Luxury motorhomes at the “midrange” price point provide all of the features and amenities a buyer could want in a more affordable package. The 2010 Monaco Diplomat 42SKQ adds extra features and a tag-axle-equipped 42-foot floorplan to the Diplomat line, which occupies a midrange price point in the Monaco hierarchy.
Monaco builds the Diplomat on its Roadmaster RR10R chassis with a 43,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). It’s fitted with a Cummins ISL 425-hp engine backed by an Allison 3000MH six-speed automatic and cranks out enough power to handily scoot the coach along and handle the motorhome’s factory-rated 10,000-pound potential towed load. A brace of 10 air bags makes up the rig’s Cushion Air Glide suspension system, and automatic traction control plus anti-lock brakes are standard features.
On the outside the Diplomat features smooth fiberglass skin; trim, non-intrusive component details; well-applied brightwork; and a multi-hued color scheme that decorates the coach with light and dark color regions should meet any buyer’s cosmetic needs.
Large side-opening storage compartment doors with easy-lift handles make cargo storage chores easier. Polyethylene-fabricated storage compartments are tough and weather-resistant.
Inside, Monaco designers have assembled a pleasing array of colors and textures. From the light tile flooring with darker accent squares to the rich-looking Newport Cherry woodwork with tasteful and subdued hardware, the interior presents class without clutter. We especially liked the wood-and-fabric valances that blend well with the rest of the interior trim.
Considering the motorhome’s complexity, the driver’s area is amazingly clean, with just enough controls and monitors to handle the coach functions, minus any extra distractions. It looks like a fun place to spend travel time.
This new 42-foot floorplan includes four slideout rooms. Up front, the opposing large slides house the galley and a sofa-bed curbside, and a dinette (a booth is optional) and a larger sofa bed streetside. A streetside aisle leads past the enclosed bath – an effect reminiscent of a railroad passenger car hallway – to the master bedroom out back, with the bed and dresser unit in opposing slideouts.
The forward kitchen setup is more commonly seen these days, and it’s an arrangement that works like an entry hall in a house where guests come in, then move back to the living room area.
Color-coordinated solid-surface countertops and backsplash tile create classy visual harmony in the kitchen. From the residential-style faucet to the large dual-door 12-cubic-foot refrigerator, the kitchen components are well-selected for good looks and real-world use.
Opposing sofas make good use of the space and encourage face-to-face interaction, and there are several seated spots with convenient viewing of the 37-inch flat-screen TV that’s mounted in the living area’s aft divider wall. An optional HD cinema package with surround sound ($1,393) rounds out the entertainment center.
The self-contained bath is well-designed but essentially a one-person work space. The large corner shower with curved enclosure and the vanity counter are both sized right and there’s elbowroom/floor space for drying and dressing. A huge linen closet fills one corner of the room, but it was occupied by the optional stacked washer/dryer in this coach ($2,103), which leaves the only close-by storage under the vanity or in the bedroom. That’s no big deal as the slideout-mounted dresser and storage unit, which also includes the 26-inch LCD TV, is a short hike aft from the bathroom.
Wall-to-wall mirrored wardrobe doors seem to expand the bedroom space, although it’s already a wide-open area. The use of two slideouts opens up plentiful floor space at the foot of the bed and there’s just one modest step up, onto the engine housing cover, when accessing the curbside end of the wardrobe. Convenient catch-all nightstands and a padded headboard are standard issue for this motorhome, but the Select Comfort adjustable mattress ($1,343) is an option.
The list of standard-issue amenities and accessories in the Diplomat is as long as your arm and designed to provide users with every possible convenience. Combined with the well-planned interior, the 42SKQ adds up to a competitive package.
Chassis: Roadmaster RR10R
Engine: Cummins ISL 425 hp
Fuel: 100 gal gvwr: 43,000 lbs
Length: 43′ 3″ Width: 8′ 41?2″
Height: 12′ 7″
Freshwater cap: 100 gal
Black-water cap: 40 gal
Gray-water cap: 62 gal
LP-gas cap: 39 gal
Base MSRP: $277,032
msrp as reviewed: $293,244, nearly fully optioned
Monaco RV LLC, (574) 266-1111, www.monaco-online.com.