Endless possibilities! That is what customizing your specialty trailer to your exact needs is about. But don't worry! Your Featherlite Specialty Sales Manager will help you to realize what those possibilities are for your specific configuration.
When it comes to designing your trailer, imagine how you will use your trailer. Some basic questions to start thinking about:
- Where will people come in and go out?
- Do you want the experience or function to be completely inside the trailer or would the engagement with customers expand beyond the walls of the trailer with an awning or drop-down stage?
- Do you need a restroom that can be used by the crew only or both public and crew?
- Where are you going to store equipment when in transit?
- What sort of electrical power are you going to require?
As these questions and more are answered, the Featherlite team will work toward a floorplan, focusing on a number of design elements and functionalities. Below is an introduction to some of the trailer options available to you:
- Upper Deck
- Stages and Canopies
- Generator and Shore Cord
- Exterior Walls
- Exterior Lights
- Exterior Outlets
- Interior Floor Covering
- Interior Wall Covering
- Ceiling Covering
- Doors and Windows
- Interior Electrical
- Restroom & Sinks
- Cabinets and Furniture
- Kiosks and Other Display Elements
- Other Options
Featherlite slide-outs or expandables are easy to operate and provide up to 1,000 square feet of additional space to display products, kiosks and other items to engage customers. Featherlite's patented slide-out design provides both convenience and reliability while assembling the display. Knowing time is valuable, Featherlite utilizes a patented automatic electric slide-out drive system that companies can rely on. There is also a manual backup built in—just in case of power loss. More info
Awnings can run the entire length of the trailer and on both sides if desired to give additional protection from the elements or to expand the experiential space beyond the actual trailer. If you're using your trailer for food service or hospitality purposes, it gives an excellent outdoor seating area. How far the awning extends from the trailer depends on the design and the attaching point to the trailer. The two main types of awnings are freestanding, which are limited to 15 feet, and a down pole design that can go as far as 32 feet. Awnings can also be simply used over the entrance of a door as well. More info
There are two types of lifts—lift gates and cargo lifts. Both mount on the rear of the trailer and do as they say—lift cargo or products above the ground. Featherlite's rear lift gates create an extended display area or serve to position items, such as race cars, to the upper storage area. The Featherlite lift gate is unique in the industry with its patented back up drive system that assures operation even if there is a power loss. More info
Most common in race transporters, an upper deck can serve as storage for cars or other equipment and is accessible with a lift gate. Normally two vehicles are hauled in this space and the height of the area will range from 53" to 61" high. The upper deck can also be used for additional parts or equipment storage.
Stages and Canopies
A drop down stage is where the side of the trailer is hinged at the bottom and folds open to create an extension of the trailer floor. Stages help to create excitement if you want to engage with customers as they are walking by your specialty trailer at a busy event, for example. They can be used to create a concert-like atmosphere or display large products, kiosks, signage and more. A double stage is where both sides open up, providing a line of sight through the trailer from side to side. Canopies are hinged at the top, so when the side of the trailer opens, it forms a roof. More info
Generator and Shore Cord
If you need more than 12 volt electrical power for your trailer, which is almost always the case, you'll need a generator, a shore cord or both.
The shore cord is an umbilical cord from your trailer to a stationary electric box where you can plug in your trailer's electrical system to provide power to it, like the electric power in your house. Shore cords come in different capacities described in ampere (commonly called amps) and voltage ratings.
However, often you may not want to or cannot plug in to a stationary power source and that's where a generator (or often called a gen set) comes into play. In addition to the generator itself, the gen set includes the engine (gas or diesel), control box and transfer switch. More info
HVAC is an acronym for heating, ventilating and air conditioning. Of course, heating and air conditioning are important to keep trailer users comfortable. You can choose between single area units and centrally ducted. Single area units have one output vent and one return vent in an area. You'll need separate units for separate rooms, each with their own thermostat. Centrally ducted will have one or two master units, each with its own thermostat, with duct work that distributes the air throughout the whole trailer, similar to central air conditioning in a home.
