Do tonneau covers really offer fuel savings?
Quick answer, yes they do. Ultimately a hard or soft truck bed cover increases the aerodynamics of your pickup thus increasing your fuel efficiency.
Open truck beds are a huge drag on your gas mileage. As air flows over the aerodynamic front end of your vehicle, it careens into your truck bed and produces opposite force to your truck. This could easily provide you with several miles of additional gas every single trip! Covering your bed up with a tight tonneau cover, either a hard or soft one, eliminates this tailgate drag.
How much will a truck tonneau cover increase gas mileage?
Tonneau covers do increase gas mileage, but by exactly how much depends on the truck and the brand of tonneau. Most tonneau bed cover manufacturers actively promote that a pickup cover improves gas mileage. This makes complete sense as less drag means better fuel economy. By closing your truck bed with a tonneau cover, you're reducing airflow and drag significantly while creating a secure storage environment for your tools, sports equipment and other belongings. However, most manufacturers are confident that a tonneau cover will pay for itself in fuel savings.
Some truck bed cover manufacturers offer Fuel Savings Calculators such as Access Cover or TruXedo. Pace-Edwards boasts an 11% increase in fuel economy. Access Covers claim you will save $225.00 per year in gas money.
Want more gas savings? Check out all RealTruck's gas saving products