Best mpg.... tailgate up or down

Messages
107
Location
Ohio
Has anyone tried putting their tailgate down like on a highway trip to see if it makes any difference in mpg? I heard it doesn't really make a difference because a "pocket" of air forms in your bed, then the rest of the air flows over that.
 
Messages
573
Location
Forest On
Myth busters did a segment on this subject. Keep your tailgate up. I also did some 1/4 mile passes once with my truck. 5 passes tail gate down. 5 passes tail gate up. Tail gate up passes were quicker.
 
Messages
489
Location
Metro Atlanta GA
Don't remember where I saw it, maybe Science Channel Discoveries this Week, but someone did windtunnel research on this and found tailgate up resulted in less drag hince better mpg. As I recall the tailgate down created a high drag region behind the cab due to turbulent air flow curl over where as with the tailgate up the air flow stayed more lamar over the bed resulting in less drag.
 
Messages
99
Location
Canada
Yep Bro and I did a bunch of trials one summer and conclude that the camper top did get better mileage. So I suspect that the gate up is the same idea. I see now that speed cyclists are putting units that fit behind their calves for better flow of air. It seems that the block shaped calf muscle just don't have that air slip they need.
 
Messages
212
Location
Winlock, Washington
My Dodge Cummins has the mpg meter in it. The best mileage I get on level ground was following a truck. Not tailgating, just following at a respectable distance. I noticed this the most when going into a strong headwind one time. I have always assumed tailgate off would be better than tailgate up for mileage, but I also have a canopy which is a tradoff of weight and aerodynamics. Don
 
Messages
9,614
Location
Pennsylbammyvania
quote:
Originally posted by Don Stefanik: I also did some 1/4 mile passes once with my truck. 5 passes tail gate down. 5 passes tail gate up. Tail gate up passes were quicker.
Was there any difference in your 60' times? I always thought the pickups at the track did this to get the last little bit of weight distribution as far back as possible, to help launch traction.
 
Messages
1,187
Location
Southern Vermont
I don't know about tailgate up vs tailgate down. However, the last couple of weeks I have had my ARE "z" cap off the truck due to the fact that I had some larger items to move that would not fit under the cap. With the cap off, fuel economy falls by at least 5%.
 
Messages
4,844
Location
Saskatchewan
quote:
Originally posted by m2200b: I use the tailgate as an indication of intelligence of the driver.
What would that tell you? Drag increases with the tailgate down, but downforce also increases. Maybe drivers with the tailgate down are just using their tailgate to tune the high-speed handling of their trucks, like how an extreme street-racer will put a wing on the back of their Civic for the same purpose. [Big Grin]
 
Messages
855
Location
Arizona
I have kept accurate records on this. I always keep track of every tank of gas I buy since vehicle is brand new. I can say for my Ford Ranger MPG is best with tailgate off. I keep it stored in the garage until it is needed for some special haul. I didn't see the mythbusters segment but have heard of it. It may be true for their test vehicle but for my truck it is not true.
 
Messages
5,758
Location
North Texas
The tail gate also increases the straingth of the truck. I got 3 miles per gallon gain when i added my snugtop lid. I lost miles per gallon when i had the gate down.
 
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