Honest Review of the Monaco Vesta Motorhome. Good, Bad, and the In Between
You’re considering buying the Monaco Vesta RV and hitting the road to live the good life right? A motorhome is an expensive investment and you’ve done your homework, scouring the internet, visiting websites, reading blogs, asking salesmen, the list goes on. It’s a ton of work, but how do you know you’re getting the honest truth from someone? I can tell you one thing: Follow Your Heart! You must purchase the RV that feels right to you and only you (well, and maybe your spouse). Don’t worry about what the salesman says, if it’s large enough to sleep your friends, or if its a little more expensive than planned. Follow your gut and you won’t be let down.
Nikki and I have been living in our 2011 Monaco Vesta ‘Windy’ full time for nearly 1 year. We’ve logged almost 15,000 miles all across the West. From 100+ degrees in the wind blown desert to 5 degrees in the snowy blizzards we’ve been through it all. In order to help you with your decision we’ve laid out a few of our Good, Bad, and In Between for the 2011 Monaco Vesta 32 PBS.
The Good about the Monaco Vesta
SIZE: 32 feet is perfect for the more adventurous RV’er. You can drive the PCH in California without white knuckles. You can fit in most state parks across California (there are many that have a 30′-35′ limit). The Vesta is slightly shorter and not as wide as a typical class A so it feels more nimble on the road, and allows you to take roads many RV’s can’t safely travel.
MPG: The Monaco Vesta gets better MPG than pretty much any other Class A Diesel. We averaged around 12 MPG last year, considering most class A RV’s get 6-8 MPG that’s a pretty big increase.
Exterior Styling: The Monaco Vesta looks slick! The aerodynamic design sets the Vesta apart from all other new RV’s on the road. The grille is in your face with the 2 sweeping “V” designs. The lip on the back roof line, and the tapered sides in the rear not only help with wind resistance, they make the coach look more nimble. Huge tires and rims (compared to other 30′-32′ RV’s) and a low center of gravity make this RV look more like a souped up luxury SUV than a clunky motorhome. The exterior paint is clean leaving behind the traditional multi-color swirls and upgrading to a more contemporary set of stripes. In transit you’ll turn heads, get waves, peace signs, and smiles from people of all ages. If you want to be noticed on the road, or in a campground this is the RV for you!
The Bad about the Monaco Vesta
The Bed: The bed that comes standard in the Vesta is a complete piece of junk. After the first 6 months it became uncomfortable so we added a few mattress covers. 3 months later our mattress is sinking in the middle. We added a 6″ memory foam topper and it still isn’t comfortable. Why would Monaco put such a cheap mattress in a $200,000+ RV? That said don’t cheap out on the mattress, you can upgrade from the factory, it’s totally worth it.
Single Slide: The slide on the driver’s side is great! It offers a ton more living space, and room to breathe when cooking. Problem is there’s only 1 slide. I don’t care about an opposing slide to give us more floor space in the living area, whatever, I could care less; but what I would like is a slide in the bedroom. Why not have another slide in the bedroom? Why must we purchase a 35′ coach to get a second slide? Seems like there could be a full wall slide, or a tiny slide in the bedroom to help enlarge the livable space inside the coach. Other more budget RV’s out there are are offering these options, why not the Vesta?
No Engine Brake: For some people this is a DO or DIE option. Why is there not an engine brake on the Monaco Vesta? Loaded the RV weighs nearly 30,000 pounds, so it’s a little difficult to stop on a 6% downgrade. Apparently it has something to do with the new Maxxforce engine meeting emissions requirements. That said we’ve never lost the brakes, so we’ve stayed safe during our travels, but the added security of an engine brake would be nice.
The Front Door: I’ve been in some coaches that have front doors that feel solid, expensive, and sealed; the Monaco Vesta is not one of them. The door used on the Vesta is just a step up from a standard trailer door. Why use this ‘budget’ door on an upscale RV? Couldn’t Monaco just use the same door found on the Monaco Knight RV? The door isn’t bad, it just doesn’t feel expensive when you open or shut it. Road noise from the door seems pretty typical when driving, and the seal mostly keeps out the cold air in Winter. The door does expand and contract making it difficult to open or close when temperatures change rapidly, but other than that its just fine……and that’s the problem Monaco should install a door that’s great, not fine.
The In Between about the Monaco Vesta
Engine Location: Lets face it there are some downsides to having a Front Engine Diesel in an RV. There’s extra noise, a little extra heat, and the RV can’t be completely sealed on the underside. The main advantages to a Front Engine Diesel is a MASSIVE storage bay in the back and a more aerodynamic design up front. You’ll find blogs online where people bash the Front Engine Diesel, and you’ll find people commenting on how they love their Front Engine Diesel. Make sure when you test drive a Front Engine Diesel it is properly insulated so you can hear the stereo, and hear you passenger (at separate times of course).
Cost: Lets face it the Monaco Vesta RV is not the cheapest motorhome on the road. With an MSRP over $200k you’re paying a lot for a small amount of real estate. What you’re getting for your money with the Vesta is top notch amenities found in $300,000+ RV’s. The Monaco Vesta is reaching out to the ‘not so typical’ RV crowd, and currently there’s not another new class A RV out there to compete. So if you can afford it, and it suits your style, then buy it!
Beige on Beige: Most RV’s are designed on the interior in….let’s say……a hideous fashion! So placing the Monaco Vesta interior in the ‘In Between’ section of my review is quite a compliment! When it comes down to it the RV mfr’s are trying to please a broad crowd, so you typically won’t find colors that pop! When looking inside the Vesta you’ll notice 2 tones Beige and Beige. Beige is safe, and I understand why RV companies do it, it’s just not our favorite color. Also you’ll notice there is a lot of wood for such a small space. Don’t get me wrong, I like the look of natural wood, but for 214 sq. ft. of livable space there is a ton of wood crammed in here. The Vesta’s saving grace is the clean lines. Since there are no bevels in the wood, no crazy mix match of patterns, the final interior has a clean and contemporary feel. If you’re like us you’ll change the bed spread, the valance covers, and add a splash of color with a pillow or two, and it’ll come together just fine.
We don’t like to end on a bad note so we’re leaving you with this: Traveling across this great country you reconnect to yourself through nature. Your faith in the humanity is renewed through conversations and laughter with total strangers. For our style of travel the 2011 Monaco Vesta 32 PBS RV is the best thing on the market, it’s not perfect, but in all honesty it’s pretty close. If you’re fortunate like us to be able to hit the road, grab those keys, hop in your vehicle and go outside and play! Safe Travels.
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Tough Love Disclaimer: Of course all this is just our opinions so take it what it’s worth for you. We can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience as us. The Good, the Bad, and the In Between is rated on our 2011 Monaco Vesta 32 PBS model only, please know options change each year, and enhancements are done to better the newer models.