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Author Topic: Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?  (Read 788 times)

Coachella Canuck

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Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?
« on: February 20, 2018, 10:20:11 PM »
We are snowbirds in need of an inexpensive Class C to make the trip between Alberta and California, south in October and north in May.

Came across this one and here is what I know about it from the Craigslist listing.

26 ft long
V8 5.7 L engine.
Automatic

•replaced the front tires and two back tires
•installed a new brake hardware kit
•replaced the valve system
•rebuilt the tire pressure monitoring system
•balanced the wheel spin
•installed a new water pump
•new starter with life time warranty

It’s $3000.

I have to think it will get about 10 miles per gallon. How does that compare to newer Class Cs, do you think?

I would have it inspected mechanically but I’m wondering what problems these units may be known for?

As always, thanks in advance for any advice

keymastr

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Re: Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2018, 12:28:26 AM »
Try 7 MPG. And you will be working it very hard as that is very under-powered. If it has any signs of water damage such as stained ceiling panels or soft floors it will likely have black mold in the walls. If any signs of delamination or water damage are present it is scrap in my opinion. If it is the rare survivor, and I do mean rare. It may still be overpriced.

30 years old and 95k, it sat not moving a good portion of it's life which is very hard on all mechanical parts and any rubber components like brake cylinder seals, fuel lines, suspension bushings etc. will be dry rotted. Belts and hoses all should be replaced. Fuel lines, pumps, injectors were not made to handle ethanol and should be replaced.

In short, even if free it could be the most expensive vehicle you ever buy.

john owens

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Re: Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2018, 03:24:34 AM »
I am some what familiar with lazy Daze motorhomes. We still have my first RV which is a 22 footer..completely re furbished and handed down to my step daughter and her family. Yhis unit is pretty desireable with the wrap around windows and couches in the rear. Lots of folks build a work station back there. LD's are factory built for each buyer after purchase. Family owned and still at the same location going on 60 years. They were built to last.That being said the appliances don't last forever and may need to be addressed. My main concern is will she pass smog. Have the seller do this and if passes than 3000 is not a bad pric e at all..believe me. And I seen the pics and coach seems to be well taken care of. Check out the Lazy Daze Owners forom for more info...Good Luck!!
2011 Winnebago 37F Class A  2012 Unlimited JK 2001 HD roadking  1964 Manx 1641cc buggy 1985 22'Lazy Daze Class C 2007 Chaparrel 26' deck boat..Thats all folks!!

SeilerBird

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Re: Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 03:39:43 AM »
Try 7 MPG. And you will be working it very hard as that is very under-powered. If it has any signs of water damage such as stained ceiling panels or soft floors it will likely have black mold in the walls. If any signs of delamination or water damage are present it is scrap in my opinion. If it is the rare survivor, and I do mean rare. It may still be overpriced.

30 years old and 95k, it sat not moving a good portion of it's life which is very hard on all mechanical parts and any rubber components like brake cylinder seals, fuel lines, suspension bushings etc. will be dry rotted. Belts and hoses all should be replaced. Fuel lines, pumps, injectors were not made to handle ethanol and should be replaced.

In short, even if free it could be the most expensive vehicle you ever buy.
Agree completely. It is a money pit. The reason it is so cheap is because it is not even worth $3k. It will bring you nothing but grief.
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wae

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Re: Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 06:54:05 AM »
Let's level-set:  pretty much any RV is going to be a money pit, it's really a question of degree and mitigation.   ;D

First off, is it a Ford chassis with the 351W (which I think most Ford people refer to as the 5.8 but that might be a US/SAE vs Canada/Metric thing) or is it a Chevy with the SBC 350 (5.7)?  It probably doesn't matter too much one way or another, but good to know regardless.

That age will be a carbureted engine which will provide less power, lower efficiency, and require more maintenance.  Or at least different maintenance.  I'd set my expectations at 6-7mpg (40-47 l/100).  A newer C could have the potential to do slightly better than that.  Before the carb people come out of their caves to beat me, I will admit that a well-tuned clean carb will get you plenty of power and be efficient, it just takes more work and knowledge to keep them in good nick, versus injection.

