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Author Topic: 2 5th wheel questions ...  (Read 3180 times)

kparker51

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2 5th wheel questions ...
« on: August 28, 2013, 11:31:06 PM »
1. Is it worth the cost to remove a stock tailgate and install a louvered one?
What does it really accomplish?

2. Is it worth the cost to install a "wind deflector"? Can you actually recover the cost
in fuel savings?

Thanks,
KP

poncho62

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    • Budget RVs
Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 05:55:30 AM »
1...Probably not. I think I would put it down when hooking up anyways, just in case
2...I doubt it on that oone too, unless you are traveling all the time
Hanover, Ontario, Canada

Great Horned Owl

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  • Lake county, IL
Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2013, 07:38:10 AM »
1.  It does avoid having to open and close the tail gate when hitching and unhitching. My feeling is that I would just as soon thak the tail gate off and leave it home.

2. It would probably never pay for itself.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

edjunior

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  • Roman Forest, TX
Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 07:44:42 AM »
Agree with both above.  My tailgate has the backup camera in it, so I have not done anything with mine.  I also don't pull my 5th wheel enough to warrant any change.  I've had no issues with upping and downing it.
Ed.....KF5INW
MSgt, USAF, Retired
2011 F-250 XLT, 6.7L PSD
2010 Forest River Wildcat 28RKBS
"I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong!"

wmcclay

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 08:00:10 AM »
As for the wind deflector, the only thing I can tell you is that they keep the bugs off the trailer. The mileage from the tail gate is so small I did will not ever recover the cost in fuel. It is convenient though
2007 dodge diesel 6 speed
2013 Sanibel 3500
maxbrake
3000 si Honda
and Moab the mutt

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 08:00:50 AM »
The louvers do nothing, so there is never a payback. The lower center area of a 5W tailgate is a convenience for hitching, but many people lower the tail gate anyway, cause it can be difficult to judge whether the pin will clear or not. And a misjudgment is a very expensive mistake!

The wind deflector is a bit tougher to answer. There is good potential in using one, but it is hit or miss as to whether yours would achieve anything or not. You really need a wind tunnel session to place it properly and adjust the angle for max effectiveness, and that would cost more than you could ever recover. Simply mounting the deflector on the cab and setting a nice-looking angle is a crap shoot because what seems to be a good deflection angle often is not. You can, of course, play with the angle to find the most effective setting, but you really need to drive/tow  for 3-4 tankfuls of fuel to determine how each trial setting performs, so you could spend a lot of time at it. The occasional RVer might take years doing it. Or might hit a good one right away.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

RoyM

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 09:01:35 AM »
To answer you first question, we are looking at a louvered gate. The nose on our fiver is too short to allow hooking up with the tail gate ope. Back truck to pin, close gate, back up. To unhook, pull ahead so pin clears hitch, lower gate pull away. A dang nuisance. An aluminum gate is 600 bucks. :o
Ram 2500 diesel
Prowler fifth wheel
Urge to travel

John From Detroit

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2013, 09:40:09 AM »
I think it was MythBusters that did a test on pick up trucks with and without tail gates (The loovered ones, aerodynamically approximate no tail gate) and the results were NOT what you suspect.   I have not tried to track down any links to it, but you might.. I recommend search terms: Pick up tail gate up or down

But as I said, i've not tried them since I don't have a pick up truck.

Note also that this would not apply if pulling a trailer with it in all likelyhood, only when trailer is parked.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 12:01:38 PM »
If a louvered tailgate worked, it would help whether pulling a trailer or not. You can bet that Detroit would have latched onto the idea years ago if it had any value for fuel economy. Pick-up trucks kill their CAFE stats but are still their most profitable vehicles, so they really want them to succeed.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

GIB

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2013, 03:31:58 PM »
All I have is a story . My friend has 2012 extended cab Duramax with a custom cap pulling a 6000lb.
Everlite  TT. He also had a 1000 lbs in the back of his truck. I have a 2011 quad cab Duramax pulling a 15000 lb. Montana. It has the rounded nose on it and I use the loovered tailgate. We left Portland Indiana both full of fuel and at Angola NY  were both the width of the needle below 1/4 tank.
Questions are did his truck do a regen using 3 gallons of fuel or did the loovered tailgate deflecting the air under the fifth wheel wheel actually help? or possibly both . As mentioned earlier those tailgates help keep the lower part of trailer clean . When we are not hooked to trailers we both get same mileage.
Will I continue to use my loovered tailgate?  Absolutely

JCZ

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 05:16:54 PM »
The newer 5th wheels have more aerodynamically designed front caps but I'm not sure that's much help, either.
2013 Fox Mountain 235RLS pulled by a 2012 F-250, 3.55 Electronic Locking Differntial, 6.7L Diesel, Supercab, Lariet, FX-4, Longbed.
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rvpuller

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2013, 05:26:23 PM »
I have used 5th tailgates sense 1987 untiI we bought our 2013 with a backup camera, $1228.00 later for a new tailgate I mounted the backup camera in our old louvered tailgate. I think that when you are hooked to the trailer the loovered gate will deflect air down and under the trailer but you are pullling a box so any difference will not be noticed.

