Winnebago Rialta Specs and Review

The Winnebago Rialta is often regarded by many travelers as the best RV on the road. This RV has a powerful engine with impressive gas mileage. It’s also simple to drive, even on winding roads.

The Rialta was built on a Volkswagen Transporter (T4) cab chassis by Winnebago. A 2.5L five-cylinder motor, a 2.8 V6 engine with 201 horsepower, or a 2.8L VR6 engine with 140 horsepower are its features.

The automatic four-speed transmission in the Winnebago Rialta has a 150-amp alternator and a 280-amp battery. The Rialta motor home was created as an alternative to the bigger class A motor home. Winnebago, on the other hand, stopped making the Rialta after 2005.

Read on to know more about the Winnebago Rialta’s features, specifications, advantages, and disadvantages, including vital maintenance tips.

Overview of Winnebago Rialta

winnebago rialta

The Rialta was manufactured on a Volkswagen Transporter (T4) cab chassis by Winnebago. A 2.5L five-cylinder engine, a 2.8 V6 engine with 201 horsepower, or a 2.8L VR6 engine with 140 horsepower are its options.

It has a 150-amp alternator and a 280-amp battery in its automatic four-speed transmission. The Rialta motor home was produced by Winnebago as a smaller alternative to the bigger class A motor home. They did, however, stop making it after 2005.

For more than 50 years, Winnebago Industries Incorporation in the United States had been producing motorhomes or recreational vehicles. From 1994 to 2005, they built around 8,000 Winnebago Rialta motorhomes.

For more on the Winnebago Rialta, see the article on Winnebago Rialta Specs and Review.

ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System), independent suspension, and rack-and-pinion steering were all available on the Volkswagen Rialta. The Volkswagen Rialta RV had all of the comforts of home, as well as driver-assistance features.

Cruise control, air conditioning, power mirrors, and power windows are just a few examples. However, in 2003, the company stopped using the Volkswagen chassis.

A single-door 3-way refrigerator, a microwave oven, a stainless-steel sink, a two-burner range stove, and a counter extension were included in the Winnebago Rialta.

The entertainment system in most Winnebago Rialta motor homes includes cable, TV, and a CD player. The bathroom in the motor home is well-equipped, with a sink, shower, toilet bowl, cabinets, and a vanity shelf.

Specifications and Features of Winnebago Rialta

1. Engine 

The 2005 Rialta has a 2.8L fuel injected V-6 engine that produces 201 horsepower. A 4-speed automatic transmission, a 150-amp alternator, and a 280-amp battery are also included.

The VW 140 hp gas engine was used in the 1997 to 2001 Rialta model, while the VW 301 hp gas engine was utilized in the 2002 to 2005 model.

2. Rialta Dimensions

The Rialta has a length of 20 to 21 feet and 8 inches, a height of 8 feet and 10 inches, and a width of 7 feet and 4 inches. A 7-gallon propane tank and a 9-gallon water tank are also included.

3. Interior

The interior of Rialta is furnished with all of the comforts of home. In fact, there are four different floor plans to choose from. It was a Class C motor home, so it had all the conveniences of home. So, you can shower or attend to the call of nature without leaving the vehicle.

You can use the microwave to reheat food or cook your favorite meal on the stove. Leftovers can also be kept in the refrigerator. More small comforts would certainly make traveling in your Winnebago Rialta more enjoyable.

4. Exterior

The Rialta has a low-profile body that reduces drag to almost zero. Even at top speeds, this effect allows for smooth driving. The exterior of the Volkswagen is aerodynamically engineered to ensure safe trips.

The vehicle’s external design featured rounded curves and remarkable sculpted structures for mobility.

The Rialta’s length and body proportions of 20-21 feet provide for easier driving and a tighter turning radius. It weighs an average of 7,275 pounds.

5. Tires/Wheels

The Winnebago Rialta, which was manufactured between 1996 and 2001, has specific sizes of tires. The front axle has 195/70R15C tires, while the rear axle has 215/70R15C tires.

15x6J is the size of the front and rear wheels. The polyester sidewall plies have a load index of 104 for the front and 109 for the rear.

From 2002 to 2005, there were minor variations in Rialta’s model. The front axle had 195/65R 16C tires, while the rear axle had 215/65R16C tires. The same polyester material is used on the sidewall plies like in the earlier Rialta models.

Similarly, the load index is the same as it was in previous models. The front and rear wheels, however, are slightly larger, measuring 16x6J.

