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Old 12-09-2012, 12:49 AM   #1
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Air Tabs?

I have seen the ads on this forum for air tabs which an interesting concept.

Aerodynamic Fuel Economy Savers for Road Vehicles

Does anyone have any experience with them?
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:56 AM   #2
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Looks like snake oil to me.

If they worked they would be on the back of every truck on the highway.

I haven't seen any on a truck ever.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:02 AM   #3
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I'm not 100% sure air tabs are snake oil. I looked into them last year. I might try them on mine if i fine some extra funds.
You might want to ask on the forums over on www.ecomodder.com
that is a site about modding vehicle for better MPG
That site is full of good info. a LOT of info on areodynamics. some one on there mentioned that the reaR of a vehicle was more important
than the front. They explained that no matter how smooth or pointy the front was the vehicle still had to make the same size hole in the air as its cross section. Therefore if you can put the air back the hole smoother you are better off.
The example they gave was a modern 747 plane.
Kind of a blunt nose, but quite a thin trailing edge of the wings and tail.

Here is another item I have seen on a truck out west
Its in this video
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:56 AM   #4
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We've had several discussions on this in the past.

Search on 'air tabs' via the Google search above.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:45 AM   #5
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They are actually "vortex generators" and are used in aviation to control airflow. They work in that application and should do the same for an RV.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:58 AM   #6
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I never thought to much about them but I knew I had seen them on a big Newmar Essex in Hilton Head this spring, This rig was decked out!
They looked cool on the rear of the coach, I looked at them for quite some time trying to figure out what they were
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:01 AM   #7
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Of all the units I've seen on the road, I've only seen one with these installed. I wouldn't call them snake oil but for what little they would help I wouldn't consider installing them on our coach.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse89
I never thought to much about them but I knew I had seen them on a big Newmar Essex in Hilton Head this spring, This rig was decked out!
They looked cool on the rear of the coach, I looked at them for quite some time trying to figure out what they were
I guess if you're hauling a hot tub with you, you'll take any help you can get.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:33 PM   #9
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They work...kinda.

Listen, the concept is a good one but the execution on many MHs is probably very poor. Part of the problem is that the surface needs to have a relatively undisturbed air flow. So, for a typical tractor-trailer it is possible that by the time the air gets around the tractor and the front edge of the trailer that the air flow will have stabilized enough for these vortex generators to have some effect. The longer and smoother the air flow trail, the more effective they become.

The VGs just behind the radiator grill on the Essex are probably useless at best. Also, the tail lights after the VGs would probably be counter productive too. Beyond that, the awning arms on the passenger side of MHs also will disturb the flow and quite a bit.

I think there are too many problems with interrupted air flow that would render these rather ineffective and fugly to boot too.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by flaggship1 View Post
I guess if you're hauling a hot tub with you, you'll take any help you can get.
All together the whole unit looked as cool as the guy driving it. Nice guy, but I thought they came on his coach untill today when I read this! He had everything to travel, the rack on the jeep was for a boat! He didn't have it with him.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:55 PM   #11
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Brett Wolfe has tested them and found that they did make a difference, small but noticeable and documented increase in mileage.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Brett Wolfe has tested them and found that they did make a difference, small but noticeable and documented increase in mileage.
Mr. D , who is Brett Wolfe?
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:03 PM   #13
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Best bet would be under and side skirting for the best 'most conventional' way to stream line.

The BIGGEST improvement would be a 'boat tail' rear. the Air Tabs try to simulate this effect, but dont do a very good job.

This guy did the boat tail and got real improvements.. Aero RV (custom boat tail for '95 Ford E-350 Class C motorhome) - Fuel Economy, Hypermiling, EcoModding News and Forum - EcoModder.com
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Brett Wolfe has tested them and found that they did make a difference, small but noticeable and documented increase in mileage.
"Confirmation bias" is a pernicious disease of the mind that just won't ever go away while customers are prepared to throw money at schemes which are easily verified scientifically, but for obvious reasons, never are.


If a couple of hundred dollars of plastic could reduce fuel consumption by even 1%, there wouldn't be a truck in the world without them fitted. If they obviously don't work with square-backed trucks, why would they work with the rounded edges of a motorhome.

(and since when were tabs plastered all over an aircraft. When fitted, they are very few, relatively small and only fitted to resolve localised problems.)
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