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Old 12-01-2014, 11:46 AM   #1
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I just bought a 2002 Rialta. I am 60 years old and live in Phoenix. I hope to learn from those on this website who are more experienced in ownership than I. I would like to take the Rialta on the Alaskan highway this summer. Has anyone done that and if so do you have any advice?

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Old 12-02-2014, 10:26 AM   #2
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Quite a few folks have made the trip in a Rialta. You can read the story of one of those at:


http://tinyurl.com/m3llxbo



There are also groups for owners on BigTent and Yahoo. You might get more information on those.



Duane



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Old 12-07-2014, 12:58 AM   #3
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Congrats on the purchase of your Rialta!


I have a 1999 HD (has the bigger kitchen and refrigerator/freezer combo). I bought the HD model because I like to cook and mine has the optional lower propane oven and the standard microwave above. I also live in AZ (Casa Grande). These HD's are the only Rialtas with a 3-burner stove. All Rialtas are awesome so it depends on what suits one's needs. I cannot say enough about this machine. I had many things to fix after I bought it used in 2010. Finally, after the bugs are out it is incredible. It always ran well and never failed me as far as the engine. Bear in mind that the Check Engine light is a common occurrence. After having everything fixed in line with that it has stayed off for the last two years. There are many little things to know and check to make sure you know how it all works and that all things are working properly. Many owners DO NOT know, or correctly operate many of the features. I could write pages of tips but it is up to you if you want me to? TOP TIPS ARE: Ensure that your tires up front are the smaller of the set and the rear are the larger size. I have seen this mistake many times and it will lead to problems - so there are TWO tire sizes. When climbing any hills: LEAVE THE CRUISE CONTROL ENGAGED! I didn't know this until about 2 years ago. I always manually drove up the mountains, thinking the Cruise would floor itself. Truth is, it handles the transmission and all shifting better than I can myself. I usually maintain top speeds if I just leave it alone and there is much less strain on the engine. Before, I used to struggle (going over mountains from AZ to San Diego) and bog down in no time. In 2000, Rialta beefed up its horsepower but I don't think there is that much difference in the two engines. Since you have the more powerful engine it should be fine. As for the Alaskan Highway, just make sure the rig is in ship shape. Check all the coolant lines; even the ones under the wardrobe that lead to the Motoraid Water Heater and Automotive Heater (both one of my favorite features). If all things are good and tight and no leaks you should have 190 deg. F water at the shower and faucet after about 1 hour of travelling. i LOVE it! Incidentally, I use my shower every day of travel. Just try it! It is nice and rommier than you may think. Final tip for now: The Shower Power Drain has a filter that is under the wardrobe (or bed in some coaches). After about 8-12 showers THIS MUST BE EMPTIED AND CLEANED. You will notice the drainage slowing down and it is just a simple clean of the filter. The shower drains into the BLACK TANK btw. Most RV's drain into the Grey tank. You should be able to eek out 4-5 quick showers if you're fully self-contained. Make sure your rear Air Bags are inflated!!!!! I keep mine around 30-35 psi but you have to remove the air gauge extremely fast as one burst of air will drop them right down. Mine were empty when I bought the rig used and it still rode nicely but once filled....WOW! They must always stay inflated and never flat. Use HIGH octane gas only (the book says so)Winnebago has many parts for Rialtas if you need them. Don't despair but if it needs mechanical (engine) work done, Volkswagen will ONLY work on Volkswagen portions of this. For anything back of the driver's seat it will be either yourself or Winnebago (other than the chassis, brakes, and wheels). Run your Generator (under load) at least once every week or two and give it a 5 min. warm up and 5 min. cool down (unloaded). Hope this helps but it should handle the Alaskan Highway beautifully, especially with that Motoraid Automotive Heat. All the best!


Paul

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Old 12-10-2014, 10:08 AM   #4
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Great tips Paul. I do have a follow up question. One does one find the "airbags" to inflat them? I know they are in back somewhere, but not exactly.




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Old 12-10-2014, 11:23 PM   #5
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Sorry, how does one find the airbags? And is it really an airbag or an air shock? I suspect it has a nipple like a tire for putting air into it. One other question about rear vs. front tires. The owner's manual says 65 1bs psi in rear tire, but the information on the driver side door panel where this information is posted states 35 1bs. for both the rear and front tires. Which pressure amount is correct for the rear tires.

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Old 12-11-2014, 10:03 AM   #6
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Not all of them have the air bags on the rear. It was an option. If you do have them, the fill/check valve will be just in front of the rear tires, one on each side, under the coach. It's an air assist and separate from anything else on the axle.



The tag from Winnebago says to use 60 psi on all 4 tires. I think the one you see that says 35 is a VW tag which should be ignored. The Winnebago tag is on the edge of the driver door, if it hasn't come off. I run 60 front and 62 rear because I carry a fairly heavy load.



From the Winnebago factory, there were 195 width tires on the front and 215 on the rear. Many of us have gone to the 215 size all around. The most important thing to remember is that the tires should have a load index of at least 104 for the front and 109 for the rear. Anything less and you risk a blowout. DO NOT go by load range - C, or D. That only tells you how much air it can hold. The load index determines how much weight it can carry.



Duane



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Old 12-13-2014, 02:59 AM   #7
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Duane is correct with the info he wrote. It was hard finding those air fill ports and yes, they are just like a valve stem on a tire. I was almost fooled by the VW sticker regarding tire pressures. Since Winnebago purchased the chassis from Volkswagen and then added the Rialta carriage on top it changed everything. So, the listed pressure on my sticker says, 60 psi. I thought all Rialtas came with air bags and they are seperate from the shocks. They really make a difference. I got new Bilstein shocks installed that are specificially made for the Rialta (easily found on eBay under "Rialta"). My old shocks were clunking and terrible though the ride wasn't bad. Once the new shocks were put in it was awesome. The fronts are different than the rear. I had read that "Continental" tires were the best to use on Rialtas (or the only ones?). Anyhow, try all the goodies out and if there are any problems or glitches, write again.


All the best!


Paul

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