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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Though I keep my truck clean after every wash I have to deal with white water deposits in the bed of my truck so I thought I would look into buying a cover for it. I noticed an ad here on TT for access.com bed roll up bed covers etc. They claim that scientific data proves you can get up to 10% better fuel mileage by covering the bed of your truck. I thought mythbusters proved this wrong.. so I googled it and found this video. Yes, I know the "up to 10%" statement could be considered true if it's only a 1% increase.

YouTube - Insert from MythBusters - Tailgate Up or Down 2 (from More Myths Revisited) fuel consumption test
 

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well, tailgate mesh wins huh? I dont think I ever saw that coming...
 

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Tailgate up/down is very different than a tonneau cover or bed shell cap, isn't it? I'm skeptical of the full 10% gain as well, but I bet a cover gets you some improvement. But it seems you're comparing apples to oranges with the Mythbusters video & your question.

EDIT: I looked at the video again & forgot they also tested with a hard tonneau so scratch what I said above.
 

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The tailgate mesh was the best and better by 5%, and the tailgate down was the worst. A bed cover and no cover were the same . Thanks for finding the video.
 

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If I was that worried about my fuel economy, I wouldn't have bought a Titan in the first place. My bed cover is for keeping cargo dry and secure, and random jackasses from using the bed of my truck as a public dumpster when I'm parked at the store.
 

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If I was that worried about my fuel economy, I wouldn't have bought a Titan in the first place. My bed cover is for keeping cargo dry and secure, and random jackasses from using the bed of my truck as a public dumpster when I'm parked at the store.
Same here, plus I like the look of a covered bed.
 

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I could have told you that bed cover or no bed cover was the same, all you had to do was ask :) I found that out in 2005 when I put the rollen loc on my 2004. Bed covers are not for saving gas. They are for storing stuff in the back of your truck out of the weather. If you get an nice enough one, you can store things in the back of your truck and keep people from stealing your things. It was cheaper to buy a T and get a bed cover than to buy an Armada. Also, I have the ability to use it as a pickup by simply rolling up my cover.

Mt 2 cents.
 

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I don't put much stock in mythbusters. While they do some interesting things, I quit watch when they started doing things that required scientific knowledge. I remember the issue where they pressurized the cabin of an abandoned plane and shot the window out to see if it would rip part of the cabin out. It was then that I saw, they are just special effects guys. The plane flying at normal speed and altitude would create a vacuum on the plane that they didn't even think to consider. Just saying.. Im with the other guys, looks better and protects my stuff.
 

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would a light-weight roll up bed cover increase mileage? i know the nascar racing trucks have a tonneau cover, with a small lip spoiler. so, i would assume a roll-out cover that hooks onto the utili-trac and the tailgate down would contribute to some aerodynamical improvement of the airflow behind the truck?

sometimes i just roll out with the tailgate down. I see no difference.
 

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I have to admit that highway driving with a cross wind has a lot more pull with an open bed than it does with the cover closed up.
 

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I have to admit that highway driving with a cross wind has a lot more pull with an open bed than it does with the cover closed up.
Oh, absolutely. Cross winds have a far greater influence on my truck when the bed is uncovered versus when I have the Undercover tonneau on it.
 

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I noticed no change in mileage since I put on my Extang Tri-fecta back in Dec of 09. Like others have said, only reason I got the bed cover was for functionallity and looks.
 

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One benefit to driving with the tailgate down is it helps avoid getting photo radar tickets. I hauled arse past one when i was hauling a couch, it flashed and I KNOW it got me since nobody else was around but no ticket arrived in my mail.

Photo radar is UNAMERICAN!
 

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If I was that worried about my fuel economy, I wouldn't have bought a Titan in the first place. My bed cover is for keeping cargo dry and secure, and random jackasses from using the bed of my truck as a public dumpster when I'm parked at the store.
Perfect!



Same here, plus I like the look of a covered bed.
I have one on my T but I don't care for how it or any other cover looks.



I noticed no change in mileage since I put on my Extang Tri-fecta back in Dec of 09.
I have noticed no difference in mileage at all.
 

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Simple question, and maybe obvious. But are there any tri fold covers that lock the way hard covers lock? Tri fold covers are more in my price range, but do not want to buy one if they do not lock. thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow what a response and thanks to everyone for throwing in their two cents. From the responses and mythbusters it doesn't sound like the cover will ever get you more than a few percent of better gas mileage. Unless you drive with a cross wind all the time(which is what we have in the summer here in the desert:bump:).I do like the look and function of it though.
There's also a couple things that are obvious and that's if you bought a Titan in the last couple of years you don't care about fuel economy in a truck. Just like I didn't when gas prices were below $2.00 a gallon in 2005 . Hence the 2005 LE I drive.:teethmast
 

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I'm sorry guys but I have owned truck covers on my last three trucks and they each got a bit better milage with them on. The faster I went cruising, the bigger the reduction in fuel usage. Now as to the test in the video. Am I wrong or did their flow meter say 5.0+ gallons per hour when he announced he was doing 55 mph? If so, then that means a truck that is getting 11mpg or less at 55mph. I don't know of any truck that is that terrible on gas. Here is another point. It seems to me that the faster you would go, the better a cover would work and the worse an open bed would be. 55mph is a poor testing speed imo. How about 65mph or 70 like most highways are posted? I think there would be a significant change in the results then. What do you think?
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm sorry guys but I have owned truck covers on my last three trucks and they each got a bit better milage with them on. The faster I went cruising, the bigger the reduction in fuel usage. Now as to the test in the video. Am I wrong or did their flow meter say 5.0+ gallons per hour when he announced he was doing 55 mph? If so, then that means a truck that is getting 11mpg or less at 55mph. I don't know of any truck that is that terrible on gas. Here is another point. It seems to me that the faster you would go, the better a cover would work and the worse an open bed would be. 55mph is a poor testing speed imo. How about 65mph or 70 like most highways are posted? I think there would be a significant change in the results then. What do you think?
Good point! you are correct imo where speed is a factor to consider. Here in vegas it is normal to drive around 85mph plus on the highway and near 90-100mph going between cali and vegas. I know their are calculators out there that use mass to calulate how low your drag coefficient would have to be in order to reach a top speed. So it makes since that the increased drag at higher speeds could make your truck benefit more from any of the things they tried.
 
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