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hopmarcollinfam

"Air Tab" Fuel Savings Device?"

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Hi, Folks. I could use some help/request for opinions?

I did a little "Google" research for aerodynamic aids for class 8 trucks and RVs. I'm looking for methods to reduce aerodynamic drag and thereby reduce required horsepower and fuel usage.

I found a site that sells "Air Tab" fuel saver Vortex generators. Appears to be a very worthwhile product, lots of NASA research with wind tunnel tests as well as over-the-road tests. The product is supposed to create small turbulent vortex's at the rear edges of the Coach to prevent that large suction/drag at the back of the RV. Results in better handling, better rear and side visibility in wet weather, cleaner towed vehicles, cleaner RV rear end after a trip.

At $2.75 each w/3 required per linear foot up both sides and across the top of a 94 Dynasty, it ain't cheap! I need some input to help with the decision? Does anyone in the Monacoers have them on their coaches? How about a review?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanx. HF Hop Collin

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We have had Air Tabs on our coach for several years.

I think the operative here is to have reasonable expectations-- exaggerated expectations as to MPG improvement, coach/toad cleanliness improvement and improved handling in cross winds cause disappointment.

Indeed, Air Tabs DO improve each of these things, but expecting dramatic improvements is not realistic.

There is nothing new about vortex generators-- been on airplanes for decades. The theory and wind tunnel results support improvements in each of the aspects mentioned.

Some like their looks, others do not. They can be painted with Fusion paint to match most paint schemes.

Bottom line, I would do them again.

http://www.airtab.com

Brett

Edited by tmoning
Fixed Airtabwebsite link

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Where can you find these "Air Tab" Vortex generators? Are they easy to install?

Go to the Airtab website in my post above.

Easy to install -- peel and stick. Come with template to properly space them out.

Brett

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I concur with each of Brett's comments, including 'doing it again'.

For us, our main objectives of adding them to our small T28 Bounder, was to help in shifting cross winds, and as the 'big rigs' went by us on the highway. The less dirt on the toad and back of the RV, was a nice side addition. We did see between 1/2 to 3/4 mpg improvement, but as this was not a 'control test world' we drive in, that could have been just the luck of more tail winds or less head winds. (But, this was over about 7500 miles, after install, compared to the history we had of the first 12,500 miles without it.)

We just sold the Bounder two days ago.

We just bought our future retirement rig, 04 Country Coach Allure 40' two months ago.

We are 'dialing it in' over the next year, to be what we want it to be.

Part of that dialing in, will be with the Air Tabs - painted to match.

On the cost. I spent about $5K on larger sway bars, Safety T's, new poly bushings all around, front and rear SS bars/panhards. The least expensive mod I did to assist in handling, and comfort of driving - was the Air Tabs!

Best of luck, be safe, and have fun,

Smitty

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I think a lot depends on the shape of your rig. They work great on sharp edges as on a truck van. I think I would avoid putting them on a rounded roof.

I have them on both sides of my 97 Windsor, and have not noticed any mileage improvment. They are not really that expensive, unless you require them to be painted, so go ahead and experiment.

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I installed air tabs on my Holiday Rambler 33' Vacationer and became a believer. The biggest improvement I noticed was fast passing semi's did not cause the coach to sway as before. That doesn't mean some semi's still cause swaying but it eliminated the major of the problems. I believe fuel consumption may have improved. I normally pulled a vehicle but the one time I did a round trip to Ca. with out the car, fuel consumption was the best I ever experienced with or without an auto behind.

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Can't say that I have seen this on a RV before. To me, they don't enhance the look of the coach...ugly! :wacko:<_<

Carl C.

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Have installed in 07. Great in keeping some of the dirt off the back on back road. Mileage, never saw a improvement, if it was, then maybe in the 1/10 range.

At one time I was told that some Big Rig companies used them. Look at the rigs that pass you. Do you see Air Tabs? I never did.

As for being passed, again, did not notice much. When DaGirls Rv was painted I removed them all. I did keep them AND had some of them painted to match. But have decided NOT to install them.

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Have considered them...not so much for mileage improvements, but the cross wind assist and any less dirt to the toad ... not so sure now after hearing some actual results. Sounds more like minimal assist than anything very noticeable. I've never seen them on any rigs, either...not that I was specifically looking for them, tho

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We have them on a few 53' trailers at work; I cannot say that there is any noticeable difference with or without them. We have another carrier in the area that has them all over their tractor fleet mostly the sleepers all the way around the cab just before the curve starts for the rear wall.

My concern was washing the coach with them you would have to use a wash mitt and a ladder, the brush on the pole would probably not clean around them thoroughly.

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I looked and examined them at an RV Rally. We all bought or RV's for comfort and looks. If MPG was your primary consideration in a RV, you'd be driving a VW Van with pop-up top. They are ugly, difficult to wash and wax. Since I added anti-sway bars and rear trac bar, wind from passing big rigs is no longer a factor. I figure I can save more then 1/10 MPG by maintaining my tire pressure, watching my speed and reducing weight wherever I can.

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Why do you pay six figures for a luxury RV then worry about 0.02 MPG ? Right now the historically low price of fuel will benefit you FAR BEYOND what these devices claim they can do. It's a no brainer: save your money while you can. Worry about this when diesel fuel starts pushing toward $4.00 again. Enjoy the ride!

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