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Old 12-26-2018, 06:19 PM   #1
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Aerodynamic improvements

So I'm doing a cross-country Drive all the way from Florida to Bellingham Washington. I have a dog nose pusher that I plan on increasing the aerodynamics on the cheap by doing the following. Installing a air dam. I have a sheet of quarter inch recycled tire mat that I'm going to put just 6 in above-the-ground. I've got a sheet of recycled conveyor belt that I'm going to use as skirting. At some point I'll try and get a sheet of recycled carbon fiber and use it as a belly pan. The side view mirrors are probably the dirtiest part of the vehicle. Has anyone here ever replace them with cameras? There's a guy a while back on ecomodder that added a boat tail to his RV. I was thinking about doing this on my bus at some point as well. It would give me an extra 10 ft of storage space or extend my bedroom. I was thinking about adding aluminum Pizza pans as wheel covers, but I don't know how I could have them safely attached while being able to remove them to have access to the wheel. Since my air dam in the front is so huge I was wondering if it would make sense to add some sort of Vortex generators on the sides of the air dam.

Can anyone think of anything else cheap I should do? Also please post pictures of any aerodynamic improvements you added to your bus.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:35 PM   #2
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I am the admin of GeoMetroForum.com and we fuel economy guys love aeromods! A bunch of minor modifications can add a few MPG on a small economy car. As far as the Skoolie life goes, you are pushing a brick down the road and you will need the front clip off a fighter jet, an aerodynamic kammback, vortex generators, mirror delete, and more to even gain 2-3 MPG on a bus. Not worth it.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthrobus View Post
I have a dog nose pusher that I plan on increasing the aerodynamics on the cheap by doing the following.

A dog nose pusher?

I would think final gearing and cruising speed would be the most important MPG considerations up front.

I have a rear view camera and I would never trade my mirrors for cameras unless they were an awful lot better than what Iíve seen.

I love the idea of improving MPG, but it seems like a school bus is going to be hard to make meaningful aerodynamic improvements on without reducing usability. Even at stock height I scrape my front end sometimes. It seems like an air dam would need to accommodate contacting the ground at times.

Iím sure we would all love to hear how the efforts go. Wheel covers and a lower skirt seem doable.

Waiting for tailwinds would help too! It does make a big difference!
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
I am the admin of GeoMetroForum.com and we fuel economy guys love aeromods! A bunch of minor modifications can add a few MPG on a small economy car. As far as the Skoolie life goes, you are pushing a brick down the road and you will need the front clip off a fighter jet, an aerodynamic kammback, vortex generators, mirror delete, and more to even gain 2-3 MPG on a bus. Not worth it.
There was a guy on here a while back that got 15 miles per gallon from 10 with a bunch of modifications. That's a pretty big savings. Granted he had a small RV but it proves that it's possibly doable.
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:32 AM   #5
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i am jealous of the truck boat tails that pop out at speed, i think that would make a good aero mod for a bus.

i also see roof raises that, imo, are lost opportunities for aero. seems like if you turned one around and went from big in front to normal at the back, you may improve the brick a lot.

there are some cheap air vortec generators that you see on some big rigs, that you could put on the tail of the bus to help a little. but in the end, probably not worth the investment.
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:57 AM   #6
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Not sure if this Green Shields project ever went anywhere, but the claim is 10-20% fuel savings.
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:27 PM   #7
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Even on passenger cars, aerodynamics aren't a major consideration until at least 50 mph. Under that it's way easier to buy mpg through drivetrain design and mods. We spend a lot of time at 50+ mph, but school bus fleets don't. I'm guessing that that little bus-yarmulke will never pay for itself.
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