I'm new to the use of camping using a motorhome. I've had a pop-up before, but now I'd like to try a motorhome. MPG and the cost of the motorhome is important to me. My wife and I are both retired and we have no pets. The class B type of motorhome seems right for us. Both Rialta and Roadtrek also seem to fit our needs (15 - 20 MPG). I'm looking for something in the later 90's (year not dollars). I am also looking for something easy for my wife to drive. Am I missing something? Is there another MH that I should consider? Is Rialta any better than Roadtrek (or visa-versa)?
Thanks in advance for helping me.
A Rialta is a Class C, and one that has seen its share of problems. They are all under powered, and a lot had drive train issues. Getting service is also a problem. I would stay far away from a Rialta, unless your ready for a hobby, and can do most of the mechanical work yourself.
You should go to the Class C forum for info about the Rialta since it is a Class C. Try using the search function for finding Rialta threads.
Just in case you run across the label, officially, there is no such thing as a B+.
See here: http://www.rv-coach.com/rv/types/classes/rv_types.html
Bottom line: A Class B starts life as a van (with walls and roof)and the RV manufacturer works within the constraints of the van's walls and roof. A Class C starts life as a cab-chassis, meaning no structure behind the cab. The RV manufacturer builds a box on top of the chassis. An easy way to tell the difference is that, in almost all cases, on a C the "living" area is wider than the cab. It will be the same width on a B.
Several additional Class B outfits to consider are Liesure Travel Van, Pleasure-Way, Sportsmobile, and Great West. Plus there are several brands that are no longer manufactured if you're looking at late 1990's era.
As has been said there are a number of Class B RVs out there from various manufacturer but the Rialta is not one of them. I can tell you from my experience that the Roadtrek 190 is easy to drive - no different from a passenger or cargo van. My wife has not problem driving it. It will give you enough room for two - but really no more than two - so if you are looking to bring along the grandkids then a B is not going to work for you. Mileage depends on the year and model - but on my new Roadtrek I have gotten as high as 19 mpg with a 6.0L 8 Cyl engine with a six speed transmission. Older models have different engines and transmissions. But all should be in somewhere in the range of 15 to 19 with mostly highway and little local driving. The best thing about a B is that you can use it as a second vehicle. You can take it on any road with the correct height clearance and you can easily park it in most outdoor parking lots (no garage parking lots).
The suggestion to rent is a good one - or at least find an RV show and go and look at the various models - as well as Class C RVs. Even if you want to buy an older, previously owned RV you will quickly get an idea of their size, features, and comforts. You will also see that when you are looking at a Class B you are looking at the most expensive class of motorhomes - as much or more than larger ones. Of course, per-owned can be affordable but it is going to depend upon the year and the condition.
I can't compare the Road Trek to a Rialta but I did own a Rialta for a while. Mine was a 1999 FD model which had twin beds in the back. The VW V6 engine had plenty of power and if I didn't go too fast (and it could) I got in the high teens in mpg. I could take it anywhere, rode very nice.
Now for the not.... The bathroom is the pits. Finding tires is the pits. Finding service is the pits. I found a local foreign car repair center who worked on it. Neither local VW dealer place would touch it. And this was when they still made them.
I'm gonna mildly disagree with Rodger on all Rialtas being underpowered. I followed a Rialta up US 441 from Cherokee to Newfound Gap. He made the climb with no issues at 45-50 mph. I assume it was a V-6. We both had to slow down for a laboring class A DP, tho'. Any decent VW specialist can service the chassis, but it'll be hard to find one that can fit it into their bays and onto their lifts. I can't comment on the interior.
Many 90's B's seem to be on the 1-ton Dodge van chassis . Bullet-proof engine (318 or 360), sometimes iffy transmission, occasionally iffy handling (BTDT). Definitely read the FAQ's on this forum about the importance of a test drive in person.
Jim, "Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted."
'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory') www.tigervehicles.com
Thanks for the advice, information on the differences between "C" and "B", suggestion about renting first, suggestions of other brands, and general concern (193 read my inquiry - you 7 replyed). May you get the same help I asked for.
Jim, that one had a Porsche engine in it. .
I have been behind a couple that were struggling to do 45, and had a line of traffic, for about a mile, behind them. Maybe if there in perfect condition they would do better, or with a minimal load.
Of course they did change the engine size 3 times, and the ones I saw were maybe the older version. I think in 2001, or 02 they went to 201 hp, and those were probably a lot peppier. I think 2005 was the last year they were made.
After doing a little reading, I will take back my statement that all were under powered, and go with, up till the 201 hp, they were underpowered. I will stick with them being a hobby though.