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Old 11-29-2007, 05:05 PM   #1
waldo238
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Louvered Tailgates

I would like to know the pros and cons of having one of these tailgates, are there any real benefits?
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:28 PM   #2
Crossthread
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Definitely a plus when hitching and unhitching. Helps with the rear view when the rv is not behind you. I like mine, won't have truck/5th wheel without one. Bill
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:58 PM   #3
Imp
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It is lighter than the regular tail gate, you can see better and you don't have to put it down to hitch and unhitch.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:05 PM   #4
Dave e Victoria
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I had one but got rid of it. I kept running into it because it was just almost out of the way. And when I am empty it screws up the mileage. Went back to stock tail gate and know it has to be down to hitch or unhitch. Now with my bed cover, it seals up tight when I am unhooked. Works for me...
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:18 PM   #5
stiles watson
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The only one I have seen that I like is the one Bruce Lenhardt has on his truck. He modified his tailgate to have the "V", but has no louvers. He, of course, knows how to do that sheetmetal work beautifly.
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:15 PM   #6
Glenn and Lorraine
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Quote:
quote:are there any real benefits?
I started with a stock gate and will stay with the stock gate. I am in the "habit" of always raising and lowering the gate when needed and in over 4 years of full timing I have never forgotten. There are no pin box marks on my gate.
When down you don't want to put any amount of weight on them. I can sit 3 men on my stock gate without damaging it. Not so on a louvered gate.
They say you don't have to lower a louvered gate to hitch or unhitch. Well than I would like to know why I see so many dented louvered gates. More often than not the dent was caused by the pin itself. Guess they weren't in the "habit" of raising the pin box enough to clear the "V". It was not a lot of damage but damage just the same.
As a full timer, I traded TVs while on the road. When I mentioned that I do pull a 5th wheel one of the first questions asked was "Do you have the stock tailgate?" When I replied in the affirmative the salesman was relieved as it is tougher to sell a used truck with a louvered gate and therefore he would have to add the cost of a new gate to the deal.
As a full timer, where do I store the stock gate? I don't have the room nor do I care to carry an extra gate all over the country in the Monty.
If you use any type tonneau cover you can not totally secure your load from prying eyes as I know of no tonneau cover made with the "V". The old safety adage of "Out of sight, Out of mind" doesn't apply with a "V" gate. With the "V" portion still open, people can still see what you have back there and on a rainy day it will get wet through the "V". With the stock gate and a fully enclosed tonneau cover, on a rainy day, I can put the groceries or any other packages back there without fear of them getting wet and they are out of sight of them prying eyes.
You have to pay extra for a louvered gate. Stock gates are FREE and with the better fuel mileage of a stock gate and even better MPG when the tonneau is in place you will be a lot further ahead down the road.

IMHO, I would highly suggest keeping the stock gate and get yourself into the HABIT of raising and lowering when needed.

You asked for pro's and con's. I gave you all the con's of a louvered gate that I could think of and I cannot honestly think of any pro's.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:10 AM   #7
adelmoll
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We had one from Camping World that rusted out something awful.... We would not have one again even with the vinyl covering but the main reason for that is because we no longer have a house to store the stock gate in...

Helen
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:25 AM   #8
waldo238
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Ok, these are great points I would have to agree with you on all of them. But with the fifth on the back and the gate up, how does the air flow around this with out hitting the back of the tail gate? Seems like it would act like a wall back there.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:42 AM   #9
Glenn and Lorraine
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A very good question....Click here>>>>> http://www.bitware.com/5er/tailgate.htm
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:46 AM   #10
BB_TX
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I doubt any studies have been done on the gate with a 5er attached. But they have down wind tunnel test on unloaded trucks with the gate up and down. Surprisingly, fuel mileage was better with the gate up. According to the studies, an air "bubble" forms in the bed of the truck when driving and that "bubble" acts like a sloped back to carry the main air flow smoothly down the back of the truck. With that gate down, an eddy (and resulting low pressure or vacuum) forms behind the cab causing drag from behind.
Edit: Ahh. I am too slow. Glenn's link is even better.
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:08 AM   #11
H. John Kohl
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I assume (yes I know what that acronym means) that the air bubble effect is there when the Monty is hooked up so it should also help with the air flow.
Good question.
Cheers,
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:39 AM   #12
richfaa
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I have one for one reason only, same reason we have the bedsaver. I am a imperfect human being. I make mistakes. I need all the help I can get to prevent damage to my camper, Being imperfect outweighs any other reason not to have one for me. Charts, graphs, testimonials, wind tunnel test do not take into consideration my imperfection.
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:46 AM   #13
ols1932
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There have been many tests performed (unscientific) with both tailgates and have found that the stock tailgate provides better mileage. I believe it's because of the way they design the trucks. I have the louvered tailgate only because I really ruined my tailgate one day (three years ago) when we had unhooked and I barely moved the truck away from the pin so I could raise the rig. Then my wife decided we had to go to Best Buy in Boise, ID (it was a Sunday late afternoon and Best Buy closed at 6:00 pm) to pick up a new computer. Well we went out and as I walked behind the truck (under the rig overhang) I quickly closed the tailgate and jumped in the truck. I started out and it was the worst sound you want to hear. The tailgate bent outward in the middle and was ruined. I figured it cost too much to repair so I threw it in the dumpster and purchased a cheap louvered tailgate.

I would rather have the stock tailgate! I'm not particularly fond of the looks of the louvered tailgates.

Orv
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Old 11-30-2007, 03:09 AM   #14
waldo238
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After reading the link for the wind tunnel test, It made me think; "Robin would say, then answer this Batman" "Why does my MPG go down when I roll up my bed cover??" If the bubble where truly there.
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Old 11-30-2007, 03:28 AM   #15
H. John Kohl
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I think the bed cover provides the best aerodynamics and then the tailgate bubble is second.
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:42 AM   #16
boylanag
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We used the louvered tailgate for several years but, when covered with a bed cover, we could not lock our tailgate so things stored in bed were actually in the open. It also let in dirt and sand. We are back using the original tailgate and are happier. We roll our bed cover out and can lock the tailgate when not towing. The louvered tailgate it much lighter. Not sure about fuel savings.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:55 AM   #17
49merc
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What kind of bed covers are being used with a 5th wheel? I would like to go back to my stock tailgate. It doesn't mater which one I use because I have damaged both at some point (more than once).
Bob
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:43 AM   #18
stiles watson
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Waldo, when you go around with your tailgate down, it is not the same as removing the the bed cover. Ford, in their information, recommends a bed cover for slightly better mileage, but says leaving your tailgate open will not get the same effect.

If you want to buy a louvered tailgate, do so, but I don't think you will achieve better mileage if you do. It is your truck and your call, but you asked our opinion and/or insight. Take it all with a grain of salt and make the decision with which you are happy.
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:05 AM   #19
BB_TX
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by 49merc

What kind of bed covers are being used with a 5th wheel? I would like to go back to my stock tailgate. It doesn't mater which one I use because I have damaged both at some point (more than once).
Bob
I just put a Pace Edwards Full Metal Jacket cover on mine. They also have one called Jack Rabbit. Mine just clears my hitch by a couple inches. There are several others that get high marks from users, but I forgot who they all are now. There are many web sites that sell them and prices can vary quite a bit. Do some shopping for the best price if you plan to put it on your self.

http://www.pace-edwards.com/fullmetal_jr.asp
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:14 AM   #20
waldo238
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I agree with keeping the stock gate, as I would have to paint the new one to macth, the bed cover would be open in the back, just more cons than pros.
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