Roof mounted wind deflect are snake oil, I've used them makes no difference.
Denny
35 FKTG HH Premier  215/75/17.5 tires. 13" Kodiak Disks
2013 F350 DRW 6.2 V8 4.30 gears
Home Base SC Nebraska

kenz

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 11:21:10 PM »
Been using a louvered tailgate for the last 15 years, on 4 different trucks, 2 chevys, one ford, one dodge. Do they help mileage? Have no idea. My sole purpose was the v cut in the gate. On my setup when the pin comes off the hitch slightly, it slides right thru the gate with perfect clearance. So for me its solely to make the job easier. If it was cost effective converting my stock gate with the v cut out of it I'd probably go that route.

I also run a wind deflector. Bought a Ultra Fab when we bought our first 5'er. Still use the same one. Does it help my mileage? Yes. but in reality it probably took all those years to get the cost back. Couple years back I did my own comprehensive testing. Camping about 100 miles from home. On the way up I had the fiberglass wing off and stuffed in the trailer. Reinstalled it for the ride home. Wind was pretty much a non issue, light to no traffic on the interstate both ways and fairly flat. I got 10.5 without and 11.5 with. So yes it works, and yes it takes forever to recoup your costs in mpg savings. BUT! what I also discovered (besides the bug issue), is the truck actually felt like it wasn't working as hard with the wing as it was without it. So in my mind, it saves gas, keeps most the bugs off the front, and saves wear and tear on the truck.

As another cost saving measure, I've had 2 birds so far go over the cab and smack head on into the wing over the years. What the cost of repairs might have been if said birds went full tilt into the (a lot thinner) front cap is anyone's guess, but I imagine it would be more than the cost of the deflector.
2011 Coachmen North Ridge 5'er
2005 Dodge/Cummins quad cab dually

cpaulsen

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 07:46:31 AM »
I never lower my 5th wheel tailgate when unhooking or hooking. Paid 50.00 for it used and got rid of my stock one.
2008 Ford F250/CC/SB/V-10/2018 Montana 330RL

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2013, 10:21:06 AM »
Quote
My friend has 2012 extended cab Duramax with a custom cap pulling a 6000lb.
Everlite  TT. He also had a 1000 lbs in the back of his truck. I have a 2011 quad cab Duramax pulling a 15000 lb. Montana. It has the rounded nose on it and I use the loovered tailgate. We left Portland Indiana both full of fuel and at Angola NY  were both the width of the needle below 1/4 tank.

It seems to me you have amply demonstrated that the louver made little or no difference in fuel economy. I would expect those two trucks to haul those trailers over that route with pretty much identical mpg, and they did. In my opinion, the difference in trailer weight is not significant on a route that involves no major climbs. Frontal area rather than weight is the key to fuel economy. I will concede that the higher profile of the 5th wheel Montana vs the travel trailer might have had an effect, though.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

kparker51

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2013, 09:10:58 PM »
thank you all very much.... Think I'll get the tailgate and forget the wing.
KP

jje1960

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  • Jim
Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2013, 04:38:06 PM »
Not sure about the wind deflector.... However, without the custom tailgate, would be in and out of the truck opening / closing... wondering if the tailgate is going to get smashed... angle right.... Bought the custom tailgate first month we owned the truck, very happy... Front jack remote in hand, sitting in the drivers seat.... Anyone want to purchase a brand new F350 Super Duty tailgate?  Lol...
Jim
2011 Ford F350 DRW 6.7 Diesel
2011 Cougar SRX

Lou Schneider

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2013, 04:48:15 PM »
Easy way to set a wind deflector - wash the front of the trailer, drive about 100 miles and look for the bug line.   If there are no bugs on the front of the trailer, lower the deflector because it's lifting air too high over the trailer.  If the bug line is about halfway up the nose of the trailer, raise the deflector.

Half Dimes

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Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2013, 06:29:27 PM »
Bought the custom tailgate first month we owned the truck, very happy...  Anyone want to purchase a brand new F350 Super Duty tailgate?  Lol...
Stash that tailgate in the back of your garage somewhere.  You'll need it at trade time.  When we traded last time, the dealer looked at the v-gate and said to bring our trade back with the original tailgate.  The original tailgate was on our truck for two days:  the day we brought the truck home and the day we traded it in.  Then the v-gate went on the new truck.
Dave & Jo Ann
'08 NuWa HH Champagne 35LKRSB
'11 Ford F350 Dually Crew w/built-in Reese hitch package

jje1960

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  • Jim
Re: 2 5th wheel questions ...
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2013, 03:54:35 PM »
Stash that tailgate in the back of your garage somewhere.  You'll need it at trade time.  When we traded last time, the dealer looked at the v-gate and said to bring our trade back with the original tailgate.  The original tailgate was on our truck for two days:  the day we brought the truck home and the day we traded it in.  Then the v-gate went on the new truck.
Yea, definitely good advise.  I always say this was a once n' a life time purchase... However it does have to go down the road some day....  I'll keep stubbing my toes on the thing in the shed.
Jim
2011 Ford F350 DRW 6.7 Diesel
2011 Cougar SRX