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Old 07-05-2015, 05:58 AM   #1
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Question Air tabs - worth it or not?

I have been told that Air Tabs will increase gas mileage and will help stabilize a gas coach when being passed by a truck. So as not to be pushed over to the apron of the road. Does anyone here have Air Tabs on their RV and can you give me some feedback on them? Do they really improve handling and gas mileage?

Thanks,
Robin
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptor tools View Post
I have been told that Air Tabs will increase gas mileage and will help stabilize a gas coach when being passed by a truck. So as not to be pushed over to the apron of the road. Does anyone here have Air Tabs on their RV and can you give me some feedback on them? Do they really improve handling and gas mileage?

Thanks,
Robin
I don't have them, those that bought them will probably defend buying them.

My only thought on the matter is that IF they worked for improving mileage, they would be on every truck in the U.S. jmho
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:57 AM   #3
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I have read many threads on them over the years. What most say is no measurable mpg increase,keeps back of your coach and rear camera cleaner.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:05 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. Here's a link to some previous threads which may assist.


https://www.google.com/search?q=Air+...com&gws_rd=ssl

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Old 07-05-2015, 08:07 AM   #5
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These were a hot topic when first introduced, but I've yet to see them in our travels.

I tend to agree with those that suggest that if they were all that effective you see a lot more of them, perhaps even as a factory option.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:42 AM   #6
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On airplanes, we use these tabs at very specific locations on airfoils and surfaces to cause the laminar flow to trip (separate) in a controlled and predictable fashion.

On an RV, not sure what their aerodynamic purpose is.

One of the aerodynamic problems associated with RVs is that humongous flat surface on the back of the bus This acts like a really great parachute and is the source of the majority of aerodynamic drag created by an RV as it hurls through the air at a blazing speed of 60 mph.

In order to reduce that drag, you need to allow the air to slowly uncompress to fill in that area. (

If you travel on the interstates over the past few years, you may have notice a lot of 18 wheelers now have some weird looking panels on the back of the trailer. These actually do a reasonably good job of reducing the drag associated with that flat surface on the back.

This reduction gives them 1 or 2 % increase in gas mileage. This increase would never cover the cost of the modification if your traveling a couple thousand miles a year, But if your fuel is costing $4 a gallon and your driving 1/2 a million miles a year, these panel (and the side skirts) will pay for themselves withing a year or two.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:51 AM   #7
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It was least expensive modification I made to help the handling of our 98 Bounder, on a 99 F53 18K chassis. Did not buy them for MPG improvement, though I did gain a very minor improvement.

Key things they helped me on were:

1) Yeah, back of coach and toad remained cleaner
2) Yeah, camera remained clearer in rain
3) Shifting cross winds, and passing trucks, were much calmer experiences

Number 3 above, was the primary benefit for us.

IMO, if your rig 'handles well' and is not sucked in/pushed away when the semis fly by - don't bother with them. If you feel those areas could be improved, then this is an inexpensive modification in the scheme of things.

Kryon paint to match our basement color, made them blend into rear of the coach. The white of our gel coat matched the color of the air tabs pretty close, so not an issue.

I would not buy them, just for MPG improvement.

Best of luck to you, have fun, be safe,
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post
It was least expensive modification I made to help the handling of our 98 Bounder, on a 99 F53 18K chassis. Did not buy them for MPG improvement, though I did gain a very minor improvement.

Key things they helped me on were:

1) Yeah, back of coach and toad remained cleaner
2) Yeah, camera remained clearer in rain
3) Shifting cross winds, and passing trucks, were much calmer experiences

Number 3 above, was the primary benefit for us.

IMO, if your rig 'handles well' and is not sucked in/pushed away when the semis fly by - don't bother with them. If you feel those areas could be improved, then this is an inexpensive modification in the scheme of things.

Kryon paint to match our basement color, made them blend into rear of the coach. The white of our gel coat matched the color of the air tabs pretty close, so not an issue.

I would not buy them, just for MPG improvement.

Best of luck to you, have fun, be safe,
Smitty
If all it does is #3, I would buy them. Smitty77, was this a notable difference? or was it like I think it help? Anything that would help my 96 beast track better is worth a try. Thx
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:53 PM   #9
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I have a friend that got them for rv and trailer. Any difference he attributed to his pockets being lighter.��
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:12 PM   #10
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I have a friend that got them for rv and trailer. Any difference he attributed to his pockets being lighter.��
So by that, you mean the air tabs did nothing for your friend. Then why did he get it for both the rv and trailer?
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:18 PM   #11
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I go past these massive distribution centres with hundreds of trucks and trailers in the yard, all owned by the same business, and wonder, if air tabs really do save even 1% of fuel costs, and given the intense competition in that sort of business, why aren't they fitted on the back of every single trailer.

Must be an obvious answer.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:41 AM   #12
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Owner Operators

We used to be in the trucking business. We used air tabs on the truck and trailer. You will probably not see them on trucks owned by big fleets, because they do not do much for fuel mileage. Big fleets don't buy anything that doesn't pay for itself.

You will see them on trucks and trailers owned by individuals, or what is called Owner Operators. These guys are willing to pay for something that keeps their trucks and trailers cleaner, and add stability. They make it easier to drive and safer.

Ask any truck driver that has them and he will probably tell you the same thing...
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:02 AM   #13
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They just look too UGLY to me.
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Doggy Daddy View Post
They just look too UGLY to me.
Beauty is in the eye's of the beholder.............

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