New Colorado car-share Titus Adventure Company provides carbon-offset, overland-outfitted 4×4 vehicles that you can rent.
When you’re flying somewhere to have an outdoor adventure, it’s nearly impossible to find a rental car that’s actually prepared for the trip. I once pushed a bald-tire rental minivan over a mountain pass in a blizzard driving from Salt Lake City to Denver while simultaneously attempting to order chains for it with Amazon Prime.
When I had asked the agent at the Enterprise counter for a car with snow tires, they gave me the party line on how their vehicles come with all-season tires and claimed they would be good enough.
Travis Titus founded Titus Adventure Company to provide four-wheel-drive vehicles outfitted for adventure and seasonal weather for people like me as well as to meet his personal needs.
He and his family of four needed to buy a bigger car for adventures in the Colorado mountains. But Titus felt conflicted because he didn’t want an oversized, overpowered gas guzzler as his daily driver.
“We needed a mountain-ready SUV but didn’t want it all the time,” said Titus.
The Hunt for an Adventure-Ready Rental
He called and Googled looking for a car to rent for hunting and camping. “There are no 4×4 rentals in Colorado,” said Titus. “At Enterprise, you can rent a pickup sometimes. If I’m going hunting and show up at Enterprise and they give me a Nissan Ultima, that’s not gonna cut it.”
The 34-year-old Colorado Springs native grew up camping, hunting, fishing, and hiking 14ers, and he wants to introduce his kids to the same adventures. He racked his brain for a solution to how to enjoy Colorado’s outdoors sustainably.
Full-Kit Vehicles for Rent
His answer was to start Titus. More than a rental car company, it’s a service to help Coloradans and Denver area visitors get stress-free, fully outfitted, sustainable access to the outdoors.
The overlanding-ready vehicles come equipped with gear that’s tough or impossible to rent or fly with, including bike and ski racks, rooftop tents and roof boxes, YETI coolers, and portable camp showers.
The fleet is carbon offset through a partnership with Colorado Carbon Fund, which works with Front Range farmers on regenerative agriculture. Every rental includes a donation of $10 per day to a specific trail project with a local nonprofit organization. Titus wants to be able to tell his customers, “Your rental paid for this mile of trail.”
Trucks come with a Colorado State Parks Pass, National Geographic maps, and concierge service.
“We try to help disperse people away from areas that are over visited, “ said Titus. “When we interact with our guests, we ask them what kind of trip they’re looking to go on, and we try to help them get a more unique experience. I want to provide the ideas and gear and to remove the stress to make great outdoor experiences happen.”
Toyota Off-Road Vehicles to Rent
Titus’ fleet includes three 2019 vehicles, all with country-western singer names. There’s Hank the 4Runner, Patsy the Tacoma, and Willie the Sequoia. Hank and Patsy cost $185 per night while Willie costs $210 a night.
Titus plans to expand. But for now, he’s collecting data and assessing demand: “If someone wants to rent, not buy, they may need different vehicles for different adventures.”
Titus delivers the vehicle to you anywhere in the Denver Metro area, including the airport. When you’re done, the brand will pick it up.
And you don’t need to worry about returning Hank or Patsy dirty. Titus hopes you will. “We take a picture of how muddy you got the car before we clean it, then we put that on social media,” he said. Although the business is highly focused on Colorado customers, Titus also rents to out-of-staters.
He proudly recounts that he launched Titus in the Superior, Colorado, Fourth of July parade. He drove Hank the 4Runner with the rooftop tent up and the awning fully unfurled with his 4-year-old daughter waving madly as they rolled down the street.
“It got booked that night,” Titus said. “It resonated with people.”
Titus offers packages for different types of travelers. Winter and watersports packages are available now. Car camping, hunting, and fishing are coming soon.
This winter, Titus is also launching a curated menu of Crock-Pot meals. Titus provides the pot, the spices, and a grocery list. You dump everything into the pot, and when you get back to your ski condo at the end of the day, you come home to the delicious smell of dinner.
“Right now, our target audience is the Front Range,” said Titus, whose marketing efforts are largely to locals.
“Denver ranks 12th in the U.S. for ozone pollution. There are so many transplants moving to Colorado. But you show up in your Honda Civic from Iowa, and it doesn’t cut it when you want to spend the weekend deep in Rocky Mountain National Park. We’re telling people, ‘Don’t go buy the car and the gear — rent!'”
Expansion on the Horizon
The company launched in July 2019, and Denver is Titus’ first frontier. But he has his sights set on expansion.
“AAA reported 700,000 Coloradans went on a road trip over Fourth of July weekend,” said Titus. “There is so much growth that could happen locally in a shared economy for outdoor adventure vehicles. It could go anywhere. There are opportunities in metro places with outdoor rec nearly across the U. S.”
Titus quit his engineering job last March to pursue the business full-time. “When I came across the problem of how to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle minimizing impact, I realized I couldn’t solve that problem sitting at a computer with a CAD program designing parts,” he said.
“Titus Adventure Company combines a passion I’ve had for the outdoors forever with the commitment I have to leaving this planet a better place for my kids.”