Most air conditioning units are also available with some heating capacity that can keep you comfortable when ambient temperature is above about 40 degrees F. Below that you'll need a propane fired furnace. More info
Exterior wall covering is most commonly aluminum riveted to vertical posts that run from the floor to the roof. Side sheets can be attached to vertical posts in two ways, exposed rivets or smooth side, where rivets are concealed. More info
Either 12 volt or 120 volt lights can be used to illuminate the perimeter of the trailer. 120 volt lights can provide more light, but you'll need to have the generator running or have your shore cord hooked up first. 12 volt lights can run off the battery in the trailer. More info
Exterior outlets can be installed to provide 120 volt access from outside. Common mounting areas are underneath the trailer along one side, along the bottom rail of the exterior side wall and along the top rail near where the side wall and roof meet. More info
A marquee is a roof mounted flat panel that makes the trailer appear to be taller than it is, similar to a false front on a store building. The main uses for marquees are for signage to provide additional visibility to attract customers and attention. They are also used to provide a higher attaching point for awnings, if needed. More info
Where does everything go when you are in transit? There will be some equipment, like awning poles and canvas, freestanding kiosks and furniture, stairs, rails and that will have to be stored for transit. They can go under the floor, in belly boxes, between the roof and ceiling or tied down to the center section of the main floor. More info
Interior Floor Covering
There is a variety of floor coverings available, including linoleum, carpet, wood, etc. Just about anything that's available for a building can be installed in your trailer. You will want a floor covering that can be cleaned up easily if your trailer will be experiencing heavy traffic. A raised dot rubber tile, also known as disco tile, is commonly used. Many flooring materials are available in both continuous sheet and tiles. More info
Interior Wall Covering
Once the electrical and plumbing are installed, interior walls are typically insulated and then closed up with 3/8 inch plywood. A finish covering goes over that, which is glued and/or screwed to the plywood. Finish coverings are usually:
- Laminate, such as Wilsonart, Formica or Pionite
- Pre-painted, white aluminum sheets
- Commercial grade carpet
There are a lot of materials available, but these are proven ones that have worked well for mobile applications in the past. It's recommended you pick materials that are durable and easy to clean in addition to looking great.
Like walls, ceilings are generally covered with plywood first, with another finish material glued and/or screwed to the plywood. Some common finish materials for ceilings are padded leather, laminate and carpet. Laminates are available in a variety of colors and patterns. Carpet should be a low knap industrial grade and will help to absorb sound. It is available in a variety of colors as well. Pre-painted aluminum sheets for ceilings are generally white. Other design elements such as mirrors can also be integrated.
Doors and Windows
Some manufacturers use mass produced doors, primarily designed for the RV industry. Others make their own. Featherlite offers either. Typically, mass-produced doors are used on bumper pull and gooseneck trailers and custom made ones are used on semi trailers. Custom made doors are a two inch thick, double wall construction with double edges for seals. The double-seal design provides a significantly better seal to keep road dirt, dust and rain out.
Windows can be installed in a wide variety of sizes and features. They can open with a slide or hinged design or be fixed. Windows can also be tinted or clear and a variety of coverings are available.
120 volt electric outlets are most recommended. These can be placed where you want and wherever they will fit. You will need to work with your Specialty Sales Manager to determine number and placement. How about telephone, cable TV and computer outlets? These are all available too but need to be specified. A wide variety of lighting is also available. Flush mount means that the front of the light fixture is recessed so it is flush with the ceiling surface. Surface mount means that the rear of fixture is mounted to the ceiling surface so the fixture protrudes from the ceiling surface.
Your trailer can be equipped with just about any appliance, including:
- Microwave oven
- Coffee maker
- Trash compactor
- Range and ventilating hood
Featherlite specialty trailers can be completely self-containing, and therefore, a restroom might be a good option, which will require plumbing. More info
The availability of electronic devices is almost endless. Some common items are:
- Stereo FM/tape/CD players with built in speakers
- Security systems
- Telephone systems
- Cell phone antennas
- Weather stations
- Computer networks
- Satellite dish for TV and internet
Cabinets and Furniture
Cabinetry includes countertops, overhead cabinets and doors, cabinets under countertops or desktops, desks, tables, closets, drawers and doors. They are custom fitted to meet the needs of your trailer design. More info
Kiosks and Other Display Elements
Display elements can be just about anything you can imagine. Common display elements are:
- Shelves/cases/supports to hold items to be displayed, signs, literature, display lights
- Mock ups, such as a 6 ft tall beverage can, or a two dimensional life size photo of a celebrity, etc.
- Supports for graphics elements, such as signs
- Cabinets/supports for interactive video
If the above list of customizations wasn't enough, here are some other elements, space uses and items to consider:
- Compressed air systems
- Computer networking
- Conference tables and desks
- Entertainment suite
- Fiber optics
- Media studio
- Observation deck
- Outdoor jumbo television screens
- Public address systems
- Sleeping quarters
- Sound proof booths
- Theater seating
- Ticket booth
- Vending doors and countertops
- Video camera systems
- Video distribution systems
- Video kiosks
- Video projection systems
- Video signage
- Wheel chair accessibility
- Wheel chair lift