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Old 03-05-2008, 08:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Yet Another Pickup Truck Aero Idea

This one is aimed at a more limited market but one that may be more motivated.

Around Indiana one sees a lot of “driveaways.” These are heavy pickups delivering RVs. They are late-model dually one-ton pickups – mostly Dodge and Ford. Almost all are diesels. They hook up a big (up to 36 foot) towable RVs and haul them from Elkhart to as far as the Gulf Coast. They have fifth wheels installed in the bed and usually have auxiliary fuel tanks and tool boxes as well.

The driveaway business never has backhaul. They have to deadhead back to home. These big pickups get about 10 MPG pulling these rolling barns and usually no better than 13 MPG unloaded.

There is little improvement I could offer to them while hooked to a trailer shaped like a Wheaties box on steroids, but on the way back they could benefit from aerodynamically cleaning up the bed.

What I envision is something like a “headache rack” and side and tailgate rails and snaps to support a sloped soft tonneau over the bed while running unloaded. Basically, a folding version of my bed fairing.

Driveaway drivers are used to relying 100% on side mirrors, so the solid bed cover would be nothing unusual.

When towing fifth wheel trailers these trucks cannot have “headache racks” because of trailer clearance, but if the “headache rack were folded down while loaded it could be erected for the deadhead home.

I would have the “headache rack” folded down over the auxiliary fuel tank with the tonneau rolled up while loaded. When unloaded the driver driver erects the rack and fastens it in place with door bolts. He then pulls the tonneau out and snaps it onto the snaps on the side and tailgate racks. Viola! A slick shape for the trip home. Five minutes up and five minutes down. He gains 3 MPG from having up on the drive home. For a 800 mile trip at $3.70/gal that represents about $43 per trip less fuel cost.

Whaddaya think?

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Old 03-05-2008, 08:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the rack where the ladders and other long stuff goes on top.

Last edited by diesel_john; 03-06-2008 at 02:52 AM..
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Whats a headache rack?
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No pic. I'm graphically challenged. Not a Mac bone in my body.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think it sounds like a good idea. Do you personally know anyone who runs these trips who would be willing to try it? Would make a good project.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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sorta... don't know if they are willing though... no.. probably not at all..
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I know two guys with pickup trucks who have asked me at various times to help them mod up an aero shell. I've explained how to do it, but thus far avoided getting into a project on yet another vehicle, when my own to-do list grows mossy.
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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5th wheel improvements in aero.

Add my boxes. They work great with 5th wheels and will really improve your fuel economy on the way back.. Plus you can lock up your stuff! By the way, the Design Manager for Ford F-Series says that these are "Fu%$&ng GREAT!" You will too.
Order now!
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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5th-wheel box

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptg0 View Post
Add my boxes. They work great with 5th wheels and will really improve your fuel economy on the way back.. Plus you can lock up your stuff! By the way, the Design Manager for Ford F-Series says that these are "Fu%$&ng GREAT!" You will too.
Order now! www.alateinc.com
Did the Design Manager say your box was "Fu%$&ng GREAT or was that FUBAR ?
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The can of SPAM says "Luncheon Meat".

I'll have to say that it's part of a complete breakfast.

In fact, it's Fu%$&ng GREAT!

Back to the product...

I see what you mean -- but you'd have to market it at local shows or through towing supply dealers. Cost vs. Recovery is important to truckers (or anyone, really). The same for proof of effectiveness.

I say get a test vehicle and experiment

RH77

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