Downsizing is a wave of the future for some motorÂhomers and some coach manufacturers are addressing that trend with enthusiasm. The new Monaco Vesta Class A is the company’s answer to new-style motorhomes built for today’s market needs.
Although this coach is by no means “downsized” – it’s 32 feet long, 11 feet 7 inches tall, 8 feet wide (the standard before wide-body motorhomes became the norm) and it has a 29,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) – Monaco has positioned it as a vehicle that’s aimed at those who might want to move down a bit in size. Compared with a full 40-foot-plus coach, it definitely seems trimmer.
The Vesta model 32PBS is built on Monaco’s own Roadmaster chassis, with a MaxxForce 6.4-l V-8 diesel engine and an Allison 2500MH transmission up front, air bag suspension and full air brakes.
The Navistar-built engine employs the company’s Advanced EGR emission controls, which eliminate the need for the diesel emission fluid (DEF) required by most diesel-powered coaches.
All aluminum framing with polystyrene insulation and fiberglass skin, including the roof, combine in a typically durable, well-insulated package.
Its sleek fiberglass body is visually striking. The swept-back aerodynamic front end resembles the styling on some luxury automobiles. Awnings molded into roof-edges streamline those areas and enhance the clean appearance, and the body aft end tapers down and together somewhat to aid aerodynamics while adding visual appeal. Polished aluminum wheels are standard and bring a touch of class.
Side-opening exterior storage compartments abound in this coach. Out back, an especially large aft-end storage bay can swallow extra-sized sports or other hardware.
There’s nothing downsized or shortcut about the interior. It’s a familiar single-slideout floorplan with the forward jackknife sofa bed and U-dinette in a large streetside slideout opposing the curbside galley. The walk-through bath amidships includes a curbside shower and streetside toilet and sink enclosure, and aft is the bedroom.
Motorhomers accustomed to the digs in a large Class A will be right at home in the Vesta. Every surface and feature is designed to emulate the classy feel of a high-end diesel pusher.
Up front, an automotive-like dash presents the owner with clean and functional controls and gauges. Forward visibility is good and the seating area seems comfortable for driver and passenger.
Most system monitors and controls are grouped in a panel by the front door in a handy and effective arrangement.
Power accessories include an Onan 6.0-kW diesel generator, a 1,200-watt inverter with two house batteries and a 50-amp coach distribution panel. The usual array of the latest electronic goodies are aboard or planned-for as options, such as prewiring for the optional home theater system, in-motion satellite TV, Sirius radio and portable GPS navigation system with dock.
Comfort enhancements include the dual 13,500-Btu air conditioners with optional heat pump upgrades ($601 each), a 30,000-Btu furnace and dual pane windows for extra noise and thermal insulation.
From the Ultraleather furniture and Corian countertops to the tile floor and contemporary cabinetry, the interior is all upscale. Most noticeable is the Italian Sienna hardwood cabinetry with its curved surfaces. The cabinets have a quality feel about them. The curved doors and drawers are built from 11-ply-plus veneer furniture-grade plywood that’s solid and durable. A curved-front kitchen counter 33-inch-wide bump-out frames an oval stainless steel sink and complements the curved-face cabinet door below. A touch of tile backsplash visually accents the galley.
While the U-shaped dinette would seat four adults, their legs would be jammed into the middle leg space. It’s a better fit for two adults, and makes for plush accommodations at mealtime.
The main 32-inch LCD TV is mounted in the divider wall at the back of the living area/front of the bathroom. It would be best visible from the forward or side dinette seat or looking sideways while seated on the sofa.
Pocket doors isolate the walk-through bath for overall privacy or to separate it as a suite with the master bedroom. Backsplash tile and a Corian counter are part of the vanity sink and cabinet in the toilet enclosure and the faucet is a modern single-handle fixture. A china toilet with hand sprayer and single-piece fiberglass shower surround are standard model 32PBS features.
Out back, the no-slideout bedroom has enough space to handle most of one’s sleeping and dressing needs.
Maneuvering around the end and sides of the bed is par for the course. The curved-face shirt closets (the only hanging-clothes space in the entire coach) and overhead cabinets are complemented by the slick wood accent ceiling trim that houses a brace of lights. Extra reading lights with no-burned-fingers adjustment handles are well-placed above the head of the bed, and flanking nightstands corral those bedside necessities.
A ream of desirable features and smart design add up to an interesting new front-engine-diesel motorhome. The Vesta seems like a smart addition to the traditional Monaco motorhome lineup for those who seek something a bit different in a Class A coach.
Chassis: Monaco Roadmaster
Engine: Navistar MaxxForce 6.4-l V-8 260 hp
FUEL: 51 gal
GVWR: 29,000 lbs
Length: 33′ 9″
Height with A/C: 9′ 9″
Interior height: 6′ 8″
Freshwater Cap: 50 gal
Gray-water Cap: 61 gal
Black-water Cap: 46 gal
LP-Gas Cap: 16.2 gal
Base MSRP: $203,850
MSRP as reviewed: $208,852