Info wanted - 1981 22' Lazy Daze on a chevy chassis with 350

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
B

braindead

Guest
I'm looking at purchasing a 1981 22' Lazy Daze class C.  I'm a fairly good mechanic so I'm not very worried about the drive train/chassis.  I am however fairly new to RV's, I've read the relevant library documents and printed out the buying a used RV checklist already.

Couple of questions...

Anything specific I should worry about with this particular brand/setup?  For all I know Lazy Daze is the bottom of the barrel and likely everything is worn out.. ;-)

Is a 350 a bit underpowered for something this size?  Supposedly the engine was rebuilt (at 50k miles for some reason, current owner isn't very well informed), however if it was rebuilt to 1981 specs... I remember how gutless the big engines were around that time.... I swear there was a 454 that Chevy bragged about having 250HP sometime in the mid 80's or so..

Thanks for any hints/tips/advice.. 

edit: added "Info wanted" to subject, realized it sounds like I'm selling or something ;-)
 
Lazy Daze is the top of the line in Class C motorhomes.  They only sell factory direct, which is probably why you haven't heard of them.

http://www.lazydaze.com/

I had an Itasca motorhome of that size and vintage with the 350 engine - it has plenty of power especially if you're not planning to tow a car.  Expect to get about 10 MPG at reasonable speeds vs. 7 or 8 MPG with the larger 454.

A common issue with carbureted engines of that vintage is the fuel float becoming waterlogged and floating lower than it should, so the fuel level in the bowl rises and creates a rich mixture.  It's a time rather than mileage issue, so a carb service may be in order.
 
Thanks, I was aware they sold factory direct.. but with the plethora of manufacturers out there.. can't keep track of who's who ;-).  It's good to know it's not one a bad brand.

If we 'tow' anything it would be a couple of small dual-sport motorcycles on a hitch carrier.. so not much weight there.

I've rebuilt several carbed chevy 350's over the years, I can handle that no problem.  And thanks for the info about mileage, I was figuring under 10..
 
As for the power issue, it's a Gen 1 Small Block Chevy, and will respond to all the usual mods.....I'd start with cam, heads, and exhaust.  It should drag that 22' around with no problem.  If the RV is nice, you might even consider aftermarket EFI for it.
 
if its all u need or require and your not paying over 4k your good to go
 
ticat900 said:
if its all u need or require and your not paying over 4k your good to go
NADA lists average retail $1200 for the base model.  They're asking $2400.. However the person I've been emailing about it seems to know very little.  Claims the motor was rebuild at $50k miles (about 4000 miles ago) however doesn't know why.  Has no idea what size the holding tanks are, couldn't find the weight information sticker... 

From the pictures it seems well taken care of.. I have no idea if it's been winterized or even taken care of properly at this point.  I figure I'm in for an extended inspection.. I've already printed out the used MH buyers checklist..  One thing it missed (I think) is bring a ladder...  RV may not have one and I want to get a look at the roof.

 
I am by no means an expert, but the two big things I would be concerned about are (1) water damage, particularly around the over-cab window (if it has one) and (2) the generator (if it has one).  Class Cs are very susceptible to leakage in the over-cab area and if the framing is rotten it is a complete structural rebuild which would be very time consuming if you did it yourself and cost-prohibitive if you hired someone else to do it.  Likewise if the generator is shot, it would be very pricy to replace.

I would think that just about anything else, given your mechanical bent, you could probably handle without too much $.  Assuming the tires are over 5-7 years old, plan on replacing those immediately.
 
jagnweiner said:
I am by no means an expert, but the two big things I would be concerned about are (1) water damage, particularly around the over-cab window (if it has one) and (2) the generator (if it has one).  Class Cs are very susceptible to leakage in the over-cab area and if the framing is rotten it is a complete structural rebuild which would be very time consuming if you did it yourself and cost-prohibitive if you hired someone else to do it.  Likewise if the generator is shot, it would be very pricy to replace.

I would think that just about anything else, given your mechanical bent, you could probably handle without too much $.  Assuming the tires are over 5-7 years old, plan on replacing those immediately.
They claim new tires and breaks (not my spelling ;-)..  And thanks for the tip, I'll definitely be paying  a lot of attention to the corners, windows and vents looking for any signs of leakage and checking for any rotten wood.  I'm a pretty big guy, I should be able to push the lower corners of the overhang and detect any give that might indicate frame problems... I think. 

I don't even know if if has a genny..

Luckily older MH's are fairly plentiful out here, a lot of junk that people think is worth something (1974 MH with leaky roof and looks beatup... $1800???) however there are lots of decent deals too, I've been seeing 1 or 2 a week that would be suitable.  If I have any worries about this one we'll just move along.
 
If it's got newer tires, then that price is really good.  Remember to check the date codes, as it is the age of the tires, not the miles that matters.
 
jagnweiner said:
If it's got newer tires, then that price is really good.  Remember to check the date codes, as it is the age of the tires, not the miles that matters.

the tire milage is very important as well as the datecodes. I would sooner have 5 year old tires with 8K miles on them verses 2 year old tire,s with 30000 miles on them
 
Thanks again everyone for the suggestions.  Planning on going out to look at it this weekend.
 
