My 28BHS review....


Well-known member
I am posting my review of the 28BHS we towed. Needless to say, I was VERRRY impressed. As a father of a family of four, I am taking this purchase serious cause I don't want to make a bad investment and I don't want to say "I wish I had so and so" later.
This review is long and in depth, so I'd recommend you put on a cup of coffee. ;)
*If you dry camp a lot, or don't have a generator, this camper is probably not for you. The lp tanks are smaller, the stove is not gas and the holding tanks are 9 gallons smaller. But, we don't dry camp. So, it's not putting a lot of things on there that we don't need and can enjoy the convenience of the convection oven and such. It would appear this camper has catered toward the full hookup consumer, which we typically are.

Ok, so I towed the 08 Heartland North Trail 28BHS. Although it's not perfect, few things are, for the money this appears to be a fantastic trailer. This is a long review, I know. But it actually helps me and maybe you to see what YOUR family would want in your next unit.

Storage: There is ample storage for all that we have in our Outback. It would have to be rearranged, but we are not used to having that much room. There will be a lot of leftover space. The outside storage up front is absolutely huge, lined an laminated all around and has lites on both ends inside. Inside of the camper, there is storage everywhere which is typical. (due to layout, we would miss the storage under the bottom bunk of the kids, but there is plenty of room elsewhere)
Fit and finish;'s just nice. It is very different than the Outback in HOW it is fit and finished. Nice etched cabinet door inserts add a nice feel inside all around. Then, when you raise up the dinette storage, it has just a piece of chipboard under the seat. NOW...that chipboard is absolutely 100% more solid than that flimsy piece of panelling under our dinette seat. It's just not as pretty as the Outback under seat support. Small things like that. The countertops are beautiful and MORE than enough for our family. They are all, including the bathroom sink, radiused nicely that added 2 inches of countertop. All of the doors fit flush, close easily, latch tightly, edges all plumb. There are some rough edges under the bottom bunk of the kids double bunk that caught our attention. But those would be hidden by bedding. As I said, it's not perfect. The dinette table seemed more sturdy than ours now. It has two "clips" instead of a rail, that it clips into. It also was marbleized. Need to pay attention to the rough edges that are visible on the chipboard bottoms of the queen bed and the bottom bunk. VERY unsightly and one was not even sanded down and you could get a splinter. This was odd due to finished look of the rest of the camper. We could not believe these obvious departures from good fit/finish existed. One reason is that if you are even looking in that unit, you have kids or grandkids and the bunks are needed. They would be one of the first things you look at and to see rough chipboard hanging out was alarming as a first impression. It was even very thin chipboard. It should at least be the thickness of the seating underneath the dinette. We couldn't believe when we raised up the queen bed, with the nice cedar lined drawer, that the bottom was the thin chipboard again. The top of the bed board, the part you couldn't see, was finished/laminated and looked nice. These two things were surprising. Espcially since the rough chipboard on the kid's bunk is right beside the nice wood grained vent cover for the air intake. Wood inlays are beautiful in the slide.The doors all close with a nice solid feel. There is no rattling of the etched glass panes. All of the outside doors close solidly. The tub doesn't give when my 6'3" 225 lb frame stands in it, with shoes. The drawers glide solidly and easily and are deep. One thing that I can correct from the 25 reasons to buy a North Trail. The LARGER OVERHEAD CABINETS. While these are larger than some of the skinny overhead storage, be aware that the doors cover part of the slide. Roughly 1/3 of the size of the door is not useable. It is still a very large storage, but it is not as big as the door. Also, the wife said in the kitchen, she would rather have drawers than having to open a large cabinet door and THEN pull the drawer out. Not a big thing, just would be better to have simple drawers. There maybe a reason for that.
Design: I got in trouble here with the wife. Although I question, a little, the safety of the ABS plastic, guys that rear bumper aint nuttin but sexy. LOL. Wife said to stop calling a bumper "sexy" but it looks awesome. The sloped and tapered front allows for less wind resistance. I could feel that as I am using to towing a flat front.
Windows: The layout allows you to have an upright window at the sink. That was an unusual addon. The salesman hadn't even noticed that. There are no top cabinets over the sink. There is fascia there like a home. The window runs up to that fascia which made it unusal to be able to stand upright at the sink and look out. This is due to the convection microwave oven that eliminated the need to put the stove on the bottom and the microwave up top. They slid the cabinets over and left the kitchen sink open. Nice. The window beside the dinette was huge. It pretty much spanned the entire area. The dinette size was normal.
BIG BED: Oh MY GOSH>>>I could actually lay down, with pillows and stretch out on a bed in a camper! (fivers have kingbeds I know, but we're not there yet.
) The bed is 78 inches long. It was fantastic. No, it's not comfortable Posturepedic mattress, most in campers are not. But usually a topper fixes that. We both layed on it and personally, I heard angels sing when my feet were at the end.
Bar: That is a very nice idea. We had 6 people in there, inlcuding the salesman, and it was nice to be able to spread people out and use the bar if we wanted. (In our case, it'll be nice place to sit our parrot at nite. ) It was nice to see that underneath the bar is open, so you can put some shoes in there. Not all of ours, but some.
NO carpet. My wife was very happy about having the linoleum that looks like tile.
Convection microwave; I only know what the salesman says. Theoretically, it sounds good. I hear they cook very well. I know it sure made a big difference in space AND the stovetop burners are 9K BTU. WOW...we don't even cook a lot in there. They are huge. He said they are so huge that they are working with a factory to make a stovetop cover big enough to cover em, so far they're all too short to cover the burners. The burners are electric ignition. push a button and pow, you got stove. This oven placement below allows for precious overhead storage to be better utilized. In this case, thankfully, they saw the need to allow campers to stand upright and look out the kitchen window as there is only a lite and a valance. This allows you to look straight ahead like in a residential settting. Nice.
Thinking ahead: pantry doubles as pantry and a closet due to having removeable shelves and a rod in the top.
Wide Track Axles: The axles are 24 inches apart.
Listen guys. This was a towing dream. Ok, I had NO anti-swaybar on, NO weight distribution hitch just hooked to the ball. I went 60-65 down the interstate and was passed by 18 wheelers. I had expected to have to counter the sway with that 31 footer.
NO SWAY AT ALL.... I mean absolutely NONE!
And this part was odd too: we went in a couple of units after we had been in the North Trail on the lot. Just walked in. The noise of the miniblinds clinging caught our attention. This was from the rocking we 6 made as we walked in an unstabilized trailer on the lot. I then reailzed the North Trail hadn't been stabilized either cause I looked at the scissor jacks. The wide axles had provided stability as it just sat on the lot. Now, that has to make for a better "foundation" on the unit over a period of years. In reality, we're towing STRAIGHT far far more than we are backing in. I can't imagine how it would feel to have a sway bar and weight distribution hitch setup.
Roof: Although I didn't get up there, I can only tell you that this is the only light weight unit that has a fully laminated, then rubberized, then crowned roof to help prevent debris collection up top.
Customer service. I'm sure it's not perfect, but I have spoken with the factory and everyone there wants to hear feedback. They are very customer oriented, it appears. Both of the customer service people PROMPTLY called me back. The video on the site is 15 minutes long and goes thru everything in/on that unit.

