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Old 07-04-2013, 02:30 PM   #1
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Default Driving experience with a 1997 Rialta 22' 6 cyl



Hi Rialta fellowship, my husband and I have owned at least over 200 vehicles, motor homes, travel trailers and tent trailers. We own A1 RV Repairs and Services and besides owning hundreds of them that we flipped, we have also repaired all the ownes that we sold and still repair hundreds of RV's in San Diego County.



My current ex-family vehicle is a 1998 Chevy Suburban 2500 4x4 lifted 6" with a 7.6 L eng., which needless to say it only gives us 7-8 mpg, but torque, horsepower and ponch is insane (power). My other vehicle is a 1985 Chevy Corvette TPI, which by the same token the power is insane. Our current camping motorhome is a 1987 Ford Shasta 27' class C, which of course is an 8 cyl massive 4 barrel carburator engine.



I mentioned the above because you need to understand that our own vehicles preference has always being massive 8 cyl huge blocks and power has being at most to have. Therefore when we aquired this Rialta with just 6 cyl 2.6 L eng., it has being a huge downgrade in torque and take off.



This vehicle is amazing, you need to understand that is a very small engine for such a "large" vehicle, torque and ponch is definetely not there and I would highly not recommend towing anything heavy.



It has several cosmetic issues and mechanical issues, which I will be addressing individualy as I started getting acquianted and expeirence with it so I don't provide false or ignorant information. I need to assure that this vehicle is the best thing it ever happened to us. It is now our daily driver family vehicle. I can comfortably get it with my toddlers, my dogs, walk straight, and go shopping. There have being a total of 3 adults, 1 teenager, and 3 small children with big car seats at one point. The car performed great and there was still for two more persons to seat comfortably.



The first most noticeable issue (of course) is the huge lack of power when you first take off, you need to remember this is a very small engine/tranny and HAVE to take of VERY SLOWLY & GENTLE. Must specially if have a gentle slope (hill) ahead of you. It does REALLY bad (slowly) on uphills. But I'll tell you what, once you take speed, you will be going EASILY at 85 mph and you won't even realize you are going at that speed. The Rialta has performed very stable, easy to handle, AWESOME mirrors (NO blind spots at all), takes a little longer to stop. But overall is a great experience.



Don't for one second believe or dream that this car has decent torque and power as I said when taking off and uphills. Maximum speed on taking off and hills is at the most 30 mph at 2,500 to 3,000 rpm



Once you reach 65 mph and start going above your rpm will go up to 3,500 rpm. This is the normal rpm that you will get at speeds higher then 60-65 mph.



Gas mileage has being very bad for us, I get approx 9-10 mpg, not sure yet if it is because most of driving miles are in the City, or because the EGR is bad, and/or because since it is summer and the AC is on all the time, it has resulted in bad gas mileage. One week I drove mostly driveway miles and I got 11 mpg. That's the most I ever got. It will be nice to know if others have experience the same or is it just mine.



The one IMPORTANT thing to learn is that: this VW vehicle uses SPECIAL transmission and power steering oil, they are at least twice if not three times more expenssive then regular oils. And no, you can only buy them at specialty places or custom order it through Auto Zone, CarQuest, Chief, etc. rarely would they be available in stock (or so at least on the auto stores in Lemon Grove, CA - San Diego). However they are very available and always in stock at any VW Dealer.



This VW vehicle can't be serviced at most VW dealers BECAUSE the RV although is within the weight capability of the VW shops, the HEIGHT can't be safely accomodated to lift it high enough to do the work underneath and not being to close to the shop ceiling roof. And for some reason I also suspect that there must be a conflict of liability between VW and Winnebago since modifications must have made to the unit to provide specific needs.



I found out that all mechanical components can be supplied at any VW dealer, but body parts, decals, interior, etc can only be supplied mostly by Winnebago, or the part in question by the manufacturers, and some times also on other social websites such a ebay and Craigslist.



With that being said, it is very handy and important to have the manuals for all the wiring, mechanical, suspension, generator, AC, plumbing systems, etc. so you can easily find the manufacturers parts numbers.



I will be posting several very informative troubleshooting and repairs for everything that we encounter, which has being a few so far.



Enjoy your day and God bless....




