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Old 12-17-2022, 01:41 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Winnebago Rialta - total gut job!

My wife and I had been looking for a small RV - decided that the Winnebago Rialta would be about right - but found that their resale value is amazingly high!?!

I've done car restoration and a mountain of DIY over the decades - so we decided to buy a cheap wreck and fix it up. Our Rialta is a 1998 - and has had some crash damage to the drivers-side rear quarter. It's been fixed and cosmetically looks great.

But it had been literally left standing for 10 years.

We have the "truck" stuff working great - new suspension parts, new tires, new exhaust, new horn, new lights...well...new more or less everything. It drives really good now - and seems pretty reliable. (Except the cruise control doesn't work?!?)

But the interior is another matter. There are a LOT of signs of badly botched "fixes" - and the maze of yellow and purple wires is completely impenetrable.
it took me like 2 hours to find where the water pump wiring went and fixing a simple disconnected connector!

So I'm in the process of basically gutting the interior - removing ALL of the old wiring - and redoing EVERYTHING with neatly labelled color-coded cables and modern automotive connectors.

I'm also getting rid of all of the propane stuff - stove, fridge, heater - all going way. The generator was missing (I hear that's pretty common), but we're going to stick batteries and solar into it anyway. The A/C is shot - so we're going to buy a heat-pump AC...the bench seats are going and we're building a permanent bed into the back and storage underneath and putting seating and a small table up-front. All of the carpet is going (ikky!) and wood-look vinyl planking is going in instead. All new wallpaper too.

Anyway - we have a lot of left-over parts...and were wondering if Rialta owners are looking for things like water heater, propane tank, bench seat frames and cushions, table, inverter, fridge, stove, sink...and rather than send them to landfill - would like to offer them to anyone who cares to haul them away.

We're out in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
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Old 12-17-2022, 04:46 PM   #2
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Check on these URL: https://groups.io/g/Rialta; Winnebago Rialta Motor Home
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Old 12-19-2022, 02:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for the respons...but that first link doesn't work - it just says "Sorry that group doesn't exist".

I had already found "RialtaInfo.com" - that's an AMAZING site - a true labor of love right there!

The inside of my Rialta looks like a war zone that's been smothered in a sea of yellow and purple wires!
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Old 12-19-2022, 02:44 PM   #4
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Hmmm - the forum doesn't seem to let me post pictures?!?https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/en...-no?authuser=0
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Old 12-19-2022, 06:11 PM   #5
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When you get it all stripped out, a trip the scales probably would be a good idea.


That way you can weigh the stuff you are putting in to make sure you stay within the gross and axle weight limits. Be sure to also add people, pets, all the fluids, etc too plus at least 500# for miscellaneous stuff like food, cooking tools, chairs, and personal items.
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Old 12-19-2022, 07:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
When you get it all stripped out, a trip the scales probably would be a good idea.
That way you can weigh the stuff you are putting in to make sure you stay within the gross and axle weight limits. Be sure to also add people, pets, all the fluids, etc too plus at least 500# for miscellaneous stuff like food, cooking tools, chairs, and personal items.
Good suggestion,

One of my first purchases for my DIY camper van was a 400lbs electronic scale. I maintained a weight spreadsheet since the beginning of the project.
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Old 12-20-2022, 12:41 AM   #7
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Weight over the rear passenger tire is a problem spot caused by the water tank. Only carry about 10 gallons of fresh water, as water weighs 8.3# per gallon. Be sure to run "E" rated tires for the best weight caring load.
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Old 12-22-2022, 06:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveBaker View Post
My wife and I had been looking for a small RV - decided that the Winnebago Rialta would be about right - but found that their resale value is amazingly high!?!

I've done car restoration and a mountain of DIY over the decades - so we decided to buy a cheap wreck and fix it up. Our Rialta is a 1998 - and has had some crash damage to the drivers-side rear quarter. It's been fixed and cosmetically looks great.

But it had been literally left standing for 10 years.

We have the "truck" stuff working great - new suspension parts, new tires, new exhaust, new horn, new lights...well...new more or less everything. It drives really good now - and seems pretty reliable. (Except the cruise control doesn't work?!?)

