Do RV Wind Deflectors Work? (How Much Fuel Can You Save)

Improving fuel mileage is always a concern for RV owners. They will look for whatever advantage they can get to squeak out a few more miles per tank. They even look at wind deflectors to see if that helps their cause.

Do RV wind deflectors work? A lot will depend on the make, model and design on your RV but in general wind deflectors can and do work. Your results may differ but overall some RV users see a marked improvement in their fuel mileage.

To get more information on wind deflectors and their contribution to your RV vacation just continue to read our article. It is filled with as much information about these handy tools that can be found.

RV Wind Deflectors for Trucks

When you are towing a trailer that is a little taller than your truck or cab, a good wind deflector can save you some money. They will eliminate any turbulent wind action between the truck and the trailer.

Plus, they can reduce wind resistance that cuts your fuel mileage. These models of wind deflectors can also help smooth out your ride and improve your handling of your rig.

On top of that, they can be adjusted to just about any angle you need. This flexibility helps provide you with great aerodynamics which also helps improve your gas mileage.

The good news is that to attach them. You do not have to do any modifications or special drilling to your truck cab. Once attached to your truck, you should see an improvement of about 3 mpg. That will help with your fuel bill over along trip.

As a special contribution, these wind deflectors can stop bugs from hitting your trailer. This will make it easier to keep the trailer clean. All in all, a good wind deflector will help you save money if it is installed correctly on your vehicle.

5th Wheel RV Wind Deflector

Every person hauling a 5th wheel trailer knows the trouble that the wind can cause. If it isn’t moving the trailer side to side, it is cutting down your fuel mileage. The wind can create quite a resistance when it gets going. Dealing with the wind is one of the hazards of pulling a 5th wheeler.

There is a way to help solve or reduce the wind factor. If you install a good wind deflector you can get better handling and improve your vehicle’s overall performance. This includes helping to improve your gas mileage.

One good design to have on top of your rig is a wind deflector with wings. This design not only cuts your wind resistance down, it allows you to get far better gas mileage than if you went without one.

Some RV users do not like wind deflectors and claim that they see no difference. The results you get will vary and depend on the amount of weight you are pulling and other factors. Some of those factors include the speed you are driving at.

If you can keep your speeds between 55 and 65 miles per hour, and not do jack rabbit starts or get to close to vehicles in front of you, you will also see a vast improvement in your gas mileage.

We just can’t give you a specific figure on that improvement. But any improvement is still saving some money in the long run.

RV Door Wind Deflector

These may help you out if the weather is bad. They are designed more for keeping the bad weather out of your cab and lets you keep your window rolled down a little to let fresh air inside.

How much they contribute to improving your fuel mileage is not known. They are probably too small to make a large contribution. They may also be a bit flimsy and will still let too much wind hit your vehicle and trailer.

What else these deflectors do is cut down on wind noise. You can hear each other when you talk and you can listen better to hear any troubling sounds coming from your trailer or vehicle. Other than that, you need to look at other types of wind deflectors to improve your mileage.

RV Rooftop Wind Deflectors

These will work if the situation is just right. The problem with roof top wind deflectors if you are using a pick up truck top pull your 5th wheel is that the wind deflector is too far away from the trailer to work.

Another issue is that the typical wind deflector for a pick up truck is too narrow. It may block some of the wind but the lack of length or width will cause side turbulence.

Studies have shown that the wind deflector needs to be within a few feet of the trailer if it is going to do you any good. The conclusion of those studies stated that the best place for a rooftop wind deflector is on the roof of the trailer itself.

The reasoning behind this thinking is that is where the most wind resistance takes place. Another way to solve your drag and wind resistance problem is to place a rounded wind deflector, called a nose cone, on the front of your trailer.

This option really reduces the drag and other wind issues. But if you are stuck on the roof top, then make sure it sits very close to your trailer and install some gap seals. If you don’t you are probably wasting your money.

RV Solar Panel Wind Deflector

As far as we can tell, they do not make solar panel wind deflectors. Part of the reason for this lack of innovation is that solar panels need some space between them and the roof of your RV. This space is usually between 3 and 4 inches.