Fabric; This is a biggie. We will be ordering one in blue I believe. It was very 70's. My wife swears her aunt had this sofa in her living room in 1974. Retro can only be so cool. LOL. All we needed was the clear plastic sofa cover and some shag carpet to complete the harvest gold decor. The wall paper and all was fine, it was only the fabric and mainly on the couch.
Freshwater holding tank placement prevents storage under one dinette.
Electric outlet in kitchen is in the outer bottom of the cabinet above the sink. I would rather have em on the wall.
Cubby holes on the top bedside table. We would rather have small drawers, no dealbreaker. Just odd. At least have a sort of "stop" at the bottom of the cubbyhole to keep pens/pencils in place without rolling out.
Make lid for laundry hamper on right hand bedside (bottom layer) table. Have seen similar units that did this and the laundry hamper stayed in the pass thru storage. For a family of four which would use a bunk unit, there can be a lot of laundry.
So, in conclusion, previously I had been looking at campers with the thoughts of arranging the
camper around my life.
I was hesitant to tow 31 feet, to spend more money and to loose the outside cook center. After walking in, stretching out on, opening and closing the cabinet doors, clicking the electric start on the 9k stovetop burner, standing upright to look out the kitchen window and finally experiencing pure bliss while I test towed it, I believe I would be remiss to not
arrange MY life
around the Heartland 2008 North trail 28BHS. My family agrees. I could be wrong, have been before, but this appears to be worth the trouble of upping my tow limit to 31 feet. LOL.
*Although we have not firmed an agreement with that specific dealer, this is the one we want. (unless some unforseen issue arises)
Hope this didn't bore you guys/gals.


Well-known member

Wow - what an awesome, in-depth review. I have sent it to Heartland's VP of Marketing and the North Trail Product Manager as I feel they'd like to hear what you liked and where you felt they could improve.

