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Old 10-20-2011, 09:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Default New To RVing - 2002 Rialta in da UP (Michigan) with many questions

Hi all. We were deciding on a Rialta when one with low mileage came for sale in Chicago. We drove down to see and drive one and bought it. Have been local camping a couple of times and just winterized it for storage. Attempting to learn as much as possible and will post specific questions in the proper forums.

We have raised three children while tent and pop-up camping here in upper Michigan. In 1997-99 (lost track), I tried out a Rialta while getting service work done on our coleman camper. I loved the small motorhome but thought it was grossly underpowered. Sure did not feel that driving back from Chicago at 70 mph (got 21 mpg).

So far, it sure seems a well-made small RV that we feel is perfect for our travel thoughts.

Robert and Sandra

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Old 10-21-2011, 05:20 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 127
Default New To RVing - 2002 Rialta in da UP (Michigan) with many questions

Welcome Robert & Sandra! I think you made a great choice. What year did you get? They changed the engine 3 times I believe. I have a 1999 HD. I think 2001 went to the 201 horsepower. I have the next size down but the power and zip seems fine to me. Perhaps way back, when you tested that Rialta, it was the first engine which was a 5 cylinder. Mine and the newer version are both the VR6.

What makes this machine fun to use is the efficient design, great gas mileage, timeless style, and Volkswagen engineering. It does everything the bigger ones do but easier. I will look forward to seeing some of your questions and truly hope you enjoy this ownership.

I have only had mine since 2010 (bought used) but the number one clue I got while shopping for these was that most of them had higher mileage. This means people used them and enjoyed them. I hop in mine at any time and run errands, take friends out for dinner, pick people up at the airport and yes (sorry folks) even helped someone move. I was VERY careful but had it loaded up with all the electronics, china, valuables, breakable, etc. Checked Air Bag pressures of course! Didn't get a scratch on my Rialta or my friend's items. It was heavy rush hour on the I-10 and I was trucking along at 80 mph and it still drove like a dream. Anyhow, I don't plan to do that very often but just sharing stories about the Rialta's abilities. Looking forward!


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Old 10-21-2011, 05:28 AM   #3
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Default New To RVing - 2002 Rialta in da UP (Michigan) with many questions

O.K. so I wasn't that observant. You put the year of your rig up in the Topic line. That explains it then as to why you felt it had better performance. If I get another Rialta I want the VR6 with the 201 horsepower. these were put in Rialtas from 2001 until 2005. (I hope I am correct on those years?) I think with the extra power it actually gives you better gas mileage. My Chrysler Sebring 2009 is like that. It has the bigger engine but gets the same mpg as the smaller engine. As for my 1999 Rialta, I have to check it some more on trips because most of the time I have the AC on being that I live in AZ. I did get a bit better than 19 mpg back and forth from San Diego, CA to Los Angeles. Perhaps with no AC and a bit slower driving I could hope to hit 21 mpg. Sounds like you found a great rig. So, you have a 2002 but what model or configuration?

Once again welcome to the site and I'll look for more!


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