Entering the caravan scene with a bang last year, Cub Campers has kept up the momentum in 2023 with two new luxury hybrid caravans joining the lineup, a number of innovative factory enhancements and a notable prize under its belt.
Established in 1968, Cub Campers is proudly a family-owned and operated Aussie business dedicated to producing premium quality, luxury offroad caravans and camper trailers.
Cub was founded by JK Fagan, and he was soon joined by his son Roger who oversaw the Sydney-based company’s local manufacturing of its range of box trailers, horse floats and camper trailers. Now a third-generation family business, Cub Campers management was taken over by Shane (John’s grandson) and Amy Fagan (Shane’s wife) three years ago.
Shane and Amy are dedicated to advancing and improving upon the well-known Cub name. And as of September last year, Cub Campers entered the caravan market, introducing its flagship luxury offroad caravan, the C16, which has signalled a new era for the established brand. The release of the C16 was much awaited in the sector, and it quickly lived up to the hype.
Cub’s fleet expansion has continued, and in the past year the brand has welcomed another two offroad hybrid vans, the L16 and H16, the latter most notably being Cub’s first pop-top hybrid caravan.
When we spoke with the Cub team, the three words they chose that best describe the brand were “quality, luxury and Australian.” And all of these characteristics are achieved at Cub’s large factory in North Rocks Sydney. Covering 12,000 square metres, the facility incorporates administration, warehousing, manufacturing, engineering, sales, marketing and a service centre. It is there that every Cub camper and caravan is designed and built from the ground up under the close inspection of the expert Cub team, before heading off on adventures Australia-wide.
With so much relying on one location, Cub is continuously seeking ways to improve and incorporate new innovative technologies and practices to its manufacturing process.
Recent developments within the factory include restructuring of the facility to incorporate a new and strategic layout that minimises unnecessary movements, new production hardware, the implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform and the inclusion of two parallel reconfigurable production lines.
Cub Campers’ General Manager, David Nolan, who came to the role with an impressive manufacturing operations background, has been integral to these developments and advancements that have aided in Cub’s factory working more efficiently and effectively. The success of the production lines at ensuring the smooth and efficient production of models has been further aided by Production Manager, Sia Jafari, who is dedicated to ensuring “that all Cubs roll out of the factory in perfect condition”, said David Nolan.
“Cub has also invested in modern equipment with a large focus on automation. This includes CNC machinery, including turret punches, presses, routers, profile cutters and robotic welders. [Alongside this] Cub has invested in the staffing and resources to maximise the results of this modern equipment," said Cub owner Shane Fagan.
Further evidence of Cub’s confidence in its production capabilities can be seen in the installation of a livestreaming PTZ camera in its factory, which has allowed Cub branches and dealers to monitor progress of any caravan or camper on the production line. Most recently, this camera allowed everyone to watch the very first H16 Pop-Top Hybrid being built live, which was a notable moment in Cub history.
All Cub’s models are proudly Australian made and backed by more than 55 years’ experience in the industry to ensure each unit is built to withstand on and offroad adventures in Australia’s toughest conditions, allowing proud Cub owners to travel confidently to some of the most remote locations in the country.
The Cub team is made up of approximately 100 talented staff — a mix of qualified engineers, tradespeople, operations staff, sales and marketing staff, industrial production designers and an interior designer — all working in tandem at the Sydney-based facility to ensure every model is built and delivered to the highest standard.
Every model in Cub’s range — the campers and newer luxury hybrid caravans — is constructed using 100 per cent Australian BlueScope steel to ensure Cub owners can travel offroad with confidence. To combat what is considered a weak spot in campers, Cub uses premium quality Wax Converters canvas material, another Australian made product, when crafting its tents and awnings in-house.
“From the moment the Australian BlueScope steel arrives, the in-house welding team expertly construct it to form the chassis and trailing arms to withstand punishment from the toughest 4WD tracks,” said Nolan. “Moving through the manufacturing line, the Cubs take further shape with our hard-working team installing the wirings and fittings along with the panels used to form the body. Once the Cubs are ready, they are further tested to ensure they are ready to hit the road. Once tested, our team ensures a final check is completed to ensure [the model] leaves the factory in the best condition possible.”
To ensure these final checks are done to a high and comprehensive standard, Cub has invested in quality processes, including a QMS system, a NATA certified weighbridge, a water ingress testing facility and an in-house digital wheel aligner.
Cub owners are then further supported by a national service and warranty commitment through Cub’s national dealer network.
Introducing the H16
The newest addition to the Cub fleet is the H16 Pop Top Hybrid Caravan. This model features an electric roof, smaller footprint and is purpose built for comfort while adventuring on and offroad. “The H16 is, without question, currently the Cub favourite,” said Cub’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Ashley Roan.