6. Drivetrain

The Rialta has an electronically controlled transmission system and, in some models, a manual transmission. The RV was built on a Volkswagen chassis and powertrain.

7. Suspension

A 4-speed automatic transmission, a 280 amp battery, and a 150 amp alternator were featured on the Winnebago Rialta. Rear air springs, a 2,000-pound draw-bar trailer hitch, and 16-inch tires were all standard on the 2005 Rialta.

8. Lighting

A regular 9003 Halogen bulb powers the Rialta’s headlight. The front and rear running lights are amber and red, respectively.

Auto brake taillights, turn signal lights, and backup lights are all available at most automotive outlets. All of the fuses can also be purchased at most car parts stores.

A porch light with a #1003 bulb is used in the Winnebago Rialta motorhome. Use caution while using hotter light bulbs since they may cause the surrounding materials to melt.

9. Brakes

The brake pad wear sensors on the rear wheels were not used on the Rialta from 2000 to 2005. The Winnebago Rialta, on the other hand, had OEM front brakes. The disc rotor, caliper seal, brake pads, master cylinder, and brake line make up the brake system.

The pad plus the backing plate measured 10.3 mm in the old brakes, whereas the brake disc measured 12.47 mm.

10. Ignition

The typical ignition key might be used to start the motorhome RV. A standard key was used on Rialtas built before 2001. So, if you lose your keys, you can get a replacement key to operate the ignition.

Chip-encoded keys with the electronic system known as the “immobilizer” were used in the 2002 Winnebago Rialta and newer models.

You can use a standard key if you lose the key. However, the engine will start and then sputter. The keys have been declared obsolete by Volkswagen.

Therefore, when purchasing a Winnebago Rialta, get a duplicate key that works and store it safely.

11. Unique Features

Throughout its production, the motorhome underwent some alterations. It had four distinct floor plans to choose from.

specs and review of winnebago rialta

The Winnebago Rialta’s unique features are as follows:

  • Convertible rear bench seats to a double-sized bed
  • Convertible second-row captain’s chairs to a bed
  • One driver plus 7-passenger capacity with a sleeping capacity of four
  • Hideaway dinette-table
  • Bathroom and fold-down sink
  • Two burner stoves
  • Microwave
  • Propane water heater
  • 7-gallon propane tank
  • 13-gallon black water tank
  • 20-gallon freshwater tank
  • 9-gallon greywater tank
  • Rooftop air-conditioner
  • Storage area under both captain’s chair
  • Passenger and driver’s seats 180 degrees swivel to face the rear
  • Precision engineering by Volkswagen

12. Winnebago Rialta Top Speed

In just 21 seconds, you can travel from 0 to 60 mpg. However, because the Rialta is not meant for high-speed driving, its top speed has yet to be established.

With all the loaded cargo your vehicle carries, you can’t possibly desire to race. Due to your slow speed, your average city-highway fuel consumption is less than 15 mpg.

One of the top Winnebago Rialta reviews is found below. It examines the Volkswagen Eurovan RV motorhome’s many specifications and features:

Winnebago Rialta RV – Pros and Cons


1. Not Difficult to Maneuver

Even in congested areas, the Rialta is easy to maneuver. Because of the Rialta’s compact dimensions, it could easily be parked in a normal car parking area.

2. Outstanding Fuel Mileage

The Rialta has excellent gas mileage, averaging 15 to 16 miles per gallon. So, you receive your money’s worth in spades.

3. Warranty Coverage Is Excellent

The Rialta was covered by excellent warranties from both Winnebago and Volkswagen. The Rialta’s coach body is covered by Winnebago for two years and 24,000 miles.

Volkswagen, on the other hand, offers a two-year warranty on the chassis and cab for every 24,000 kilometers driven. The power train is also covered for 5 years per 50,000 kilometers by the company. [1

4. Comes with High-Quality Materials and Precision Engineering

Precision engineering is the hallmark of German vehicles. The Rialta was produced with high-quality materials and is free from mechanical flaws, thanks to Volkswagen’s German company. You won’t have any mechanical issues as long as you maintain your Rialta properly.

5. Engine Is Efficient

The six-cylinder gasoline engine is dependable and efficient. The gas engine is also cost-effective.


1. Costly Parts

Some of the parts of your Winnebago Rialta are quite expensive. So, you should get regular overall checkups to diagnose and fix damages while they are still minor. Hundreds of dollars can be spent on major repairs.

