How Do I Improve Fuel Mileage by Changing the Air Vortex at the Rear of a Trailer?

How Do I Improve Fuel Mileage by Changing the Air Vortex at the Rear of a Trailer?
Air vortexes, also called tabs or scoops, mount to the back ends of trailers and RVs to give added aerodynamics. The result of these devices is reduced fuel consumption due to the air moving more efficiently over the trailer's surface.

The installation of these units is a straightforward process. The time consuming portion comes in the adjustment to get the scoops or vortexes working at their prime angle, which takes trial and error.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1 or 2 air scoops or air tabs
  • Bucket with warm soapy water and a sponge
  • Screwdrivers
  • Power drill and bits
Step 1
On the back end of the trailer, wash the side wall edges and corners to clean up the area for the vortexes or scoops. Let the corners dry.
Step 2
Hold up one of the scoops/vortexes to the corner of the trailer so it is upright and perpendicular to the trailer itself. Have an assistant hold it in place while you mark where the screw holes are on the trailer corners.
Step 3
Drill out the holes and place the vortex against the trailer, aligning the holes. Screw it into place. Repeat this with the other vortex on the other corner of the end of the trailer.
Step 4
Attach the trailer to your towing vehicle and go for a test drive. Try to keep the driver-side window rolled down so you can listen for air current moving over the vortex. Listen for a low-pitched hum, much like a low-sounding vibration.
Step 5
Monitor your gas mileage on the tow vehicle over the course of a week or two. Make micro adjustments to the angle of the scoop by screwing the scoop tighter to the trailer or loosening to bring it out. Use only one side of the screws on each scoop to adjust until you get the proper angle for gas savings.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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