If you have a pickup truck… or a real truck, or even a sports car, you probably have some type of tonneau in the back. These come in different styles including soft and hard covers, capable of protecting passenger seat behind the driver, and also will cover the bed of the truck. They are designed with either a folding or hinging mechanism for those that are solid, whereas those that are soft covers or simply rolled up. They have multiple purposes including protecting items from the weather, concealing them, or simply to help improve the appearance of a car or truck. Many people wonder if these actually do provide better gas mileage for vehicles in regard to issues like wind resistance. Let’s look at whether or not a tonneau can actually help gas mileage for all vehicles, or just for some.
Why Were These Created?
Tonneau covers were more than likely created as a result of the convertible. According to TonneauCovered.com it provided cover for the backseat, and went through many incarnations including a rear facing hinged door style, as well as the side door tonneau. Where they are most popular in places like America where trucks are driven quite a bit of those that cover the bed of the truck and back. They can be soft or hard, but the most popular ones tend to be those that are made of solid aluminum or fiberglass.
Can They Help Improve Your Gas Mileage?
As a general rule, if the air flowing over a vehicle does not get trapped, the engine will not have to work as hard. If you have a convertible, and the air is flowing into the backseat, it’s going to experience wind resistance. This is particularly noticeable if you drive a large pickup truck with an 8 foot bed in the back. Although most of the air will go over the top and miss the bed of the truck, longer beds with tailgates that are up can create a significant amount of wind resistance. That’s why having a solid fiberglass tonneau is often recommended, not just for how it can improve the appearance of your truck, but how it will improve your gas mileage. The air will simply flow over the cab, sailing right over the tonneau, providing the least amount of resistance possible.
Which Ones Are Best For Improving Gas Mileage?
Although all of them will provide some help in the form of improving gas mileage, the solid ones are always the best. It is most noticeable with pickups because of how easy it is for wind to come over the cab into the bed of the truck. Even if you have the tailgate down, by having this flat surface over the bed of the truck can provide most help. You can usually purchase these for just a few hundred dollars, unless they are fully automated fiberglass units that rollout with the push of a button. If that is what you choose to get, you are looking at almost $1000 in most cases. Either way, once it is in place, your gas mileage will improve dramatically.
If you have been thinking of ways to save money on the amount of gasoline that you purchase every month, and you cannot afford to purchase a small car at this time, you can spend a few hundred dollars on a tonneau. This will ensure that you will be paying the least amount of money for operating your truck because of how it will improve wind resistance.