2. Carrying Load Is Limited

You can only carry less than 1,000 to 2,000 pounds with you. This weight comprises all of your belongings, food, water, and the supplies you’ll need to prepare your meal.

Other Rialta motorhomes have varying maximum loads. Before making a purchase, you might want to inquire about this aspect.

Winnebago Rialta – What Class Does It Belong?

The Rialta is usually classified as a Class C motorhome. Its dimensions are smaller than those of Class A and Class B RVs. So, it outperforms the other two classes in terms of mileage.

Cost of Winnebago Rialta

The base value of a Winnebago Rialta is $52,708. [2] The cost of a used Rialta RV can range from $20,000 to $50,000. And the cost would be determined by how well the motorhome is maintained.

Why Should You Buy a Rialta?

Because of its good size, powerful engine, easy maneuverability, and excellent gas mileage of 18 to 22 miles per gallon, the Rialta is an excellent choice for an affordable RV.

The Winnebago Rialta also includes all of the essential amenities that travelers expect in their homes, such as beds, a dinette table, microwave, stove, refrigerator, and a toilet/bath. See the list above for a complete list of features.

Weight of Winnebago Rialta

With a regular cab, a long bed, and a length of 188.5 inches, the Winnebago Rialta weighs 2,857 pounds.

Rialta is 195.7 inches long and weighs 3,128 pounds when equipped with an extended cab with a single bed.

Why Did Winnebago Stop Producing the Rialta Motorhome?

In 2003, Volkswagen ceased importing Rialta’s Eurovan chassis and powertrain to the United States. As a result, when the parts they had on hand ran out in 2005, Winnebago ceased production.

Maintenance Tips for Your Winnebago Rialta

1. Perform Complete Check Annually

Volkswagen recommends a complete vehicle inspection every 10,000 miles. The engine must be the first item you should check because it is the heart of your Rialta.

If you spot any damage to your vehicle early on, you should take it to a mechanic right away. You don’t have to wait a year to get it done. By that time, the damage may have progressed to the point where it will cost you extra money.

2. Brake Fluid Must Be Changes Every Two Years

Regardless of mileage, you should change your brake fluid every two years. Always use the manufacturer’s suggested brake fluid or DOT-4 brake fluid.

3. Inspect the Brakes Regularly

Before you travel or go on a long drive, make sure your brakes are in good working order. You should lubricate the wheel bearings regularly as well.

When there is insufficient material on your brakes, and the activation is slow, you should replace them.

4. Change the Fuel, Hydraulic, Coolant, and Air Filters Regularly 

All of these filters can be changed at the same time as your oil change. These replacements will ensure that your motorhome’s mechanical components are functioning well.

Filters that are dirty will clog your system and damage it. You must ensure that these filters are replaced as soon as you realize that they are unclean. Otherwise, you can simply wait for the scheduled filter change.

5. Inspect Your Tires and Wheels before Every Trip

winnebago rialta review

The tire pressure in your Rialta must be adequate — not under or over-inflated. Underinflated tires can cause serious accidents, while overinflated tires might cause explosions. You should also make sure the lug nuts on the wheel are properly tightened.

6. Change Engine Oil Every 3,000 to 5,000 Miles

This is a crucial reminder to keep in mind because filthy oil might harm your engine. Purchasing a new engine is significantly more expensive than changing your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

7. Clean the Convertibles After Every Drive

Because dirt can accumulate on dinner tables, foldable beds, and convertible seats, you should thoroughly clean them. Microbes, molds, and fungi thrive in the accumulation of leftover meals and soil. Many of these microorganisms have the potential to cause illness or infection.

To ensure optimal function and avoid rust formation, oil the sliding parts after cleaning. Also, don’t forget to lubricate the windows and doors.

Conclusion – Review and Specs of Winnebago Rialta

The Rialta motorhome was designed by Winnebago as a wonderful option for larger class A motor homes. The Volkswagen Transporter (T4) cab chassis was used by the company.

A 2.5L V6 engine or a 2.8 V6 engine with 201 horsepower powered the Winnebago Rialta. And w with a 280 amp battery and a 150 amp alternator, the vehicle’s powertrain comes with an automatic four-speed transmission.

The sad news is that Rialta was no longer manufactured by Winnebago after 2005.

A Rialta is a good option if you wish to travel in style while still having access to basic home amenities. There are still some decent secondhand Rialta motorhomes available.

Your Winnebago Rialta is much easier to drive and park than comparable motorhomes. The Rialta is also a wonderful investment if it has been well-maintained and preserved.