Pros & Cons of a Rialta

[ HOME ]

Model Information

Floor Plans & Specs
How To Buy Or Sell A Rialta
Known Problem Areas
Modifications, VW & Coach
New to RVing? Info here
Pros & Cons of a Rialta
Vehicle Checklist
VIN Information
Winter RV Storage

VW Service

Air Conditioner
Door & Locks
Engine Battery
Engine Repair Information
Fuses: Dash & Engine
Mechanics & Dealers List
NHTSA Recall Notices
Oil Change
Parts Diagrams
Radiator & Coolant
Serpentine Belt
Service & Tech Bulletins
Spark Plugs & Ignition Wires
Transmission Service

Winnebago Service

Appliance Recalls
Caulking and Sealants
Coach Batteries
Electrical Breakers & Fuses
Furnace & Thermostat
Microwave, Range & Oven
NHTSA Recall Notices
Operator Manuals
Paint Codes
Parts Catalog
Plumbing Diagrams
Rialta Service Manual
Service Bulletins
Shocks and Air Springs
Supplier Links
Tires & Wheels
Water Heater
Water Pumps & Filters
Winnebago Corporate Info
Wiring Diagrams

Tours & Pictures

Public RV Sanitary Dumps
Strange & Unusual Places
Winnebago Factory Tour

   ► Related Links


Interested in buying a Rialta?  Or just want to check and see if your opinion of the Rialta fits in with mine?  Whatever the case, I've tried to establish some of the more relevant issues involved with choosing a Rialta for your motor home needs.  Click on any item for more info.






Fuel Mileage is great at around 15-18 mpg

Your average mileage should hover around the 15-18 mpg range.  Interstate highways through mountainous areas seem to not overly impact your mileage especially if you get a "running start" at the up-hill grades.  Stop and go traffic will give you the worst mileage as you have to get approximately 4 tons up to speed with only 2,800 cc's of engine.

[ return to top ]




Easy to maneuver around in city traffic or congested areas.

Most large Class A motor homes would never venture into a downtown area and even look only for a "pull-thru" campsite.  Not so with the Rialta.  It can go practically wherever a car can go.  Just remember that you are 7'4" wide and 8'6" tall.

[ return to top ]




Can be parked in a normal street parking space  (well, almost normal)

Looking for a place to park in a congested, downtown area can be a nightmare for large motor homes but sometimes you'll find a parking spot that is adjacent to a wide driveway or other area where your 21'6" length can squeeze in.  Even a regular spot in a large parking lot won't stop you provided you don't hang into the driving lane.  In most cases, you'll be able to park closer to your destination than other RVs of a larger size.

[ return to top ]




Mechanically worry-free with the great German engineering

Precision engineering has always been the hallmark of German automobiles.  The front cab, engine, and drive train of the Rialta are designed and built in Germany.  The actual final assembly point may be in either Canada or Germany.

[ return to top ]




Great warranty coverage by both Volkswagen and Winnebago

Compare the warranty on other new RVs.  VW covers the power train for 5 years / 50,000 miles and the chassis/cab for 2 years / 24,000 miles.  Winnebago covers the coach body for 2 years/24,000 miles.  All other models made by Winnebago have only a basic 1 year warranty.

[ return to top ]




Frequently used as a 3rd car (especially the QD model)

Large families usually end up driving one of the various "mini-vans" but lately many are finding the Model QD Rialta with its seating capacity for 8 people to be a great alternative.  Other models are great for all-around use and many wives think nothing of going to the supermarket and parking anywhere in the parking lot with their Rialta.

[ return to top ]




Limited size is all you need for your travel requirements.

With large Class-A RVs you end up paying for transporting all that empty air space inside the vehicle.  Why have a sleeping capacity for six when there are only two of you that use the RV?  Why not only pay for all that you really need?  Even with the largest of RVs, there still are only two seats up front --- just the same as the Rialta.

[ return to top ]






Limited payload carrying capacity

The Rialta typically has less than 1,000 pounds of Net Carry Capacity.  This maximum weight must include all factory installed options, all persons inside the vehicle, all their belongings, all food and other related items, LP gas, fresh water, any water in either holding tanks, and the tongue weight of any towed vehicle.

[ return to top ]




Are you more than 5'10" tall ?

The interior ceiling height is only 5'10"!!!  If you're taller than that, then there are only two places in the inside where you can stand with your head not being bent down: one is right inside of the side door entrance, and the other is directly underneath the skylight.  Anywhere else and you will be banging your head especially on the roof air conditioner controls.  What the heck was Winnebago thinking?

[ return to top ]




Are you ready to give up some privacy?

Privacy?  In a Rialta?  While enthusiasts call it intimacy others call it lack of personal privacy.  The bathroom is barely big enough to stand up and remove any garments of clothing at the same time.  And then there's the fact that the bathroom is not really made as a separate room.  The expanding, sliding walls do not go all the way to the ceiling so therefore any "sounds" generated in the bathroom are...well, shall we say shared with everyone else inside the vehicle.

[ return to top ]




Limited interior space means no friends over to visit

Limited size means limited seating.  Its very unlikely that you'd ever invite guests over to play cards or watch TV in your Rialta (and that's a bad thing?).  In fact, two people can't pass by each other without one temporarily moving aside and leaning on some fixture to allow the other to pass.

[ return to top ]




Will your VW dealer work on a Rialta?

This is sort of a touchy issue and has certain legal ramifications.  If you read your warranty statement from Volkswagen, they state that your warranty will be honored at any Volkswagen dealership.  However, the majority of VW dealers refuse to have anything to do with the Rialta even though anything referred to them would be only for defects having to do with the EuroVan portion of the vehicle.  Most simply claim that they don't have lifts capable of the increased weight or that their low ceiling heights prohibit them from putting the vehicle on a lift.  Volkswagen of America seems to be working on this problem and is attempting to retrofit added heavy-duty lifts at various dealerships.  In the meanwhile, you might be faced with a long drive to a "participating" dealer.  You may request a copy of such a list of VW dealers that service Rialtas by requesting a copy to be mailed or faxed to you.  Contact Volkswagen of America at 1-800-DRIVEVW.

[ return to top ]




Limited holding tank capacity

The capacity of the "black water" (sewer) holding tank is only 13 gallons.  And unlike other RVs, the shower water empties into the black water tank instead of the gray water tank.  If you plan on using the built-in shower, then the tank would need to be emptied almost daily.  The only water that goes into the gray water tank is from the galley sink.  It really doesn't matter because the gray water tank can hold only 6, 7, or 9 gallons depending upon which model you have, which is very miniscule by RV standards.  Now someone do the math on this: the fresh water tank holds 20 gallons; the black water tank holds only 13 gallons; the shower empties into the black water tank; you take a 20 gallon shower and guess what??????

[ return to top ]




Some VW parts are very expensive

I can scare you with some sample prices but suffice it to say that certain VW parts come very expensive, especially electrical items.  Of course, almost all makes of automobiles have high prices when it comes to OEM replacements and VW is no exception.  Some items are competitively prices but if you ever have to pay for a complete new transmission, for example, be prepared to take out a second mortgage.

[ return to top ]

[ HOME ]
No images, artwork, or photographs may be used without  permission.
Page Updated: 30 March 2013