Friday, June 2, 2023


RV Review: 2022 Forest River Salem Hemisphere Hyper-Lyte 29XBHL

Today’s RV review is of the 2022 Forest River Salem Hemisphere Hyper-Lyte 29XBHL. I love when you all write—and plenty of RV Travel readers do. One email, in particular, had a very poignant point. I have often mentioned modifying a bunkhouse model for work or functionality other than sleeping a bunch of campers. 

But the email I got read, “I love the idea of using a bunk model trailer for something other than sleeping people, but I just am concerned about modifying a new travel trailer. I’m not someone who feels comfortable doing this. Do you have any suggestions?”

Of course this depends on what you want to do, but one idea might be today’s Forest River Salem Hemisphere Hyper-Lyte 29XBHL. This the same trailer as the Wildwood Heritage Glen Hyper-Lite 29XBHL. This is, indeed, a bunk model trailer—but repurposing the bunk space would literally take no modification whatsoever. 

The bunk space in the Hemisphere Hyper-Lyte

The bunk room in the Hemisphere Hyper-Lyte is the highlight of this tour. In that bunk room there are, of course, upper berths if you want to sleep additional campers. 

But the bunks are arranged in an “L” shape up top. Each of those bunks flips up, making the space in here very open. Then there’s a simple futon-like mattress on the floor. This mattress can easily be folded for either sleeping or sitting. Since it’s not attached to the floor it can also easily be removed and stored. 

Further, this entire rear room can be closed off with a sliding door to the rest of the camper. That means occupants can be “sent to their room.” Or, if it’s a classroom or office or craft room, you can close off that part of the trailer. 

But wait. There’s more. 

This room also features tie-downs, so if you have things that could shift in transit, these tie-downs can prevent that. There is also a half door on the road side to the outside for loading supplies or bikes or that sort of thing. 

The transformation between bedroom and whatever most serves your purpose is as simple as folding a few cushions and flipping up a couple of bunks. Now you have an almost blank canvas and never touched a screw gun. 


The floor plan in the Hemisphere Hyper-Lyte is what we’ve seen before in larger trailers with a couch facing the TV and a larger U-shaped dinette in a large slide. 

On the camp side is a decent kitchen with a peninsula that offers a good amount of counter space. Of course, if this were the Church of Tony (talk about a tax dodge!), I would ask you all to turn to your hymnals to the page about small ovens in bunk models so we can all moan angrily in unison. 

There is a large pantry just off the entry door to the trailer. The shelves are set back such that you could hang brooms, vacuums or that limbo stick or didgeridoo in here and still have the shelf space.


One of the absolute polarizing things, based on your feedback, is the bathroom that bisects this travel trailer. There are more than a few of you who have told me that you absolutely don’t like this. But, that’s what’s here. 

The good thing about this is that it gives you a larger bathroom with a big shower and plenty of space around the toilet. 

Another nice thing about this mid-bath design is that there is only one connection to dump all the tanks in this rig since Salem can flow everything down one pipe. 

Sleep tight…ly

The bedroom up front features an RV queen-sized bed at 60” X 74”—which can be another deal breaker for some RVers.

There are open spaces with power outlets behind the closets on either side of the bed, something I really like. If the bathroom splitting the trailer in half and the camp queen aren’t deal breakers for you, know that the bathroom with a door to the main body of the trailer and then a door to the bedroom can be a better way to isolate sounds from the main living space.

As opposed to sounds from the bathroom. Well, I can’t help you with that.

Boondocking and travel access in the Hemisphere Hyper-Lyte

Let’s be blunt here. When the big road-side slide is closed, you’re not getting into the front bedroom or the bathroom. Period.

Solar is not part of the picture here either. However, that isn’t a big deal breaker as this means you’re not paying for a system that you won’t be using if solar isn’t something you’re interested in.

In summary

I recognize that people don’t want to make modifications to campers for a variety of reasons. While I like to think I have some good skills at doing this, I would imagine my wife would disagree. Strongly. 

This camper has good storage inside as well as a very large pass-through storage in front. Further, this rig has the cargo carrying capacity to handle a decent amount of stuff, at 2,592 pounds. 

For someone who might want to have a camper that sleeps a decent number of people or needs a flexible space without actually making modifications to their camper, this could be a good choice. 

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

If you’re RV shopping here are some tips on RV shopping from a former RV salesperson—me!

Tony comes to having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has an RV podcast with his wife, Peggy. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!


Tony Barthel
Tony Barthel
Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.


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11 months ago

A 37′-long travel trailer that Salem can’t find an extra 6″ in to add to that “RV queen” to make it a REAL queen-size bed! I just don’t get it; even the futon in the bunk room is only 74″ long. Has no one in Indiana since Larry Bird been over 6′ tall?

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