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Old 10-21-2021, 11:08 PM   #1
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Default Redoing entire Rialta

Hi gang,

Over the course of a few posts, I have been asking specific questions on various systems in the Rialta, but as I'm getting farther along in the demo of the Rialta, I'm realizing that I'm probably going to have to replace virtually everything (water tank, charger converter, hot water heater, generator, etc etc) and I will freely admit most of these systems, I know next to nothing about.

So, to that end, if you folks were going to redo your RV top to bottom, and you had a pretty healthy budget, what would your shopping list include?

I'd love to hear your list of the aforementioned items
- Water tank (I'd like to upgrade the std 20 gal tank to 35 or 40 if I could)
- Charger converter (no idea about this one)
- Water heater (I'd like to go tankless if possible)
- Generator (pretty lost on this one as well)
- Roof AC unit (sure that's probably dead as well)

Plus any other major component you think I should include (solar setup, something else I can't think of).

My budget is pretty healthy, but I'd like to keep the remodel less than 20k and my model only came with one house battery, just fyi.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-22-2021, 04:39 PM   #2
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1) I would leave the fresh water tank at 20 gallons because it is located over the rear passenger tire. Problems with that wheel bearing going out (happened on my 04') because of weight. Also your holding tanks are very small.
2)You should have a marine water heater that is heated by engine and 110v and always have hot water when your arrive at site (no outside connection). Tankless takes 12v and propane to run plus outside connection for intake and exhaust.
3) New converter, if going to Lithium battery. Only have one coach battery space.
4) Generator- Could replace with an inverter generator in same location but need at least 2800 watts.
5) Roof A/C replace with 13K cooling units as original 8K would not do the job.
6) not much room for solar on roof.
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Old 10-24-2021, 04:41 AM   #3
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Default Shopping List

Ok, I hear what you're saying, but generally speaking, a 20 gal fresh water tank is pretty ridiculous for an rv that you're planning on staying in for an extended time, but weight distribution / overall weight is important, so I will keep it at 20 and just realize I'm going to have to fill it up, frequently.


Here's some items I'm considering so far. If anyone has strong opinions on why I should / shouldn't go with any of these components, fire away.

New water tank:
https://www.tank-mart.com/20-gallon-rv-water-tank-4004/

Water heater(s):
(Tanked)
https://www.amazon.com/SUBURBAN-MFG-...f_=as_li_ss_tl

or
(Tankless)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DW4GM81...NrPXRydWU&th=1

Converter / Charger:
https://www.amazon.com/PowerMax-PM4-...r-charger&th=1

Charger Panel:
https://www.amazon.com/bayite-6-5-10...13PKYILS&psc=1

Generator:
(gent who retrofits current tech generators to work in the rialta space)
rialtagenerators.com

Roof AC:
https://www.amazon.com/Dometic-Polar...00VZ547WG&th=1

Roof AC Control Panel:
https://www.amazon.com/Dometic-Air-C...0HJQ86UO&psc=1

Fridge:
https://truckfridge.com/collections/...-refrigerators

Drop-in Sink:
https://www.amazon.com/ZUHNE-Single-...age=en_US&th=1

Induction Range:
https://empava.com/products/inductio...yABEgKsO_D_BwE

Microwave:
https://www.amazon.com/RecPro-Microw...9CHCNHF5&psc=1

Toilet:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BGM8D0...ogi&th=1&psc=1

Shower Handle Kit:
https://www.amazon.com/HowPlumb-Mobi...E%2CB08LZHRY63

ABS Shower Walls:
https://www.campingworld.com/abs-sho...tures%2Fshower

Shower Pan:
https://www.campingworld.com/abs-sho...E&gclsrc=aw.ds


So after a day of heavy research, this is what I've come up with. I'd appreciate the more experienced RV folk out there pointing out any bad choices I've made with this list.

thanks!
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Old 10-24-2021, 11:33 AM   #4
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Have not had a Rialta, but my 2 cents worth. Responses are for predominantly dry camping which I would assume you want as you're wanting to add more water storage.

Will a 10 gallon fit? We get by fine with a 6 gallon for two Navy showers in a row running partially heated water from the heater with no cold water blend.

