Titan Caravans is a Queensland phenomenon that has grown significantly over its seven years in business.
When I arrived at the new Titan facility in Burpengary, the activity was frantic. A batch of new caravan bodies had recently arrived from overseas and, as most had already been sold, the pressure was on to have them completed and on their way to the expectant owners.
CHECKING OUT THE BUILD
A dozen or so vans were in various production stages as the team installed multiple components that go into completing each model. The body comes in from the facility that Titan has established in China, coming complete on their hot-dipped galvanised chassis which has been robot welded for accuracy and strength.
The body is formed from composite panels that include external and internal layers of fiberglass, all heat cured to a structural foam core. The walls are then permanently fixed to the one-piece composite roof, and a composite floor before Italian sourced lightweight ply furniture is installed.
THE NEXT LEVEL
Managing Director of Titan Caravans, James Creswick, showed me through the various processes that go into completing a van. James has been in the family business for around 13 years, so has been with the Titan brand from the beginning when it started in 2014. Since then, production has grown to over 350 various models per year and the factory recently doubled in size with its move to the Brisbane caravan hub at Burpengary. Currently, staffing levels are running at a total of 30 with an expectation of increasing to 40 in the next year or so.
While the brand grew on a range of campers, hybrids and smaller 480 Offroad Blackhawk models, it has grown to a much broader offering to include family vans and larger tourers for couples. And while there are dozens of options and colour schemes, customers can customize to their individual needs.
Once the caravan bodies arrive, they are moved to the initial stage on hoists in an outside undercover space. Depending on what a customer has ordered, the van will come with either Titan's own suspension fitted to the chassis prior to arrival, or with a choice of Cruisemaster or AL-KO suspension systems included at the Burpengary facility. The Titan suspension has trailing arms with shock absorbers, is rated to 3.8 tonne and is standard on all Blackhawk models.
Either way, each van gets a wheel alignment and initial checks before the rest of the underbody equipment are installed. Plumbing is finalized with John Guest fittings, and all lines are run well out of the way and through saddles or grommets where possible. Plumbing lines are individually marked for ease of servicing down the track. While still on the hoist, lines are run for hot and cold water, gas fittings for external kitchens, corner jacks, entry steps and any underbody armour.
Depending on the model, the next stage is the electrical system. The install can be a basic battery and charger, but it differs all the way up to the Super Tourer models. As standard, the RVs get a 200Ah Enerdrive Lithium package, three 170W solar panels, an inverter and a Sphere satellite TV setup.
Certified installers fit the gas lines and appliances, including Truma gas water and air heaters if ordered. James tells me that local brand partners provide plug-and-play electronics and specific wiring harnesses for an easy and trouble-free process. All 240V installs are correctly certified to meet and exceed Australian standards.
As an added feature, Hybrids, 480’s and Super Tourers come standard with a Dometic dust reduction system, and these are fitted to the single-piece roof once suitable holes have been cut.
Because of their Australia wide service and build quality, Titan has recently changed to installing Aussie Traveller doors windows and awnings. Depending on the customer's options, windows and the entry door are fitted at the body build or installed locally. I’m told that more extensive than usual windows can be used because of the fibreglass walls' substantial integrity.
Once the fit out is complete, each van goes through final quality control and is then individually weighed at a Government weighbridge. An in-house Heavy Vehicle Registration Assessment Scheme (HVRAS) officer confirms the weight and build compliance, and a VIN plate is printed out and fitted to the van.
James told me that the commitment to quality doesn’t end when the customer drives the van out of the yard. Titan vans have a three-year warranty backed up by a 24-hour hotline, and there is help on hand to talk owners through any issues they may have with the operation of the various systems and appliances.
We shouldn't gloss over the importance of Titan’s construction methods. Australian caravan buyers are increasingly demanding vans with a lightweight composite build and preferably ones that are affordable and durable. Along with the innovative approach to the body structure, all the fittings are top quality and nearly all are locally sourced to give excellent service and warranty backup.
The future looks bright for Titan. A recent agreement with Dave Benson Caravans in Adelaide has increased demand significantly. There are already enquiries for additional large scale Dealership franchises that will continue to grow this fast moving Queensland business throughout Australia.