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Old 04-14-2019, 05:11 PM   #1
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Default How much is too much?

Hello all,
Thanks in advance for your guidance. I've been researching Rialtas for about three months now, and have my sights set on an HD for some cross country travel with my dogs over the next several years. The good news is that there always seem to be several for sale nationwide, the less than good news is that there aren't many close to where I live to go see in in person.

Aside from that, my biggest question is about mileage on the Rialtas. I know there are many other factors to consider and that VW engines are work horses, but if you were buying one, what would be your cut-off?

My cut off used to be around 100K and when I don't see many for sale above that (and when I do, they're cheap) I wonder. Are people just hanging on them and driving them til they die, or is there a limit to where new transmissions, axles and other wear & tear beyond 100K make them too risky?

My thanks, see you on the road soon!
SG
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:41 PM   #2
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It's not necessarily the mileage, it's the years.... I would caution you to consider that condition and price is everything. The last VW Rialta produced was in 2005.
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Old 04-21-2019, 05:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahgj View Post
Hello all,
Thanks in advance for your guidance. I've been researching Rialtas for about three months now, and have my sights set on an HD for some cross country travel with my dogs over the next several years. The good news is that there always seem to be several for sale nationwide, the less than good news is that there aren't many close to where I live to go see in in person.

Aside from that, my biggest question is about mileage on the Rialtas. I know there are many other factors to consider and that VW engines are work horses, but if you were buying one, what would be your cut-off?

My cut off used to be around 100K and when I don't see many for sale above that (and when I do, they're cheap) I wonder. Are people just hanging on them and driving them til they die, or is there a limit to where new transmissions, axles and other wear & tear beyond 100K make them too risky?

My thanks, see you on the road soon!
SG
We had a 2002 Rialta HD for 5years that we sold last year with about 80,000 miles. We bought it with 60,000 so put on about 4,000 per year I think thats the range a lot of part-timers would put on RVs but full timers would of course put a lot more on. I don’t think there’s anything inherently limiting how far they’ll go. In the case of ours and any after model year 2002, they have the 24 valve version of VWs VR6 which is on many other vehicles even if not as heavy as the Rialta. But it’s more about the transmission which you mention. Transmissions can be replaced or overhauled and aren’t a reason to scrap the vehicle. It’s a fairly sturdy vehicle and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t go multiple hundreds of thousands of miles. Maybe the higher miler ones you’re seeing are also older model years? The pre 2002 had a 12v VR6 and pre 97/98 a 5 cylinder and earlier body style. Rialtas are priced fairly high for their age, I think because they were ahead of their time as a Euro sized RV available in North America. Most people looking for a 15-20 year old vehicle want the lowest mileage they can get, so the $20-$30k price is attainable. This may be one reason why otherwise good high milers are lower in price. If you find one in good condition or you’re willing to put some maintenance $ into it a lower priced one could be a bargain.

You’ll see a small number of known problem areas at the rialtainfo.com site. Also check out the Rialta Tech io group site if you haven’t yet.

Regards
Gary
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:41 PM   #4
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At one point I was very interested in buying a Rialta. While in Yellowstone I met a guy that had one and I asked him; How do you like your Rialta? I love it he said. Have many problems, I queried? All the time, he replied. I thought that was pretty funny but so true with most RVs.
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:46 PM   #5
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Default 15 to 20 years at 5,000 miles per year is 100k.. don't worry about that

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Originally Posted by Bertiboo View Post
We had a 2002 Rialta HD for 5years that we sold last year with about 80,000 miles. We bought it with 60,000 so put on about 4,000 per year I think thats the range a lot of part-timers would put on RVs but full timers would of course put a lot more on. I donít think thereís anything inherently limiting how far theyíll go. In the case of ours and any after model year 2002, they have the 24 valve version of VWs VR6 which is on many other vehicles even if not as heavy as the Rialta. But itís more about the transmission which you mention. Transmissions can be replaced or overhauled and arenít a reason to scrap the vehicle. Itís a fairly sturdy vehicle and thereís no reason why it shouldnít go multiple hundreds of thousands of miles. Maybe the higher miler ones youíre seeing are also older model years? The pre 2002 had a 12v VR6 and pre 97/98 a 5 cylinder and earlier body style. Rialtas are priced fairly high for their age, I think because they were ahead of their time as a Euro sized RV available in North America. Most people looking for a 15-20 year old vehicle want the lowest mileage they can get, so the $20-$30k price is attainable. This may be one reason why otherwise good high milers are lower in price. If you find one in good condition or youíre willing to put some maintenance $ into it a lower priced one could be a bargain.

Youíll see a small number of known problem areas at the rialtainfo.com site. Also check out the Rialta Tech io group site if you havenít yet.

Regards
Gary
I wouldn't get too excited about the higher miles, rather, I would like to know how those miles were accumulated, long trips.. most people don't drive an RV as a daily driver or stop and go traffic... Also, service records are important...if they don't have any run away....

For me, again, condition, condition, condition.... that's the most important factor. How do they generally keep the rig... look carefully at the body, interior. It will tell you about it.

Yes, I agree with you that Rialta RVs seem overpriced....I don't know why. There's a place that renovates these coaches... Rialta Heaven... they charge a lot for this.

It was ahead of it's time, but, I happen to like the Sprinter platform more...

Finally, older vehicles are generally not as safe as newer models... Choose carefully. What I've discovered is it's easy to get into one of the these, much harder to sell.
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:29 AM   #6
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Take a look at Pop Top Heaven....probably www.poptopheaven.com. They get a wealth of good Westies and Rialtas And completely recondition them. Some are super low mileage and sell in the 40k price range. I have a little history with the VWs and these are really done well!

Best,

Tim
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:43 PM   #7
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great discussion. My last motorhome was a constant maintenance project,
erolling dowb the road with a large tool collection and spare parts, turned me off to the 454 chevy motors. Havig had a 68 vw poptop that had few issues,I have been optimistic in my search for a Rialta.Not in shape to do roadside repairs a lot now though,so thats holding me back, especially in the price range I am looking in,read low... knuck, knuck,knuck....
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:09 PM   #8
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Default If it has wheels, it has problems.

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great discussion. My last motorhome was a constant maintenance project,
erolling dowb the road with a large tool collection and spare parts, turned me off to the 454 chevy motors. Havig had a 68 vw poptop that had few issues,I have been optimistic in my search for a Rialta.Not in shape to do roadside repairs a lot now though,so thats holding me back, especially in the price range I am looking in,read low... knuck, knuck,knuck....
Especially German engineering. When everything is running fine, and maintaned, it's like a Swiss watch. Everything is easy when you know what to do.

I don't know what your knowledge base is? I know my limitations and I never work on my vehicles including the RV component of the coach... yeah, it's all expensive, but, I'd rather pay for it to be mechanically perfect and I could probably cause more problems if I got involved.

Sure, a constant project on the road will turn your recreational vehicle into a "ruined vacation".... not my idea of a good time.

Listen, you have to decide how much potential "drama" you want.... especially if purchase a vehicle like a Rialta that's already 14 going on 15 years at best or a 1995 model that's almost 25 years old...

I really would consider skipping all of this personally... there's so many things that can go wrong with a 20 years old vehicle. I love old cars for nostalgia... but, I want to be driving a later model. It might be different if you had purchased this at 5 years and kept it all this time.... you would have had more history and knowledge of the vehicle... getting an old vehicle at this point is very risky.....

Your choice.... and at the prices these command, it's a big gamble.

Good luck.
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