Short Answer: When you want to vinyl wrap your trailer, you have the option of doing it yourself or hiring a professional to do it. Applying a small decal can cost as little as a couple hundred dollars. To do a full wrap yourself, you will need to pay for the vinyl and a basic toolkit. This will cost anywhere from around $240 to more than $1,300, depending on the type of vinyl you choose. For a professional installation, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,500 for the cost of vinyl plus labor — prices will be highest for larger trailers. For more about vinyl wrapping a trailer, see below.
Benefits of Wrapping a Trailer
There are several reasons why you may want or need to wrap a trailer. The paint job may be fading, or you may want to advertise your business using your trailer. Since most trailers come in a solid color, usually white or black, wrapping is a cost-effective way to change the trailer’s color. For less than a new paint job, you can cover your trailer in a vinyl wrap, which will not only make it look nicer but also protect it from the elements. You can also print graphics or logos on the vinyl.
Vinyl wrapping is popular due to its affordability and variety finishes, such as carbon fiber print. Also, while vinyl wraps are not specifically intended for protective purposes, they can protect the paint from chipping and from damaging UV rays. Typically, vinyl wraps last for around three years if the trailer is left out in the sun and rain, but they can last up to 10 years if the trailer is covered when not in use and not subject to drastic temperature changes. With some care, most vinyl wraps will typically last five to seven years.
Vinyl is also removable, unlike paint or Plasti Dip, so if you want to change it up or sell the trailer, it’s easy to peel the vinyl off and reveal the protected paint underneath.
How Much Does It Cost to Vinyl Wrap a Trailer?
Whether you choose to wrap your trailer yourself or you want to pay a professional to do it, the cost will mostly depend on two factors: the size of the trailer and what type of vinyl you decide to use. Trailers come in a wide range of sizes, from small, single-axle trailers that can be pulled with almost any modern passenger car, van, or SUV to three-axle trailers that require a special license (and truck) to pull. There are even mini-trailers for motorcycles. Additionally, the wrap may be more expensive if your trailer has lots of curved panels, fenders, or other parts that will require the installer to take more time to get just right.
DIY Vinyl Wrapping
With some patience and research, you can wrap your own trailer for just the cost of vinyl and some basic tools like a special knife and a squeegee. You’ll also need a heat source like a heat gun to help stretch the vinyl out during the installation.
If you choose to do a full wrap, a small four- by six-foot enclosed luggage trailer has between 120 and 140 square feet of area that will need to be covered, a larger six- by 12-foot trailer has between 280 and 300 square feet of area, and an eight- by 24-foot trailer has 630 to 670 square feet of area. Your trailer might be slightly smaller or larger than this, but you can use these measurements as a general guideline to determine how much vinyl you will need.
Wraps come in many different colors and styles and are typically sold in rolls that are five by 25 feet for a total size of 125 square feet. It is possible to get smaller rolls, but you can typically get a better deal buying larger rolls. A roll of glossy or matte vinyl will typically be similarly priced regardless of color, while a roll of carbon fiber-styled vinyl can cost almost twice as much. Below are some examples from three popular brands in vinyl you can find on Amazon:
- 3M Matte Black: About $1.89 per square foot (Amazon paid partner link)
- 3M Carbon Fiber: About $3.52 per square foot (Amazon paid partner link)
- Avery Glossy Blue: About $2.11 per square foot (Amazon paid partner link)
- Avery Carbon Fiber in White: About $3.09 per square foot (Amazon paid partner link)
- Oracal Matte Silver-Gray: About $1.89 per square foot (Amazon paid partner link)
So, for a six- by 12-foot trailer with 300 square feet to cover, you’ll need three rolls of 125 square feet each. This comes out to around $240 for vinyl alone if you opt for 3M matte black. For carbon fiber vinyl, the cost could increase to $1,320 or more.
Also, keep in mind that if you want graphics printed on the vinyl, the cost will go up. You’ll need to find a printer or a vinyl shop to do this work for you as well since it involves both printing the graphics and then laminating them so the paint is also protected. If you do need graphics, it may be difficult to find a vinyl supplier in your area who will do a custom print job for you and let you do the installation yourself — most printers will also want to install the vinyl.
Professional Vinyl Wrapping
While it is possible to install a vinyl wrap yourself, many people choose to have a professional vinyl shop handle the installation for them. A shop also charges based on how much area they’ll cover with vinyl, so you can expect to pay $2,000 to $3,500 for vinyl and labor depending on the size of the trailer, the color options, and whether or not the trailer has a simple shape that will make the installation easier.
If you only need to apply a single graphic to advertise your business, the cost will be much lower — between $200 and $900 depending on the options you chose. To find a shop that can apply a vinyl wrap to your trailer, you can start with a Google search for shops in your area.
Vinyl wrapping can be a good option if you want to improve the look of your trailer, you want to advertise for your business, or you simply want to give it some extra protection from the elements. To do a full vinyl wrapping yourself, aside from the cost of a basic toolkit, you will need to purchase the vinyl. This will cost anywhere from just over $200 to more than $1,300, depending on the type of vinyl you choose. For a professional job, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,500 for the cost of vinyl plus labor — prices will be highest for larger trailers with complicated shapes. For a single decal, you may only need to pay a few hundred dollars for professional installation.