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Old 09-17-2018, 05:57 PM   #1
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Default Rialta with missing generator

Hi everyone, first post and a lurker for a few months. Looking to purchase a Rialta 2001+ and found one but it's missing the generator. Plan on dry camping mostly and need to understand what I would be missing out on without having the generator. I'm trying to find out is the propane system separate from the generator, the hot water heater will fuction without the engine running and run off of propane? Besides powering the electric when the rialta is turned off and not running what else do I need to consider before purchasing a rialta that either wasn't configured with a generator or it was pulled. It's at a dealership with limited knowledge of RVs

My current plan is to purchase a 3 or 4 lithium-ion batteries, install three or four 100 watt solar panels, remove the existing roof top A/C and install a portable more efficient one. Install a larger alternator or a secondary one to assist in chargint the batteries. At night my family would like to have the A/C run throughout the night.

Since these are not cheap I want to make sure I'm not making a big mistake by purchasing one that is missing the generator. Though from what I have researched most campsites do not allow generators to run during quiet times and when dry camping at various retailers it has been mentioned to not run the generator at all.

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:31 PM   #2
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Default What's the price on the 2001 Rialta?

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Hi everyone, first post and a lurker for a few months. Looking to purchase a Rialta 2001+ and found one but it's missing the generator. Plan on dry camping mostly and need to understand what I would be missing out on without having the generator. I'm trying to find out is the propane system separate from the generator, the hot water heater will fuction without the engine running and run off of propane? Besides powering the electric when the rialta is turned off and not running what else do I need to consider before purchasing a rialta that either wasn't configured with a generator or it was pulled. It's at a dealership with limited knowledge of RVs

My current plan is to purchase a 3 or 4 lithium-ion batteries, install three or four 100 watt solar panels, remove the existing roof top A/C and install a portable more efficient one. Install a larger alternator or a secondary one to assist in chargint the batteries. At night my family would like to have the A/C run throughout the night.

Since these are not cheap I want to make sure I'm not making a big mistake by purchasing one that is missing the generator. Though from what I have researched most campsites do not allow generators to run during quiet times and when dry camping at various retailers it has been mentioned to not run the generator at all.

Thanks in advance
I hope your not overpaying for this soon to be 18 years old vehicle?
It's true, no one "needs" a generator... really depends on how you use it..

Only for dry camping, aka boondocking, and really necessary for the A/C, microwave other power hungry devices....

Your propane system is separate for the hot water heater and plumbing..you could be fine without it....

Is the generator convenient...you bet it is... but, we don't use it as much as we do the solar panels that are working constantly... charging up our batteries.....

Don't overestimate how much power you can get from solar.....

Here's some more advice I can lend... ask how old the tires and shocks are ...and drive the vehicle to see how it feels..... Let me tell you... I purchased my rig with only 26,000 miles and five years old...was shocked about the price of tires and shocks.... very expensive.. you can't drive a vehicle like this without those two critical items...more important than a generator....

Air conditioning systems on RVs are much noiser than your house..... just remember that...and there's no way you can run this all night on solar panels..

And, you're right .. there's a lot of restrictions on running generators in campgrounds... otherwise the other campers will "light the torches" and parade to your doorstep...you don't want that!

Finally... I remember the Rialtas..they were the first vehicles we looked at back in the 90s...got decent mileage ... albeit expensive even back then...they wanted around $70,000...
And seems like these hold their value really well.... there's a place that specializes in these...Rialta Heaven...in San Bernardino.....

Having said that though.... they are getting pretty old...

I've given up on VW.... forever... maybe you can find a good one...are you considering other options as well???
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:38 PM   #3
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If there is a complete propane system installed then the 12 volt will probably run the water heater, water pump, lights, furnace and fridge.

The generator charges the batteries - if you have good solar then you donít need to worry about this very much. Also lithiums take a lot of juice real fast and you can charge from the alternator as well.

Air conditioning is challenging. A generator is really the easiest way to run an AC unit. While it is true that you can run an AC unit through the night with lithium batteries it is something that gets very expensive, costing much more than a generator. Youíll need some fairly advanced knowledge to figure out things like the number of batteries youíll need, size of alternator, wire sizes, size of inverter, etc, etc. Iím not saying you canít do it, probably you can, itís just a matter of how much time and money you want to throw at the problem. Air conditioners are very power hungry and they run for long periods of time.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:50 PM   #4
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Default No, I wouldn't advise putting an expensive lithium battery system on a 2001

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If there is a complete propane system installed then the 12 volt will probably run the water heater, water pump, lights, furnace and fridge.