The H16 features many of the luxury features and living space found in the C16, but the inclusion of the electric pop-top roof means the more compact H16 can access those harder to reach camping spots. The shorter travel height and compact size also allows a wider range of options when it comes time to store the van between adventures and has the added bonus of not needing an expensive tow vehicle to pull it.
Despite it’s more compact size, the H16 offers the same three layout options as the C16 and L16. And with the choice between king, twin bed and bunk bed layouts, there is an option suitable for a wide range of travellers.
Stepping inside the H16, its clear to see that Cub has continued to incorporate the innovative luxury features that have been such a success in the C16 and L16 models, including the scenic oversized windows and the carefully curated palette of materials, colours and textures that enhance the interior design. All these elements work together to create a luxury travel experience inspired by a five-star hotel.
As the shiny new member of the Cub family, it’s easy to see why the H16 is the current favourite. “Add to that, the fact that we have all watched it come together, from concept and design to build, the H16 carries a little piece of everyone at Cub,” said Roan. “We are all very proud!”
The Cub range
C16 (Image Phil Cerbu)
While a somewhat new name on the caravanning scene, Cub is by no means a newcomer when it comes to constructing a touring unit that is ready to explore Australia’s most beautiful and remote destinations. And with a large range of campers and three unique offroad hybrid caravans on the scene, there is an option to suit every kind of traveller.
For those considering a camper, the sizing is the giveaway when it comes to recognising who the intended tourer is. For couples, the team would recommend a model from the 2.2M series, such as the Weekender, Explorer or Brumby, all of which are built for lighter travel on and offroad. Whereas if you’re looking to take the whole family, the Double Fold series — the Drifter and Drifter GT — are on and offroad ready and provide the most room out of any of Cub’s campers. They also “have additional options that enable you to accommodate up to six people,” mentioned Roan.
If you’re looking for a camper that is ready for extended off-grid adventures, the Cub team recommends the Brumby. “It’s the tough, offroad camper that Cub is well known for, and with good reason.” It’s built to endure harsh Australian conditions, with all the necessary features plus a warranty that covered offroad travel.
Cub’s three offroad hybrid caravan models — the C16, L16 and H16 — offer the same offroad confidence as the campers, but with a luxuriously curated interior that creates a hotel-like travelling experience. All three models are suitable for solos, couples and families, with the option between king, twin bed and bunk bed layouts.
C16 (Image Cam Inniss)
The C16 is the largest of the trio, with the most water (200L), solar (720W) and battery (300Ah and a five-year warranty) capacity. It’s for this reason, in addition to its tough build that can withstand Australia’s toughest tracks, that the C16 is the Cub team’s top choice for any travellers looking for an off-grid ready caravan.
Comparatively, the L16, which is a more lightweight full-height model, and the H16 pop-top feature 100L of water, 360W solar capacity and 150Ah of lithium power with a five-year warranty. Cub does offer optional inclusions for buyers who want to increase how long they can stay self-sufficient when away from mains power and water.
“We love hearing back from our customers,” said Shane Fagan. “The things that really stand out are the wonderful locations around Australia that our customers take their Cubs to. The joy we get out of seeing our customers living their best life while on the road in a Cub is really special.” One of the ways that Cub gets to witness the achievements of its customers is via the multiple owners’ groups on Facebook, where most recently C16, L16 and H16 owners have been inspired by Cub to take photographs using the luxurious oversized windows to frame the views of their off-grid oasis.
Good Design Award winner
On September 8, 2023, Cub Campers celebrated another achievement with the announcement that the C16 was recognised as the winner of the Automotive and Transport Category in the 2023 Australian Good Design Awards.
Dating back to 1958, the Australian Good Design Awards is one of Australia’s most longstanding, prestigious and internationally recognised awards. It attracts the highest calibre of submissions, which reflect a diverse spectrum of design with 11 specific design disciplines spanning 30 categories. More than 900 entries were submitted into the 2023 awards, with each entry carefully evaluated by an independent panel of more than 70 experts in the design, architecture and engineering fields.
Commenting on Cub Campers’ entry, The Good Design Awards Jury said: “The C16 takes caravanning to the next level — finding beautiful and efficient solutions to all the problems with existing options on the market.”
The original C16 design team — Shane and Amy Fagan, Sia Jafari and Aaron Sheen — was present at the awards ceremony, and took home this well-deserved accolade for the first time in Cub history.
The Cub Campers team (left to right): owners Shane and Amy Fagan, Sia Jafari and Aaron Sheen
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Watch the full COTY 2023 review of the Cub C16 now: