Are aerodynamic trailers cheaper to tow than boxy ones?


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Author's Note: Are aerodynamic trailers cheaper to tow than boxy ones?

While it's true that an aerodynamic trailer is going to cause you less pain at the fuel pump than a box on wheels, that's not the end of the story. In my research for this question of the day, I learned that while aerodynamics can make a huge difference for huge trucks with huge trailers, us "normal" drivers with our puny engines and tow-behind campers need to worry more about weight. Towing the smallest, lightest possible load is going to make the biggest difference for the recreational hauler; more than adding fairings or trailer extensions or other such falderal. The thing that will help the most, of course, is not driving like a maniac. That's going to save you money every time, trailer or no. Now if only I could take my own advice ...

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Sources

  • Demorro, Christopher. "Tractor Trailers with Tails Improve Fuel Efficiency by 7.5%." Gas2.org. Nov. 11, 2009. (March 20, 2013) http://gas2.org/2009/11/11/tractor-trailers-with-tails-improve-fuel-efficiency-by-7-and-a-half-percent/
  • EPA.gov. "SmartWay Technology Program: Verified Aerodynamic Technologies." Environmental Protection Agency. (March 20, 2013) http://www.epa.gov/smartway/technology/aerodynamics.htm
  • Golittleguy.com. "Teardrop History." (March 27, 2013) http://www.golittleguy.com/teardrops/teardrop-history.php
  • Helman, Christopher. "America's Most Gas-Guzzling Cities." Forbes.com, May 5, 2011. (March 28, 2013) http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2011/05/10/americas-biggest-and-least-gas-guzzling-cities/
  • Hensley Manufacturing. "Trailer Sway and V-nose Trailers." Henslymfg.com. (March 20, 2013) http://hensleymfg.com/trailer-sway-v-nose-trailers/
  • Penticoff, Allen. "Mr. Green Car: Teardrops: Tiny campers." Rock River Times. April 21-27, 2010. (March 27, 2013) http://rockrivertimes.com/2010/04/21/mr-green-car-teardrops-tiny-campers/
  • Wood, Richard M. "Advanced Aerodynamic Trailer Technology." SOLUS Solutions and Technologies. (March 20, 2013) http://www.marama.org/diesel/frieght/conferencecalls/9_27_06/MADCAeroOvw2.pdf

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