Mike and Anita Pavey unveil their new hybrid camper
It’s a great thrill doing what we do, helping other adventurers find a camper to meet their travel aspirations. Many are upsizing, others are downsizing, yet they all share the same objective; a thirst to explore off road, avoid the crowds, and find their own piece of paradise.
Over the last few years, we’ve been lucky enough to test different off road campers, pulling new stock off the floor whenever we did a trip. And as such, new stock became demo stock. But the most frustrating aspect has been packing and unpacking each time, rather than having a dedicated camper, pre-packed and ready to hit the road at a moment’s notice.
Well, all that’s about to change, as we’ve just purchased a Lifestyle Reconn R2.
Why the Lifestyle Reconn R2?
The R2 is an ideal compromise in comfort and size. In fact, with an overall length of 5.8m, its only half a metre longer than the Pioneer Mitchell which folds up like a transformer. It’s marginally heavier, about the same height, but without the canvas. And optioned with an electric roof and wind out awning, ease of use has kicked up a gear or two. Then there’s that magnificent recessed kitchen, sheltered from the elements.
We could have easily purchased a Mitchell. As our benchmark camper for ease of use, size, comforts and storage, the Mitchell ticked all the boxes. But the R2 ticked a few more, particularly with the optional internal ensuite.
The BRS Offroad Pursuit Platinum also scored highly, but at the end of the day, the Reconn R2 presented a better compromise to our specific needs.
And what about the Reconn R4? The R4 has an extra element of space, thanks to a longer body and as such, has a larger living area, and an extra window, which helps bring the outside in. Larger dimensions, translate to more weight, and so at least for the moment, the R2 gets our vote.
As an aside, keep an eye out for the Reconn R4 Tandem coming into stock around mid October – sneak peek HERE. With the new layout, it’s really throwing down the gauntlet to adventurous campers and families seeking that next level of comfort.
Ease of use is a key element of how we like to travel. With limited holiday time, we’ll often do long transport legs of 1,000km or more per day to get to where we need to go. So a quick setup is paramount for relaxation, minimising stress and getting back on the road quickly.
Many of our options reflect this objective. Foremost are the 12V actuators that lift the roof at the push of a button. Same with the wind out awning. Inside, comfort is catered by the internal ensuite; Truma Inet gas heater, upholstery upgrade with more bolstering, Sirocco fan, 1000W pure sine inverter and an electric blanket. Four seasons touring to a tee!
In the kitchen, we opted for the cutlery and spice rack, the drop-down picnic table and 2nd gas bayonet.
In addition to the inverter, we’ve added an additional 120Ah AGM battery. The roof is fitted with a 120W monocrystalline solar panel as standard, mated to the excellent Redarc Manager 30 battery management system. The roof mounted solar is supplemented by 280W of blanket style solar panels that we roll out on the ground to supplement the incoming charge – saves redirecting suitcase style solar panels all day to follow the sun. And an Evakool ED85 dual zone fridge freezer to keep the food fresh and the beverages cool.
Other options include a grey water tank, rear mounted wood basket, padded front cover, Stone Stomper and wheels and tyres to match our Raptor tow vehicle.
The R2 is blessed with a large storage cupboard behind the wheels, on the driver’s side of the camper. To make the most of this space, we’ve mounted tied down rails to help secure our gear in transit. This includes heavy items such as the Ozpig, camp oven, BBQ, beverage storage, chainsaw and general camping gear.
We’ve lined the walls with Marine carpet and plan on utilising a roof storage system for easy access of common items.
Inside, some additional storage pods have been added inside the shower and the cupboards have been lined with non-slip matting.
Inspect our Reconn R2
If you’re in the market for a comfortable off road tourer with internal ensuite, you’re welcome to inspect. However, we don’t keep our camper on display, so you’ll need to book a time so we can pull it out of storage to show you.
To arrange a time, contact the store on 8391 6274. Tues to Fri 9-5pm, Sat 9-2pm and other times by arrangement.
You can read more about the Lifestyle Reconn R2 HERE.