2010 Monaco Monarch 35SFD Review

A stylish and comfortable coach from Coburg, Oregon

By Jim Brightly, Aug. 11, 2010
What’s your hurry? When you’re traveling in a Monarch, there’s no need to rush. Slow down and enjoy your recreational time in this Ford-powered Monaco. Each Monarch model is on a chassis by Ford or Workhorse, is available in different GVWR configurations, and can be ordered in an array of floorplans ranging from 30 to 35 feet in length, including three full-wall slide models. However, in this article, only the 35-foot, 22,000-lb (9,979-kg) Ford chassis will be reviewed (Bae MSRP $132,193).

From its leatherette six-way-power reclining cockpit captains’ chairs to its multiple pass-through storage compartments, the Class A Monarch is designed with your comfort and convenience in mind. With a sofa behind each captain’s chair, you can safely invite four more friends to travel with you and rest assured that their seat belts will keep them safe. And above each captain’s chair is a recessed ceiling map light.

While traveling, you’ll have the added safety of anti-lock braking and the added visibility of a panoramic one-piece windshield. Increase your touring pleasure with state-of-the-art options like Sirius satellite radio, GPS, and a three-camera Vision System with cameras in exterior mirrors. In my opinion, satellite radio and GPS were made for RVers; for example, you can actually hit the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 in Barstow, Calif., and listen to the same station—commercial free—until you exit I-40 in Wilmington, NC!

While camping, enjoy the comfort of the two slides and the convenience of fully automatic hydraulic leveling. Monarch’s two slides will enhance your camping experience—with a full-wall slide on the driver’s side and a cozy queen-bed passenger’s side slide (with a window on each side)—by adding more than 50 percent to the coach’s usable open floor space.

Choose your interior colors from three stylish décors, all with Newport Cherry-finished hardwood raised panel style cabinetry. Round off your interior with top-quality appliances; such as a powered attic fan in the galley (with a wall control for its automatic dome), central vacuum system, RV Sani-Con 2 holding tank dumping system, high-output three-burner cooktop with an oven and a bi-fold range cover, 10 cu. ft. four-door refrigerator with ice maker, and a 26-inch exterior storage bay pull-out TV with stereo, CD, DVD and subwoofer.

Construction

Monaco calls its construction style “SmartStructure II”, which, according to Monaco, adopts the principles its diesel chassis technology for use with a gas chassis. While other motorhome manufacturers use outriggers to hang the walls and storage compartments, Monaco’s exclusive truss system is integrated with the chassis rails to provide a solid platform. The floor and storage bays are all one piece, and the truss system works with the chassis rails to channel weight toward the center of the motorhome. This results in greater strength and better weight distribution, and produces a very solid foundation.

Monarch uses a laminated sidewall construction with smooth gelcoat fiberglass exterior walls, a front molded fiberglass cap with a one-piece windshield (and film front protection mask), and a rear molded fiberglass cap with large automotive-style taillights. A one-piece interior engine cover protects the coach’s occupants from engine heat. Attached to the coach’s exterior are a rear ladder and an awning with metal covers, while its underside is protected with a full undercoating. Side-hinged baggage doors at all door locations secure the storage compartments, including the one-piece polyethylene pass-through storage compartment.

Chassis

The Monarch’s Ford chassis comes standard with a 6.8L three-valve V-10 engine with 362 HP @ 4,750 RPM and 457 lbs./ft. or torque @ 3,250 RPM and a TorqShift five-speed automatic overdrive transmission with tow/haul mode. Power is routed to the 235/80 R22.5G tires (mounted on 7.5-inch-wide polished aluminum wheels through a 5.38:1 differential. The chassis rides on a leaf spring suspension with a heavy-duty front track bar and shock absorbers at all four corners—also at all four corners are four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes.

For information on all the liquid capacities (fuel, freshwater, LPG, etc.) please check the Monarch’s spec sheet.

Other Amenities

Outside on the curbside, Monarch offers exterior gas line hookup preparations for LPG accessories, and exterior hookups for a digital satellite dish, cable, a 120v outlet, and a hookup to the inside stereo.

On the streetside, you’ll find a water pump switch in the service bay area, a shower inside the wet bay with hot/cold water (the shower head has a shut-off), a storage area for the sewer hose, and an RV Sani-Con 2 system with a holding tank flush system.

You’ll also find lights in all the outside storage compartments, an under-hood utility light, and an insulated systems compartment with easy access to hookups.

Inside systems will give you a 12v demand water pump, 10-gallon LPG-gas/electric water heater with electronic ignition, dual 13,500-BTU air conditioners with ducted air, 35,000 BTU electronic-ignition ducted furnace, a soft-touch padded vinyl ceiling, a 50-amp 120v distribution panel and cord, 60-amp electronic 12v power converter, Onan 5.5-kw gas generator, two 6v house batteries with battery disconnect switches, a 600-watt inverter, and a central water filtration system.

All woodwork is Newport cherry; including the raised panel cabinet doors, the hardwood raised panel fridge doors, the crown molding in bedroom and living area on all open walls, and the wood slideout fascia. In the living area and bedroom—not at the wet areas—is full carpeting with pad. In addition, all of the cabinets are equipped with wood drawer boxes and heavy-duty ball-bearing drawer guides.

From the exterior power entry step with light to the hallway convenience center, you’ll find decorative satin nickel lighting (living room wall light, dinette overhead light, and bath vanity light) and blackout day/night pleated shades in living area and bedroom décors.

Stepping into the Monarch’s bedroom, you’ll see a 19-inch widescreen LCD TV and DVD player (there’s also a DVD player in the living area).

As you can see on the floorplan, adjacent to the living area is the galley or kitchen. A wallpaper border is in the kitchen and bath. The kitchen countertop has a solid surface with an edge treatment and backsplash. The sink is equipped with a two-hole high-rise kitchen faucet with soap dispenser. All hardware in the kitchen and bath match the satin nickel lighting facilities.

The bath is equipped with a stainless steel lavatory bowl sink with satin nickel faucet. It also has a china toilet with sprayer. All the bathroom countertops are laminated with wood grain rubber edge treatments.

Warranty

Every Monarch comes with a 12-month/24,000-mile basic limited warranty and a five-year/50,000-mile limited structural warranty. Don’t forget to review your coach’s limited warranty in full for complete terms and conditions, and your chassis manufacturer’s limited warranty in full for complete terms and conditions.

According to Monaco, when you take delivery of your new recreational vehicle, it’s just the beginning of Monaco’s exclusive around-the-clock Owner Advantage Program. Again according to Monaco, the company offers an extensive support program that provides complete roadside assistance and special motor club benefits that follow you wherever your travels take you. Monaco has teamed up with the largest RV emergency road service company in the country to give you immediate access to fast, dependable service when and where you need it. Add the company’s toll-free service appointment assistance, plus a technical assistance hotline, and you have the security of full-time support at your fingertips. For details, call toll-free (877) 211-8135.

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