The generator charges the batteries - if you have good solar then you donít need to worry about this very much. Also lithiums take a lot of juice real fast and you can charge from the alternator as well.

Air conditioning is challenging. A generator is really the easiest way to run an AC unit. While it is true that you can run an AC unit through the night with lithium batteries it is something that gets very expensive, costing much more than a generator. Youíll need some fairly advanced knowledge to figure out things like the number of batteries youíll need, size of alternator, wire sizes, size of inverter, etc, etc. Iím not saying you canít do it, probably you can, itís just a matter of how much time and money you want to throw at the problem. Air conditioners are very power hungry and they run for long periods of time.

That's a lot of money to sink into a really old vehicle......

If you were talking about something that is less than 10 years old.. my answer would be different....


You didn't say anything about the price of the vehicle... I would caution you not to over improve an RV like this.....
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:08 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the advice, there are four of us, my wife and our two ever-growing boys. We are in the midwest as of now don't foresee using it more than a few days to a week at a time.

We are looking for an RV that can also double as a third vehicle (instead of a minivan) when taking a few extra people with us locally. The Rialta QD can sleep 4 although tight and seat 7 with belts. The Rialta QD list for $25-45K used with around 60k-100k miles. Definitely, way more than I want to spend on a vehicle that is potentially 15+- years old.

Trying to find that sweet spot of having an RV I can garage since my HOA will not allow RVs in the driveway and if I remove the top A/C the Rialta will fit into my garage with at 8' height.

I Like the Roadtreks Versatile more but they look from the pictures even more claustrophobic. This is our first RV and our current thought process is to stay at state parks and boondock when we have to and just get the kids out of the house and away from electronics .

If the Rialta ends up not fitting our lifestyle we can always sell it and get close to what we paid. The real limiting factor is trying to get an RV that can be less than 8' in height and can manage to sleep 4.
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:13 PM   #6
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Don't understand first post vs last concerning a/c? Do you have to have it or not?

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Old 09-17-2018, 08:30 PM   #7
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Don't understand first post vs last concerning a/c? Do you have to have it or not?

Bud
Yes, we would like to have the A/C available throughout the night. Just adding additional information to the what the others brought up with concerns for purchasing an older vehicle, the question of not having the generator was answered.
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:59 PM   #8
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the hot water heater is powered by 110V and water is also heated by the 'Motoraid" while driving. It is not powered by propane.
Water Heater

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Old 09-18-2018, 12:07 AM   #9
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Thank you all for the advice, there are four of us, my wife and our two ever-growing boys. We are in the midwest as of now don't foresee using it more than a few days to a week at a time.

We are looking for an RV that can also double as a third vehicle (instead of a minivan) when taking a few extra people with us locally. The Rialta QD can sleep 4 although tight and seat 7 with belts. The Rialta QD list for $25-45K used with around 60k-100k miles. Definitely, way more than I want to spend on a vehicle that is potentially 15+- years old.

Trying to find that sweet spot of having an RV I can garage since my HOA will not allow RVs in the driveway and if I remove the top A/C the Rialta will fit into my garage with at 8' height.

I Like the Roadtreks Versatile more but they look from the pictures even more claustrophobic. This is our first RV and our current thought process is to stay at state parks and boondock when we have to and just get the kids out of the house and away from electronics .

If the Rialta ends up not fitting our lifestyle we can always sell it and get close to what we paid. The real limiting factor is trying to get an RV that can be less than 8' in height and can manage to sleep 4.

