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Old 02-26-2011, 07:09 PM   #1
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Vented Tail Gate ?

just wondering why people use a Vented Tail Gate on TV when pulling a 5th wheel



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Old 02-26-2011, 07:27 PM   #2
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Good question!


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Old 02-26-2011, 07:57 PM   #3
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They are exceeding their GVWR and are shedding a few pounds, albeit only about 20. lol

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Old 02-26-2011, 08:03 PM   #4
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Meh, I'm going to guess visibility on the trailer while hooking up. They're usually "dropped" in the center.

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Old 02-26-2011, 08:16 PM   #5
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The notch part is so you don't have to drop the tailgate to hitch up. The manufacturers promote the aerodynamics of the vented gate, but I'm quite sure the "aerodynamic wall" of a fifth wheel behind it cancels any benefit.

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Old 02-26-2011, 08:43 PM   #6
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I have vented tailgates on both our F350 and Dodge 3500. Simple, not towing it adds 2-3 MPG. towing 1-1.5 (depending on roadway, etc). Have towed (past 6 years over the USA, with 2 different 5th wheels), with and without vented on both units and those are the results.

Hope this helps,
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:06 AM   #7
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Simply do a search in google for "myth towing with tailgate or vented tailgate"

You will see pretty quickly a vented tailgate or none at all do nothing for mileage. Alhough the vented gated scores big in the ease of hooking up a 5ver and getting around behind the truck when doing so. This is one of the most discussed items out there and the consensus seems to be it does not help with mileage. I gave up thinking mileage the day we signed for a 34ft trailer and 21 ft 4x4 truck as they are 2 mutually exclusive items.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:21 AM   #8
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It might make some difference on an under-powered truck, but it certainly isn't going to be significant on a one-ton, and definitely not while towing.
The only reason I would buy one is for the ease of hooking up. But some are a disadvantage, as you can't even step on them when down, as they are so flimsy. And they aren't cheap.
I think I'll just stick with my factory tailgate.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:32 AM   #9
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A co-worker just bought a new 2010 Chevy pick up LTZ with the 6.2 gas engine and was doing some research on gas milage, he had came across a study that was done on pick up with the trailgate up and with them down, according to the study the gas milage did not change with the trailgate in either position. According to the study the design and engineering of the truck was not effected by any back draft with the tailgate up as far as reduced gas milage.

I do think that the vented tailgate is a great idea, just because you can see what is behind you.....It's the little kids and loose pets you can't see.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:42 AM   #10
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I was planning on buying a vented tailgate this year, but will not now. What changed my mind was a horrific episode that occurred to me while driving down from Stroudsburg after camping at a friends house.

Since the drive up there takes a little more than half my available 28 gallons, I planned to top off with the two 10 gallon plastic diesel cans before I drove home (avoiding a refuel stop on the way). I store my kinda squarish shaped 5 gallon cans up against the tail gate. I normally tie them down with a tie down strap to deter "casual theft" but after I gassed up I forgot to tie them back down. I noticed when doing my walk around, but I figured they were not going anywhere since the camper was right there about 6 inches above them.

I was about 55 MPH on the PA Turnpike when I looked back and saw the two cans "flying" under the camper's overhang. They were all over the place and in danger of flying out at any moment. I had to pull over and tie them back down.

Apparently, the aerodynamics of the flow around the front of the camper results in "dead air" in the bed of the truck with a solid gate. The faster moving air in the space above the bed causes a lower pressure above the cans in the bed that lifted them up and nearly out.

I thought about that a lot. When I have my soft cover over the bed, it is quite obvious (from the vibration of the top) that air coming over the top of the truck is hitting the last 12-18 inches of the cover right before the tailgate. This was the reason an air gate was in my future plan before the Turnpike episode.

The dead air in the bed of the truck results in a "smooth" airflow and less drag than all the junk I typically have in there. With an air gate there would be no dead air and higher drag. I think if I had a bare bed, the airgate would have lower drag (some) and "might" save enough gas to justify its high cost over time.

The payback is "iffy" at best in my situation and not worth the cost to find out.


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