Lazy Daze has the best user support group of any brand on the market. Go to groups.yahoo.com and search for lifewithalazydazerv. You will find tons of answers and support.

I echo and stress the water damage concerns. LDs use wood framing, and though they are well made, if an untreated leak has occurred, it could turn into major issues. Also, an LD of that vintage will not have a genset.
 
inflt said:
Lazy Daze has the best user support group of any brand on the market. Go to groups.yahoo.com and search for lifewithalazydazerv. You will find tons of answers and support.

I echo and stress the water damage concerns. LDs use wood framing, and though they are well made, if an untreated leak has occurred, it could turn into major issues. Also, an LD of that vintage will not have a genset.
Thanks for the info.. I didn't expect it would have a genset, that's one less thing to worry about...

 
 
This thread made me think back to a 23 or 24 foot class C that I looked at about 10 years or so ago. I want to say it was a 1988 Chevy 3500 with the 350 carbed motor and 3 speed tranny. The condition was really pretty good, I could find no water damage which was unusual. After two visits to look it over carefully, I thought seriously about buying it so we took it for a short test drive. Short was not short enough, the thing drove terribly, underpowered, loose feeling steering, lots of body lean on any kind of a turn. I was on roads with speed limit of 45 and that was about as fast as I would have gone anyway. I suppose it would have been much better with some suspension work but I can't believe it would have been any better than a 55 mph machine.

Every time I see one of those old class C's doing 50 or 55 on the interstate, two hands on the wheel, I think back to that test drive. It was quite a while before I got the rv bug again.
 
For what it's worth, we had a 1981 22' Lazy Daze (Dodge 440) and a 1994 30' Lazy Daze (Chevy 454).  Loved them both until we got an itch for a diesel pusher and moved up to Class As.  ;)  Lazy Daze is still family owned and operated and they take pride in producing a good product.  We only had one factory defect in each one.  The first was a wrong connection wherein hot water went to the toilet.  That was an easy fix with instructions by telephone.  The second was an underbay leak that was corrected at the factory while we were on a foreign trip.  Other than that, they were both great motorhomes.  The Lazy Daze club also was fun.

ArdraF
 
Thanks again for all the info everyone.  Our plans are on hold for the time being, hope to be back on track soon.
 
dave61 said:
This thread made me think back to a 23 or 24 foot class C that I looked at about 10 years or so ago. I want to say it was a 1988 Chevy 3500 with the 350 carbed motor and 3 speed tranny. The condition was really pretty good, I could find no water damage which was unusual. After two visits to look it over carefully, I thought seriously about buying it so we took it for a short test drive. Short was not short enough, the thing drove terribly, underpowered, loose feeling steering, lots of body lean on any kind of a turn. I was on roads with speed limit of 45 and that was about as fast as I would have gone anyway. I suppose it would have been much better with some suspension work but I can't believe it would have been any better than a 55 mph machine.

Every time I see one of those old class C's doing 50 or 55 on the interstate, two hands on the wheel, I think back to that test drive. It was quite a while before I got the rv bug again.

The Dodge is the best van chassis from the old days, Fords wander, so do the Chevies. A Dodge need good idler arms and you good to go. I drove mine up to 75 easily. Fuel mileage another story, the Fords were better on fuel. The Chevy had the good looks.
J
 
34footer said:
The Dodge is the best van chassis from the old days, Fords wander, so do the Chevies. A Dodge need good idler arms and you good to go. I drove mine up to 75 easily. Fuel mileage another story, the Fords were better on fuel. The Chevy had the good looks.
J
Does that apply to the small Class A's as well?  I'm looking at a '76 Winnebago brave on a dodge chassis (at least that's the claim). 

I've given up on this particular Lazy Daze, it seems people out here post ads when they have no intention of actually selling..  I got email response to some questions but once I started digging in further I got no response, this has happened on several RV's.  One was even out in the RV camping for a long weekend.. 

Thanks again everyone for the info..  It'll help me weed out all the RV's that people post an ad for but really don't want to sell anyway ;-)
 
Most people don't really want to part with their Lazy Daze. The old Winnies are good, but if you can find an old Diplomat or Excecutive in good shape pick it up. On the Dodge chassis of course. 440/727 drivetrain. Old MH's can be a pain, shop carefully and take your time.
J
 
34footer said:
Most people don't really want to part with their Lazy Daze. The old Winnies are good, but if you can find an old Diplomat or Excecutive in good shape pick it up. On the Dodge chassis of course. 440/727 drivetrain. Old MH's can be a pain, shop carefully and take your time.
J
These older smaller RV's seem to be really common around here.. and judging by how often they relist..nothing is selling. 

At this point we're taking our time. 
 

Latest posts

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
132,423
Posts
1,394,963
Members
138,112
Latest member
Ejroberts46
Back
Top Bottom