2012 Monaco Vesta Review

A comfortable balance between affordability and luxury

By Stephen Elmer, Jan. 31, 2012, Photography by Stephen Elmer
Monaco has always been a brand name synonymous with luxury and quality in the recreational vehicle business. With a range from about $60,000 for their small Class B vans, all the way up to well over $500,000 for a Class A diesel pusher, Monaco delivers luxury in all different types of packaging. In the mid-range segment we find the Monaco Vesta, a comfortable balance between affordability and luxury. Having recently been bought by Navistar, Monaco now has a new range of chassis and engines that it incorporates into its motorhomes, and the Vesta is the first result of that new partnership.

2012 Monaco Vesta Rear

From the first moment you see the Vesta it appears very different from what the rest of the RV industry dictates as regular styling. The front end with its large triangular faceplates over top the deep U-shaped grill give the Vesta a roofline which appears to be a lot higher than it actually is. This deceptive design gives the whole nose of the Vesta a windswept aerodynamic look that almost warrants being called sporty. This is an impressive bit of design trickery as even though the Vesta offers a new low profile design, which measures in at less than 12 feet high, it appears to be an even higher roof line than previous models. The Vesta comes available with three different graphics packages: Cashbah, Tuscany and Onyx. Each one uses a two-tone color base with the bottom half painted in a dark solid color and the top in a lighter shade. Down the middle lightly curving lines run the length of the unit for the “moving while standing still” look which Monaco achieves quite nicely.

2012 Monaco Vesta Cockpit

The Monaco Vesta measures in with an overall length of either 33’ or 36’ depending on which floor plan you choose, an overall width of 96” and an interior height of 80”. The GVWR on the unit is 29,000 lbs and has a hitch rating of 7,000 lbs for the traveller who wants to bring some extra toys along with a trailer. The black water tank in the Vesta can take 46 gallons of solid waste, the grey water can handle 61 gallons and you can store 50 gallons of fresh water for those off-site camping situations. The LP propane tanks can handle 16.2 gallons to power your stove and fridge when an alternative source isn’t an option.

The Vesta gets its power from a MaxxForce 6.4L V8 turbodiesel which puts out 300 hp and puts 660 lbs/ft. of torque where the rubber meets the road. MaxxForce specifically engineered this engine for the midsize recreational vehicle market, designing it with dual sequential turbochargers, a compacted graphite iron block and a high-pressure common rail fuel system. These come together to get the most amount of performance out of the smallest package possible, reducing vehicle weight and increasing fuel economy.

2012 Monaco Vesta Kitchen

The Vesta is the first result of a partnership between Monaco and Navistar to create a new unit from the ground up, which is why the Vesta rides with the MaxxForce engine and sits on a Roadmaster chassis, both companies being owned by the Navistar family. The Roadmaster chassis outfits the RV with an outboard-mounted air bag suspension system which positions the airbags as far to the outside of the body as possible to maximize stability and minimize unwanted side to side sway and nose diving. The Roadmaster also provides this unit with a 50-degree turning angle of the front wheels and an additional fuel filter. Also, the airbag suspension system is able to operate left and right airbags.

2012 Monaco Vesta Bedroom

There are two different chassis sizes available for Monaco Vesta, and the one chosen also determines which floor plan options will be available to you. The 32PBS floor plan, the shorter of the two, provides one slide out in the living room and a rear queen bed which is situated parallel to the rest of the RV, leaving minimal space for closet storage and nightstands. The 35PBD is the larger chassis option and offers two slide outs, one in the living room for the couch and one in the bedroom for the perpendicular mounted bed. The bedroom slide out allows for a washer dryer and clothing closet to be fit into the back of the unit. The main entrance is in standard RV position on the passenger side of the vehicle – about mid-way back – and opens into the main living room of the unit. The kitchen is placed on the passenger side of the Vesta to leave space for an optional U-shaped leather dinette that looks like it could seat four people comfortably.  On the longer model the fridge is tucked in beside the dinette on the opposite side from the other kitchen amenities. The bathroom is a pass-through room that connects the front living area to the rear bedroom.

2012 Monaco Vesta Bathroom

The first styling cue that jumps out of the interior of the Vesta, one that we find particularly attractive, is soft rounded corners on just about everything. The overhead wooden cabinets, the under sink drawers, the wooden panels found on the walls, even the blinds and accessories around the windows are rounded off to complete the soft circular look. Tile flooring is a very nice option available on the Vesta and further improves the top-of-the-line feel of the unit.

Our overall impression of the Monaco Vesta is that it seems to be worth its $226,500 price tag.

Likes
Tile Flooring
Unique exterior styling
Soft rounded corners in interior

Dislikes
Very little functional kitchen counter space
Fridge on opposite wall of kitchen
Lack of bedroom closet on smaller chassis model

Related Reading
2011 Monaco Riptide 33SDD Review
2010 Monaco Monarch 35SFD Review