After 30,000km since we left Perth, I was keen to get our Lifestyle Reconn R2 serviced and checked over. My main concern was the wheel bearings, brakes and suspension, but we opted to get a full service done by Lifestyle in Slacks Creek.
At a guess, I’d say our Hypercamper has done around 50,000 to 60,000km since we got it, so its been well used. The service went well, but they did pick up a few problems, and had issues with the Cruisemaster Suspension Alignment, which we go into further below.
This is not sponsored
We paid full retail price for the work Lifestyle did, and this is not a sponsored, or paid post. It’s just us sharing our experience, good and bad to help you, and that’s it.
Why not go to Cruisemaster?
Now, you might wonder why we didn’t go to Cruisemaster to get this done, and the answer was simple; I wanted to see what Lifestyle were like to deal with, and they did the whole service including the above, under one roof. It’s hard enough to organise things on the road without making them more complicated.
As it was, we ended up at Cruisemaster anyway, but we couldn’t have known that when it was organised.
What does the service include
The standard service is quite comprehensive, and covers the general maintenance that you’d want to be doing regularly on a Reconn R2 Hybrid Camper.
This involves inspections and checks of everything from tyres, brakes, wheel bearing repacking, suspension checks, brake servicing through to 12V checks like your lights, breakaway system, Anderson plugs and then your plumbing, chassis, welds and so forth. They also do all of the lubrication again, and check that its all correct.
On top of this, they’ll fix any issues that are identified, so you can drive out knowing that your Camper is in as good of a condition as possible.
What issues were picked up?
I had a few phone calls throughout the day, to let me know how things were going, and of any problems that had been picked up. The first thing was the breakaway unit, which was completely dead and doing nothing. Admittedly I’d never bothered to check this, and they replaced it with a new one.
Then, they found the shock absorbers to be in a pretty sad state. 1 was not working at all, and the other 3 were still going, but in pretty average shape. They installed 4 new Cruisemaster G40 shock absorbers, which should make a big difference.
Lastly, they looked at the wheel alignment, which we’ll go into below
The wheel alignment was a failure
With 5PM closely approaching, I arrived back at the service centre, and walked around to see two of the technicians battling the wheel alignment. They had managed to correct the toe in adjustment, but were unable to get enough adjustment on the camber, with the suspension at maximum adjustment.
They suggested getting offset spindles from Cruisemaster, and bolted it all back together, deducting the price of the alignment from the invoice. This was done two days later, which you can read about here – Cruisemaster offset spindle install
A quick walk through the factory
In discussions about the wheel alignment, I raised concerns about checking the toe in and out off the chassis, and was assured that the chassis are made square, which I was curious about, as the general tolerance is good, but not that good when doing fabrication work.
I was taken for a walk through the factory, and showed the jigs, how they’re made to accommodate the movement when they are hot dipped, and how the chassis need to be square in order for the laser cut parts to attach.
This ranges from aluminium box sections in the storage hatches and kitchen through to the trim on the external of the camper, and it was pretty clear that they’ve got it down to a fine art.
Apparently around 3 Reconn’s make their way out of the factory each week (R2 or R4), and there were around 14 in various stages along the production line.
All of the Lifestyle Reconn’s are made here, and the Iconns which are imported, are serviced and worked on at the back of the showroom around the corner.
I didn’t take any photos, as it was a completely off the cuff walk through, and I didn’t think it was appropriate, but I was impressed by it all.
Overall thoughts on Lifestyle
After dropping our R2 off, we took a short drive to the sales room where the Lifestyle Campers are sold, and had a quick look around. They’ve got their Lifestyle Iconns, in the E2 and E4 range (the E4’s are massive), and they had a Lifestyle Reconn R4 LRX, which I had a good poke around.
I was thoroughly impressed at the changes that have been made in newer models, which reduce or eliminate a number of design flaws on our model. The fitment, finish and overall product is top notch, and I was really impressed. Of course, with a price tag about three times the cost of our R2, perhaps this is justified, but its great to see an Australian made hybrid camper manufacturer knocking out awesome products every day.
The servicing took the full day, and dragged it out for us, but this is totally understandable. They mark some of the spares up (the shock absorbers are $600 from Cruisemaster, but we were charged $700 for 4), but that is nothing abnormal, and overall I was pleased with what was done.
It was unfortunate that the wheel alignment couldn’t be sorted, and we booked the camper into Cruisemaster to see if they’d install offset spindles as I’m tired of tyres getting flogged out.
Overall, a really positive experience with Lifestyle, and I can say with confidence that they make a solid product, and back it up well. Yes, you’ll find people who aren’t happy, and products that have been made that aren’t as they should be; this is inevitable, and part of any manufacturing. How they’re dealt with is the tell tale, and with all we know about Lifestyle Campers, I’d happily get another one.
They’ve clearly got a good reputation in the market, with some very well known people in the 4WD industry owning one, or even more than one!
Have you checked out the Lifestyle Campers range? What did you think of it?