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Old 05-17-2010, 12:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Tacoma Aerocap - Cheap Plastic/Temporary most importantly, fast

I'm about to go on another cross country trip, moving from CA to NC, and I want to save about 2-3mpg in a really cheap, really quick way. I have gobs of clear plastic sheeting, so I was thinking of making a cheap aerocap.

The Plan
  • All I would do is tape the plastic from the back of the cab to the rear of the truck bed. Thus giving me a quick "fastback/aerocap" thingy, that would deflect air better than my tonneau cover.
  • I would use 2" thick painters tape to preserve the paint, and make it go all the way around the edges to seal the plastic "bubble/cap". That would minimize any updraft that would rip the whole sheet off.
  • As a precautionary measure I would probably fashion some type of V or X shape using duct tape over the exterior, and make it safely attach inside of the cab.

My biggest restriction here, is time. I leave on Wednesday.

Looking for any comments, but I especially want to see people try to shoot it down, so I can mitigate any problems.



Last edited by walteraxe; 05-17-2010 at 12:43 AM.. Reason: pic
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Another mock up pic w/ my "safety duct tape". The picture is of an Extended cab, but I actually have a Double Cab.

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Old 05-17-2010, 01:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If the plastic is thin enough to flap in the wind it could be worse for aero than nothing at all. But it would probably fall off before long then too. Maybe a framework of sorts could be slapped together?
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Frank Lee is right (aaarrrrgggghhhhhh)
I am always amazed at the damage done by the air whipping by.
It will shred the plastic.
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yer probably better off bending some wire mesh/screen to the shape yer looking fer and then using expanding foam to roughly cover that shape...shave/sand it down smooth to the level you want/need.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Wish I lived closer to LA, I'd get these big styrofoam blocks and shave them down. large styrofoam blocks
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Your plan appears sound, with a couple caveats. I'd make sure you cut the plastic for a good smooth fit and see that all edges are completely sealed. Also, there are flexible fiberglass spars known to those of us familiar with the sport of Hang Gliding, called "battens". They are used primarily to provide consistent shape to a soft wing during flight, also preventing flutter and premature fabric failure. An adaptation, I believe, would help in your application. Perhaps by using clear 'packing tape' by which to secure a few of those cheap, long fiberglass rods such as used on children's bicycles to support flags, longitudinally along the underside of the plastic sheeting, you will avoid much of the chaotic buffeting that otherwise occurs. If you implement this idea, I'd go ahead and pad the tips of the rods.

With good quality plastic of sufficient thickness, and a few 'battens', you should be good to go!

Just how far, however, is a bit of a 'variables' dart throw. Better keep a bit of extra plastic and tape on hand.


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Last edited by TechStuf; 05-17-2010 at 05:04 AM..
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Painter's tape is far too weak.

Get Gorilla tape.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Frank Lee is right (aaarrrrgggghhhhhh).
Sometime I will throw a wrong one in here... we'll see if you are the first one to catch it!
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Gaffer's tape wont leave any nasty residue over the short term and has pretty good strength.

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