I think what I am driving at is (as a first step) to lower the bed rails down to a level maybe one inch higher than a fifth wheel sits above the load deck and taper the rear of the bed to the slightly wider than the distance between the wheel wells. Allowing for tailgate post thickness my guess is 52” wide and maybe 12” above the deck. Just doing that would reduce my wake area by 65%.
From there, I look to build two “doghouses.”
One would be for operating without a trailer (most of the time.) It would gracefully connect the cab to this much smaller tailgate. I use either a big hatch or a roll-up (ReTrax or Pace-Edwards) cover to allow putting odd sized loads in quickly and easily.
The second would be to fair in a long skinny pop-up type trailer. Think a 80 inch wide by 30 foot long Hi-Lo, but for my purposes it would be a very spartan toy hauler – a cargo trailer with AC
and heat and a porta-pot. The top part would have a tail cone to make it low-drag. With a special “doghouse” to fair it into the truck, it would be a very slick and low-resistance setup.
There is a guy who took his 50 MPG
Civic and by reducing aero drag jacked that thing up to 95 MPG
. If he could fit a nice efficient diesel in it he would win the X-prize. Currently, his car is as ugly as homemade sin – he is no body man and he has held expenses down to $400 ... and it looks it – but the thing does work. I don’t look to get that radical but if I can get this truck to 30 MPG…