Thursday, November 30, 2023


End of the line for Lazy Daze, a one-of-a-kind RV builder

Toward the end of May, the news started circulating. Longtime RV builder Lazy Daze appeared to be closed down. Lazy Daze, based in Montclair, California, had a long history and a strong, enthusiastic customer base. Practically any “LD” owner would tell you, “Nobody builds them like Lazy Daze.” And it may well be that now nobody builds ‘em. What happened?

Shop teachers become RV builders

Lazy Daze

A little history sheds light on the almost fanatical following of Lazy Daze. Back in the 1950s, two high school shop teachers, Paul Newton and Harold Hamm, took on a project of their own. They built a slide-in truck camper, and it was so well done that they soon had others asking them to build one for them. Business got so good they quit teaching and moved over into the RV business. After Hamm died, Newton kept the enterprise going, getting help from his brother Ed. The little firm became a family group.

The Newtons’ approach to building RVs was simple: Hand craft an RV that lasts. Don’t sell them through dealers, sell them factory-to-the-customer. Use good-quality materials and take the time needed to build them.

High quality

Lazy Daze

The ethic translated into Class C units—although the company flirted with a Class A attempt. It didn’t work out well, and only one was ever built. But the Class C units that came out of the Lazy Daze plant were something else. No fiberglass “delamination” problems here. Lazy Daze rigs were sided with aircraft aluminum panels, easily replaced if necessary. And don’t worry about fading. Those panels were painted with polyurethane enamel, that would probably outlive the owner. Overhead, the motorhomes were topped, not with EPDM rubber or other easily damaged materials, but, again, with aluminum.

Lazy Daze

The interior work was likewise top-of-the-line. Since the company “built to order,” you could get your rig specialized to meet your needs in many respects. From the sounds of things, the family must have been RVers themselves. Floor designs were actually something real-life RVers could not just “live with,” but actually found practical and usable.

Lazy Daze didn’t churn out motorhomes measured in the thousands per year. They quietly, and without advertising, built RVs as they built up followers. In Lazy Daze’s heyday, you’d visit the factory showroom, choose one of three floor plans, and plunk down your deposit. Then you’d wait—for maybe two years—until your own rig proudly strutted off the line. Even today, used Lazy Daze rigs are considered a “find” on the market.

Then things got ugly for Lazy Daze

Lazy Daze hummed along, occupying a happy niche in the marketplace for seeming ages. But things got ugly when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Lazy Daze held up on production. During that ugly time of masks, hand sanitizers, and staying home, Lazy Daze stayed open. But at that time, service work was predominantly all that was done. When the pandemic lifted, Lazy Daze followers expected things would go back to normal.

But “normal” came crashing to an end when, last May, the word went out that Lazy Daze was shuttering. The shuttering was practically literal. The Montclair facility which earlier had large picture windows fronting the street, allowing folks to have a look inside, suddenly saw plywood covers over the glass. The company web presence went dark, and phones went from unanswered to unworking.

Facebook groups for Lazy Daze fans were stunned. Plenty of rumors flew, but little verifiable information was available. What really had happened? We may never really know. One suggestion was that the pandemic and “supply line issues” had proven too much for the venerable company. Another said that the company couldn’t get its hands on enough “cut-away chassis” to keep up production.

Looking for real answers

With phone lines down, we kept looking. We finally tracked down Lazy Daze’s service manager, Todd Miller, by email. Todd was friendly and courteous, and promised that he would touch base with the company ownership to see if we might get some official comment. Sadly, when Todd got back to us, the response was this: “Sorry, but the owners’ situation is not conducive to giving any interviews or information on the closing.”

As we’ve said, we may never really have a definitive answer to what happened to shut down what many feel are some of the best-built RVs. In the early days of RV building, nearly everyone started as a “mom-and-pop” builder. Well-crafted RVs soon stood out in the market, and those not-so-good faded away. But then, as the “big” RV manufacturers came on scene, the move to buy up the jewels of the mom-and-pop stores began in earnest. Sadly, most RVers will agree, when Mom and Pop sell out to the big guys, the quality just isn’t there anymore. Lazy Daze bucked the trend and built highly regarded Class C units until its dying breath. Rest in peace, Lazy Daze. You’ll be missed.


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Cee (@guest_256062)
1 month ago

Please help us find the wiring diagrams for our 1991 Lazy Daze Rear King 21′ RV. In an attempt to replace a backup camera, we ended up with dead electrical components that previously worked. We’re hoping the diagrams will help us fix everything.