You can get flexible solar panels and these would eliminate the need for wind deflectors but they are fragile at times and can malfunction due to wind impact. To protect your solar panels, you would need independent deflectors placed close enough to deflect the wind,but far enough away to give the solar panels the space they need.

This means that you would have to design the wind deflectors to fit around your solar panels in such a way it can do both jobs well. Regarding whether to use flexible or rigid solar panels, you can go either way, depending on your preference.

One thing is for sure, without wind deflectors near your solar panels you could end up losing the panels or adding to your fuel consumption. Wind resistance on them will slow you down and make your vehicle work harder.

RV Water Heater Wind Deflector

An RV water heater wind deflector does an important job. These are small little pieces of metal that allow air to get inside but keeps the wind from adding to your drag. They cover the vent around your water heater in a triangle shape.

The peaked roof deflectors keep the wind from entering your vent and deflects it away from your trailer. The walls meat in the center and can be attached to the grill work of your vent with little trouble.

Besides this, these wind deflectors protect your pilot light. If the wind blew at just the right angle, it could get inside and blow the pilot light out. But that situation happens rarely.

The only drawback to these wind guards is that they may also deflect heat towards some of your RV’s plastic parts. When that happens those parts may melt or be damaged.

Like the door wind deflectors, it is not known if these wind guards actually contribute to improving your fuel mileage. There is no data available to consider.

RV Slideout Topper Wind Deflector

One of the main duties of a slide out topper wind deflector is to protect the fabric on your awnings or slideouts. They are designed to stop the billowing and protect your fabric when you are traveling down the road.

Another duty the slideout topper wind deflector has is to protect your slideout’s slide seals. The wind can easily blow leaves and debris inside the slideout area and create some damage or sticking issues.

Also, this kind of deflector prevents rain from getting inside and causing corrosion or rust to occur on metal parts. The wind deflector is made from aluminum so it will not add a significant amount of weight to your RV. This lack of weight may help contribute to your overall fuel mileage.

The other good news is that it is not that difficult to install. You could probably do it yourself or have a trained RV technician do it for you. However you get it done, this wind deflector is a good product to add to your RV if you do not already have it.

RV Wind Deflector Manufacturers

To find a good wind deflector manufacturer, you can just turn to your local yellow pages and see if there is one in your area. If not, you can then turn to your computer and do an internet search for one that is nearest to you.

One of the companies we have found that makes wind deflectors is this one. You can peruse their website to see if they have a model that is right for your situation. If not, you can always try this one.

Or if one is not close to you, there are a lot of RV parts stores that carry the different wind deflectors and they may have them in stock for you. If they don’t, they can probably order them for you. Here is one link for you to try.

Here is a second one that may work for you. Also, any good RV dealer will be able to direct you to a manufacturer that sells retail. Plus, you can ask experienced RV owners to see where they got theirs and if the customer service was good.

Homemade RV Wind Deflector

You could make one for yourself and save yourself a little money. All you would need are the right materials and the right hardware to secure it to the roof of your truck. You do not want the materials to be too heavy and you do not want them to be too light.

Too heavy defeats the purpose of improving your gas mileage and too light risks damage to the deflectors. In other words, you want a very strong plastic or metal that can handle the punishment the wind dishes out when you are on the road.

The key to building your own is to make sure that the height and width of your truck size and the deflector size match up to about 75% of your trailer’s size. Anything smaller and you will be wasting your time and money.

Then your deflector needs to be shaped to the right aerodynamics and sit at about a 30 degree angle. What this translates into is that your can over deflector needs to be about 6 feet wide and 3 feet high.

Than pair of side wings may help a lot as well. How you construct your deflector will depend on the type of design you want and the materials you are using.

Some Final Comments

The debate over if RV wind deflectors really works or not is not going to go away. There will always be those RV users who swear by them and those that swear at them. The latter just does not get any improvement from using wind deflectors.

If you get the right size and mount them right, you should be able to see some improvement over the time you are on the road. Other wind deflectors do a great job at redirecting the wind and rain away from your passenger compartment, water heater pilot light and your slideout mechanisms.

They will do little to improve your fuel consumption. In looking at the information here, it is easy to conclude that your use of these RV parts will depend on you. Your results may also vary as that may depend on how you drive as well.

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