Truma being an exception, tankless water heaters are mostly problematic for dry camping, wasted water and temperature control can be ugly, from what I've read.

The 100 amp charger seems overkill, especially with only one battery. In addition, new wiring would be required for the additional power. A 45 or 55 amp should work just fine. Do strongly consider installing a lithium battery.

You will need two of those meters for charge/discharge monitoring plus they are a hassle. Had that set up on our RT. Would highly recommend this unit instead, though it does not have Bluetooth. It does all of the brain work for you. I've had mine for a year and it works well enough. Victron has one that works nicely with their phone app that ties in nicely with their SmartSolar controllers.

Speaking of solar, we use two 120 watt portable panels wired in series through a Victron SmartSolar MPPT controller. Wiring in series greatly improves efficiency, especially with marginal solar conditions(early/late in the day, hazy/cloudy).

Do consider a Dometic Air Command. Much quieter. All controls are built in, no separate controller electrics needed.

You may want to consider a single handle unit or temperature blending.
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Old 10-24-2021, 11:51 PM   #5
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Hi Steve,

Well the 10 gal heater is only 10"x10"x10", so I believe it's either the same size or perhaps a bit smaller than my current water heater.

Ok, I'll downgrade to a 45 or 50 amp charger / converter.


I tried to look at the unit you recommended, but it appears that it also needs a control panel, which is sold separately. Am I looking at the right unit?

https://www.campingworld.com/dometic...E&gclsrc=aw.ds


Thanks for your opinions Steve, they help a lot!
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlootloseNFree View Post
Hi Steve,

Well the 10 gal heater is only 10"x10"x10", so I believe it's either the same size or perhaps a bit smaller than my current water heater.
if it is 10"x10"x10" it could only hold approx 4 gallons.
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Old 10-25-2021, 03:50 PM   #7
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If you purchase an A/C I would recommend a white color unit to reduce the heat as a black cover would absorb heat and make the unit run hotter. Most A/C units have a diffuser inside and also the temp and speed controller. Also have the heater in the A/C or purchase a heat pump A/C that works both ways. On your water heater, you still need an outside access for the exhaust as the marine water heater does not.
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:12 PM   #8
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Oh, I see, I will have to check the model # of the old one and see if it was a 4 gallon heater... I'm honestly not sure how much it held.
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mloganusda View Post
If you purchase an A/C I would recommend a white color unit to reduce the heat as a black cover would absorb heat and make the unit run hotter. Most A/C units have a diffuser inside and also the temp and speed controller. Also have the heater in the A/C or purchase a heat pump A/C that works both ways. On your water heater, you still need an outside access for the exhaust as the marine water heater does not.
Good to know.. I will be sure to get a unit with a white cover, not a black one. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:13 PM   #10
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- Water tank (I'd like to upgrade the std 20 gal tank to 35 or 40 if I could)

The VW platform has got to be at or over it's weight handling capability already, I wouldn't increase the capacity. If you must, you could get a SmartBottle (https://smartbottleinc.com/ 5-gallon to give you a bit extra and allow you to place it in the best possible location for weight distribution.

- Charger converter (no idea about this one)

One LiFEPo4 battery of standard Group 27 size can probably take a maximum of 50A charge. AGM or Lead Acid would be much less, so don't go overboard on the converter charger.

- Water heater (I'd like to go tankless if possible)

If you choose to go tankless you should install a diverter valve on the hot water line close to the showerhead that runs back to the fresh water tank. This way you can run the water through the WH and warm it without wasting the freshwater. If you have never used tankless before you should know that you have to run about a quart to a 1-1/2 quarts of water through it to get the heater to kick on every time you turn it off. This makes taking a navy shower a choice between enduring blasts of cold water every time you turn the faucet back on or wasting a big chunk of water each time. The diverter will let you run it until it is warm while just circulating it back into the freshwater tank.

- Generator (pretty lost on this one as well)

Consider replacing the generator with two or three LiFEPO4 batteries (like this one https://www.sokbattery.com/products/...ifepo4-battery). This would give you as much as 700AH (with your existing battery location with a 100A unit in parallel), weigh less than a generator and cost nearly the same. You could run the AC overnight with this setup. Of course if you go this route you would want a high-amperage inverter charger to fill a bank this big along with a DC-to-DC converter to prevent overloading your alternator.

