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Old 11-12-2013, 10:20 AM   #1
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"Trailer Tails" for Motorhomes ???

Driving down the road Sunday at a leisurely pace, I kept seeing 18 wheelers pass with Trailer Tails on the back of the trailer. I look at them and the way they fold in and out and think what a neat design. Years ago, in Europe I had seen them and other aerodynamic devices that are now finding their way into the USA. All of which are designed for increased fuel efficiency and lower fuel cost.

When I got home, I looked them up on the Internet and they claim anywhere from 6% to 8% improvement in fuel cost. Okay, not a zillion dollars, but saving here and savings there add up over time.

So, almost all Motorhomes have the same boxy, flat rear cap, as the big trailers. Seems like this could be a good idea for Motorhomes as well? To avoid a turn conflict with a toad, the bottom of the tail could be 4-6 feet from the ground which wouldn't interfere with a tight turn. The trucks are about 6' off the ground. Pretty easy to fold it up before you unhitched the toad.

Cons: Legal length,? But I was thinking Sunday as I looked at the big trucks, with their 53 foot trailer,they are already at the Max legal length, so how do they get by with the tail added on? For us, it would within the total length if you are towing a toad. And we might have to make a decision about out ladders.

I have no idea about cost, and it would have to have a 3 year pay back, but I thought it might be good conversation for this forum. And maybe someone knows of a source that is making them for RVs.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:33 AM   #2
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The big difference in RVs and truck trailers is the number of miles they travel per year. I don't think you'd ever get your investment back from putting those flaps on the back of an RV unless you are constantly on the move. If you are really interested in increasing mileage from 8 mpg to 8.64 mpg (8% increase) you could remove the big lumpy air conditioners, vents, awnings, and antennas from the roof. You could also increase mileage by removing heavy generators and other 'frivolous' items from the rig.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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as stated above while I was on my other pc...
understand that the commercials are after tenth's of a mpg improvement over 1000's of trucks and miles whereas we are trying to do a fleet of one

other forums have tested the aero products and while 'racy' looking - minimal improvement....
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:51 AM   #4
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I had the same thought as the OP...

Reportedly they are priced at just over $2000 plus install.
http://www.atdynamics.com/faq.htm
But other companies are making these devices too.

If the fuel savings are equal (6%), I think Bob and Donna hit it on the head...pay-back would only come for those that drove many-many miles a year.

If someone does it, I hope they post their findings here...

Hmmm, maybe an adventurous RV'er could be sponsored for a free set-up to show it off...
"Wanted: RV owner with large Class A or C to study and advertise the TrailerTail. Must drive the RV XX,000 miles during year of testing. Equipment, Installation and market training will be provided"

Safe travels
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGBPokes View Post
Cons: Legal length,? But I was thinking Sunday as I looked at the big trucks, with their 53 foot trailer,they are already at the Max legal length, so how do they get by with the tail added on? For us, it would within the total length if you are towing a toad. And we might have to make a decision about out ladders.
From the link above:

Yes, the TrailerTail® is the only device to officially demonstrate compliance with DOT regulation CFR 658.16(b)(4) which allows for a 5 foot extension for non-cargo carrying aerodynamic purposes.
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
You could also increase mileage by removing heavy generators and other 'frivolous' items from the rig.
The heaviest item you have the most control over is your right foot - slowing down from 70 mph to 60 mph will usually result in 10-20% improvement in your fuel mileage. And it doesn't cost anything to purchase, install, or maintain!
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:29 PM   #7
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The Aero RV
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:49 PM   #8
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Yeah I think I'll just set the cruise to 57 and enjoy the scenery.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:39 PM   #9
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Claims to have the same effect...
Airtab: Aerodynamic fuel savers for truck, tractor, trailer, bus, RV
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