ModCon’s campers are some hidden gems in the industry.
Highly affordable, filled with interesting and convenient features, and built with care and attention to detail, these charming campers are a humble little abode that is imperfectly perfect for any camper enthusiast.
In all their glory, however, these campers, too, have a few nitpicks in them.
Here are 5 problems that we found with the ModCon campers:
1. It is Impractical to Stay Inside While Driving
As with most small campers, the interiors of most Modcon campers are too small to stay in during a drive.
This is especially the case with the Modcon C3 Hybrid Camper. Even though it is not entirely impossible to stay in them during a trip, it can be hard to move around and stretch your limbs while inside, unlike a larger one.
In fact, this problem is more prominent when you bring large things in the camper, such as a surfboard or a folding table.
On the other hand, it may be better to use the camper as a temporary storage area during a long trip.
While it can be a hassle to move things around from the camper and on to the towing vehicle, there are latches and belts inside the camper that lets you fasten some things on various parts and posts.
These can be much safer for some items, especially since the couch can double as a cushion for fragile loads.
2. The Roof is Too Low
While the pop-up top on most solid Modcon campers gives extra headspace for easier movement, it does not reach all the camper’s portions.
Thus, the back portion tends to have more headroom than the front. This can be annoying when you jolt up from the bed in the morning while waking up.
Although an even pop up top that also gives the front some headspace would be nice, the Modcon C3 Hybrid Camper’s roof design appears to be more functional than at first glance.
While the camper itself is too small to stay in a while driving, the pop-up top can give some temporary head space to move around and reach for something without needing to tell the driver to slow down.
However, this should not be done too frequently or for too long as the cover could break while driving at faster speeds, but the design does give a better aerodynamic balance to keep it there without breaking during a drive.
3. The Springs and Latches Are a Pain to Fix
The Modcon FF1’s spring and pulley system make it so much easier to set up than most other campers.
Many campers can benefit so much from using this system. However, the system does have its own problems that need to be mentioned.
Mainly, the Modcon FF1’s pulley system uses a tough cloth-like rope that pulls the tent portion over the camper, setting it up in a way that it becomes some inflatable tent.
When this cloth-like rope gets destroyed, whether by neglect or by natural wear and tear, the camper becomes almost impossible to set up as springs would pull it back to the original, closed position. The same can be said for the springs themselves.
Fortunately, Modcon sells replacement parts for all of their campers. They also offer a repair service in case these kinds of things happen.
So, you could still check the integrity of these parts and bring a replacement if they do end up looking like they might break anytime soon.
4. The Campers Tend to be Maintenance-Heavy
Despite their overall durability, Modcon’s campers tend to be heavy on the maintenance side. This is especially the case when they are used in rough terrain.
When left unmaintained, the first things that tend to break are the headlights as rust enters and debris move inside the wiring system. Sometimes, the cables connecting the headlights to the batteries tend to break over time.
They would stop lighting up at all when this happens.
Another area that tends to break is the water tank. These are made from sturdy, hot-dipped, galvanized steel; the welding connection between some of the water tank’s seams tend to break open. Water would then drip down from the tank.
In both cases, cleaning and maintenance appear to be the most prominent cause by which these things break. As Modcon campers are commonly used while camping in rough terrain, some small holes and openings would open up from the seams.
These tend to collect water from the rain or the sea.
In fact, the latter can be quite worse as it wears down the non-galvanized parts much faster than regular water.
Dents, Scratches & the Water Tank:
The best way to deal with these would be to watch out for dents and scratches, which might pave the way for rust to form and cause a hole in the long run.
On the other hand, this is standard advice for any new camper owner; owners of Modcon campers need to be extra careful not to break the headlights.
Similarly, the water tank should be protected from most dents and scratches.
Unlike other parts, however, these tend to be more critical as the tank always contains water, which may cause the compromised steel portion to rust faster.
It might be best to look at both the inside and outside surfaces of the water tank at regular periods to ensure that the welded seams are not breaking apart.
Like the other parts of their campervans, Modcon’s technicians also service broken water tanks.
These things are usually re-melded together before reapplying a new coat of non-toxic anti-corrosion agent that protects the water tank from the same problems again in the future.
5. Doing Your Own Modifications on the Chassis Can be Dangerous
Modcon’s campers are made from durable, hot-dipped galvanized steel.
This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Whereas this is great for people looking for heavy-duty campers that they could bring into a camping trip, it might not be so for those looking to modify the chassis heavily.
Hot-dipped galvanized steel is an industry-standard in steel parts that do not rust. They are made by dipping the steel material into a bath of molten zinc, which coats the material with a non-rusting, protective shielding.
This method is so effective that hot-dipped galvanized steel structures tend to stay in saltwater for eight years without rusting at all.
However, a problem with this comes from when you plan to weld new parts to the chassis. Welding a new structure over a galvanized surface emits dangerous fumes of zinc.
Before making any adjustments or modifications in the chassis, it is important to remove the galvanizing first by melting it.
This exposes the steel structure inside, which you may then use to weld a new part into.
General Pros and Cons for the Modcon Campers
Modcon campers are affordable campers built with a lot of care and attention to detail.
All the bumps and edges in a Modcon camper are rounded off in any possible places which might hurt you. Not only are they quick and easy to set up, but they are durable and easy-to-operate.
These campers are for beginners and regular camper residents alike!
- Interiors are inaccessible while driving and can be inconvenient at times.
- Maintenance-heavy vehicles.
What Do The Reviews Say?
“The setup is as simple as you’d expect from a forward fold camper, except for one little difference… You ratchet the top open on the double struts, open the door, and push the end bar out, and you’re done…”
[Source – Unsealed4x4.com]
The ModCon campers are a total breeze to set up even though they contain elements such as the pop-up tent, which are generally quite difficult to set up.
Their campers are built for ease of setup and access, and with some practice, you’ll be able to set it up within a minute.
“For a ‘low-mid’ level camper, the ModCon FF1 has a few little extras that a lot of the competitors don’t.”
[Source – Unsealed4x4.com]
Despite their small build and extremely affordable price range, ModCon campers have a lot to offer.
What’s The Resale Value on Modcon Campers?
|Modcon Campers Grandeur||2003||$8,600|
|Modcon Campers Quattro S4||2016||$18,990|
|Modcon Campers Overlander||2003||$4,750|
|Modcon Campers Redlander||2005||$2,800|
*Please keep in mind that these prices may not be accurate depending on your location, the camper’s condition, and the seller.
Even with their problems, Modcon campers shine as some of the best-built campers in the industry, which certainly give back a good equivalent of their money’s worth, if not more.
These vehicles are cheap, durable, and packed with a lot more features than others within the same price range, and the attention paid during the vehicle’s building phase is awe-inspiring.
We highly recommend that you check them out if you’re looking for affordable campers- they’re probably the best ones you could find in that department.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.