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Author Topic: Does driving a truck with the tail gate down save gas? Back to Topics
tommyto212

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2011 12:17:58 PM

I am looking to buy a pick-up truck but i wonder if someone is driving a truck now; and realize of the difference between driving with the tail gate up or down? Do you think there is a difference?
Thanks
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chrisisawesome1
Sophomore Author Texas

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Message Posted: Mar 1, 2014 2:19:48 PM

Myth?
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WEDDY
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Mar 1, 2014 9:51:02 AM

No
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pathvet
Veteran Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Feb 28, 2014 7:22:51 PM

Wish I knew for sure but I have bought a fluted 5th wheel gate for my Dodge, after destroying the stock one.
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DuramaxPower
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Feb 28, 2014 7:14:04 PM

No
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Boyrr
Champion Author Allentown

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Message Posted: Feb 20, 2014 7:34:08 AM

Sure, oh, I just saw Big Foot, gotta go...
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krazkar
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2014 10:13:55 PM

no
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DuramaxPower
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2014 6:48:47 PM

No. Leave it up.
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dassfg
Champion Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2014 8:09:57 AM

No. Studies show the designers in wind tunnels created a buffer of air that improves aerodynamics & mpg With the Tailgate
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Madridjoe
Veteran Author Lancaster

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2014 6:43:23 AM

add a cover
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randy3116
Champion Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2014 5:44:27 AM

doesn't make a difference
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FarmTech
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2014 5:59:44 PM


For any truck made after about 1992, it is TOTAL UNNECESSARY. It will NOT change your fuel mileage in the least. Manufacturers started designing the airflow around the cab and across the bed to work together. Today's modern pickup trucks are designed to have air go over the tailgate.

If you want to increase your fuel mileage in a pickup, there are a number of things you can do. When it comes to the bed, there is only ONE thing you can do -- add a cover. If you put a cover over the bed, it will change the airflow characteristics fairly dramatically and can yield 2-plus MPG, but it is typically between 1 and 2 MPG. If it is a heavier custom fit steel or composite bed cover, the gain will be closer to 1 MPG.

In addition, as some posters have stated it can be illegal in some areas and if some hits you with the tailgate down, it can cost over $1,000 to get the tailgate repaired or replaced.

This myth started back in the 1970's. The trucks from the late 50's to the 80's were not keen on aerodynamics, being designed for work. In those older trucks, putting the tailgate down or taking it off did give a significant increase in MPG.
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twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2014 6:59:26 AM

Driving with the tail gate down, is against the law here.
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dgsteven
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2014 3:32:38 AM

no way
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traffic cop
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2014 11:21:56 AM

Mythbusters say: Drive with the tailgate UP!

"But when MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage drove identical trucks under the same conditions across the desert — one with the tailgate up and the other with it down — Jamie's tailgate-closed pickup outlasted Adam's by more than 30 miles (48 kilometers)."

Check out the episode at Discovery Channel:

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/driving-tailgate-fuel-consumption.htm
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poetdog73
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2014 10:36:45 AM

lol.....that is funny
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The_Waysiders
All-Star Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2014 8:57:58 AM

I haven't tested this myself, but reports say it does not improve mileage.
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cv
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2014 6:50:20 AM

Maybe a slight amount, not enough for me to do it.
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luvmyrv
Veteran Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Feb 16, 2014 2:59:53 PM

Bed covers will only add about 2 mpg at best...even the manufacturers of them say so...but they do a great job of keeping things dry and out of sight.
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Bowlerman10
Sophomore Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Feb 16, 2014 2:34:38 PM

Nope. remove tailgate & replace with plastic hole screen
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WEDDY
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Feb 16, 2014 12:11:31 PM

Based on tests from credible sources, no.
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mightymoes
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Feb 13, 2014 1:09:56 AM

There is no credible evidence to back up the claim that tailgate down saves mpg. There are multiple sources for tailgate up being the best option. All major truck manufacturers, Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, wind tunnel tests, Myth Busters,.......
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jl1rp
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2014 3:49:07 PM

no
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Ratso
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 10, 2014 6:09:51 AM

Some say yes, some say no...when I had my pick up, I tried it both ways and didn't notice any difference in mileage !
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dieselpower2014
All-Star Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 10, 2014 12:54:23 AM

It could have some effect. When someone runs into your tailgate you will pay all the savings back lol
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MertieMan
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2014 12:48:55 AM

