In December 2012 Heather and I
sold our Rialta.
In May 2015 we bought another one. See it here.
In 2005 Heather
and I decided we should start looking for an RV to camp
in because at our ages we could use a few more creature comforts than
our tent and sleeping on the ground could provide. We had spent many a
night in the back country sleeping on the ground and in the back of our
vehicles. Being somewhat environmentally conscience we could not
justify a huge RV that would get 5 to 6 miles a gallon. We didn't want
to take our whole house with us we just wanted a more comfortable bed,
shower/toilet and cooking facilities.
research we came upon the Rialta. This little RV is based on
a VW truck chassis with the body built by Winnebago. All of the
information about the Rialta said it was capable of getting up to 22
miles per gallon which made having one easier to rationalize. That is
as good of mileage as my Ford Ranger truck gets. And because of its
small size (22 feet) the Rialta can be parked in normal parking lots
along side normal cars.
I then started
looking around for a used Rialta as production was
stopped in 2005 because VW stopped importing the truck chassis so new
Rialtas couldn't be made. A used vehicle made sense anyway because
these RV are really expensive brand new. Eventually I saw a 2003 Rialta
with 13,000 miles come up for auction on eBay and we went for it. My
thought was that a vehicle with 13,000 miles on it should be
practically new and the Rialta we bought on eBay was.
We wired the
seller a deposit and the took a Greyhound bus to
Springfield, Ill. (which was a whole story in itself. Ask us sometime.)
to check it out.
It was in excellent shape so we bought it on the spot. The man we
bought it from was very nice and the whole transaction went as smoothly
as possible. Many people thought I was crazy to buy something as big as
a vehicle on eBay but it all worked out fine. Both the buyer and the
seller were happy.
while driving it home through Kansas we found out the air
conditioning wasn't working. This made for one miserable drive back to
Colorado in the 100+ degree heat. Fortunately the vehicle was still
under warranty so we got the AC fixed for free.
After buying the
RV we drove around Springfield and stopped for a tour
of the Dana-Thomas home which was designed by Frank Loyd Wright. It was
a nice tour of a very well preserved home with outstanding architecture
and amazing stained glass.
Our first night
on the road home from Springfield was in Hannibal,
Missouri the home of Mark Twain. We parked the Rialta in our first RV
campground. We took the three pictures below of our new baby. What
struck us immediately was the small size of our Rialta compared to the
other giant RVs in this campground. We think we made the right choice.
she sleek and stylish?
this picture you can see that we
are plugged into AC (shore) power. The Rialta did have a TV but we have
since removed it.
picture below was taken on our
trip to the Great Sand
the fall. With Heather to add scale you can see just how small our RV
really is. In this picture we parked the RV on a back road near the
national park and spent the night. I think we had a nice bottle of wine
and I even got to play some guitar in the back.
Below is a picture of our Rialta at Dillion Lake in the fall of 2007.
We are camped here because all of the camp grounds around the lake were
because of the beetle killed trees. You can see the relative
of our Rialta vs. the big RVs.
Did the big RV just give birth?
Here are pictures from
the inside of
the Rialta in case you were wondering what it is like inside..
The refrigerator is on the left. It is of adequate size and even has a
freezer compartment. It has been known to hold a cold beer or two.
Yes we do have a stove,
oven and a
microwave. Decadent isn't it (;>).
View of the bed which are
folded down. When the couches are in the upright position a table can
be pulled from a hidden compartment near the back window and setup for
The Rialta has a nice sound system and you can see one of the rear
speakers. It even has a built in power amp and sub woofer.
Our Rialta tucked away
and cozy in her
Since having the
Rialta and especially since I retired Heather and I
have made many short trips with it. We now have a bike rack on the back
and we have gone to Taylor Reservoir, Frisco/Dillion area, Fort
Collins, New Mexico
and many other places for biking riding and RV camping adventures. Its
diminutive size allows us to park it in normal camp sites. We found
that since we can travel during the week in the summer time we can get
the best campsites available. The ones non retired people make
reservations for months in advance for use on the weekends.
Good news ! I finally figured out how to put a rack for our kayak
the Rialta. $700 dollars of Yakima rack parts later, here is
it turned out. We have a collapsible ladder that we carry in
the RV for dealing with the boat.
Here is a picture from our Lake Powell trip in
April of 2008.
In the next couple of years we want to drive the Rialta to Alaska and
also on a tour of the north east, probably in the fall for the fall