Forest River vs Heartland

Forest River vs Heartland: A Brief Head-to-Head Comparison

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Enjoying your vacation with your family in a recreational vehicle is still one of the coolest ways to unwind and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors! However, with all the brands that the market has to offer, finding the right one can be a bit tricky.

Among the most popular names on the RV market are Forest River and Heartland. If you want to know which one of them is the ideal pick for you, you’re in for a treat!

In this article, we’ll walk you through a brief guide that puts Forest River vs Heartland in direct comparison, so you can choose the suitable brand for your next RV trip. Let’s dive in!

Forest River vs Heartland Overview

Both Forest River and Heartland are great RV producers. However, Forest River offers a wider range of models with extra features that justify its higher price range. On the other hand, Heartland is more affordable with fewer features but a more durable build and a better warranty program.

Heartland vs Forest River

The Full Comparison

The best way to choose between two RV brands is by knowing more about the manufacturer, construction, and design, as well as their value for money.

In this section, we’ll walk you through what each of these brands has to offer in those respective aspects:

Brand History

Both Forest River and Heartland have been in the motorhome business for several decades. Forest River was founded by Peter Liegl back in 1996, and currently has its headquarters in Elkhart, Indiana, which is also known as the “RV Capital of the World”.

The company has skyrocketed in popularity due to the amount of “value for money” that the company offers when compared with many other brands in the same price class.

The company today employs over 8,000 individuals and has been acquired and fully owned by Berkshire Hathaway in 2005, which is one of the most successful investment conglomerates in the world.

On the other hand, Heartland is a relatively newer company, having been introduced to the market since its launch by ex Damon RVs CEO Brian Brady in 2003.

Similar to Forest River, the huge potential for success has encouraged Thor Industries to acquire Heartland in 2010.

Although they still design and create their own RV independently, the company has greatly benefited from Thor’s logistic network to grow in sales.

Variety of Models

Both Forest River and Heartland manufacture a wide variety of RVs for different budgets, but when it comes to the range of models, nothing beats Forest River. They have a huge arsenal of trailers, fifth-wheelers, RVs, and more.

The company offers more than 46 different models of different types of RVs, including some award-winning ones like Flagstaff E-Pro

On the other hand, Heartland is known for its expansive range of RVs, travel trailers, fifth wheelers, and toy haulers. Despite having a decent level of variety, it falls far behind Forest River in that part.

Construction and Design

The structural integrity of both RVs is excellent. Yet, Heartland is known for building some of the sturdiest RVs with thicker walls and a significantly powerful roof.

Forest River also has a durable structure on high-end models, but it’s generally less durable than Heartland. Yet, they offer better insulation in general when comparing models of the same price range.

However, Forest River makes this up by offering a more versatile range of floor plans that matches your needs with a roomier interior and more general features.

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Pricing is among the key features that make Heartland stand out among other brands. This is not only because they’re reasonably priced, but also due to their significantly high durability for the price.

Forest River is slightly more expensive but the value of the investment increases as you head for mid-range to high-end models.


Both Forest River and Heartland offer a free warranty with their models. For Forest River, all motorhomes are covered by a warranty of 1 year or 12,000 miles from the purchase date, whichever comes first.

Heartland also used to offer one year of warranty on their motorhomes but they’ve recently boosted their warranty to a 48-month warranty with a 1+3 year warranty, so they have a generally better warranty policy.


Should You Rent a Forest River or a Heartland RV?

When it comes to renting an RV, the most essential aspects you need to look for are comfort, safety, and good rental price. As you can see from the comparison above, each company excelled at certain points over the other.

However, Heartland’s improved durability and extended warranty policy aren’t attractive features that make them a superior option when compared to Forest River. Yet, they’re still quite affordable, so they would make for a good rental RV.

As for Forest River, it offers a much wider range of options to choose from with extra features that provide you with extra comfort and convenience on your trip, so they’re a pretty decent option if you’re planning to rent.

Which Brand of RVs Have a Good Resale Value?

The answer to this question can be a little tricky because the resale value of an RV depends on a variety of features and not just the brand or model.

For example, the brand that typically has the highest resale value on the market is Jayco. This is because their RV is pretty durable with an excellent 2+5 year warranty policy.

Both Forest River and Heartland have similar resale values, so you need to check out other factors that also affect the price, such as production year and the condition of the RV.

Final Verdict

There you have it! A brief guide that compares Forest River and Heartland, so you can pick the one that appeals to you the most.

As you can see, both brands are great picks for beginners and offer decent features for their price.

Heartland is ideal for those looking for a slightly durable build while Forest River focuses on adding a variety of great features at a satisfactory price, all the while maintaining reasonable durability.