No, plus this old thread has been worn out for years.
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88_SC_Fan
Rookie Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2014 10:26:53 PM

I tried the same, but found the difference to be negligible. I noticed maybe a 1 to 2 MPG difference favoring the tail gate down, but I haul stuff around regularly and can't do that with the tail gate down. I've considered buying a hard cover for my truck. A buddy bought one and saw a 6 MPG increase with his.
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luvmyrv
Veteran Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2014 5:00:11 PM

Myth busters shot that concept to hell....truck manufacturers actually design the truck for wind to flow over the top of tailgate.
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LDG2012
Rookie Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Feb 27, 2012 12:02:23 AM

I have always wondered this. I know people say installing bed covers improves their mileage greatly.
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13Octane
Champion Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2012 6:54:48 PM

ask the myth busters. they did a whole show on it
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jetta_gia
Veteran Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2012 11:28:42 AM

No idea. Give it a try.
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jetta_gia
Veteran Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2012 11:28:41 AM

No idea. Give it a try.
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jetta_gia
Veteran Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2012 11:28:41 AM

No idea. Give it a try.
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jetta_gia
Veteran Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2012 11:28:40 AM

No idea. Give it a try.
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jetta_gia
Veteran Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2012 11:28:39 AM

No idea. Give it a try.
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2012 10:27:37 AM

Some pickup truck aerodynamics:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/2004-silverado-most-bang-my-buck-19875.html

[Edited by: oilpan4 at 1/2/2012 10:28:44 AM EST]
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medic1633
Veteran Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2012 7:56:44 PM

yes i have a s-10 truck and if i leave the tail gate down i get apx +3-+4 more mpg
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2012 3:41:38 PM

I can't speak for others perception of fuel savings related to the effects of head/tail winds upon driving. I only decide that by watching those heavy steel power lines sway to and fro when the wind is 12-18 mph.or gusting higher.

Those lines have a small surface area compared to the frontal area of an automobile going against the same amount of wind force,that demonstrates to me that gas mileage tests outside done in the natural can be in error,or rather a bit flawed now/then. Some don't see it that way but.... They maybe have never flown; Sorry, Sailed a Kite before. LOL
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maryph1958
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2012 3:00:53 PM

no
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2012 11:10:58 AM

My take is only concerning my pick-up,Long bed low profile bed toolbox(up front)Tailgate removed,no net or objects in bed,calm wind @ 2-3 mph. or near still at times,hiway travel 60 mph and less,cruise on = less than 2 mi. mileage improvement per gal.

Hard to notice,but the drive was only 65 miles level route (non step bumper also.No cover over bed.but with a Bug deflector/side window vent shades.
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gougedQC
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2012 9:11:10 AM

ok I saw the mythbusters, and will concede to their findings.. although the snide comments werent necessary folks..

interesting they found that a mesh tailgate was the most efficient, even more so than a tonneau cover..

still their speed was 25 and 55... would wonder if there would be any difference in the finding at 35 and 65 as the airflow over the truck would be different

lots of folks also have a cross bed toolbox...wonder how that affects flow?

but ok if youre doing 55 in an empty bed truck, then tailgate up is better than down, but mesh is better than even the tonneau.

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wokeupdead
Rookie Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 21, 2011 9:52:19 PM

best in pickup for me was full tonneau cover on bed when not using for a truck. leave tailgate up.
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pacecar68
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Dec 19, 2011 10:16:43 AM

no.
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WhiteFord23
Sophomore Author South Bend

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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2011 2:08:08 PM

Nope its a myth
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ghostsofcanton
Rookie Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2011 11:12:55 AM

not according to the mythbusters. apparently with tailgate down the airflow generates some type of drag in the bed that negates any gain due to loss of force against tail gate.

but i think bed cover helps
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mightymoes
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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2011 9:51:42 AM

Gouged. Do not let facts get in the way of an opinion.
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tattoo666TX
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2011 7:23:57 AM

Some people just like to guess and think they are right I guess!
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ricebike
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2011 12:27:39 AM

agree with pick...
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ricebike
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2011 12:27:39 AM

agree with pick...
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pickfordite
All-Star Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Dec 11, 2011 9:59:47 AM

gouged doesn't know what he's talking about. Study after study shows better mileage and better aerodynamic flow with the tailgate UP. Even Mythbusters investigated this on two different episodes (#43 and #64) and determined that tailgate UP produced better mileage and airflow.
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Z12
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Dec 11, 2011 9:02:44 AM

Don't know
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