Also understand that there have been leaps and bounds in terms of quality and longevity in mechanical parts in the last couple decades and '83 isn't really part of that.  Newer engines (starting in the 90's but really accelerating at the turn of the century) can run for 100k properly maintained miles and not show any real signs of wear.  SBF or SBC from this era will show wear and, quite frankly, will just wear out inside.  Not saying it's a ticking time bomb mechanically, but 1983 was a really long time ago in terms of build quality.  I would absolutely check compression and leak-down numbers.

The chassis, however, is probably the least of your concerns.  It's really just a regular old van under the covers so it's a pretty well-understood system that anybody can fiddle with.  It might require a shop with the right type of lift, but you're not going to need any crazy-special skillset or tools to be able to diagnose and work on it, and parts availability should remain fairly strong.

Moving on, though, we get to the home part of the motorhome.  That's the tough bit.  The appliances, electric, plumbing, furniture, roof, and basic structure have seen  35 years of weather and road vibrations.  My regular house was built only 18 years ago and it requires regular maintenance to make sure it doesn't fall down around us.  It might not be the best-built house, but when they were choosing materials, they didn't need to think about trying to keep things light enough to fit in the constraints of a van chassis GVWR.  To make things light you can do one of two things:  use very strong, very lightweight, very expensive materials -OR- use smaller amounts of regular, cheap, heavier materials.  This ain't no jet fighter, so think thin, weak, and cheap.  That's not much of a problem as long as things are well maintained, but that's where 35 years starts to catch up to you.

It is almost a certainty that there has been some water intrusion at some point.  How long before it was fixed?  How long before it was even noticed?  What was done to remediate any structural damage?  Is there rotted wall or floor?  There is some metal frame present -- was water kept up against that, causing rust?  Did mold grow and if so, was it all abated?  Water damage in an $85,000 coach is not much different from water damage in a $10,000 coach, but there's a big psychological difference between paying $5,000 to properly repair a coach worth $85k versus one worth only $10k.  Or paying $1,000 to maintain a $85,000 rig versus dumping $1,000 in maintenance on one that's only worth $5,000.  They both might need it, but the cheaper rig will seem like good money after bad moreso than the expensive one.  An older, low-buck vehicle is just much more likely to have deferred maintenance and incomplete repairs.

If you are the handy sort and can be a mechanic-roofer-carpenter-hvac tech-appliance repairman-plumber-painter-upholsterer-electrician and you're starting from a solid base, then buy it and you're going to have the time of your life.  I'm that kind of handy sort and enjoy tinkering, fixing, and improving, so that sort of thing appeals to me.  I know of a guy who bought a 1940's or 1950's school bus that had been converted into an RV then fallen into complete disrepair, drove it a few hundred miles home with his son, and is in the process of revamping it including possibly swapping in a newer diesel drive train.  Great project.  But if that's not your thing, I would probably avoid this one.  If you have to farm every repair job out this thing will just eat you alive.

There is a remote chance that this is the one that has been garaged, has perfect maintenance records, never had any leaks or other structural damage, and is absolutely cherry and ready for another 35 years, and if that's the case go ahead and snap this thing up and enjoy it and share your epic tales of adventure!  More likely though, it's an average unit that needs a bunch of things and will be a good amount of work.  Now, if that's what you're looking for please, by all means, snap that up and share those epic tales of adventure.  But more than likely, you're looking for something that you can get in and use without putting a lot of money or work in to, and I'd hate to hear those epic tales of woe.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2018, 01:58:45 PM »
All of the above is true, but Lazy Daze has a couple of points going for them versus most other RVs.

First, their body is all metal, with aircraft grade aluminum siding and metal frames.  This makes them considerably stronger and less vulnerable to hidden water damage than a wood framed RV.  If you don't see water damage on the inside paneling it's probably OK.

