Snugtop, a company that makes tonneau covers and bedcaps for pickups, [...] conducted a very intensive test this month at Irwindale Raceway in Southern California. Using fullsize pickups from Dodge, Ford and Chevy, the trucks were driven 100 laps at 45 mph. Two had tonneau covers and the third had a bedcap. The gas tanks were topped off and the tonneaus and bedcap removed for another 100 laps at 45 mph. Bottom line: Snugtop reports a 1.3 mpg improvement and says even better mileage can be expected at higher speeds.
Full details of their methodology is available, which is nice. (Have to go to the manufacturer's site to read it.)
I doubt though, that my jab at 6.5 mpg was all that far off. Having said that, I wonder if maybe gains for those kind of vehicles are the most important because of the large potential influence on average nationwide savings. Somebody stop me before I say something political...
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein
I myself have a full-size truck. My FE strategy: I don't use the damn big thirsty pig unless unless I'm hauling something beyond the capabilities of my little car!
Agreed my 1979 F-150 gets driven twice a month to the dump. It is 1 step away from farm or antique tags and insurance. I have had gas in the tank that was like 2.35 a gallon back in Jan /Feb, I have drop 2 bottles of gasline antifreeze and it has been fine every month since.
I once discussed a cover with my friend who drives a 7.3 turbo diesel. He said, no no, what's the point, you can't even use the truck then. And I thought, yeah that's true, he still drove it 30 miles a day to get to school and back though. I guess his backpack was pretty heavy (also consider his mom worked at our school and drove a minivan, into which he and his backpack could have easily fit).
Not everyone can afford multiple vehicles. Some people may need to haul things once a month, but they might also use that vehicle to commute everyday because they can't afford another one and all the insurance, maintenance, and registration costs entailed.
A cover is excellent for people in that situation.
On a side note, I love Phil Knox's truck. Load it up with 2,500 pounds of golf cart batteries, an electric motor, controller, and all of those aeromods, and you could theoretically have a practical electric vehicle that does 200 miles range... on cheap flooded lead acid golf cart batteries. In practice, such electric trucks have been built minus the aeromods, and do ~120 miles per charge at around 60-65 mph.
I tried the old controversial tail gate up vs. tail gate down in my '95 F-150 Extra cab. Got 17.85 mpg one way and 17.75 the other. To close to say it helped. The test was 250 miles for each test following the same route to work at the same times of day.
"If the engine ain't running it ain't using gas!"
P.S. Not only that, I've calculated scenarios plenty of times that prove purchasing and operating a cheap lil ol' beater pays for itself, and it does that rather quickly.
That assumes that the beater doesn't acquire any expensive problems that need to be dealt with.
I can just as easily find many scenarios in which the purchase, insurance and maintenance costs of an extra vehicle will outweigh the fuel savings of using it over a large truck.
While multiple car families are the norm, they certainly aren't the rule. Most of those who are living from paycheck to paycheck with nothing to show for it are lucky to have one working car, if any at all. I personally know people who are working and can't even afford a car.
[QUOTE=The Toecutter]Not everyone can afford multiple vehicles. Some people may need to haul things once a month, but they might also use that vehicle to commute everyday because they can't afford another one and all the insurance, maintenance, and registration costs entailed.
My truck was $250 bucks, tags were $35 taxes are less than $100 year. The amount of insurance is the same as my multi car discount. I canceled my $40 per month trash service which would not take yard waste, TV's, furniture and many other items. I am at least $300-500 bucks ahead.