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Old 10-09-2018, 08:36 AM   #1
tow n slow
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5th Wheel Tailgate necessary?

Hello,
Before I invest in a locking bed cover for my tow vehicle, I need to ask

Is a 5th wheel style tailgate necessary? I realize there is a convince factor BUT is there a Safety reason for having one? I don't mind opening and closing while setup or take-down of campsites. And I understand some folks damage there original tailgates by not closing or opening when they should.

I'm mostly interested in your comments that while my 5th wheel is connected properly to my tow truck can my tailgate be damaged while towing?

THANKS!!!
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:50 PM   #2
fjr vfr
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A 5th wheel style tail gate is just that. It is not necessary at all.
I have a Bak-Flip tonneau cover on my truck with a locking tail gate and it works great for me.

The only concern you have is the hitch height needed for your 5th wheel hitch to match the trailers pin height. If you have to mount it high you might not be able to use a tonneau cover. Most people can though. Just make sure before purchasing the tonneau cover.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:48 AM   #3
Rhagfo
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Well 5er TG is great to have they cut down on turbulence in the bed so items seem to stay in the bed.
Custom Flow makes locking 5er TG with a filler panel to make the bed secure.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tow n slow View Post

I'm mostly interested in your comments that while my 5th wheel is connected properly to my tow truck can my tailgate be damaged while towing?

THANKS!!!
TG no, Not while towing, although I have seen bed covers interfere with bed rail clearance(s) of front cap undersides, and long pin boxes, backing.
I recently witnessed a late model Ram 3500HD DRW that when coupled to a Winnebago 5th (short pin box?), could not lower his tailgate. This necessitated a notched TG.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:37 PM   #5
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It’s only necessary if you want to give up significant fuel mileage
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:25 AM   #6
wingnut60
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Goober,
Could you expand on that?
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:46 AM   #7
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Goober, I also was interested in the fuel mileage quote. Thanks....
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:21 AM   #8
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Wasting fuel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goober View Post
It’s only necessary if you want to give up significant fuel mileage
Here’s one example of why a RV tailgate is a bad idea.

https://removeandreplace.com/2015/07...te-up-or-down/

Doing this is worse than installing brush guard
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:18 AM   #9
fjr vfr
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About 20 years ago when the tailgate down fad was at it's height, Consumer Reports did a very complete report on the subject. They used two full sized pickups and two small pickups. They drove each pickup with their gates down and with them up. Each time they measured an exact amount of fuel in each tank. They further drove in varied conditions to simulate normal usage.

What they found was one of the large pickups and one of the smaller got about one mpg better fuel economy with the gate down and the other two pickups got about one mpg better with it up.
Their conclusion was the difference was slight enough to make it just personal preference to which appearance the owner liked.
Now about 20 years later I would think it would be less of a wash. The auto makers are doing everything to claim their truck has the best economy. I would bet they do extensive wind tunnel testing to that end. I once read an article written by a Ford and a GM engineer explaining why the bed lengths and widths vary between manufactures. It is due to adjustments made to get the best results for airflow.
So, I would side with tailgate up, but there is a lot of variables.
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:19 PM   #10
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Sounds like it boils down to personal choice, and ease of hitching up.
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