Originally Posted by ATXJock
Just installed the full skid plate package in 10 gauge steel. RCI Metalworks did a great job with the fabrication of the metal - holes aligned perfectly. The finish of the plates was also pretty good. I'm happy with the quality. I did struggle a little bit with one speed clip on the install, but that's not RCI's issue.
I did notice over the last couple of days after installing that the truck feels not only stiffer but heavier. That's to be expected with installing that much metal underneath the truck - but I'm considering removing the transfer case plate for the time being to lighten the load.
Has anybody noticed a DECREASE in MPG with the 10 gauge steel? I know that the underbelly should be "smoother" aerodynamically, and maybe I'm being too critical, but my MPG seems to have dropped by almost 1 MPG since installing the plates. I'm honestly pretty shocked that the weight added (even though it is a full skid package) seems to have dropped MPG that severely.
Any feedback is appreciated.
The 10 ga steel package only weighs about 80lbs, evenly distributed with a low center of gravity, (no more than the weight of a child), so I can't imagine you would physically notice the weight gain, although you could see some difference in stiffness of the vehicle as it ties all of the frame together and could minimize some of the flexing which is generally a good thing.
Keep an eye on your fuel economy, maybe its something odd like a bad batch of gas or something of the like. I had a random tank of gas this summer that got 11 mpg highway, and 21 immediately after refilling.
I only mention that because we noticed a 1+ mpg overall increase after installing the plates on our 2015, and have seen no change in the last 5000 miles.