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Old 02-19-2004, 11:15 AM   #1
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Anyone use an Air Deflector?

I was just looking at the website for the Aerotravel brand air/wind deflectors., which you can get in aluminum or stainless steel. I suppose they would reduce drag and improve mileage somewhat, and a fellow I ran into last year who was using one also claimed it kept the bugs off his trailer.

Do any of you use one of these air deflectors? If so, what has your experience been with it? Also, how easy are they to install and remove?

It seems they'd be more beneficial with a 5th wheel, but if they'd improve the gas mileage and keep more bugs off the trailer, then they may be justifiable.

John
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:30 PM   #2
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John:

My air deflector seems to do a good job ---

don
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:32 PM   #3
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Your grille would do a good job.

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Old 02-19-2004, 12:36 PM   #4
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John
I have used them in the past and they work pretty good.
I would look to cost the next time. I guess they work.
I just wonder how they effect gas mileage.

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Nice tow rig in your Avatar, any pulling problems?
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:40 PM   #5
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Mixed bag

I had one when I had my Scamp 5th-wheel. The best thing it did was keeping the bugs of of the front of the trailer; it a real good job of that. On one trip, I had to stop 3 times to get the migrating butterflies off the radiator and stop the truck from overheating; I hardly had a hit on the trailer front.

The worst thing it did was cause a wind buffet that caused me to lose the gravel shield off my front trailer window; after I replaced the shield, I had a friend ride in the back seat to watch the gravel shield and it vibrated wildly with the deflector up.

As far as gas milesge, I could detect no difference.
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Old 02-19-2004, 03:07 PM   #6
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Don in E. Texas -

I always knew you did things in a big way in Texas, but I'm not sure one like yours would fit on the top of my little ol' F250! Plus, I'd have a little difficulty getting it in my garage.

You fellows don't sound too encouraging as far as their justification for towing an Airstream vs their $500 or so cost -- that'd pay to have a lot of bugs removed.
(I don't even want to think about what your deflector might cost, Don.)

John
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Old 02-19-2004, 03:41 PM   #7
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I always used a deflector when towing. Not a big improvement in gas mileage, but over time it makes a difference. (about 1 mpg improvement). I built mine using 1/4 aluminum sheet 18" x 48". I put a slight curve in it and used 1" aluminum pipe for the frame work. It fasten on to truck with suction cups and straps that hook on the drip rail (like ones used on roof storage pods). I made it back in 1984 and (then) it cost me around $75 It held up fine and never gave me any problems. It did keep front of trailer cleaner and I never had any towing problems because of it.

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Old 02-19-2004, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Don in E Texas
John:

My air deflector seems to do a good job ---

don
Hahaha I bet!
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Old 02-19-2004, 05:07 PM   #9
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Whistler -

If I could get an extra 1 mile per gallon of gas, I think I 'd be able to almost justify the cost of buying one on that basis alone. That's with 10,000 miles per year towing at 10 mile per gallon and $1.65 a gallon for diesel.

And when I go fishing, much of this travel coincides with the heaviest insect hatches - good for fishing, but not so good on the trailer and tow vehicle. So, less time cleaning the bugs off them would mean more time fishing

Thanks.

John
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Old 02-19-2004, 08:05 PM   #10
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My air deflector was no-charge option on the sleeper
Truck cost me $21K --- (1998 Freightliner - came from the Schneider Trucking Co fleet).

I do remember reading some time back (on another BBS) that if you install a deflector make sure it is wide and not one of the narrow units. Seems the narrow ones like to draft the air off each side and direct it onto your trailer, while the wide ones draft off the sides as well, but the air flow will miss the trailer.

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Old 02-19-2004, 08:11 PM   #11
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Flyfisher,

Back in 1982, being the youngest of the Montana/Alberta unit at age 28, I built a deflector permanently mounted on my truck's cap. I used 1 inch angle aluminum strips for the frame, and a piece of aluminum from Jackson Center. Rivetted it together and was able to remove one side of the triangle frame so it laid flat on the cap when not in use. Didn't notice any fuel savings,(truck ran on straight propane), but it kept the front of the A/S clean and free of salmon flies.
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Old 02-19-2004, 08:40 PM   #12
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(1998 Freightliner - came from the Schneider Trucking Co fleet)
So you're the one running all over the country laying Schneider eggs.

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Old 02-19-2004, 08:42 PM   #13
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I recently delivered my Toybox to it's new owner in Illinois. See pic.. I have used a "Wing" for the better part of two years. There was a small increase in fuel economy but the difference in power was phenominal. The air rushes over the foil and then over the trailer and around to push the trailer forward like a tail wind. It is very much like the big wings they put on sprint cars for stability. Without the trailer, my dually was like a big go-cart with 6 tires. Well, at least it handled like one. Wind was another issue...I've never found a single item that helped more than the wing in the wind and that includes the sway bar. IMHO, I wouldn't pull a trailer without one, they are the best.
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