Outdoorsy Image May Be Costing You

OK - You reported the fuel efficiency impact of rooftop carriers. Can you tell us what the fuel efficiency benefit is to having a bed cover on the back of a pickup. I have a TuXedo cover on my 2014 F-150. Did it pay for itself with improved fuel efficiency?

0.1 to 0.3 mpg improvement. Paragraph 13.

2-3 psi more in the tires will give you that much, and that is free. But bed covers look good.

Thanks Mustangman. That answered that. I thought the impact would have been greater, but everything adds up over time. I bought the TruXedo as an add-on when I purchased the vehicle, not for it’s potential fuel efficiency benefit, but to keep the stuff I normally drag around in the bed of my truck dry, and equally as important, out of site. And it is easy to roll up when what I am carrying things that extend beyond the bed sides.

Boy, this is sure sounding like an advertisement.

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Not intended as such. I’m not selling them, just explaining what I use it for.

Hi @texases I think @harrisonpd_160690 is responding to this

so it isn’t stealth spam.

OK, just giving an opinion. Sorry if I’m wrong.

No worries.

I think the inclusion of a brand name for a bedcover triggered the possible spam comment.
Though I never got around to it, I would prefer a topper, granted it limits how tall a load you can have and necessitates crawling in to get stuff.

Yes - that was in my local paper this morning. So that made me wonder about the bed cover. My guess was that the cover would probably improve mpg, rather than reduce it like the roof racks, and I was curious to see if in fact that was true, and if so to what extent.

Mustangman posted a direct answer to my question. I was a little surprised because I thought the difference would be far greater. As an expense just to save .3 mpg, I’m not convinced.

Gas Savings Calculator | Save Hundreds of Dollars A Year | Access Cover

I thought about the topper, but did not want to loose visibility. I liked the soft cover (which will now go nameless) compared to a sectional hard cover a friend of mine has. At least as far as I know, he cannot remove his sectional (easily at least) if he needs to transport something bigger that what would fit under the cover.

I trust that Motor Trend 0.1-0.3 mpg benefit a lot more than the SEMA 10% claim. Prior gas price spikes had some truck owners removing their tailgate, which turned out to actually hurt economy.

interesting - thanks for that

Someone may think of this Gas Saving link as Spam . Do you really think the makers of the truck bed cover are going to use a study that does not put them in a good result ?

If I read this right, the SEMA study showed a 5.73% reduction in drag coefficient which translated into a 1.8% improvement in MPG. My truck averages 16.9 mph. Assuming I increased the mpg by 1.8% by adding the cover, the without cover mpg would have been 16.6. Thus the cover added .3 mpg, which is what the top end of Motor Trend’s estimate was.

Close enough for CarTalk work - Assuming my math is correct, SEMA and Motor Trend are basically saying the same thing, which is actually encouraging from a testing consistency perspective. From a reality perspective, I would have preferred the 10% :grin:

And I used the study report, not the online gas savings calculator to figure this out.

Yeah, but on the other hand just because someone suggests cleaning dash crevices with a Q-tip­­ doesn’t mean they’re shilling for Unilever. :wink:

Good job reading the actual report instead of relying on what I thought was a summary ( the 10% mpg increase number) of the results.

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This test they compared the same truck with and without a canopy, didn’t make a huge difference to have the cap on.