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tonneau cover and gas mileage?

 
  #1  
Old 09-12-2017, 08:53 AM
BigBlue13
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tonneau cover and gas mileage?

I do 80+ highway miles a day and my daily driver just died. Guess I'll be commuting with my 04 F-250 until I can afford a new vehicle. My first week of commuting in the truck I got ~14.2 mpg which is far better than the 9-10mpg I get around town. Still, I would like to get better gas mileage if possible and I think a tonneau cover would help. I'm curious if the tonneau cover actually helps and would like to hear people's experiences. Additionally, I have a bed box that I would like to keep but don't know if I'd be able to if I get a tonneau coverů
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:55 AM
Deuce40s
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Nope, won't help at all. Even if it did help 1%, it would take forever to make up the cost of the cover. Air up your tires for the most benefit.
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Deuce40s View Post
Nope, won't help at all. Even if it did help 1%, it would take forever to make up the cost of the cover. Air up your tires for the most benefit.
thanks for the the quick reply. I take it this will be the general consensus.

Has as anyone tried the tailgate down method?
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:31 AM
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look up the Myth Busters TV show...

they did a test on ways to get better gas mileage with a pickup truck...
what worked and what did NOT.

if memory is correct.. talegate down was the best... or remove tailgate.
and Slow Down...
my F 250 gets its best gas mileage doing 50-55...

fyi my Dodge 1500 V6 did not get better gas mileage with a cover.. or a Cap.
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:11 AM
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I had a hard time with Myth Busters because the results were not very great and they ran several configurations on more than one show. As some may recall many years ago Consumer Reports found a very slight (as in very slight) improvement with the tail gate up, but again unless you are going to put it in a wind tunnel, my thought is the difference will be impossible to nail down. Any improvement in fuel mileage will be so slight as to not justify the cost of a cover.

Had on several of my trucks, ran em both ways, didn't see any difference at all. Big trucks are just not going to be very fuel efficient is my thought. Kind of like trying to improve the aerodynamics of a barn by removing the weather vane.

Steve
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by RV_Tech View Post
Any improvement in fuel mileage will be so slight as to not justify the cost of a cover.
And any improvement in fuel mileage will also be negated by one WOT pass around a moron during the commute.

I do ~80 miles a day also, there's not a single thing I can do to control enough variables to improve MPG in the car or the truck on a regular basis. Just kind of is what it is, too many things out of my control for anything I do to make an impact.

Put in an Eco tune on the truck, end up idling in a traffic jam for two hours. Put air in the tires, doesn't matter at 25mph. Air in the tires also doesn't matter when traffic is moving at 80mph when there's not a wreck.

I'm going to go with the flow and not sit in the right lane going 55mph trying to squeeze .5mpg more out of the truck; my blood pressure can handle paying for 14mpg, it can't handle getting passed by cars going 30+mph faster and whipping around and cutting each other off because I won't go the speed limit; driving 10-20mph under the posted speed limit is dangerous, especially just to go 55 to try to save on gas.
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:55 AM
FractureCritical
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best thing you can do for fuel economy is to preserve your momentum. keep a good constant speed and use gravity to your best effect. accelerate lightly on the downhill, let your inertia carry you up the hill. try to time out traffic lights so you can roll through them when green or roll to a stop when you know you're not going to make it. uphill stop lights are the devil. speeding above ambient rate of traffic is the devil.


I can pick up 20% MPG doing this in my F250, my Tacoma, or my S4.
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by FractureCritical View Post
best thing you can do for fuel economy is to preserve your momentum. keep a good constant speed and use gravity to your best effect. accelerate lightly on the downhill, let your inertia carry you up the hill. try to time out traffic lights so you can roll through them when green or roll to a stop when you know you're not going to make it. uphill stop lights are the devil. speeding above ambient rate of traffic is the devil.


I can pick up 20% MPG doing this in my F250, my Tacoma, or my S4.

NOT SO LOUD... people might hear you

I understood that stuff was Secret.... and only for serious drivers...

fyi.. I can not drive 55....

 
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:13 PM
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My truck came with a tonneau cover. I take it off during the summer to use my ladder rack for kayaks. I have not noticed any change in MPG with or without it.
With the ladder rack (Universal Truck Rack) I think it does get slightly less and is definitely louder!!
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:20 PM
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Tailgate up yields the best mileage. Ever notice how leaves and trash in the bed end up near the cab? The air comes over the cab and rolls down,. Then the tailgate make some air gently roll back towards the cab, actually creating a little push. This air then comes back up into the stream of air coming over the cab, this keeps that stream raised up high enough that most of it flows over the top of the tailgate. You take the tailgate off, the air comes down in the bed and then rolls under the truck, creating drag. Obviously we are talking minuet amounts of difference in mpg.
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:48 PM
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:39 PM
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Biggest difference for gas mileage is slow down on the highway.

Second biggest is to get off the gas if the light at the end of the block is, or is easily predictable to be, red when you get there. A stop sign falls in the easily predictable category.
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:40 PM
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I had a soft tonneau cover on my 05 and it did make a difference of about 1-1.5 mpg. That was two different trips from GA to TX at 75 mph in a totally stock FX4, CC, 3.73. When I put the shell on the back it dropped about .5 below what I was getting initially. So 16.5 to 17.5-18 to 15.
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:37 PM
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If your reason to get a cover to increase MPG then don't do it. Too many variables that affect a couple mpg here and there.
If you don't get a cover then don't leave anything in your bed that you want to keep when you pull out of the driveway aside from rubbish and junk.
If you want to use the bed to haul and store stuff, without losing it, with the side benefit of somewhat better MPG then get it.
 
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:51 AM
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Best mileage (on the highway and elsewhere) is to slow down and not tailgate. Every time you step on the brakes you turn kinetic-energy-from-fuel into useless heat. Your brakes will last longer as well. Anticipate what's ahead and drive smoothly.
 

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