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.