Lazy Daze's factory is in Montclair, and they pride themselves on being able to provide service and repairs to any motorhome they've made.  It's probably not cheap, but it's an advantage if you do find the RV requires repair.

I think I found the ad in the Los Angeles Craigslist, if so I'd give it a look.  If the interior looks OK, look more deeply at the mechanical condition.  Plan on replacing anything that's rubber (hoses, belts, tires, brake hoses, etc.) and get caught up on maintenance (oil change, transmission fluid change, chassis greasing, etc) before you take a long trip and you'll have a halfway decent chance that it will take you there.

In California, the seller is required to smog test a vehicle before it can be sold, make sure he provides a recent receipt (within 90 days) showing it passed the test (the actual certificate is electronically submitted to the state).

1988 is in the middle of the transition from carburetors to fuel injected engines.   An easy way to tell if it has the fuel injection is to look at the transmission.  A fuel injected engine will have the 4 speed Overdrive transmission and will drive better and give better fuel economy than the older carburetor and 3 speed transmission.   The older version will give 7-8 MPG, the newer may get as high as 9-10 MPG.  Doesn't sound like a lot, but that's a 20-30% improvement in fuel mileage. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 02:12:36 PM by Lou Schneider »

ArdraF

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Re: Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2018, 04:26:53 PM »
Lou is correct about the construction.  Lazy Daze motorhomes have always been good quality.  We owned two.  The first one was a 1981 22-footer with a Dodge 440 engine.  I'm sorry I didn't keep the records for it.  The second one was a 1994 30-footer with a Chevy P30 engine.  The second one had almost 68,000 miles when we sold it.  It's overall gas milesage was 9.5 mpg and included trips to the eastern U.S. (we lived in California when we owned it), eastern Canada, and Alaska.  At about 50,000 miles we started towing Geo Tracker and towed it for 17,000 miles.  Prior to towing our mileage was 9.7 mpg and afterwards it dropped to 9.5 mpg.

ArdraF
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 04:36:16 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
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KandT

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Re: Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2018, 02:48:58 PM »

What problems are they known for?  From 1988 just the parts between the bumpers.

How does that compare to newer units?  About the same actually.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 02:51:48 PM by KandT »
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ArdraF

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Re: Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2018, 05:26:34 PM »
I'm not sure they're known for any specific problems, especially when compared to some of the stories we hear on the RV Forum.  We had exactly one problem with each one.  The 1981 model had the hot and cold water lines reversed which meant we got hot water to the toilet!  That was fixed by talking with LD on the phone before we got home.  It was a very easy fix once they told us what to change.  The 1994 model developed an early leak at one of the outside bays.  We were leaving on a business trip outside the country so drove the motorhome down to Montclair and left it for repair.  On returning we picked it up and never had any other leaks.  Any other issues if you want to call them that had to do with things related to engines, tires, and the like.  I wonder if anyone else has had a Lazy Daze and if they also were trouble-free.  You don't see many on the market because people like them and keep them for many years.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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rls7201

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Re: Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2018, 09:21:07 PM »


That age will be a carbureted engine which will provide less power, lower efficiency, and require more maintenance.  Or at least different maintenance.  I'd set my expectations at 6-7mpg (40-47 l/100).  A newer C could have the potential to do slightly better than that.  Before the carb people come out of their caves to beat me, I will admit that a well-tuned clean carb will get you plenty of power and be efficient, it just takes more work and knowledge to keep them in good nick, versus injection.

All of Ford's V8s were port injected by 1988. So a carb is not a problem for the OP.

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Mile High

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Re: Looking at 1988 Ford Lazy Daze with 95k: too old?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2018, 04:23:42 PM »
Because it is a Lazydayz, it's probably worth restoring, but it's probably beyond being reliable transportation without putting a lot of money in it.  At 95k, that poor 5.7 may be real tired.
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