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Old 09-03-2019, 10:42 PM   #1
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Default Rialta for South America?

Hi, new here. Considering a 2002 Rialta QD for travel to Central and South America, from USA. Any thoughts on appropriateness of this choice? Vehicle is pretty much stock, with less than 60k miles. Have never owned a Rialta, and don't know how reliable they are, or how easy/hard parts are to procure in other countries. Appreciate all knowledgeable perspectives, thanks.
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Old 09-04-2019, 05:12 AM   #2
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as owner of a 2004QD, I would be concerned if VW parts for Eurovan's were available down there as they are getting harder to find in North America as it is. Not knowing how the Rialta was maintained it would be difficult to talk about reliability once you are on the road. An aftermarket transmission cooler ( if not already installed ) would be a must have in warmer climate for example. Proper tires are another issue that you could run into if you had an issue ( blowout for instance ). Don't get me wrong, we love our Rialta, but I would do a lot of homework before traveling that distance and outside of North America.

Robert
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:53 PM   #3
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Go to this URL for information on the Rialta and some weak points.
Winnebago Rialta Motor Home
Check the rear axel for bowing and watch out for the passenger side rear wheel bearing, as they tend to go out and can break off with the wheel.

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Old 09-12-2019, 07:14 PM   #4
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Default Eurovan

As mentioned above parts are an issue in SA but if you plan for that things should going relatively smoothly. SA is hard on tires and you will find if you need replacement tires impossible to find. We spent 4 months last year with a Eurovan in SA and went prepared with spares that for the most part we were fine. We were carrying spare wheel bearing, serpentine belt, fuel pump, distributor cap, and radiator cap at the recommendation of a mechanic. We didn’t need any of the spares. We did take ‘1’ spare oil filter which proved to be the one part that could NOT be sourced anywhere in SA so we had to run the oil filter for an additional oil change. I would take whatever number oil filters you need because the filters are easy to come by in NA but definitely not SA.

We were carrying 2 spare tires on rims and although we went down to SA with all new tires we wore out 4 tires in 20,000 km on the rough roads with 3 tires giving out in one day leaking from the sidewalls when the inner portion of the tires had cracks from the poor road surfaces only 200 km from the port where we were to ship the van back to NA. We put on the two spares and let the tire shop patch the best of the 3 bad tires to get our van back to NA where we put a new set of tires on all round. They will patch anything anywhere in SA. We did go on some off the beaten path roads that would hardly be called roads in NA so the tires were well used and abused on our trip. We also upgraded the transmission cooling with a good transmission cooler and full flush before the trip. We also had to get the brakes cleaned and pads lubed in Lima Peru as they were all new before the trip but were causing some steering vibrations and I though we may have warped the rotors but it turned out they just needed a clean as recommended by the shop we found and everything was good for the rest of the trip.

Probably for most vehicles you would choose there will be challenges in getting parts in different parts of SA. I would not let that deter you but do have some contacts back home that could if all else fails courier you a part if needed. The mechanics in SA are very resourceful and can almost McGiver anything. Don’t count on Volkswagen SA as they don’t have any parts listing for the Eurovan and even their new cars - they only will supply parts for a maximum of 10 Years. We tried Volkswagon for the oil filter in most countries with no luck. They referred us to the repair districts but as hard as we tried we could not find an oil filter that would would work.

Follow our adventure at www.kenandsarah.ca and video at https://youtu.be/RRSZrPoPbUM
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:09 PM   #5
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Hi go to the Rialta tech group and read it . you well change your mind quickly .
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Old 09-13-2019, 01:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina4x4 View Post
Hi, new here. Considering a 2002 Rialta QD for travel to Central and South America, from USA. Any thoughts on appropriateness of this choice? Vehicle is pretty much stock, with less than 60k miles. Have never owned a Rialta, and don't know how reliable they are, or how easy/hard parts are to procure in other countries. Appreciate all knowledgeable perspectives, thanks.
First, I think my old 1995 Rialta is amazing! It is in good shape for a 24 year old. We have been from the east to the west coasts and in between. The thing about going to SA is basically finding parts. Rough roads and mountains are lethal on tires and brakes, which is basically the major problems I have had, and that was here in the US. I try to carry spare tires and rear brake shoes whenever I travel. I would not make the trip, I'm too old to do the repairs myself, but I wish you all the luck and best wishes.
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