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TONNEAU COVER VS CAMPER SHELL

I READ THAT A TONNEAU COVER WILL INCREASE YOUR GAS MILLAGE ON A PICKUP 11%, WILL A CAMPER SHELL DO THE SAME?
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Comments

  • edited August 2007
    I think that's a load of bunk. The drag caused by a pickup bed with the tailgate closed is negligible.

    I used to have an S-10 that came with a bed cap. The thing was really heavy, at least a few hundred pounds. The truck felt a bit sluggish with it on, but ran much easier with it off and got better mileage without it (not a lot, mind you).

    This sounds like the sort of thing a tonneau cover/bed cap manufacturer would say. Any difference would be miniscule, and fuel savings would be immeasurably small, if present at all.
  • edited August 2007
    The cover won't increase the gas mileage but the camper shell will lose about three miles per gallon. Most camper shells are wedge shaped and will kill the gas mileage.
  • edited August 2007
    I had a cap on my 95 Dodge Dakota Club Cab pickup for about 3 or 4 years of the 8 years I owned it. There was no noticeable difference in gas mileage with or without the cap. I suspect a tonneau cover wouldn't have made much difference either.

    Ed B.
  • edited August 2007
    11% may be a bit high and it certainly is not universal. Different trucks have different shapes and the results of this or that on mileage will vary greatly.

    Run 10 test with different trucks and speeds and you will get 10 very different answers.
  • edited August 2007
    Some years back Consumer Reports tested the tonneau-cover-saves-gas claim. It's pure balogna. It has zero effect.

    A shell will have an adverse effect by creating a larger low pressure spot behind the truck than the truck would normally have. Larger shells that extend above the cab have an even more adverse impact by increasing the "frontal profile", that total amount of area that the truck has to somehow open the air around it to get through.
  • edited August 2007
    I had a S-10 for many years and about half of the time I had a cab high shell on the bed. I did not determine a difference in fuel mileage between the shell installed or off and I was habitually checking each tank's mileage. However the truck was quieter due to the wind not hitting the rear cab window and the suspension was more effective and smoother with a small load on the rear springs. For my purposes the shell was a good fit. Plus I sold it for almost what I paid for it
  • edited August 2007
    thanks for your input. I just saved several hundred dollars
  • edited August 2007
    Thanks for your input.
  • edited August 2007
    Thanks for your input.
  • edited August 2007
    Thanks for your input.
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