Diane McGovern
1 month ago
Reply to  Cee

Hi, Cee. I found this when I searched on Google for “1991 Lazy Daze Rear King 21′ RV wiring” but didn’t want to download 294 pages, so I don’t know if it includes your RV or not:
The description on Google says:

GMCMI › uploads › 2014/05 › P…
NOTE: Starting with the 1991 Class A motorhome, the A/C condenser fan is wired by … the vehicle frame, rear axle and the coach itself. GM has determined that …
294 pages

I hope it includes what you’re looking for.🤞 Or maybe check forums on FB, if you haven’t already? Good luck! Have a great day. –Diane at

Heather (@guest_203666)
1 year ago

God, this is so sad. Lazy Daze was what first attracted me to RVing in the first place.

MattD (@guest_201606)
1 year ago

The owner sounds like a proud man, proud of his product and proud of his longevity. It’s no wonder he won’t talk about the closing of his company, it must’ve been devastating for him.

Cameron Welniak (@guest_197296)
1 year ago

We have a 1983 Lazy Daze, and love it! So sad to see the Company go under. We will continue to enjoy our RV as it was built as a beast and will be one forever! Look forward to seeing our LAZY friends on the road!!!

Richard Luevano Sr. (@guest_240629)
5 months ago

I have a 1988 lazy daze. I just bought it and I am trying to find an rv repair shop.

Ken (@guest_195489)
1 year ago

I don’t know the company nor the owners. From the comments and praise for Lazy Daze, it appears that the owners are another “victim” of the Covid trauma. Just be thankful that they provided their services for as long as they did with a quality Motorhome. It is likely they are more stressed than customers.

volnavy007 (@guest_195392)
1 year ago

Another company leaving California — one of two ways to “get out of Dodge.”

Heather (@guest_203667)
1 year ago
Reply to  volnavy007

If that’s what it takes to save Lazy Daze, I sure hope they do it.

Doug C (@guest_195080)
1 year ago

My dad owned two lazy days and 85 in a 2005 and I bought my own an 85 and was looking forward to buying a new one. obviously that’s not to be the case. I am a a little annoyed how they just kind of left everybody in the dark especially what the following they had. Maybe after all said and done they really didn’t care about us after all. I mean seriously how hard is it to say” thank you for 55 years but we’ve decided to close the business, thank you for everything”. Really not that difficult and now the owners are looking like a bunch of bums to me. And they have to know all of us are going like what happened.

Captain Quirk (@guest_200929)
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug C

Totally agree.

Rich (@guest_195058)
1 year ago

I own a 2003 30IB and was on the waiting list for a new one for the past two years. They are a very well made RV and are quirky in some ways. The LDOG (lazy days owner group) is a wealth of information. I would hope that someone will buy the company and continue the building of quality RVs (not Thor though)

Jim (@guest_196236)
1 year ago
Reply to  Rich

I recently purchased a 2001 Lazy Daze 26.5 RB. I love it! Have to fix a few things though. Anybody have tips on upgrading electrical for LED’s and automation? Is there a plug-in florescent replacment with LED’s?

Douglas T Johnson (@guest_195034)
1 year ago

Must of been the systematic increase in hypersensitive transcontinental supply chain issues. That, coupled with the tyrannical method of over regulation and nuclear inflation rates. Ok, maybe none of that bs and they guy just wanted to retire!

Jim (@guest_195021)
1 year ago

Grandfather bought a brand new 19.5 foot 1977 and we took many trips in the RV. Had the Dodge chassis 360cc. Miss that RV.

Cynfll (@guest_194993)
1 year ago

I found my 1998 LD 23.5 foot twin/king last year in TN. I had been looking for about 2 years and was so happy and surprised to find on the east coast at a great price! I love it!

Cheryl V Clark (@guest_194949)
1 year ago

It’s a sad time for quality RV lovers. Our 1999 Lazy Daze was undeniably the best motor home we ever owned. Now I regret selling it.

Robert Levins (@guest_194937)
1 year ago

Oh my God. No . This is like Airstream going out of business. LAZY DAZE? My Dad was in the RV business in the 70’s & 80’s. LAZY DAZE was and still is “The” number one C-class motor home ever built. Some came close, and were pretty good, but nowhere near LAZY DAZE. If there is ever a chance for LAZY DAZE to return, an all American legend, the RV world be ever so grateful.

