.

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


  • 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. 


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 5×10 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.  
  • 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) today. 
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