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Old 12-07-2009, 05:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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Default I got my 1997 Rialta in November, and have already driven to Upstate New York and back.

It was a complete pleasure to drive, handled well, and its self-contained nature sure came in handy in a whole lot of ways. I added a GPS, so I even knew where to turn, or to turn around, in the dark.

The only negative to the trip was the discovery that the tires it needs are quite unusual, and that its in-between size makes it tough to tow. Yes, we lost 2 tires (seller, and my mechanic said they were good, but I guess the valve stems were not). The bed tow trucks would have been too tall, with the Rialta on top, to clear bridges; the rear is too long behind the rear wheels to tow the regular way, they said, and it's probably too small to tow with a Truck-style tow vehicle. Meanwhile, the tires are heavier-duty than car tires, but smaller than regular truck tires. Sunday night in rural Pennsylvania, and our two RV service clubs couldn't help until the next morning. We slept in the camper, on the shoulder of the road; the next morning Good Sam had a towtruck driver put some rubber on so we could finish the trip; he found two car tires in a junkyard that got us to the destination. The very next day I found the proper tires at a Pep Boys, they just happened to have 6 in stock. I put 4 new ones on, and bought the other two for spares. I think the valve stems gave out because the road (I-95) in South Carolina was in some of the worst condition I've seen any Interstate or US Highway in, ever, anywhere, and it just shook them to where they finally started leaking, and by the time I got pulled off the road the wheels had sliced up the tires.

If I had known the tires were hard to find, I might have had a tire shop inspect them, maybe switched out the valve stems, or maybe even added a second spare, before the trip.

Does anybody know if you can mount an extra spare on the back of the van, or up on the roof? Right now it's held to a seat back with bungees, but you have to take it off to make up the center bed. It doesn't have a wheel either, so it's lighter-weight (the other spare, with its wheel, is mounted under the RV in the drop-down spare storage bin).

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Old 01-04-2010, 06:27 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Default I got my 1997 Rialta in November, and have already driven to Upstate New York and back.

OUr '99 Rialta has different size tires on the front and rear. (very different).Does yours? The original Continental tires were very undependable. Lots of separations on them. Now Good Year makes a wonderfull replacement tire for the front. Its a 195/70r15c 104/102r cargo vect. We have 130,000 miles on our Rialta and I got 32,000 miles on the last set of these front tires, with no problems at all.(Which is amazing since the front tires get all the wear on this vehicle). They are expensive, over $240 ea. But nothing is too expensive for peace of mind.Frank

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