The Case of the Elusive Rialta Tires

After yesterday’s exhausting flat tire escapade, our main priority for the day was replacing the tire. Daniel and I were now driving on our spare. While it is a fully functioning tire, we don’t know how good of a condition it is in. Plus, it means that we have no spare should we encounter another flat.

We were also out of groceries. So, we planned a visit to Woodman’s Food Market in the afternoon for a resupply.

Woodman’s Food Market. This place is amazing!

The Great Tire Hunt

Thus began a long morning of tire research. As is the case with pretty much everything on the Rialta, replacing our tires was not a straight-forward process.

Our 2000 Rialta is built on a Volkswagen Eurovan chassis. This means that it takes a size 15″ tire. The Winnebago motorhome on top of the chassis makes the vehicle heavy for its size. This means the tires must withstand a heavy load capacity. Apparently most other motorhomes have much bigger wheels than ours.

Daniel and I consulted the Rialta Owners of America Facebook Group and the consensus was as follows: ignore the specifications that come with the owners manual. Those are wrong. We needed size 215/70-15 tires with a 109 load index. Also, good luck finding any place that sells them.

Surely, it couldn’t be that hard to find these tires, I thought to myself.

Two hours later, I had called most tire shops in town with no luck. Not only did they not have this tire in stock, it couldn’t even be special ordered. The shops I didn’t call were closed because it was Saturday.

So I went back to Facebook. Where did the other Rialta owners find this mythical tire anyway?

The answer surprised me: Wal-Mart.

Our poor flat tire. Rest in Peace.

The New Plan

Wal-Mart’s online store does, indeed sell the correct tires for the Rialta. They have five kinds to choose from, in fact. Huzzah!

We could order new tires for delivery to the nearest Wal-Mart and get them installed at the automotive center. Well, technically the nearest Wal-Mart Automotive Center (in La Crosse) was still shut down due to the Coronavirus. But the one in Onalaska was open and only located 10 miles away. So that would work fine too.

There was only one problem. The tires would not arrive until Thursday. That was five days away. What were we supposed to do in La Crosse for five days?

Normally I wouldn’t mind some downtime, but we had just taken a long break. I was itching to get back on the road. There were only so many days of summer left after all.

So I did some more research. I soon discovered that we could get the tires delivered to the Portage, Wisconsin store on Wednesday. That was a whole day sooner! Plus, Portage was located near the Wisconsin Dells which I wanted to check out anyway.

And that is how we ended up driving to The Wisconsin Dells for an unplanned four-day holiday.

Driving along I-90 from La Crosse to The Wisconsin Dells. Apparently our windshield needs to be cleaned.

Woodman’s Food Market

Before leaving town, Daniel and I stopped by Woodman’s Food Market for some groceries. Good lord! I have never seen anything like this place before. The prices are reasonable and the selection is insane!

I leave you with the following photos from our adventure at Woodman’s. Apparently it is a local chain store. Hopefully we’ll run into it again.

Inside Woodman’s Food Market
An entire herring section? Yes please!
Daniel in his natural element
Pickled pork hocks *and* turkey gizzards! On display, no less!
Woodman’s has an excellent selection of organic and natural foods. Plus, two entire aisles of gluten free groceries. Sheer heaven!
I dedicate this enormous jar of Vlasic pickles to my sister Kirsten. She loves Vlasic pickles. Plus, the entire jar was only $5!

Where are we now?

We are at the KOA Campground in The Wisconsin Dells! Daniel and I arrived on a Saturday night and the place was obnoxiously packed. We had the place to ourselves by the next day.

Date: August 22, 2020
Great American Road Trip Status: Day 48

Starting Location: La Crosse, WI
Ending Location: The Dells, WI
Miles Traveled: 90
Total Trip Mileage: 4405.3

For more details on our Great America (Socially Distanced) Road Trip, see my previous posts:

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