While we're on Trailers,
What experience does anyone have with adding AirTabs, Bubbles or Wind Deflectors?
The trailering season is coming very soon and I'm thinking of installing something on my Tahoe or the trailer to get a bit better gas mileage. Any suggestions from our vast number of trailer towers?
I read about the vortex generators like AirTab and also the wind deflectors that mount on top of the tow vehicle and they seem to make sense but of course you have to tow a lot of miles to pay for them and that's if they really work.
I have an extra tall 7' wide trailer with a pretty much flat front that I'll be towing this year with a 2016 Tahoe. My old 2004 Tahoe used to get very close to 12 MPG driving at the posted speed where it could without excessive down shifting.
I installed the "Nose Cone" by Fitzgeralds out of Cali. on the front of my enclosed trailer & it was worth 2 miles per gallon. I transport over 130,000 miles per year & track mileage on every mile I drive. Not only did it give better mileage, but mad towing the trailer much more stable by cutting down on the "buffeting" action cause by cross winds.
I will eventually install the air tabs around the back edge of the trailer, as I have heard many good things about them, but they do not give much in the way of mileage gains.
Air tabs will not give you a noticeable difference in mileage. On semi-trailers we did notice better handling, kind of like putting a tail on a kite. It will also keep the back of the trailer a lot cleaner, and give you better visibility behind the trailer, as you are towing it. It can be pretty easy to lose a vehicle behind the trailer when the highway is wet.
Chances are - you do not tow enough miles in a given year to benefit from adding modifications to your trailer ....
My suggestion costs nothing & will save you money ...
In California - the posted speed limit for all vehicles towing trailers is 55 m.p.h
It has been that speed for decades.
In my opinion - that is the speed to tow a trailer at for a variety of reasons - one of which is fuel economy.
Just slow down the speed of your tow vehicle - consider taking the " scenic route " on your next trip.
I am never in a hurry ....
if anyone went 55 on the Mass Pike there would be a traffic jamb all the way back to NY.
He has already been rear ended several times for going so slow. LOL
I feel like I take my life in my hands every time I drive in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
No, there would not be any traffic jam caused by anyone traveling at 55 mph as the Massholes will pass you on the left, on the right, sit on your bumper and just about push you out of the way.
High speed towing does increase the possibility of trouble.
Jim, Thanks for the advice but sorry you brought up our insane 55 law. You probably have been driving up the 5 and have seen how all the auto traffic gets jammed up against the semis passing. Down here in SoCal no one really watches the speed limit and we're happy if you can go that fast. Most all trucks and trailers are going 60 to 65 when possible. Actually the good thing about the 55 law is that when I drive my T on the freeways keeping up with the flow of traffic is a lot easier and much safer than most side streets.
You are right about going a little slower but we all know how that's hard when all the semis and traffic are blowing by you at 80 mph in some places and you just want to get there.
I'll be towing about 5,000 miles this year and probably about that last year so was just thinking I should check into the options. Now we see most all the semis have installed deflectors and new vehicles have air dams nearly as close to the ground as a Nascar racer.
I've really thought about adding a sort of V nose compartment to the front and would also provide some nice storage for a winch and battery as well.
I found when I had my 2007 Chevy Duramax that towing at 60mph or 70mph yielded the same fuel mileage. Soon as I cross the California border set the cruise at 70mph and let the diesel do it's job.
The Duramax Diesel is the best for fuel mileage & dependability. I run 62-65mph & get excellent mileage pulling either trailer! For the miles I run, I couldn't stand a 10 or 11 mpg truck.
I just completed a run to and from Chickasha with my 2003 Duramax truck and a closed trailer with no aero aids, 15 mpg over 3,911 miles....
(Message edited by Tony_bowker on March 26, 2016)