- Roof AC unit (sure that's probably dead as well)

If you have never used an RV roof AC you should be aware that most of them are about as loud as a lawnmower inside the RV. Coleman has much quieter versions (the NDQ models), and other manufactures may also have recently introduced quite versions as well. This is a big deal, so don't make the mistake of installing one of the older designs!
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Old 10-26-2021, 12:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlootloseNFree View Post
Hi Steve,

Well the 10 gal heater is only 10"x10"x10", so I believe it's either the same size or perhaps a bit smaller than my current water heater.

Ok, I'll downgrade to a 45 or 50 amp charger / converter.


I tried to look at the unit you recommended, but it appears that it also needs a control panel, which is sold separately. Am I looking at the right unit?

https://www.campingworld.com/dometic...E&gclsrc=aw.ds


Thanks for your opinions Steve, they help a lot!
Those 10x10x10 numbers are nowhere near accurate. You most likely have a 6 gal Atwood or Suburban.

Most roof AC units have a separate part number for the main unit and the inside unit. Reason being is that some installation use ductwork, some don't. They may sell them as a package but it's a package that is put together with two different parts, usually.

The unit you're looking at, aside from being quite loud, will have a part number for the roof unit, the ceiling unit, and likely a control box. If you have the old style control you need to replace it with new or replace the circuit board in the roof unit with a board that will work with the old controller. I found that the Air Command had no drama with this, just remove the old style converter and use what came with it. Did I mention how quite it is? What ever you decide on make sure you investigate. I just went through this whole investigative scenario.

I would consider only Air Command and Recpro Houghton. I'm not all that familiar with AirExcell/Coleman models but have been reading quite a bit of traffic about early failures and several months lead time for a replacement for their Mach 8. Did I mention how quite the Air Command is?

Really, the best idea would be a mini split. Ultra quite and efficient. Install on a class b as a retrofit would be problematic.

Om TDY boondocking near Hiawasee, GA.
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Old 10-26-2021, 12:07 AM   #12
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Hi Jake,

Quote:
If you choose to go tankless you should install a diverter valve on the hot water line close to the showerhead that runs back to the fresh water tank. This way you can run the water through the WH and warm it without wasting the freshwater. If you have never used tankless before you should know that you have to run about a quart to a 1-1/2 quarts of water through it to get the heater to kick on every time you turn it off. This makes taking a navy shower a choice between enduring blasts of cold water every time you turn the faucet back on or wasting a big chunk of water each time. The diverter will let you run it until it is warm while just circulating it back into the freshwater tank.
Wow, this actually sounds awesome. I know that a tankless would need a venting port close to where it's installed, but I'm ok with that, since I'm gutting the rv anyways, what's one (or two, or three) more holes drilled in it?

If they do work reasonably well in an RV, I'd like to go this route, as I think it would be the most water efficient.

Can you recommend any tankless water heaters?
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Old 10-26-2021, 12:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by FlootloseNFree View Post
Hi Jake,



Wow, this actually sounds awesome. I know that a tankless would need a venting port close to where it's installed, but I'm ok with that, since I'm gutting the rv anyways, what's one (or two, or three) more holes drilled in it?

If they do work reasonably well in an RV, I'd like to go this route, as I think it would be the most water efficient.

Can you recommend any tankless water heaters?

If you are talking about a ventless, propane fired, tankless heater you will find they need a very high gas flow. Our home one is over 150Kbtu/hr gas rate. I don't know that I have heard of a propane one for RVs.
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Old 10-26-2021, 12:25 AM   #14
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So there seems to be a lot of varying opinions on roof AC models, so I have selected two different ones, based on opinions in this thread,

How do either of these models grab you folks? The roof AC unit seems to merit some study, so I do want to make sure I'm getting the right thing.

Recpro:
https://www.recpro.com/copy-of-rv-ai...emote-control/

or

Air Command:

https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Air-Cond...SABEgJXCvD_BwE



Also, turns out my WH is actually an Atwood 4 gal heater, and the dimensions are closer to 12x 12 x 13... I was sloppy I guess when I measured it.. =D
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Old 10-26-2021, 12:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlootloseNFree View Post
So there seems to be a lot of varying opinions on roof AC models, so I have selected two different ones, based on opinions in this thread,

How do either of these models grab you folks? The roof AC unit seems to merit some study, so I do want to make sure I'm getting the right thing.