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Old 07-05-2013, 05:19 PM   #2
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Default Driving experience with a 1997 Rialta 22' 6 cyl



Please go to the yahoo site for technical information on the Rialta. Rialta-Tech dot com. In my humble opinion (IMHO) you are use to driving big V-8 engine vechiles and the rialta was designed to be a gas saver and camper all in one unit. I have an 04" Rialta and receive a solid 17 mpg or better. I drive around 65 mph on the highways/interstates and am aware of the low HP of the VW. You are moving 7,600 lbs with a 6 cylinder engine. The Rialta is not a car with dragster acceleration but a motor home. Your driving habits may need to be changed to acheive better milage.

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Old 07-29-2013, 04:42 PM   #3
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Default Driving experience with a 1997 Rialta 22' 6 cyl

















Thaks for sharing your Rialta experience ! I get 17 mpg, combined city & freeway. It actually does pretty well on the hills, but it is much slower than my car…











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Old 07-29-2013, 10:52 PM   #4
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Default Driving experience with a 1997 Rialta 22' 6 cyl



We have the 03 and just got back from a 4,000 mile trek from Orlando to Toronto and back. We got about 15 - 16 mpg while pulling a 4x6 cargo trailer. I have to say it pulled like a "son-of-a-gun" going up and down all those hills. We were amazed at the torque. It tries to stay in the highest gear at all times and you really have to punch it to make it down-shift. I had to laugh though as I constantly ran down my bro-in-law going up-hill, with his big Ford deisel. I had to give him a 1/2 mile lead so I could use the cruise control. I am very pleased with the pull and the mpg is normally about 17-18 mpg. As far as fluids, I'm not sure what vehicles you're used to working on, but I put nothing but Amzoil in mine, oil and tranny, and it is quite available and actually CHEAPER PER MILE USED, than normal dinosaur petroleum products. As far as service goes, most of your larger metro areas should not be a problem. Out in the country, a little tougher.

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Old 07-31-2013, 10:57 AM   #5
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Default Driving experience with a 1997 Rialta 22' 6 cyl



My 1999 HD now performs flawlessly since I installed a 30,000 Btu transmission cooler recommended by Rialta Heaven. I suggest that if you want better gas mileage try these tips.


1) Run only premium gas. The ethanol in most gas reduces horsepower by at least 10% for every at pump octane value below 93. Add injector cleaner every 10 tank fills.


2) Buy a scan gauge and monitor your onboard computer readouts continuously. I read transmission fluid temp,mpg,voltage output, and trip mpg. Fix any codes. A missing cylinder fire will cause a transmission torque converter code and excessive tranny temps!


3) Keep the extra weight down to a minimum. Towing weight limit is based on all the cargo interior weight not just what you tow with this machine. Run with empty water and holding tanks when possible.


4) Highway speeds of 62-65 seem to be the optimun fuel efficicient.


5) Use the recoomended tire. Smaller fronts were designed to move weight forward and improve both traction and handling. Yes I know those Continental 10 plys are expensive and hard to find sometimes, but dont sacrifice safety and quality. Under no circumstances should you use a passenger tire on this vehicle

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Old 08-02-2013, 10:28 PM   #6
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Default Driving experience with a 1997 Rialta 22' 6 cyl


BobandDedra said:We have the 03 and just got back from a 4,000 mile trek from Orlando to Toronto and back. We got about 15 - 16 mpg while pulling a 4x6 cargo trailer. I have to say it pulled like a "son-of-a-gun" going up and down all those hills. We were amazed at the torque. It tries to stay in the highest gear at all times and you really have to punch it to make it down-shift. I had to laugh though as I constantly ran down my bro-in-law going up-hill, with his big Ford deisel. I had to give him a 1/2 mile lead so I could use the cruise control. I am very pleased with the pull and the mpg is normally about 17-18 mpg. As far as fluids, I'm not sure what vehicles you're used to working on, but I put nothing but Amzoil in mine, oil and tranny, and it is quite available and actually CHEAPER PER MILE USED, than normal dinosaur petroleum products. As far as service goes, most of your larger metro areas should not be a problem. Out in the country, a little tougher.

My wife has had the same experience with our '99 FD. she says that it's good in the hills & mountains here in CA, and that she got 17mpg, combined city & freeway.

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