After many years in the caravan industry, Queenslander James Creswick established Titan Caravans and began building his own vans, providing a quality product and simplifying what can be a daunting process for buyers.
More than 10 years in the caravan industry gave James Creswick a good understanding of what he did and didn’t like about the sector and how it treated its customers.
It was this experience that led him to tailor the business model for Titan Caravans which he established in 2016 in the Brisbane suburb of Eagle Farm. He reasoned that if he started manufacturing his own caravans, he would have control over the quality of his product and be able to provide a level of service that customers expect and deserve.
Eight years later, operating from a much larger 20,000 square metre factory with 40 staff in the northern suburb of Burpengary, Titan produces 350 vans annually, building to a quality, not to a target.
Simplifying the buying process
Titan Caravans does not custom build caravans. There are 24 models in the range with all the popular layouts covered from hybrid caravans for couples to luxury tourers for families. The full fibreglass composite shells are imported, and all premium Australian-made fixtures and fittings — from kitchens, doors, windows, awnings and batteries — are added at the Brisbane factory.
“We have pre-set layouts so the starting point for the customer is a well-spec’d, off-grid, offroad caravan — a turnkey product that is ready to go,” said James. “We then talk to our customers about their needs — where do they intend to travel; how long do they want to be self-sufficient off-grid?
“We work with them to understand their needs and then we can start adding to the base product — upgraded suspension if they want to go offroad; extra power if they want to free camp, and some colour selections.
“It simplifies the process for first-time buyers. It doesn’t overburden them with choices or additional costs and makes the sales process easy for us. We don’t want our customers to feel that they have to buy laces for the shoe they just bought. And because of the modular construction methods, upgrades to vans can be done at any time in the future by the service network in four Australian states.
“People’s needs change over time, and we like to be flexible,” James said.
“We will meet the customer’s needs before they drive out of the showroom but if in 12 months time they decide they want to upgrade to a stage 2 battery system, that can be done easily and cost-effectively.
“We work backwards in our sales process by asking our customers what they want to get out of their van and then making sure they’ll have what they need, instead of telling them what they need in the way of batteries, or solar, or suspension when they don’t even really know themselves.
“We’re providing a high-quality, low-maintenance turnkey package with carefully thought-out expansion options that customers can understand and digest. Our brochures explain how it works and what they are getting.”
It is this model of working in collaboration with customers, combined with its exemplary after-sales care, that is the point of difference for Titan over its competitors and is detailed in the warranty, care and service handbook which is provided to every buyer.
Titan Blackhawk 720 Tardis (Image Graeme Neander)
(Image Graeme Neander)
Titan offers a three-year warranty on caravan build, fit-out and internal construction; five years on the caravan chassis and suspension components and 10 years on the heat laminated wall, floor and roof construction.
It has a 24-hour Titan Care hotline and will use its Australia-wide network of suppliers and repairers to ensure that no Titan customer is ever left stranded by the side of the road. Three staff work full-time in the after-sales division of the business to enable the 350 new customers annually to be looked after.
Some of the toughest offroad caravans going around come out of Queensland — think Zone, Kedron, Spinifex and Sunland, to name a few.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, the compliance rules around electricity and gas in vans are a bit tougher in Queensland than in other states. Secondly, they are built for Queensland conditions — tough outback conditions.
(Image Josh Hanger)
Titan is no exception. It doesn’t build touring models which stay on the blacktop and then offroad models for the tough stuff. The construction method of its vans doesn’t differ, but depending on customer needs, it will be the suspension that is upgraded to take on the harsher tracks.
In addition, Titan uses locally-made, premium quality products so customers know what they're getting.
(Image Josh Hanger)
Titan recently received its ISO 9001 accreditation for its Quality Management System, which meets international standards. That means that every process is documented — whether it be part of the caravan build or liaising with a customer about an after-sales matter. Everyone must be accountable for their actions, the follow through and the closure within the system.
Looking to the future
The future looks bright for Titan. James and his team are working on a project for a performance-driven, compact pod-style camper trailer — the Titan Edge — which is due for release early in 2024.
He has also been working closely with manufacturers to come up with new and innovative lithium battery storage solutions that will meet the new legislative requirements.
And there is a further expansion on the horizon that will enable Titan to continue to export caravans to New Zealand — where there are currently five dealers — as well as fulfil more wholesale orders.
“It’s a gradual progression and expansion for the business, but we always want to make sure we can maintain our levels of service to our customers,” said James.
The interior of the Blackhawk 720 Tardis (Image Graeme Neander)
THE NEXT STEP
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Watch the full review of the Titan Blackhawk 575 Hybrid from Caravan of the Year 2023 now!