Six ways to increase the size of your exhibition trailer

increase the size of your exhibition trailer with a gull wing extension

Increase the size of your exhibition trailer by Scott Walker

scott-walker                                       Definition of increase :   addition or enlargement in size, extent           MerriamWebster Dictionary

We can increase the size of your exhibition trailer when on site at an event, but there are restrictions to the “on road” dimensions which are set out in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (as amended).

For those of a technical disposition you can read more on the Government web site

More often than not we are asked if it is possible to expand an event trailer once it is off road and located on site …….and the answer is always a very definite yes.

At Multi Vehicle Technology we have six ways to increase the size of a trailer to create more floor space. Which of these we recommend is very much dependent upon individual operational circumstances, the trailer design and the use for which it is to be used. We can be very creative with how each looks as we aim to make any extension not just practical but exciting and innovative to make an extra wow factor to overall appearance.

As the vast majority of my colleagues have spent much of their working lives in the design and construction of bespoke exhibition trailers and vehicles they tend to take the various options of extending our units for granted.  We all too easily forget that anyone new to the industry, or making a first time purchase, will not necessarily understand the “jargon” we’re using. Each style of extension has its own respective features and benefits so it is often very easy to determine the final choice.

So if you’re new to our products, and exhibition trailers and exhibition vehicles in particular, I hope you’ll find the following information to be of use.  It is, I must say, only a summary and if you wish to discuss any aspect in detail then we’re always available to provide assistance and advice as part of our bespoke design service which you can read about at

The six ways to increase the size of  your exhibition trailer

  1. The hinge down platform

hinge down platform on new build trailer in factoryThe simplest and easiest way to increase floor space is to add a hinge down platform to the length of the trailer.  This hinges down (either hydraulically or manually) to form an outdoor extension to the inner floor space.  Adjustable legs enable the platform to be securely levelled, even on undulating ground when attending an off road event.

Such a platform creates an inviting outdoor reception space where it is possible meet and greet visitors as it provides an ideal “halfway house” for the more hesitant visitors, who may not wish to  step directly into the interior.

Where platforms are high from the ground we fit handrails and entrance steps all of which can be placed at a choice of positions to maximise foot fall.

To comply with DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) we also provide ramps and here too platforms act as a very acceptable approach for anyone that may be using a wheelchair and if your business is to attract families then a ramp and platform are an ideal combination to accommodate prams.

And there is little to prevent us from extending both sides of the trailer in this way so that in place of almost doubling the floor space we can in fact achieve close to trebling it for you!

  1. Gullwing extension

gull wing extension on trailer showing wheelchair ramp on platformThe one downside of installing a hinge down platform is that it has no protection from the weather.  Outdoor events tend to be plagued with the extremes that the weather can provide and from personal experience, more often than not, it’s either raining or searing sunshine!  So a cover over the platform is a very welcome and practical investment for any exhibition trailer.

The simple method of covering a platform is to install a wind out (knuckle arm) awning.  This canopy offers versatility in that it can be deployed as and when required but left closed if not needed.  Such awnings come in a variety of sizes and colours and can be manually operated or be powered via an electric motor.

The alternative is for us to install a solid hinge up canopy.  With this format of extension the side of the exhibition trailer is used as the canopy and this hinges upwards.  Within this is the platform which then hinges down. I’m not actually sure when or where the name “Gullwing” originated but it is very much the accepted terminology for this style of extending the floor space.

The benefits of a solid canopy are, I think, self-evident in that it creates a good weather protection and visually creates a larger and more attractive trailer.  Bearing in mind that we almost always fit a hinged up banner board along the length, and often along the sides too, this additional branding space works wonders providing an added bonus.

  1. Enclosed gullwing extension

gull wing extension on trailer showing glazed side wallsgull wing extension on a vehicle with open sides for use as stageWhilst the gull wing approach creates a very inviting covered stage area it is just that…an open stage. Ideal for displaying product or providing demonstrations BUT if you want an enclosed space every so often then you need walls, and here again we can do just this.

Every gullwing comes with the option to be fitted with permanently fixed swing out walling or alternatively free standing panels that can be clipped into position as and when and where required. Hence you can change mode form a stage to an enclosed space as and when you want.

The benefit of this approach is that the enclosed interior of the trailer is effectively expanded to almost twice the enclosed space making it ideal for training areas, hospitality and much more. An there is little to prevent us placing such an enclosed gull wing to both sides of the trailer and thereby almost trebling the enclosed space.

  1. Extension pod (or slide out)

extension pod sliding out of the side of an exhibition trailerWhilst the gull wing extension is a practical and versatile feature it does require some time to set up and take down and if not enclosed by side walls, it really needs to be closed up on an evening, or when not in use, for obvious security reasons.

So if your particular roadshow activity would benefit from a permanent enclosed space then I would generally advise the Extension Pod option.  In the USA and leisure markets these extension pods are often called Slide Outs.  We use both of these terminologies to describe what is in essence, a drawer sliding out the side of the trailer (but with a lid on it!).

The extension pod consists of floor and ceiling and 3 side walls and simply slides out of the side (or end) of your trailer.  The huge benefit of this style of extension, over an enclosed gull wing, is that permanently fitted furniture or displays can be built into it. Thus making the extension pod the most popular approach for extending a trailer where fixed walls are required and so much quicker to set up.

By having one pod smaller than the other it is possible to fit an extension pod to either side of the trailer and have them slide inside one another to enable you to maximise internal floor space.

  1. Roof viewing deck

upper viewing deck built onto the roof of an exhibition trailerIf your roadshow is based on attending action packed events such as racing, music concerts, and the like then you may want to take advantage of your roof space, where you can entertain guests whilst enjoying uninterrupted views of all the action.

Hinged up hand rails provide safety for those on this upper deck.  We build the roof strong enough to support the weight of furniture but this furniture does need to be stored in the trailer during transit. An obvious point so I apologise for mentioning it!

We can provide access to the roof viewing deck via internal stairs or fit externally mounted stairs.

Once the roof viewing deck is “dressed” with tables and chairs, umbrellas for shade or even a bespoke fabric canopy, please believe me the effect is stunning and your guest will be more than impressed.

  1. Raised upper deck

interior view of an upper enclosed deck on an articulated trailerincrease the size of your exhibition trailer with a upper deckIf an open upper deck is not for you then what about having an enclosed upper deck!

Rather like the lid on a biscuit tin we use hydraulic rams to raise the roof (including side walls) to create a fully enclosed upper deck.

This upper deck can be fully fitted out with folding furniture to create any style of interior you require.  Access to this upper deck is normally via an internal spiral or dog leg staircase.



Increasing the size of an existing exhibition trailer

If you already own a trailer, or have a second hand purchase in mind, and it doesn’t have an appropriate extension then there is a possibility that we can increase the size of your exhibition trailer by adding one of or a combination of one of the six extension features I describe above.  Generally speaking, the only thing that may prevent us from being able to undertake such and additional piece of refurbishment is the need to keep within the permitted weight of the trailer.

As a responsible company we would not be suggesting any work that would breach construction and use regulations!

For more information about our refurbishment service please visit us at

Our extensions don’t have to be mundane, they can be made to look quite special

For more information on how we  can increase the size of your exhibition trailer  please contact my colleague Steve Stones on 0116 326 0989 or e-mail him on


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