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Review of the RV Rialta

The Rialta was a popular Class-B motorhome produced by Winnebago between 1995-2005. It was built on a Volkswagen chassis and powertrain, running on a VW 140 HP gas engine (1997-2001) and a VW 301 HP gas engine (2002-2005).

Though not truly a vintage RV, the Rialta is still considered a classic and has brought a modern touch to the industry. It was sleek, aerodynamic, powerful internal combustion engine making it fuel-efficient, and therefore forever changing the concept that RVs’ had to be huge gas-guzzlers that were a terror to drive.

Let’s take a look at the specifications of Rialta. You will find out that Rialta outperforms other RVs’ in so many regards.  However, we have noticed that many people end up getting less value for their money because of the dealership they choose to buy their RVs. Zervs.com is a certified and trusted auto-retail platform. They are home to the best pre-owned Rialta and other Vintage RVs’.

Basic specifications

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  • Dimensions: 21’ 8’’ long x 7’ 4” wide x 8’ 10” tall
  • Engine: 2.8-liter VR6 with 140 BHP or 2.8 V6 engine with 201 BHP depending on the model
  • Body: Volkswagen T4 (Eurovan) cab
  • Mile per gallon: 15-18 mpg

Here are a few advantages, and disadvantages of the Winnebago Rialta:

Rialta: Pros

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High mileage for an RV

The Rialta changed the image of RV’s from gas-guzzling monsters to a more economical design. It gets you 15-18 mpg, though several factors like elevation, traffic, and your engine condition can affect this.

Great maneuverability

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The size of the Rialta means that it can do things the larger motorhomes can’t. Turning and maneuvering the Rialta is practically like driving a car once you get used to the size difference. It’s a lot easier to parallel park. You can even comfortably park in parking lots as long as you don’t block the driving lane.

Superior engineering

The German-designed front cab, powertrain, and engine assure a higher standard of quality. Precision designed and built to last, Volkswagen embodied the saying, “They don’t make them like they used to” with the Rialta.

Great warranty coverage

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If you compare the warranty on other new RVs with that of the Rialta, you’ll see the great deal you’re being offered.  Volkswagen covers the power train for 5 years / 50,000 miles and the chassis/cab for 2 years / 24,000 miles.  Winnebago covers the coach body for 2 years/24,000 miles.  All other models made by Winnebago have only a basic 1-year warranty.

It’s ergonomic

There’s no need to spend large sums on huge, expensive Class-A vehicles with a sleeping capacity for six when there are only two of you. Buy a more ergonomic choice like this model, which is cheaper and still has enough legroom for two people.

Convenient as a capacity vehicle

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A lot of people end up converting the Model QD Rialta into a sort of “mini-van”. The eight-person seating capacity makes it great for soccer moms and families to go on mini-vacations. Most people find that eventually, they get used to driving a larger vehicle.

Rialta: Cons

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It has a limited payload carrying capacity

It has a relatively limited payload carrying capacity. Its net carrying capacity is less than 1000 pounds. This includes all factory installed options, all people within the vehicle, luggage, food and other related items, LP gas, freshwater, any water in either holding tanks, and the tongue weight of any towed vehicle. So, don’t expect to convert it into a tow truck just yet.

The height may be inadequate

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The ceiling height of the is 5’10,” which leaves taller individuals at a disadvantage. While nobody expects a motorhome to be a mansion, this was a severe oversight by Winnebago. This means many individuals are going to have to spend their time within the motorhome permanently bent over. This is enough reason for some people not to buy it.

Limited interior space

Some call this model ergonomic, and others refer to it as small. There are limited seating and minimal space. Don’t expect to have any friends over or throw any parties. The walkway can barely fit two people passing side-by-side.

Lack of privacy

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As you would expect in a trailer of this size, it’s practically impossible to find a private moment. The design was made to enhance intimacy, but this also leads to a severe lack of privacy. With no solid walls between the rest of the trailer and the bathroom, any sounds produced in the bathroom can be potentially heard throughout the trailer.

Limited holding tank capacity

It was designed to house two people comfortably, but the Winnebago company underestimated just how much water two people can require. The RV has three tanks- a 20-gallon freshwater tank, a 9-gallon grey water tank, and 13-gallon black water (sewer tank). The issue here is that aside from emptying the toilet, the black water tank also emptied the shower, meaning that it has to be emptied on an almost daily basis.

Certain repairs can be quite costly

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The repairs can be quite expensive to cover, especially if you have a shaky warranty. Electrical faults, transmission issues, and plumbing can all lead to some pretty costly repairs. Try and iron out all the fine details of your warranty and talk with your insurance company before you end up taking out a second mortgage to save your RV.

Warranty issues

Though your insurance may cover your vehicle, that does not assure you that your Volkswagen dealership will honor this. Most claim that they don’t have lifts capable of the increased weight or that their low ceiling heights prohibit them from putting the vehicle on a lift. Volkswagen is currently trying to deal with this issue by installing heavy-duty lifts in all their dealerships.

It is not without its faults, but it’s still a great RV. Try one out for yourself and get ready for the experience of a lifetime. Zervs.com boasts of having some of the vintages, and the latest model of Rialta on display. Hover to the website, navigate your way to their rich inventory of Rialta with elaborate product description, and choose. There is one for all.

About Jeanette Iglesias

Jeanette Iglesias

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