Ron Swartz (@guest_194900)
1 year ago

Over the years we owned three Lazy Daze coaches. The first, a 1971 bought from Ed and Paul Newton. It was well designed, and practical. Wet shower with PortaPotti; combination oven/room heater; hard floors and vinyl upholstery. Ours was on a Dodge chassis. The second LD was a 2000 Mid Bath (diesel) which we loved but traded for a Fleetwood Bounder Class A (Big mistake). Our last LD was a 2009, one of 3 built on the Chevy Kodiak chassis (19,000 lbs) as a full timers model. We only recently sold it due to our advancing age.

Buying a Lazy Daze was always an experience. There are many stories about Ed Newton’s sales technique. He was a curmudgeon. If you wanted to change something, his answer was always “You don’t need it.” He was usually right. He took you on a test ride that was a “white knuckle” experience to demonstrate the stability of the vehicle.

Marketing was usually word of mouth. Initially they only showed at the LA RV show. They never lacked for new orders.

Jeanne Gaffney (@guest_194941)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Swartz

Hi Ron. We met you at the regional gathering in Arkansas. I just wanted to let you know we have a couple in the Southeast LD group that has a Kodiak chassis. Boy is it nice! I also heard through the grapevine that the 3rd Kodiak got into an accident and isn’t on the road anymore. Ours is a 2006 anniversary edition. We’ve kept it in tip top shape. Just sprung for undercover storage since the factory closed. We want it to last until we can’t travel. Take care. Jeanne and Ed Gaffney

Cheryl V Clark (@guest_194950)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Swartz

I remember the white knuckle test drive! We were very impressed.

C Botner (@guest_194894)
1 year ago

Here’s a challenge for the writing staff and what an interesting story it will make; Find out the real details behind the closure of Lazy Daze.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  C Botner

Hi, C. (That reminds me of the canned juice I used to drink as a kid in the ’50s. 😆 ) I think both Russ De Maris and Tony Barthel are still working on that, as they have been diligently for a couple of weeks now. We’ll let you know if they come up with any more details. Have a good evening. 😀 –Diane

1 year ago
Reply to  C Botner

I talked to a number of people but none of the core Lazy Daze people would have a word with us. Since the decision is theirs alone to make, they are the only ones who would be able to answer the question and it is quite apparent that they have no interest in doing so.

Jesse Crouse (@guest_201686)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony

My family ran a business for 103 years and decided to sell it. Three families later it closed at 135 years old. My point is that family business’s have inner dynamics. We sat down and decided it was time. I feel there were family issues and they don’t care to discuss them. That is their decision.

John Koenig (@guest_194893)
1 year ago

Cue the music for: “Another One Bites The Dust” 🙁

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  John Koenig

Hi, John. That’s the comment I made to a newly engaged, longtime bachelor at a law firm I worked at in the ’80s. He was somewhat amused. Have a good evening. 😀 –Diane

Larry Lee (@guest_194877)
1 year ago

I can vouch for the high quality RV’s built at Sunline Coach Company, Denver PA. They made 70,000 various RV’s over 42 years. They closed in bankruptcy in 2006 but still have an owners club membership over 10,000 which I think says a lot.

Jesse Crouse (@guest_201685)
1 year ago
Reply to  Larry Lee

Totally agree. We had an 04 24 foot TT with a killer curved kitchen. A great and well built unit. Upgraded to a class A in 05. We live about 1 hour from Denver, Pa. and our local dealer regrets their closing as they sold a ton of Sunlines with no warranty issues. They are highly regarded and desired on the used market

Jim Langley (@guest_194875)
1 year ago

Not mentioned yet in these comments is the incredible Lazy Daze owners’ group that feels like family even if you haven’t yet found your own Lazy Daze. Everyone is welcome to join and it’s a treasure trove of information going back decades on these unique motorcoaches.

Everything is covered from all imaginable upgrades and repairs to exhaustive route and camping details from Laze Daze owners who have travelled all over and shared all they learned. If you’ve got any questions about Laze Daze RVs – since they do come up for sale regularly, it’s a wonderful resource:

We’re sad they had to shut down and we hope Todd who was our primary contact at Lazy Daze is doing well and finds a great position in the industry. He deserves it.

Jim Schrankel (@guest_194872)
1 year ago

We Born Free owners have had a similar experience; a quality product, a great company and employees, then, Gone!

Larry Lee (@guest_194871)
1 year ago

The owners’ silence might be due to state and federal regulations which require a company to give notification of closing at least 90 days prior. It may be they were unable to comply with that law which puts them in a tight legal spot. Hopefully, they had fewer than 50 employees which might let them off the regulatory hook.

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