https://www.nadaguides.com/RVs/2005/...3042703/Values
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:50 PM   #10
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I wish most vehicles would be priced according to NADA, unfortunately, almost every 2004/2005 I have seen is priced close to $40k. I called a dealer that specializes in Rialta's and always has a few on hand and even 2002 was priced in the low 40s.
Occasionally deals come up but from what I have seen is dealers buy these up to resell.
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:23 PM   #11
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I owned a 2000 Rialta. The water heater does run on either propane, engine heat, or electric. I wouldn’t even think about putting as much money into this as you plan to. These units are wonderful, but are notorious for being extremely expensive to repair engine and transmission problems. I spent $11,000 on my unit repairing the transmission and overhauling the engine. It’s the best floorplan I’ve ever seen in a class B, but I happily sold it and Purchased a Roadtrek 190p. My next upgrade will also be a Roadtrek, but ac210P. You can’t beat a Chevrolet heavy duty chassis for cost of ownership and durability.
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:46 PM   #12
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We owned a 2001 Rialta HD. We took it from coast to coast and border to border and loved it!!
What others have said is true, the water heater is 110 or engine, and it is not possible to run your AC on the battery, as for being an every day driver, marginal, rear vision is poor. If you go with a Rialta you will probably like it, alot. But three things to consider: 1) the factory generator is LOUD, I meal really loud. We almost never used it so the carb was usually gunked up. 2) the transmission is not strong enough for the long haul and cost us about $10,500 to have it rebuilt (at about 70,000 miles), plus the other little things that went along with it. 3) When it comes time for the timing chain to be replaced, remind the mechanic that the single point fastener at the crank tends to loosen and spin, destroying the engine. (Fortunately our mechanic stood behind his work and all that cost was the used engine.)
I don't really want to discourage you, just have you go in with your eyes open.
Good luck finding a class B with the specifications you are looking for. Find it, then plan to keep it for a long time. We found ours on a consignment lot then kept it for nearly 10 years.
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:23 PM   #13
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Our 1999 Rialta HD water heater runs only on 110, not propane. However the water is heated by the engine as we drive and this heat can last through the night. I don’t know how you will run AC all night on batteries.
If you pursue a Rialta, look online for owners who are selling, rather than from dealers. You should be able to find one in the $20k range that way.
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:49 PM   #14
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I have a 03QD & a 04QD both with working generators. I could not get along without one even if I had solar. I have the 04 listed for sale. All new batteries, new tires, new air bags(not installed yet). $28,750.00. OBO 73,000 miles Call Ron @ 308-249-0293 for more information
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Old 09-25-2018, 01:37 AM   #15
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Our 1999 Rialta HD water heater runs only on 110, not propane. However the water is heated by the engine as we drive and this heat can last through the night. I donít know how you will run AC all night on batteries.
I assume that the tank is heated by a heat exchange unit through which radiator coolant flows. This coolant is in the whereabouts of 200 degrees or more. Is there any temperature control regulation to preclude dangerous temp water delivered from a hot water tap?
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Old 09-25-2018, 12:55 PM   #16
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Thank you, everyone, for your valuable input, I decided against the one without the generator and will be picking up an 04 QD with a generator this week.
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Old 09-25-2018, 03:50 PM   #17
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Thank you, everyone, for your valuable input, I decided against the one without the generator and will be picking up an 04 QD with a generator this week.

At least you are getting the 2004 model.. with 201 HP...
Watch for engine overheating and don't overload your vehicle...

Here's an interesting website with information on the Rialta....

https://www.poptopheaven.com/about_rialta.asp

We looked at these years ago.... but, after my experiences with VW.. decided against it.
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Old 09-25-2018, 04:14 PM   #18
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Thanks, I'll take a look. I have been looking at these for over 6 months and excited that I finally found one and local. Took a while since I only wanted the 201hp engine which to be honest still felt a bit underpowered. Haven't driven the other versions so not sure if they are geared differently. This one has been very well maintained and I'm hoping to get many years of enjoyment from it. It was hard to decide between a Roadtrek or Rialta but the size and configuration along with the gas mileage made it hard to pass up.
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Old 09-25-2018, 04:37 PM   #19
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Default I understand....I have a Roadtrek... it's all about space.. designed differently

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Thanks, I'll take a look. I have been looking at these for over 6 months and excited that I finally found one and local. Took a while since I only wanted the 201hp engine which to be honest still felt a bit underpowered. Haven't driven the other versions so not sure if they are geared differently. This one has been very well maintained and I'm hoping to get many years of enjoyment from it. It was hard to decide between a Roadtrek or Rialta but the size and configuration along with the gas mileage made it hard to pass up.
The bathroom in the Rialta is really small... and it's a queen bed...
I don't know....I must confess that I looked at them but never took one for a test drive...

My initial thought is, it's similar to the Navion...in that the body is wide in the back..
When I drove the Navion, it felt as if the thing was floating around back there with the body weight.. and remember that the wheels are under and inset from the sides... don't recall..does the Rialta have dual wheels in the back??

Also, the maximum weight of the Rialta is 1,000 pounds including you, and your gear..... That would be a huge factor for me.. and I'm only 190 pounds.. so, by the time you have two people..... you're effectively at 600 pounds for everything else..it adds up very quickly..

The VR6 engine was very nice for its day... but, it's getting long in the tooth....I hope you have an excellent mechanic...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/VR6_engine

Also see this....

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/th...olkswagen-vr-6

I'm getting 18-20 MPG in my Roadtrek RS Adventurous.
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:58 PM   #20
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Thanks for the links, just drove it back and on the highway, the engine was more than enough. Thankfully it didn't feel like it was floating, I was actually surprised that it was a good compromise of comfort and feel of the road.
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