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Old 03-20-2013, 09:50 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Wind Deflector's

15 years ago every truck I saw had wind deflectors on mounted on the cab. I guess for better ride and MPG. You do not see them as much any more. Were they not that effective? Or, is it the new 5'ver front caps are more areo-dynamic. I still see some of the new units with a "stout" front cap which makes me believe the deflectors might be a good investment if you are doing a lot of road time. My Larado is a mid-profile so you easily forget it's even behind you.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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This is my opinion and only my opinion, so take it for what it is worth.
I believe that the cost of the wind deflector would not be recovered in the fuel savings that could be generated by using the deflector when towing a 5er. I know a lot of semi trucks used them but these trucks drive millions of miles and over the life of the truck the cost can be recouped. The trucking companies can also write off the cost of the wind deflector just as they depreciate the truck value when doing to taxes. So the savings in fuel and cost to you would not be the same as commercial truck would be.
So would I buy one in a simple word NO. Spend the money on some other needed improvement or use the money for something else.
Jim W.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:59 AM   #3
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They raise the bug line on the front of the 5th wheel. Any other benefits are, IMHO, insignificant.

Rusty
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:02 PM   #4
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Thanks! Our next 5ver will have a much higher profile and I have been taking note of the caps on them to have an idea how much air deflection I would have. It crossed my mind that the truck air deflectors are not seen much any more. Was curious why or if any owners could give their 2 cents on it..... appreciate your comments!
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:08 PM   #5
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You gotta admit though, some of them look really cool.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:30 PM   #6
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We tried a wind deflector with a little S-10 Blazer and a small travel trailer. I could never see any difference in fuel economy or handling. I did have to wash the bugs off the deflector and just a few up high on the trailer.

I'd say, save your money.

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Old 03-21-2013, 10:10 PM   #7
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I have a short one that was made to use with a travel trailer. My 5er is almost 13' high, the deflector is at about a 45* angle, the bugs hit about 2/3 of the way up the front cap. If I stand the deflector up so the bugs are off the front cap, my mileage drops about 1/2 mpg. Which is what I gained when I put the deflector on in the first place. The deflector was given to me, so it is worth it for me to use. To spend 200 to 500 dollars for one, is not worth it.
The only possible exeption would be the Taylor wing or similar deflector. They look like an airplane wing with side skirts. They work very well according to everyone that I have talked to that have them, and they help like between 1/2 and 1 mpg or better. The down side is they are very expensive, so recoup cost is negligable.
Frank
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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Don't waste your money. I was pulling a cherry old '91 Excel with our 2008 F150 SuperCrew. I thought i'd try the deflector to see if it would help any. Never got a chance to, as I traded for the 2009 F350 in our signature. Pulled the Excel with it once, then purchased the 2008 Copper Canyon. Most of our hauls are short 60-100miles one way. With the ocassional longer trip. I'd try the deflector on some trips and left it off on others. Didn't detect any difference in mpg....it's terrible anyways....around 8-8.5 with the trailer and boat in tow. I did have to place spacers under the deflector as it would rub on the corregations in the roof otherwise. I was always concerned about rubbing the paint off where the straps hook into the gutter, so I'd put a piece of white duct tape down before tightening the straps. Also the straps will rattle in the wind, so I'd secure them with a small zip tie. The only advantage I can see, is it lightened my wallet and did help keep the bugs off the trailer....other than that nothing but wind noise. I did finally get it sold for $50 just to get it out of the shop.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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What I have found is the same as above. The bug line goes up but I have not seen a difference in mileage. Our travels tend to be off the Interstates and usually off the 4 lane expressways. When we travel, we'll take the scenic route, or the state routes that are more stop and go. But it does look "cool". Ours is color matched to the truck.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:14 PM   #10
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Get an egg shape front 5th wheel like the Heartlands. Get 7k axles and G rated tires with 110psi. With this arrangement I have gained 2mpg with a trailer 4k lbs heavier.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:02 PM   #11
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I have a Trail Light EZE II installed on my tow rig and it gains me 1 1/2 mpg. I got it from a friend who has a RV park in Valdez AK and used it for 4 years towing his 5th wheel back to Texas for the winter and that is what he estimated it saved him. He sold his 5th wheel and gave the wing to me so I have nothing invested.

Given my savings in fuel it would take travelling 12,500 miles to break even on a $500 investment. These things would be easy to make if you are at all handy.

As far as interstate trucks, I see almost all of them using some kind of air deflector, most of the being integral with the tractor.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:53 AM   #12
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I'm glad to see someone that gets higher mileage with a wing. No one else that I've every talked to made that claim. Years ago when I delivered trailers from Elkhart IN, many of the drivers installed them but couldn't tell any difference. As stated above, the bug line moves up, and since the drivers must clean up the trailers before delivery, it was a plus.

Over the road truckers drive many, many more miles than we do as full timers, so it may be more of a saving to them and of course, the company-owned trucks and any add-ons can be written off.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:15 AM   #13
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I'm glad to see someone that gets higher mileage with a wing. No one else that I've every talked to made that claim. Years ago when I delivered trailers from Elkhart IN, many of the drivers installed them but couldn't tell any difference. As stated above, the bug line moves up, and since the drivers must clean up the trailers before delivery, it was a plus.

Over the road truckers drive many, many more miles than we do as full timers, so it may be more of a saving to them and of course, the company-owned trucks and any add-ons can be written off.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:22 AM   #14
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JayC, I have spent the winter in Phoenix and ran into 3 people with air deflectors. Two of the three said they got an increase in mpg. I drive fairly frequently from my home to Missoula Mt. The trip takes me over two mountain passes and with no wind conditions and driving at 60 mph, I consistently got 11.5 mpg, with the wing I now get just over 13 under the same conditions.
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