Best of luck to you and I look forward to having your family join the Heartland family of product owners. And maybe even seeing you all at a rally in 2008!

Take care,



Well-known member
Jim, actually was fun. Once I zero in on a project, I'm on it and I felt North Trail was worthy of it.
As for the marketing dept at North Trail, I hope they can use it. I have been in conversation with Brian in sales at the North Trail manufacturing plant. Great guy and he knows everything about his product. Even though he said there is air and heat vents in the bath, it is only heat, but that's ok, he's still very consumer oriented and that's important when you are purchasing a second home.
My only thing is that if they get all of this information, add a hamper door, put drawers in the bedside tables, add a small outside dropdown table by the entry door and move some water by the front door.. in a few years, I gotta go thru all of this again!!!:eek:
As soon as we sell our Outback 21RS, we are ordering a North Trail 28BHS in blue.


Northeast Region Director-Retired
North Trail 28BHS

My wife, my daughter, and I just picked up our North Trail 28BHS on Saturday. You are right. It towed like a dream. We had a 20' Fleetwood Resort, so towing a 31' camper took a little getting used to. We are very happy with the North Trail. The layout is is perfect for our family. The windows are great, the cabinets are great, the bed is great, the decor is very classy. We love the faucets and color of the wood of the cabinets and the flooring. We love the outside storage. There is so much room! There are some minor details with the fit and finish, but all in all, the quality is great. This was a major purchase for our family and we are really pleased with our decision to buy this unit.

Happy Camping!

The Walkers


Well-known member
Hi. It's great to finally locate someone with a unit like we think we want.
Do you mind if I ask some questions? We are similar in that we too are going from a 20 footer to a 31footer.
-Did you have a big adjustment in backing it in? I backed it in on a test tow, but it was in a really big pad at a campground close to the dealer. I mean, it was a huge pad. Helen Keller could have backed a camper in there.
-Is the convection microwave working ok? That would be a departure for us.
-Where do you store your linens for the bath? towels/washclothes and such?
-Where did you put your dirty linen? Did you have a hamper?
-What addon's did you get? Did you get Maxair vent covers?
-What are you towing and backing with?
Any other info would be appreciated.


Northeast Region Director-Retired
Here are some answers to your questions. As far as the difference between a 20 footer and a 31 footer, just maker wider turns and leave yourself more space and pray that your wife gives you good hand signals. Ha Ha! Really, it wasn't bad at all. Just remember that there is a lot more hanging back there than before.

Keep in mind that we only have 3 of us camping in there, so where we store stuff may not work for you. Also, since we just picked it up on Saturday, we are still trying to figure out where to put stuff. But, so far, we use the cabinets above the dinette for the linens because we had nothing else to put in there because there is so much more cabinet space than our old camper. For now, our dirty linens are in laundry bags underneath the master bed. (We store extra bedding under the dinette seats.)

We put our shoes in the cabinets under the bar by the entrance door.

The only add ons that we got were the Maxair vents, but we haven't had time to get them on yet, but they seem like a good idea.

One feature that this has that we never had before is the radio/CD player with the indoor/outdoor speakers. We are surprised how much we use it.

We are towing with a 2004 Ford F250 4X4 Super Duty 5.4 V-8 automatic, 4:10 gears with a Valley Class 4 hitch and weight distribution.

We towed about 45 miles from dealer to campground on the turnpike and on the interstate. We had about a 6-7% grade up a 3 mile hill and the truck performed flawlessly.

So far, we are very pleased with the Heartland North Trail.:) There is plenty of interior room and storage both inside and outside for our family and all of our stuff. With the camper's light weight, it makes for easy towing. We like to travel all over whenever we can, especially to the beach.

If you have any more questions, let us know. We are still learning too.

Happy camping-
The Walkers


Well-known member
WOW. great answers. I'm not really concerned about the towing to be honest. Actually, when I test towed, I went to a VERY busy mall on a sunny Saturday afternoon, fishtailed around in there, I did good, (if I say so myself. LOL) I like to tow, guess it's the boy in me.
As I said, I do have concerns about backing, but not that much. I have to remind myself that I was so impressed with that rig, that I will do what I need to in order to safely take it where I want it. The extra trouble, if there is any, seemed worth it to be able to spend time in the North Trail.
As soon as our Outback sells, our North Trail goes on order. We have a couple of bites, but not firm. If not sold by this weekend, we're putting in on the dealer's lot to sell on consignment, so we can move ahead with the order.
Thanks again, and be sure to give us a good rundown later!
One question I forgot to ask at the dealer is with the redesigned bumper is there somewhere else for the hose storage for black water? Our current unit has the storage in the bumper.