But the interior is another matter. There are a LOT of signs of badly botched "fixes" - and the maze of yellow and purple wires is completely impenetrable.
it took me like 2 hours to find where the water pump wiring went and fixing a simple disconnected connector!

So I'm in the process of basically gutting the interior - removing ALL of the old wiring - and redoing EVERYTHING with neatly labelled color-coded cables and modern automotive connectors.

I'm also getting rid of all of the propane stuff - stove, fridge, heater - all going way. The generator was missing (I hear that's pretty common), but we're going to stick batteries and solar into it anyway. The A/C is shot - so we're going to buy a heat-pump AC...the bench seats are going and we're building a permanent bed into the back and storage underneath and putting seating and a small table up-front. All of the carpet is going (ikky!) and wood-look vinyl planking is going in instead. All new wallpaper too.

Anyway - we have a lot of left-over parts...and were wondering if Rialta owners are looking for things like water heater, propane tank, bench seat frames and cushions, table, inverter, fridge, stove, sink...and rather than send them to landfill - would like to offer them to anyone who cares to haul them away.

We're out in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Hi Steve! Though we don’t need any of your Rialta items, we’re wondering if you purchased new wheels and if so, where. We own a 2005 Rialta (bought new) and keep it in good condition, but would like to replace the chrome wheels as the chrome plating has peeled off in some places. We love our Rialta and hope you wil love yours too!!!
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Old 12-22-2022, 07:49 PM   #9
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Default Making over a Rialta

You might want to look here https://rialta95.com/ there might be some ideas you will want to use (like the bathroom)

Robert
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Old 12-23-2022, 10:27 PM   #10
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Hi Steve! Though we don’t need any of your Rialta items, we’re wondering if you purchased new wheels and if so, where. We own a 2005 Rialta (bought new) and keep it in good condition, but would like to replace the chrome wheels as the chrome plating has peeled off in some places. We love our Rialta and hope you wil love yours too!!!
We needed new tires - but the wheels themselves seem to be OK.

It's possible to get wheels re-chromed - that might be easier.
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Old 12-23-2022, 10:36 PM   #11
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You might want to look here https://rialta95.com/ there might be some ideas you will want to use (like the bathroom)

Robert
Wow! Yeah - that's nice work!

Our biggest plumbing-related issue right now is how we're going to heat water without propane. I've been kinda wondering whether wrapping copper tubing in a spiral around the engine exhaust, close to the manifold - then circulating water through it and into a heavily insulated tank would generate enough heat to heat up water as we drive. Since we expect to either be driving every day - or stopping where there is shoreline power and actual showers...maybe this would be a good way to get hot water?
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Old 12-23-2022, 11:41 PM   #12
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Wow! Yeah - that's nice work!

Our biggest plumbing-related issue right now is how we're going to heat water without propane. I've been kinda wondering whether wrapping copper tubing in a spiral around the engine exhaust, close to the manifold - then circulating water through it and into a heavily insulated tank would generate enough heat to heat up water as we drive. Since we expect to either be driving every day - or stopping where there is shoreline power and actual showers...maybe this would be a good way to get hot water?
You could consider a marine water heater heated by circulating engine coolant. Isotemp is popular, but there are other from West Marine. Some include 120VAC heater elements. Popular option in the Sprinter DIY community (See Sprinter Forum). I use Isotemp.
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Old 12-24-2022, 12:57 AM   #13
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Your Rialta should have come with the marine water heater (4 gallon) and electric heating element.
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Old 12-29-2022, 08:54 PM   #14
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Hi- I'm a 1998 Rialta owner here in Las Cruces. I might be interested in your fridge if you still have it. Did it work in all three modes before you took it out?
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Old 01-09-2023, 11:41 PM   #15
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We didn't really try it. We couldn't park the van on level ground - and my son (who is something of an expert on RV's - but who lives 1,000 miles away) said that those kinds of fridges don't work unless they're fairly level.

I guess now it's out of the van and sitting on my workshop floor - I could plug it into a 110v outlet and see what happens.

At any rate - if you want it, it's free - just swing by Las Cruces and it's yours.
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Old 07-05-2023, 03:27 AM   #16
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Hi, Steve! My name is John. I’m beginning to gut my 2004 in September and sure would like to stay in touch with your project for ideas and advice. purpleporsche@icloud.com/262-498-3640
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