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Old 10-23-2012, 01:05 PM   #1
Art
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Bedcover and effect on fuel

With all the experienced fivers, has anyone ever "tested" the effect of non-closure verses partial closure of a bedcover on wind drag and fuel efficiency while pulling their Montana?
I carry my fold-up bikes in the bed between the back of the cab and the hitch. Consequently, I partially close my Pace Edwards bedcover to keep my bikes out of foul weather. I don't know if I am doing an injustice (creating a partial vacuum) by partially closing it or not. Any experience would be appreciated.
(I know this issue will NOT create major fuel increases...since I get 7.5 to 8 mpg with my 8.1L). Thanks in advance for any ideas.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:15 PM   #2
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No effect on either. Open, closed or partially open...IMHO (and my research)
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:21 PM   #3
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I've had several friends who thought covering the bed would make a difference. If it did, they couldn't tell.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:02 AM   #4
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My fuel flow computer says no difference here either.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:45 AM   #5
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With the weight we pull, cant see how it would make any difference.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:44 AM   #6
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1/4 inch of change in position on the go-pedal will make FAR more difference than a louvered tailgate. See "Mythbusters"
with a 14k lbs RV attached, i think that the color of your underwear will make more difference than a bed cover and as for tailgates, I like my OEM tailgate vs vented, for everything else a tailgate is supposed to do.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:04 AM   #7
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I got improved mpgs when using a cover but it was no more than 1 to 2 mpgs and but only when it's completely closed and I'm not towing or carrying. I regularly measure my mpgs on a particular stretch of 40 miles of interstate around where I live. I have tried different speeds (between 65 & 70 work best) and configurations (without a cover, and with cover was better). Otherwise when towing or carrying the cover had no affect and the mpgs were less depending on how much weight or size of tow or whatever position the cover was in. Then I'll get 11 to 15 mpgs but the involved activity far surpasses the need for better mpgs.

I removed the cover recently because I bought a lockable storage box and with the cover got 21-22 mpgs, and without the cover with the storage box, I get 20-21. It's minimal and anything over 20 mpgs impresses me with this truck. I also have 3.73 gears and get the best mpgs when not towing, there's little wind, or maintaining a slower speed (over 70 and mpgs decline). I only do this when I concentrate on driving and the majority of time I DO NOT think about it (I can get 18-20 mpgs all the time in that case and I'm happy with that).

Bottom line, in my case, if you have a cover it works best for mpgs when fully closed, period and it might not be very much gain. The cover does have the primary benefit of some security and protection from the elements for the cargo which is more important than mpgs - many do not gain the benefit of mpgs and the amount of work I need to follow to do this is not worth it so I wouldn't worry about it.

My thoughts have changed over the years and while it's nice to try to get higher mpgs, when I put the truck to work towing or carrying or keeping up with traffic, then I think driving styles, weight and mpgs are affected enough that I don't need to worry about it. The ability to do this work is what's critical. Even then I do sometimes wish I had a dually. If I wanna worry about mpgs, then I'll buy a Prius (and not do anything). I will add that me and DW agree we'll never be without a truck.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:06 AM   #8
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I didn't configure my rig the way it it because of mileage. I run it with the cover all the way closed when not towing and 1/2 way closed when towing. No appreciable gain that I can see. I think we all tow too much weight to make a difference. JMHO
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:12 PM   #9
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Bedcover and effect on fuel. None
And if there was it would be so slight, how would you ever know?
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:02 AM   #10
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I did notice one interesting fact. If you have an aux fuel tank in the bed that drains into the OEM tank, it will not drain lower than 1/4 - 1/2 if the if the cover is closed. Easy fix however, because it's caused by the vent for the aux tank not getting enough air.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:25 AM   #11
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waahhhhow! on the cork-tight-vacuum-causing bed cover!
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:00 AM   #12
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Agreed, never noticed much with a bed cover, but on one of the other forums there's a thread about the wind deflectors you mount on the TV, there one caracter that claims a 4 to 5 MPG increse, now I'd like to know what he's smoking, because for most of us that would be a 50% increase in mileage. The general consus was that they did little or nothing and in some cases actually hurt.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mhs4771

Agreed, never noticed much with a bed cover, but on one of the other forums there's a thread about the wind deflectors you mount on the TV, there one caracter that claims a 4 to 5 MPG increse, now I'd like to know what he's smoking, because for most of us that would be a 50% increase in mileage. The general consus was that they did little or nothing and in some cases actually hurt.
I totally agree. I don't think people deliberately lie about fuel mileage, at least I hope they don't, but there are so many variables that unless you can test under very rigid conditions, people can't make valid claims of what increases fuel consumption and what doesn't. Needless to say that doesn't apply to the manufacturers of these wonder products!

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