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Old 05-18-2016, 12:22 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info!
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:57 PM   #12
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I never gave much thought to MPG. I guess because for 28 years I owned a boat. You go by gallons per hour. I've been asked how many gallons does my boat use per hour. I alway told them the truth that I didn't really know. If I couldn't afford to put gas in I would sell it.

My last boat was a 38 footer with twin 454 engines that loved gas. I did at one time out of curiosity check my fuel per hour. Going cruising speed, around 21 or 22 miles an hour it used 27 to 30 gallons an hour and I figured that was about .9 MPG. When gas on the water went up to $4 a gallon I quit cruising. I sold it last year and my DW and I bought our very first FW. Towing my FW I know I am getting better than .9 MPG cruising 60-61 MPH and the gas is not $4 a gallon.

If I can't afford the gas I'll sell the RV and stay home. I don't think that will happen because we enjoy it so much. Glamping is so much cheaper than boating.


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Old 05-18-2016, 01:17 PM   #13
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It really depends on the truck. Most trucks these days are designed such that a tonneau cover will help mileage, but running with the tailgate down will make it worse. They are designed such that a vortex is created by the bed, thus pushing air flowing over the cap, up and over the tailgate. With the tailgate down, the vortex isn't created, and it changes the airflow. A tonneau will help the mileage because creation of a vortex is also creation of drag, but because the vortex helps reduce drag elsewhere, it's a net decrease in overall drag. So if you don't create the vortex, it's not creating drag, and the air coming over the cab and still flow much like it would if the vortex were there.

As for toppers, they also disrupt the flow of air coming over the cab. If they are taller than the cab, that makes it worse. They add drag and weight, so they are usually worse than nothing at all.
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Old 05-18-2016, 02:56 PM   #14
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Slowing down and/or traveling on calm days yield the best towing mileage.


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Old 05-19-2016, 09:08 AM   #15
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I remember a episode of Mythbuster's on Discovery that tested this and as it turns out the best configuration for a Pickup is nothing at all at least for MPG's. Tailgate up, no cover or cap.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:12 AM   #16
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I remember a episode of Mythbuster's on Discovery that tested this and as it turns out the best configuration for a Pickup is nothing at all at least for MPG's. Tailgate up, no cover or cap.
I remember that episode. They only tested tailgate up or down. They didn't test caps or covers.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:37 AM   #17
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I towed a 38' Wildcat FW and a 6x10 cargo trailer cross country. I was surprised that the FW at 3 times the weight did 10.5 mpg vs 13.5mpg on the cargo trailer with a DuraMax diesel. I expected the trailer to get 15-16 but the flat front held it back like a barn door pull thru air. So if you had a boxy flat RV, a cap could help the air flow past it. But if you had a V-style TT the air should cut thru it with just a tonneau cover.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:44 AM   #18
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We need a nascar engineer here to explain aerodynamics to us.

I saw something interesting a few weeks ago coming home from St. Louis on the interstate.

There were some road construction signs on the left side of the road and they were mounted on springs. A semi tractor trailer passed me, since I'm apparently the only driver who obeys road construction speed limits.

As the truck sped by these signs they never moved. When he got about 100 ft past them they laid down flat and then popped back up. I saw it happen with 5 signs in a row.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:27 AM   #19
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We need a nascar engineer here to explain aerodynamics to us.

I saw something interesting a few weeks ago coming home from St. Louis on the interstate.

There were some road construction signs on the left side of the road and they were mounted on springs. A semi tractor trailer passed me, since I'm apparently the only driver who obeys road construction speed limits.

As the truck sped by these signs they never moved. When he got about 100 ft past them they laid down flat and then popped back up. I saw it happen with 5 signs in a row.
Shmucks like that are a big reason as to why I added a sway bar to my hitch.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:40 AM   #20
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Those wind deflectors like you see on the 18 wheelers seems like that would be helpful in increasing MPG. Anything to deflect over that 8 x 10 wall we drag around.
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