Behind the Brand: Swag Camper Trailers

Sam Richards — 30 January 2020
Staying ahead of the curve is a full-time pursuit, Swag Camper Trailers explained at Camper Trailer of the Year 2020.

What camper trailer users need is continuously changing, as the wider world changes around the industry we know and love. What is popular and unpopular is determined by wider developments in technology, the economy, the reigning political climate, and a host of other factors.

The role then of a camper trailer business can be seen as two-fold. Firstly, to adapt to the milieu in which the business operates, catering the product to what the market is after. Secondly, to innovate and pre-empt the needs of the market before they come about.

Swag Camper Trailers do what they can to stay ahead of the curve, to not only respond to the market, but to pre-empt it and provide a suite of RVs ready for the mood to shift. Since the brand’s inception in 2008, their trajectory reflects their ability to ‘read the room’.

“Hybrids are doing to forward folds what forward folds did to rearfolds, and what rearfolds did to softfloors,” Adam Mathieson of Swag Camper Trailers says. “We’re a forward thinking business. We’re trying to keep our products fresh all the time. Having been in business for 11 years, we’ve learned a lot about what does and doesn’t work. There’s a lot more opportunity creating something that is easy to operate, easy to tow, with the family in mind.”

Perhaps as a result of that proactive thought process, Swag have maintained a lot of demand around Australia, Adam says: “Adelaide is onboard now (Camper Trailers SA, Barossa), as well as North New South Wales (Perkins Caravan Centre, Lismore). In Victoria, we’re looking to get two branches, one in Wangaratta and one in the outskirts of Melbourne. Also, hopefully, in North Queensland. We are talking with a company that’ll look after Mackay, Townsville and Rockhampton on the show circuit.”

One of the welcome changes over the years, Adam says, has been the advent of social media. Thanks to it brands such as Swag are able to become nationwide, rather than confined to their state (in Swag’s case, Queensland). Similarly, the ease of communication online has placed accountability on operators, who face very public bad reviews if they do the wrong thing.

While the online environment has made business awareness a lot more achievable, it has been important to Adam and business owner Kerry to ensure steady but not uncontrollable growth of the business for purposes of quality control.

“The intention is that our business will continue to grow organically, not rapidly,” Adam said. “We could go tomorrow and increase production ten-fold. But that has inherent risks. We need to make sure we have the right people, a good solid team here in Australia and abroad.”

On their premises in Rocklea, Swag are presently looking into converting hardstand into a factory area. Having been in that 1250sqm building for two years, they have now well and truly grown into it. 


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