Recpro:
https://www.recpro.com/copy-of-rv-ai...emote-control/

or

Air Command:

https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Air-Cond...SABEgJXCvD_BwE



Also, turns out my WH is actually an Atwood 4 gal heater, and the dimensions are closer to 12x 12 x 13... I was sloppy I guess when I measured it.. =D
The Recpro link says it's for a ducted system but shows what looks like a ductless unit, do verify before purchasing.

The second link goes to etrailer. A large part of my AC replacement dram was due to these folks. I received two unit from them, one as a replacement. Both were damaged in shipping. The second one they put in a heavier box, but still no padding. They had apparently recently instituted a new shipping policy for them using a regular UPS package van. The roof units are not packaged to make it through that system. It looks like they have maybe gone back to using motor freight. Do verify.

Their customer service was awesome through this ordeal.

I wound up getting an open box "special" from Amazon for just north of $500. Being lucky is sometimes better than being good. Delivered in two days by teo people from their "heavy package" department. +They did, however, ignore the "up arrow" and delivered it on its side. I had to adjust the top plastic cover a bit to make it work.
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Old 10-26-2021, 04:28 PM   #16
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The Truma AquaGo is the most commonly recommended:

https://www.truma.net/water-systems/...aquago-comfort

The Truma is what Winnebago installs. They also use the diverter valve method on their pop-top camper van so you can go watch some Youtube videos of people using it and see how they like that as a water-saving method.

I have the Girard. It is ok, but as I said there is a long blast of cold when you start it. Note that the link is just for the WH, you will need the exterior door and the interior control panel to go along with it.

https://www.amazon.com/Girard-2GWHAM.../dp/B019BWN8E2

Finally, you may want to consider the Truma Combi. It combines a 2.6 gallon fast-recovery water heater with furnace so you get both in a single small package. The WH can provide continuous hot water and the small tank eliminates the cold water blast. Not sure if you can get it as an aftermarket purchase, they might only sell it to OEMs.

https://www.truma.net/heating-systems/truma-combi-eco

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlootloseNFree View Post
Hi Jake,



Wow, this actually sounds awesome. I know that a tankless would need a venting port close to where it's installed, but I'm ok with that, since I'm gutting the rv anyways, what's one (or two, or three) more holes drilled in it?

If they do work reasonably well in an RV, I'd like to go this route, as I think it would be the most water efficient.

Can you recommend any tankless water heaters?
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Old 10-26-2021, 10:59 PM   #17
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Default ductless vs ducted

So I think I'm a bit confused now between ductless and ducted roof AC units.. Do I want one over the other? What's the benefits of one vs the other?

Thanks!
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlootloseNFree View Post
So I think I'm a bit confused now between ductless and ducted roof AC units.. Do I want one over the other? What's the benefits of one vs the other?

Thanks!
IT depends on whether your coach is ducted or not. If it has no ducting the air comes out of the ceiling unit, if ducted the air comes out the ducts though some have the availability to divert some air out of the ceiling unit if desired.

If you have no built in ducting you must go with the ductless ceiling unit.

The ductless setup is where a quite AC system is nice as they are inherently noisier.
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Old 10-27-2021, 06:18 PM   #19
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IT depends on whether your coach is ducted or not. If it has no ducting the air comes out of the ceiling unit, if ducted the air comes out the ducts though some have the availability to divert some air out of the ceiling unit if desired.

If you have no built in ducting you must go with the ductless ceiling unit.

The ductless setup is where a quite AC system is nice as they are inherently noisier.
Ahhh, ok, thanks that helps a lot! yes, I'll need a ductless unit, as I have no ducks. :P
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Old 10-28-2021, 05:13 PM   #20
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On my 99 Rialta, the generator quit. I was unable to find a replacement or anyone who could repair it. The size seemed to be the biggest factor in finding a replacement. None I could find would fit in the space allotted. That physical size gen set is no longer made and the electronic parts don't seem to be available either.
This was three years ago and we haven't really missed it. Now we use the generator bay for leveling block storage
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