Purchased my Motorhome

I had been searching for the right RV for my living and traveling needs for over a month.  I had decided that the most important features to me were the following:

1.  Not looking like a creepy RV

2.  Good mileage

3.  All-inclusive (shower, stove, fridge, bathroom, etc.)

4.  Comfy bed

5.  < $25k

6.  <22′ long

After reading about Tynan’s Rialta, I figured that the Rialta might just be the best fit, but I had to do my own research to find out.

I started by looking at some of the older Toyota models.  A lot have 4-cylinder engines and claim 20+ mpg.  You can also get them for around $5-10k, which would help keep my investment to a minimum.  However, those older RVs have a few drawbacks.  First, the ones I looked at were in pretty rough shape, but it makes sense considering that they were 20+ years old.  Finding one in mint condition would run me closer to the 10k mark.  Also, they are build on a wooden frame and have issues with the thing rotting away.  Finally, since they are older RVs, they definitely give off the “Creepy RV” vibe, which is something I absolutely want to stay away from.

Next, I started looking at Class B (vans) motorhomes.  I liked that these looked more like vans than they did RVs, but I think that one problem was the lack of space and high prices.  I looked at Road Treks, Pleasure-Ways, and a variety of other van conversions.  I found that anything that fell into my price range wasn’t something I wanted to live in.

Then I started looking at shorter class C’s built on American chassis’.  I found that some had what I wanted, but most had gas-guzzling motors, and were usually a bit bigger than what I wanted.

Finally I came back to the Rialta, but checked out the Rialta’s siblings, the Itasca Sunstar and the Vista.  For a bit, it seemed like the way to go, however after some consideration, I came to the conclusion that the Rialta’s siblings were quite a bit larger, didn’t get as good mileage, and gave off more of the RV vibe than I wanted to exude.

So once I decided to go with the Rialta, I had the difficult task of finding one in my budget.  There was one about 1.5 hours north of me that was about 75% over my budget.  No way I would buy that.  There was one 6 hours south of me that was about 15% over my budget.  I figured I might go down there to check it out if I couldn’t find anything more locally.  I decided to put a “Wanted” ad up, and got one reply.  They were about 2 hours east of me, and under budget!

Since I wasn’t going to make the 2 hour trip out there just to check it out, I had them take it to a local RV mechanic for an inspection.  The mechanic tested everything, and called me back with nothing but good news.  My dad and I drove out there, spend a few hours checking it out, and we all went to the bank to transfer the funds and title.  I drove the thing home that day.

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6 Responses to “Purchased my Motorhome”

  1. don says:

    nice looking rialta! Congrats!

  2. Connie says:

    I came up with the idea of spending the next year of my life traveling in an RV yesterday. When driving past Wal Mart, I saw a Rialto parked and for sale in the parking lot and thought that would be perfect for me-a lady traveling solo. Interesting that I should find your writings here today. How’s it going and are you happy with the Rialto?
    Connie in Calgary

  3. Tom says:

    Connie-

    So far, the Rialta seems like it is going to be a perfect fit. The only fundamental problem I have with this rig is that the ceiling is a few inches too low. I’m about 5′11″, and I can only stand fully in the entry way and under the sunroof in the kitchen, so I end up bumping my head on a lot of stuff. If I was a few inches shorter, it wouldn’t be a problem.

    I think I’m getting used to it so far.

  4. don says:

    LOL @ bumping your head on a lot of stuff!

    I’m 5′ 11″ also and have hit my head on everything in the Rialta at least twice! It’s very annoying. I find myself walking around inside the RV like the hunchback of Notre Dame.

  5. John says:

    Tom,
    Awesome Blog! I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing. I’m curious about the height issue with the Rialta though. I’m 6′3″ and I imagine it would get real annoying to have to be continually hunched over while in the RV. How much of an annoyance is it for you? In your search for different RVs, did you come across any that were similar to the Rialta but a bit taller? I imagine it would be best for me to get a similar RV that had a little more room to stand up in. I’m hoping such an RV exists. Thanks for any help.

  6. Tom says:

    If you are 6′3″ and unwilling to be hunched over all the time, forget the Rialta. I’m 5′11″ and can stand fully straight up right at the entry way and right in the kitchen under the skylight, and I hardly have an inch of clearance above my head. At 6′3″, you won’t find a single spot in the entire rig that you can stand up straight in.

    In my search for RVs, its seemed like I could stand up in most, but I wasn’t noting how many inches of clearance I had above my head. On some of the bigger rigs, there was PLENTY of room above my head, but those were the huge bus-type things.

    In hindsight, I wish I had sacrificed gas mileage for a slightly bigger rig. I’m really not driving around ALL that much, but I do spend practically every night in here.

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