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As you already know, there are plenty of RV accessories on the market today. There are entire stores (not to mention the internet) full of RV gear, gadgets, and gizmos. As an RV owner, it can be hard to separate out what is really necessary equipment from what is just marketing fluff. In this article, we are going to discuss one piece of gear specifically – wind deflectors.
Even if you didn’t know it, you have probably seen a few of these around on the roads over the years. A wind deflector is simply a piece of equipment that is mounted to your vehicle with the idea of directing air flow around your rig. RV’s are big and heavy (obviously), so reducing the amount of drag on them should – theoretically – improve your gas mileage over the long run. But does it work? Well, that answer is not so simple to determine.
It Can Work
To be sure, this is a concept that holds water, and it can work under the correct circumstances. If you are able to get a wind deflector that does actually divert the air flow around the top of your RV, you should see an improvement in gas mileage – and also an improvement in your RV’s ability to get down the road without too much strain. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details when it comes to this piece of equipment. The theory is solid, but the execution behind the theory is not so great.
Need a Perfect Match
If you were to hope to have a wind deflector that would improve the aerodynamics of your rig as it moves down the road, you would need to have one that has been specifically designed for your combination of vehicle and RV. Obviously, having one custom built is not going to be cost efficient. So, you are left to choose from those already on the market. These cost just a few hundred bucks, but they aren’t customized to your rig. In the end, you will be left with something that may or may not provide you with any help at all. If you are looking for improved gas mileage, you will probably be better served to adjust your driving habits than to add a wind deflector to your setup.
With that said, there are some other potential benefits that you could enjoy after adding a wind deflector. For one thing, you should find that there are far fewer smashed bugs on the front of your RV when you arrive at your destination if you have a wind deflector installed. While the aerodynamic effects may not be enough to save you a significant amount of gas, they are usually sufficient to push bugs up and around the front of the RV. If you hate the chore of scrubbing the squished bugs off your RV from time to time, avoiding that chore alone may be worth the investment in a wind deflector.
Another possible gain that can be enjoyed through the use of this product is improved stability during your drives. Every RV owner knows the feeling of having the rig pull and tug across the road from time to time – especially in windy conditions. However, if you are using a wind deflector, you may find that your entire rig slides through the air more comfortably, with a reduction in some of those uncomfortable pulling feelings.
So, do wind deflectors really work? Well, that depends on what you want them to do for you. As a way to save money at the pump, you would probably be better off taking a pass on this item. However, if you would just like one for the benefit of a smoother ride down the road and fewer bugs on your RV, they are likely some nice gains to be made. In the end, of course, the choice will be yours on whether or not to invest in this piece of RV gear.