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Old 10-05-2010, 10:41 PM   #1
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Question Rialta Modification Options?

I am planning to buy a Rialta for both business travel and family road trips (4 kids in a minivan gets old after about 200 miles, and my relatives are 700-1200 away). The business travel requires good mileage and at least a minimal bathroom for showers, and the family road trips require seating for 6 including driver, preferably forward facing. Being able to park it in my garage is a not inconsequential bonus (HOA gets stinky about RV's/Trailers/Boats unless they're in the garage, mine is 24' deep with a 8'8" door).

However, none of the standard layouts is quite ideal for my purposes. I figure that for the QD and HD floorplans, I might be able to replace the dinette with a jack-knife style couch, for the FD(twin beds) I could pull the beds, night-stand/heater, and two large cabinets and replace them with a jack-knife couch and two captains chairs (the couch being side-facing). The FD (double bed) is nearly unworkable, by the time I got through tearing stuff out of the back, I'd be looking at a huge remodeling bill (I still might buy one if it was otherwise good and had a cheap price).

My wife would also prefer it not "look like an RV", which basically means not be white with stripes and decals. Unless I luck into a decent price on a rare silver or gold Rialta, that means repainting one that doesn't have white skirting around the bottom. She also doesn't want a van, and the ones that satisfy all the criteria are 50-100% more expensive than a Rialta, anyway.

In addition to that, I'd like to convert to a diesel engine for the improved mileage.

Can anyone recommend good shops for each of those three steps (remodel, repaint, and diesel conversion)? And has anyone already done any of those?

--Dave
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:20 AM   #2
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We looked at a Rialta some years ago, just out of curiosity. The shower had to be "put together" for each use. The coach space was pretty tight in our opinion. Instead of all that remodel expense you might look at the next size up that Winnie makes. It would be larger and maybe need no remodel at all. I did see a couple buying one for full-timing, but they had no children. With a family spending a lot of time in it...might be a little too small. Just a thought. Happy Travels, Joe
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by azloafer View Post
We looked at a Rialta some years ago, just out of curiosity. The shower had to be "put together" for each use. The coach space was pretty tight in our opinion. Instead of all that remodel expense you might look at the next size up that Winnie makes. It would be larger and maybe need no remodel at all. I did see a couple buying one for full-timing, but they had no children. With a family spending a lot of time in it...might be a little too small. Just a thought. Happy Travels, Joe
Yeah, I know what I'm getting into. A bigger one would be more comfortable, but anything bigger isn't going to match the mileage. For family trips it's strictly A to B in more comfort than can be managed in a minivan, for business it's a way to avoid hotels and pocket the per diem (and maybe the airfare too).

I've had a chance to check one out, I know what I'm getting into. I'll put the shower together when I need it, and sit on the toilet seat to wash up (I'm 6'1, the roof is at least 3" shorter than that). I could live with an HD or QD model as they sit, but my wife is convinced the kids will get carsick if they're sitting sidways. If it was strictly for me, I'd get the twin beds model and turn it into a king with some plywood.

Down the road, I might be able to convince the wife to get something big enough for real camping or family vacations. For right now, the Rialta is perfect for my needs.

--Dave
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:05 AM   #4
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The cost of remodeling you would have to spend would buy a lot of gas for a model that didn't need to be modified.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:41 AM   #5
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You don't know how many miles I expect to put on this thing. At *least* 40K over the next year. Anyway, I'm committed now, just made a deal on a QD model (which will only need a couch replacement for the dinette, roughly $1K). So, is discountrvfurniture.com a reputable vendor, or should I look elsewhere for my couch? And where's a good place to get it painted?

I figure this should be a decent "starter RV". 40K miles from now I'll probably be chomping at the bit to upgrade.

--Dave
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Rickey
You don't know how many miles I expect to put on this thing. At *least* 40K over the next year. Anyway, I'm committed now, just made a deal on a QD model (which will only need a couch replacement for the dinette, roughly $1K). So, is discountrvfurniture.com a reputable vendor, or should I look elsewhere for my couch? And where's a good place to get it painted?

I figure this should be a decent "starter RV". 40K miles from now I'll probably be chomping at the bit to upgrade.

--Dave
I do t know but discountrv but I plan to order from them if I can't find anything else in town
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:02 AM   #7
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I had an FD twin back on 2001. For the most part I liked it and had many of the same spousal demands but no kids. Be very careful with you mods. What you will be removing is very light weght and make sure what you put back does not increase the weight too much. You may need to have something custom made and if so you'll need strong yet light materials. It is very easy to overload a Rialta. Make sure you constantly monitor tire pressure.

Now that you bought one, in addition to all your conversions locate someone to work on it (mechanically) and a source for tires. As I remember there was basically only one manufacturer who made tires for them (Continental) and they were hard to come by. Most VW dealers would not touch the Rialta and this was when they still sold the van it is based on. Their excuse was they didn't have a lift capable. I found a local independant place that handled it.

You may have figured out when taking a shower you have to pump the water from the floor pan into the holding tank. The drain in the pan is very prone to clog so you will need to keep this clean perhaps cover it with some fine mesh material. I believe there is another filter at the pump itself.

Don't mean to sound negative about you new purchase/project just giving you a heads up so you can plan accordingly. Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:09 PM   #8
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If you are buying one new,,,, You should not need to repaint it.. Oh they may whine a bit about your color request, but you can get it any color you want, Just drop by a Sherman-Williams automotive paint store and pick a color. Any color, They can do it.

Even if they don't use Sherman-Williams paint.
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