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Old 06-22-2014, 08:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2014
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Default Chris from Minnesota

Hi all!

I'm Chris. I'm just having a blast remodeling. Here's my novel:

As of Nov 2013, I had never spent a single night in an RV. The next month, as of Dec 2013, I was full-timing in my "new" 1998 Rialta 14 degrees below zero before wind-chill. I escaped to Arizona and CA from January thru March and even stopped by Quartzsite. I bought my new home with about 174k miles on it and it now has 186k. I've visited relatives in KS and OH.

Although, I am not really handy, I am slowly getting this thing customized to become a perfect full-time home. It came with a single 100w solar panel and a sad solar controller set up (and no generator). After educating myself on HandiBob Solar's blog, I was able to tell an installer in AZ what I wanted. They removed the roof AC unit and added 600w of panels (700 total watts now), plus all of the accoutrements to make it do what it needs, including running the microwave and rear 110v outlets. Next, a friend helped me replace the old dirty carpet with hardwood laminate. I stopped by MO and picked up a Step Warmfloor system, had a local electrician wire it, and now am ready for next winter with heated hardwood floors. I put Cryogel, which is a new type of super-thin insulation known as aerogel under the floors and in the back wall and in the walls of the area where the cab meets the coach. To my surprise, there was absolutely no insulation in the back fiberglass wall at all.

I have torn out most of the furniture, but not the kitchen or bathroom, ripped out the back 18" wide counter, and cut into that trunk space, ripping that plastic mostly all out. I have the new 48(!) gallon water tank ready to be installed back there as well as a HappiJac bedlift that is going to require custom fabrication that I didn't count on. I finally found someone confident to tackle it, and am looking forward to no longer sleeping on the floor by the end of the week! I've got a new energy efficient 5200btu window-mount AC unit fit into the generator compartment, but I need to get some more metalwork done so it'll vent better. I do enjoy the idea of solar powered air-conditioning though.

hehe, it's all a mess now, but it sure is fun! ...especially when something gets done and the vision inches closer to reality. Anyway, that's my Rialta story so far. Can't wait to share the end result. I'm trying to post a couple pics.

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Old 06-22-2014, 08:38 PM   #2
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Default Chris from Minnesota

Hmm, can't seem to get pics to post. Try these links if interested.

Here is BEFORE with the 20 gallon tank:

Here is AFTER with the 48 gallon tank (to be installed)

I'm planning on putting an L-shaped couch in that passenger-side corner and a counter along the driver's side wall where the trunk plastic enclosure remains.

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Old 06-26-2014, 09:14 PM   #3
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Location: Smyrna, TN
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Default Chris from Minnesota

On replacing your 20 gal fresh water tank = 166# you are now with 48 gal tank = 398#'s. The frame under the floor may need reinforment for this weight. You need to join the Yahoo Rialta groups to find out the limits of the Rialta. The rear axel may not support that extra weight and it will lighten up the front drive wheels. Also the rear tires are rated for the lower weight and will be pron to blow outs. Many members have been down that path and tires in load "D", if 15", will be hard to find. Not to rain on your plans but go to this site for all information on the Rialta.

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Old 06-28-2014, 08:44 PM   #4
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Default Chris from Minnesota

Thanks Mike.

I'm aware of the additional 230 lbs, and with everything I've ripped out so far, I'm well under weight, but that is certainly something to keep in mind as I re-install furniture. I have been to that site many times and am a member of the Yahoo group. GVWR is 7275 max (+2000 towing), but I appreciate your concern.

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