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Tonneau covers & MPG

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Old 01-12-2018, 11:17 PM
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Default Tonneau covers & MPG

I was wondering how much do hardcover tonneau covers take a hit on the fuel economy for 2015+ models. for those of you who have hardcover tonneau covers, it'd be helpful if you could your experience with them. thank you
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:04 AM
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I have a soft cover, and you asked about the hard ones, but I don’t think I’ve seen much of a change either way in mileage. I got mine because I like the look of a covered bed. I was ‘hoping’ it might help mpg a bit, but that didn’t happen....which is fine since my main concern was aesthetic.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Kingofwylietx View Post
I have a soft cover, and you asked about the hard ones, but I donít think Iíve seen much of a change either way in mileage. I got mine because I like the look of a covered bed. I was Ďhopingí it might help mpg a bit, but that didnít happen....which is fine since my main concern was aesthetic.
Thank you for the response. I'm torn between the hardcover and softcover. How the softcover been holding up and how long have you had it?
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:31 AM
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In a couple of threads that have discussed this the consensus was that they don't seem to make a difference either way.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:37 AM
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https://www.f150forum.com/f2/tonneau...mileage-20851/

An older thread, but may be of some interest.

I have a soft (Truxedo LoPro) and have had one on my other trucks and found no difference in MPG. I would almost wonder if the weight of fiberglass hard covers would hinder your MPG (however minute) with the extra pounds? I also agree that on average, there isn't a difference in cover vs no cover. Generally speaking, I actually prefer the look of painted-to-match fiberglass covers, but they aren't practical for my lifestyle. A lot of people seem to really like those folding hard covers, but I just don't like how they block your back window if you had to fold it up. On the other hand, with soft covers, they are either rolled up or down...there is no in between. You definitely have your options with covers these days.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:56 AM
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In theory a cover makes the truck more aerodynamic and improves fuel mileage. Adding a cap does the same thing, but the added weight seems too offset the aerodynamics. In reality the difference is so small that it I've never been able to measure it. I've been driving trucks for 40 years with and without them. I've never noted any difference.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:20 AM
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In regards to your question, are you looking at a one-piece cover, or a hard folding cover? As marshallr mentioned above, a cover will technically make the truck more aerodynamic and improve fuel mileage. It has been said for many year "you MAY see up to 10% increase in fuel when adding a tonneau cover", however as he also said, it's usually a very minimal difference. If you're looking at one-piece hard covers, the weight typically ranges from 75 lbs - 200lbs depending on the material it's made from.... ABS, Fiberglass, Aluminum, ect. I would more so focus on what you use the truck for and what you're trying to accomplish with the cover.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:33 AM
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I now have a soft Truxedo Lo Pro QT and from limited highway speed (70-75 mph) data, I'm not seeing a measurable difference between mpg I was gettting before it was installed (about ~2k highway miles of data) and after (about ~8k miles of data). But it's not a truly fair comparison because I also removed the front air dam just after I started using the tonneau, so slight + of tonneau offset by slight - of no air dam.

I am a firm believer that in many cases a tonneau will increase your mpg by 1-2 mpg or more. I base this on a 2009 F150 RCSB with 4.6L I had with an Undercover hard shell tonneau. I drove the same I-10 route (~800 miles R/T) monthly over a number of years, probably ~10k miles of data without tonneau and ~30k or more miles with tonneau, and I regularly got 1 to 1.5 mpg better with the tonneau.

Similar experience with a 2012 F250 RCLB with 6.2L gasser I had but with a Lo Pro QT; the improvement in that instance was generally around 0.5 to 1.0 mpg.

The amount of weight in the bed (affecting the back-to-front 'profile' of the truck) also seems to play a part. In my F150 and F250 there was a 'sweet spot' around 400-500 lbs that consistently gave me the best mpg increase.
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