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Old 03-04-2015, 08:57 AM   #1
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Tailgate or not

Just a question. I had a 2000 F250 cc short bed with a slider hitch. So as always put the tailgate down back under the 5th wheel then stop get out and put the tailgate up before it hits the 5er. It always seemed to be a lot of turbulence just behind the cab. We put the dog's water bowl back there and it got sucked out along with a 5 gallon gas can like there was a tornado. Before the last trip I backed into the shed and with the lights off and tinted windows I backed too far right into the pin box. Ouch. So we took the trip without a tailgate. It seemed that the air flowed better over the cab and on out of the bed with no tailgate.

Do most leave the tailgate on or off puller their 5er? I really don't want to buy a louvered tailgate. I bought a new tailgate for my last truck and for my newest one. So there's $700 already. Getting it off is easy enough to do.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:25 AM   #2
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Yes, lot of turbulence in the bed--with/without a fiver in tow. Amazing what can get sucked/blown out--witness what you see on the side of the road at times. But if you run without a tailgate, that would preclude carrying anything else in the bed without it being tightly strapped in. What about running around when the fiver it parked on trips? What if you need to carry firewood?
I guess I have towed our fiver over 50k miles, even to Alaska, and never hit the tailgate--been close couple of times, I admit--it's a memory thing/checklist deal. Having backup alarms/rear camera definitely has saved me several times.
I'd stay with the tailgate.
Joe
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:58 AM   #3
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I take mine off when towing the 5er. I just find it easier to hitch-unhitch. Nothing to worry about. I don't have an in-bed plug receptacle so my 5er cord will rub on the tailgate. I know there's ways to prevent it, but it's just easier to remove the tailgate as that cures the cord problem and the hassle of lowering and raising the tailgate as well as having to remember to not hit it. When I get some extra $$ I'm getting a V notched tailgate. I've never had anything blow out of the bed, but with the V tailgate I could put a few things behind the 5th hitch.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:29 AM   #4
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The V notch tailgates do work wonders with the turbulence. I did what you did then found a tailgate to fit my truck (just for convenience hooking and unhooking) and the difference was quite a surprise. It almost seems to pull easier to me too.
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:52 AM   #5
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The V notch tailgates do work wonders with the turbulence. I did what you did then found a tailgate to fit my truck (just for convenience hooking and unhooking) and the difference was quite a surprise. It almost seems to pull easier to me too.
I thought the same thing. It felt easier to pull almost like less resistance. I didn't check fuel mileage so I can't say that anything was better.
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Old 03-04-2015, 03:37 PM   #6
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I thought the same thing. It felt easier to pull almost like less resistance. I didn't check fuel mileage so I can't say that anything was better.
Here I thought it was just me... I didn't check the mileage either, but things don't move around in the bed with it.
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Old 03-07-2015, 12:12 PM   #7
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Mythbusters did mileage tests with and without tailgates and found that the tailgate increased mileage. Wind tunnel tests show that the tailgate holds air in the bed and forces the air over the bed rather than swirling in it. Almost looked like a tonnou cover was on it. Much smoother flow of air with it than without. They did not do any tests with a 5er hooked up though. I would imagine with the front of the 5er pushing all that air down into the bed that it would be better without so the air had a place to go.
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Old 03-07-2015, 12:26 PM   #8
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I installed a hauler bed, no tailgate. There is no turbulence back there. I can tell no dif in mpg though. I do love being able to see backing up though. Added benefit of hauler bed.
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:20 AM   #9
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Towed a heavy 5th wheel with a 1/4 ton Ranger and there was a big difference in power with no tail gate. Me and my friend had the same set up with same trucks but I had a v-grilled gate and he had stock and he could not keep up with me.
On a truck with plenty of power it's not noticeable and it's true that tailgate are better on fuel. But with a 5th wheel it does make a difference. There were 2 things one time. Those that used v-notched tail gates and those that did not and they had a dent on theirs.
On all my trucks I never used the OEM tail gate. Made my own gates and use them often as a work bench. My tail gate now has a vice attached permantly. Never lost anything in the box while towing.
For me it works.
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