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  #11  
Old 04-20-2013, 08:24 AM
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Snyder's Lawn Inc Snyder's Lawn Inc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjessen View Post
Richard, a number of years ago I had a small Toyota pickup for towing. Had to replace the gate on the trailer so went with one a foot taller with a finer mesh. Results were the truck was half a gear slower at highway speeds. So, yes the mesh gate makes a difference as does the weight of the tandem axle.

You mileage is a good bit better than mine. I have a '03 F150 pulling a 14' tandem axle and get about 10 around town sometimes less. 13 mpg is really pretty good.
My 99 F350 is around 12 mpg I pull a 22 GN with 3 mowers
its manual with 373 gears
My 02 F350 gets 8-10 pulling same load
its auto with 373 gears

I think more the truck vs tailgates
But tailgates do drag a lot
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2013, 08:31 AM
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I think your sampling is insufficient.
I went about 30 miles over the exact same roads that I use on my mowing route. Granted the sampling was small but I don't think there would be much variation of the results with a greater distance. If I was at 12.5 MPG and the rate was climbing then more driving was required to obtain a good result. The mileage was actually declining as I drove farther. I have instant and average mileage results from a Ultra Gauge. http://www.ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/index.htm
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  #13  
Old 04-20-2013, 08:38 AM
Toro 455 Toro 455 is offline
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Does your Chevy have one of those mileage computers?
There is a wind speed where mesh becomes the same as a solid object depending on the size of the mesh.
I looked into it when buying a big old "C" band satellite dish. My dish became "solid" around 60 mph. And sure enough when we'd get a wind storm with those kinds of winds I'd have to put some panels back in. But that satellite dish had lots smaller mesh than anything you'd find in a trailer tailgate.

Aerodynamics only come into play at road speeds. I see very few highway miles when working. I figure you were up to speed on your trip to the lumber yard. The speed at which I tow something affects my mileage, much more than aerodynamics or weight.

They've done wind tunnel test on those cab mounted wind deflectors they make to make your camper more aerodynamic. Some made it worse and even the best adjustable expensive ones didn't improve mileage enough to recover the cost of the deflector.

When filling my truck I turn my back to the pump, and put the receipt in my wallet without looking at it. On April 15th of every year I ask my bookkeeper (wife) "Am I still making money?"

These higher fuel cost are here to stay. I wouldn't waste a lot of time and money trying to save a few bucks at the pump. It could compromise my ability to earn more money.
What if you swap trailers and only see 1 mpg improvement?
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2013, 08:49 AM
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Richard Martin Richard Martin is offline
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Originally Posted by sjessen View Post
Richard, a number of years ago I had a small Toyota pickup for towing. Had to replace the gate on the trailer so went with one a foot taller with a finer mesh. Results were the truck was half a gear slower at highway speeds. So, yes the mesh gate makes a difference as does the weight of the tandem axle.

You mileage is a good bit better than mine. I have a '03 F150 pulling a 14' tandem axle and get about 10 around town sometimes less. 13 mpg is really pretty good.
I'm shooting for 15 to 16 MPG. Without the trailer the average is 18 combined highway and city. Due to the distances that I have to drive, my truck fuel is the highest regular expense that I have. If I can increase the mileage by 50% over the F150, it would be the equivalent of lowering the price of gas by 33%.

I've looked at the price of 60" wide aluminum wings. They're around $550. That's not too bad and should be easily recovered by fuel savings. I'm going to mock a wing up out of some 5/8" plywood that I have here just to test it before I spend the money on one.

I will still consider going to a 6 by 12 trailer. My 6.5 by 16 trailer weighs about 3400 pounds loaded up. A 6 by 12 trailer should be about 600 pounds lighter. I also won't have that extra axle to drag around too.
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  #15  
Old 04-20-2013, 08:53 AM
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Why not get a 6x12 v nose enclosed for mowing?
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  #16  
Old 04-20-2013, 08:57 AM
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CreativeLawncareSolutions CreativeLawncareSolutions is offline
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The tailgate on a pickup is a whole different scenario. The tailgate on the trailer cannot create a bubble because there are no sides on the trailer to contain the air pressure that creates the "bubble". The tailgate on a truck is also 8 feet behind the cab and lower than the cab. The tailgate on my trailer is 29 feet behind the cab of the truck.

I know exactly what the bubble in the truck bed is. This is the same type of thing that happens with race cars when they draft. But just like with drafting, the closer the object is that is trying to draft, the greater the effect will be.

This is easy to confirm. I'll just take the gates off of the trailer and see if the mileage increases. If it increases then the tailgate is causing drag. If it doesn't increase, then I continue to look for a 6 by 12 trailer.
You never said your trailer didn't have sides. My trailer has sides.

No sides, no bubble. Obviously.
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  #17  
Old 04-20-2013, 09:40 AM
newguy123 newguy123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CreativeLawncareSolutions View Post
The Mythbusters have already tested this. The conclusion...

Closing the tailgate actually improves fuel efficiency because it creates a type of airflow called a separated bubble within the bed of the truck. As wind rushes over the moving truck, that bubble of slow-moving air deflects it over the raised tailgate. By guiding surrounding air over and across the bed of the truck, that vortex effect prevents added drag.

However, driving with the tailgate open eliminates the bubble effect, pulling the air toward the truck bed and creating more drag rather than deflecting the wind. Some gas-conscious pickup drivers still swear by leaving their tailgates open, but science sides with leaving it up.
Not to discredit your opinion...but I don't accept everything Mythbusters does. They debunked HHO gas when clearly this concept has been around for decades. Corporate sponsor of Mythbuster??? Probably connected to an oil company. My thoughts...
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  #18  
Old 04-20-2013, 09:40 AM
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I noticed something very interesting yesterday about my fuel mileage

Bubble only works if sides are the same height as the tailgate.
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  #19  
Old 04-20-2013, 03:20 PM
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truck tailgate doesn't have mesh holes in it either so not the same concept. truck tailgate is solid but trailer tailgate has holes/mesh to allow air to pass through it instead of going over it.
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  #20  
Old 04-21-2013, 07:29 AM
sjessen sjessen is online now
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Richard, had a couple more thoughts of things to test before springing for another trailer, etc. Could you rent a single axle from UHaul, etc for a week to see if it makes any difference? Wonder if there is a way to convert our endgates to something with a hinge in the center to cut the height in half. Might help reduce drag at highway speeds. Only other thing I can think of is how fast we drive. Gas consumption really spikes above 60 mph.
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