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Discussion Starter #1
Hi mostly guys.

I've never bought a shell for the back of a truck. I don't even know what I want.

On this shell thread I saw that my long bed on my 2004 quad cab should be 72" long.

I saw some shells that tear drop a bit in the back.

I've been wondering though, will I only want it on when I need to secure things back there, or will it raise my gas mileage too because of how the air goes off the back of the truck instead of the back of the cab?
 

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New or used?

Using a raindrop as Nature's most aerodynamic shapeshifter, I'll guess that bedshells rarely help MPGs.

My Gen 1 '00 XE 4-banger averaged 21-22mpg w/ an ATC slightly higher than cab bedshell...though most of the time I carried an additional 450lbs of equip in the bed. Prior to having the shell I believe I averaged about the same w/ same said equip in bed. My best ever MPG (bedshell was on) was 26.0 mpg doing 81mph on an Interstate with no AC and no equip in bed, fwiw.
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
New or used?

Using a raindrop as Nature's most aerodynamic shapeshifter, I'll guess that bedshells rarely help MPGs.

My Gen 1 '00 XE 4-banger averaged 21-22mpg w/ an ATC slightly higher than cab bedshell...though most of the time I carried an additional 450lbs of equip in the bed. Prior to having the shell I believe I averaged about the same w/ same said equip in bed. My best ever MPG (bedshell was on) was 26.0 mpg doing 81mph on an Interstate with no AC and no equip in bed, fwiw.
I've found a lot of research that compares different setups on beds. Covering 1/3 of the rear of the bed increases mileage by a percent. Having a similar flat platform, but have it extend off the roof of the truck increases MPG. Combined, is the most MPG out of the different combinations.

Raindrop shell owners have reported much more significant gains over the above partial cover methods.

A complete cover is less efficient than all of the comments in the 2 preceding paragraphs.

Do you have a 2WD? Almost never needing my 4x4 now, your MPG's sure makes the 2WD models look nice...but then I still have very low miles on my truck so it has tons of value above what I paid for it left. I won't be trading it in. I did have 2 years of dirt roads for my job back in the day. This was during my early ownership and that 4x4 was GREATLY needed and saved my life multiple times.
 

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Yep, 4x2 in both of my Frontiers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
4x2 slams 4x4 for fuel costs

Yep, 4x2 in both of my Frontiers.
Good choice. The only reason I really needed the 4x4 was to control the extra weight of the 4x4, lol. Naw, it's not THAT bad. I have used it a lot, but like most of us, most of the time I'm dragging around the weight and the cost without use.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For aerodynamics I need a wing, not a camper shell now! LOL

Alright mostly guys!

I have a small shift in what I'm looking for now - at least from my perspective.

I own a motorcycle now that's too tall for any of the camper shells, which I liked.

You see, the motorcycle is taller, so I think the solution is not get a bed shell that's super tall to always catch wind, and instead buy a turbowing.


As you can see, while it's "available" the options now versus 10 years ago is horrible even if the universal category.

I'm thinking a small wing would help with all the stuff in the bed that's taller than the cab of the truck. I get at least 2 less miles per gallon thanks to the wind. I could have 3 heavy people in the cab effect me less than the few hundred pounds of my 2017 Yamaha WR250R. I have to drive the whole beast across the country so I think in the one trip it'd pay for a reasonably costing wing...but not this one. $900 after shipping and it's not even complete? Now mounting gear?

$200-$300 was easily found when I was last looking but too poor to do anything but dream. I think it's an out of stock kind of a problem. I don't think it's inflation. I think they're out of vogue, which drives the price up.

I did find a few places with similar to the old prices, even if on the high side - but none of their shopping carts work so I think they're out of business?

Anyway. If anyone has one they're not using leave a comment and I'll private message you, or maybe someone has a bead on where to get a new one in a better fashion?
 

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Have you considered a used barn door for up there? :smile:

Fwiw, call ARE and see if they can share any dimensions that you require. MY ARE TW model is tall & quite roomy, but it resides on my Gen 2...not sure they even make one for a Gen 1 long bed. Their website build-a-topper is suspect as far as what is truly available.
What I like best about a bedshell is added security & protection from the elements.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Have you considered a used barn door for up there? :smile:

Fwiw, call ARE and see if they can share any dimensions that you require. MY ARE TW model is tall & quite roomy, but it resides on my Gen 2...not sure they even make one for a Gen 1 long bed. Their website build-a-topper is suspect as far as what is truly available.
What I like best about a bedshell is added security & protection from the elements.
I need to measure how tall my motorcycle is when it's rolling so it's possible to get it into the shell, it should be lower once it's on it's kick stand. Another option for the long drive across the country is to take the motorcycle's front wheel off...but that doesn't solve anything for every moment that I want a good roof spoiler for any load that sticks up above the shell and sucks down a couple MPG's.

Plus, when I stop for a few days in TX, then I'd have to reassemble the motorcycle just to drive it. I planned on using it for days of errands for both a break from the truck and sucking down 50-54 MPG instead of 11 MPG in the city really helps, lol. (only short trips at low speeds gets me that low...well, really 13 MPG, but that's because I always use Lucas Fuel Treatment. 2.5 oz. per 10 gallons. A gallon of treatment is like $32 but it saves me 2 MPG for half a year - big savings.)

Wait...the barn door was that a serious comment? Would a splitting open roof even help with the aerodynamics or just be a waste of money?
 

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If you are thinking about wings I had one of these on a 2002 F350 Dually we used to tow a 5th wheel with. It made a difference in handling and fuel economy when towing a trailer. I went with the mount that is like a headache rack for the back so I didn't have to put the wing on the roof. Now it seems if you go that route they have some aero panels that go up to the cab too go with it. I was happy with it. I was thinking about fabricating up one for the Frontier but not sure I will be towing much or how I would mount it with a bed cover on and if the Utilitrack would be in the way when mounting it.


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