Way back in 2019, we stumbled across a second hand (2018 model) Lifestyle Reconn R2 Hybrid Camper in Perth, and made a big decision to purchase it. We’ve had it for nearly 4 years now, and in that time spent near on 450 nights camping with it (and now live in it full time as two adults and a 4 and 6 year old!).
If you’ve been following along since then, we wrote our initial post about our new (to us) Reconn R2, and then we’ve done a long term Reconn R2 review, and a little while ago an extra long Reconn R2 review.
I want to do one last post about it, excluding any issues we have in the future, or upgrades that we do, and that’s just to re-iterate the fact that we absolutely love our Reconn R2 Hybrid Camper.
On so many occasions I look at our little camper (or as I hop into bed) and feel that it matches our travels, comfort requirements and Dmax (the tow vehicle) so well, and because of that, we can very honestly say that we love it.
Yes, we paid our own money for it, and we even gave Lifestyle a bit of a rev up in our initial review for a couple of things that we thought were annoying, or even minor design flaws. You know what though?
Almost everything we complained about has been remedied in their newer models, and I’ve got a lot of respect for what they do. No, I’ve never even spoken about our blog to them, and have no intention of promoting their products beyond using them for ourselves. They’re certainly holding the reputation for Australian Made Hybrid Campers up high, which is excellent to see.
There’s a heap of things that we love about the Reconn R2 after literally living out of it for an enormous amount of time (and doing a Big Lap of Australia in it as I write this). We got an amazing deal (51k) back in 2019, which makes it one of the best value purchases that we’ve done when you consider how much its been used (and continues to be).
We love the amount of storage it has, the light tow ball weight, how small it is (it will go anywhere we can take our Dmax), the massive water capacity (270L), how fast it is to setup, how durable it is (we’ve had hardly anything go wrong with it so far), the induction cooking, lithium battery setup and 720W of solar on the roof, and I could go on, and on.
Of course, there are times we’d much rather be in a caravan, but for the most part we couldn’t ask for a more suitable trailer to live out of in the way that we like to travel, and that’s got to be the number one priority for you. What suits the way you travel?
Are we going to upgrade?
I feel we probably did more research prior to getting this than most people would ever do, and we honestly couldn’t find anything that ticked the boxes better. There are some nicer units out there, but they are priced accordingly, and we’d be spending at least 50 – 100% more than what we did, which is a lot of travel money. To date, I haven’t seen anything better for similar money, and that’s awesome as it means we did a good job in choosing the Hybrid Camper to begin with (and got lucky with the timing!).
That said, I love the Reconn R4 (slightly bigger model) with an ensuite, but in single axle configuration it would have a tow ball weight that is too heavy for our Dmax (in terms of GVM and rear axle weight), and in dual axle it would be physically too heavy to tow. The empty weight of a Reconn R4 is about the same weight as our fully loaded Reconn R2, and that’s without considering the money difference. They’re also quite a bit heavier, and don’t have nearly as good clearance as the R2, particularly around the entry door.
We’d literally be throwing another 50 – 70k at it, and we would need a change of tow vehicles to do it legally, and even if we didn’t have to change vehicles, we can’t see the improvements being worth that sort of extra money.
Inevitably we’ll end up with a caravan and different tow vehicle at some point in our lives, but its not planned for any time soon, and we’re really enjoying life on the road on the Reconn R2.
At 51k, plus about 5k on upgrades (lithium batteries and solar, cutlery drawer and some other bits and pieces), our cost per night away (excluding registration and insurance etc) is around $124 per night, and by the time we finish our lap (if we do 2 years) that will be down at around 54 bucks a night, and we should have spent more than a thousand nights in it, which is absolutely mental.
We’ve always used it a lot though; I never had any annual leave at work. We literally spent every single hour that was accrued travelling this great country, and often did it with careful planning (like taking 3 days off to get 10 off, and so forth), and racked up the nights pretty quickly.
Get what works for you
I suppose the moral of the story is that you can’t do too much research, and if you really know what works for you, you can get something and use it over and over again and still love it. I hate things that don’t work, and if we found the Reconn R2 just didn’t cut the mustard we simply wouldn’t have it anymore.
We love our Lifestyle Reconn R2, and would happily (and have done) recommend them to anyone looking for something similar, providing you have the same interests, and attitude as we do!