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The money you are saving for caravaning should not burn with fuel but it should be well spent on yourself. Even though you have the most aerodynamic towing car does not mean it will give you the best fuel efficiency while towing a caravan. The aerodynamic of vehicles-trailer combination is complicated and strongly dependent on the turbulence in the region of the rear of a car, the front and rear face of a caravan. The flow separation at the front and rear face of the trailer leads to an unfavourable pressure gradient which causes high drag force (opposing force to the vehicle motion). At higher travelling speeds (e.g. 60mph), more than 50% of the power generated by the engine is consumed to overcome the drag force.

Being a researcher in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics, we have researched several flow-modifying devices named AERO TREK. The performance of these devices has been tested in the wind-tunnel and Computational Fluid Dynamic software. The Aero Trek devices have the potential to reduce the fuel consumption of towing car by 10 to 15%. One of the concepts of these devices is shown in the figure below. The device guides the flow on top of the trailer and reduces the turbulence region in the gap between the car and caravan.

 

This post is not a marketing pitch but a part of a PhD research carried at the University of Huddersfield to survey the interest of caravan and horse trailer owners and users. The purpose of the post is to understand the pains and gains of caravan and horse trailer users and use your feedback in value addition and further research and development process. I am pleased to have your opinion on such devices which can reduce fuel consumption and contribute to the global Green Environment campaign. I am happy to share further information and discuss the performance of the Aero Trek devices in the comment area.


 

 

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I can remember an "air dam" fitted to the roof rack of the towing vehicle which was supposed to improve the efficiency of the tow

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I love research like this and computer modelling must help understand theories a lot greater. My own issue (that possibly affects a lot of other people) is that a towed caravan is typically used for holidays and as such often requires the use of roof storage systems (roof boxes, bike racks etc) that might negate the positive effects of anything designed to assist with air flow?

 

Not knocking your work though, it’s a credit to see research into this sort of thing.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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from the OP's post "The purpose of the post is to understand the pains and gains of caravan and horse trailer users and use your feedback in value addition and further research and development process." This does not really make sense, what does the OP want to know?

 

macafee2

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Warning .. never fit more than 4 devices which improve your fuel consumption by 25%  ..

 

it is illegal to let fuel spill on the carriageway .. 

Roughing it . . but in comfort . .

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8 minutes ago, macafee2 said:

from the OP's post "The purpose of the post is to understand the pains and gains of caravan and horse trailer users and use your feedback in value addition and further research and development process." This does not really make sense, what does the OP want to know?

 

macafee2


They are asking for input into the drawbacks of fuel economy while towing and whether caravan towing folks would support the research. I certainly do.

 

Just a note for any doubters on here.  Those folks that enjoy using a touring caravan/towing a trailer with a family vehicle have the "EV-challenge" facing them where the range of these vehicles is seriously affected by hooking a trailer on the back.  ANY research which improves the aerodynamics and thus improves the range has got to be a good thing.  You have got to look at the bigger picture than simply giving your diesel economy a bit of a boost.

 

Edited by GaryB1969

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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The reality for most of us, we don't do enough towing miles to make chasing a 10% consumption improvement whilst actually towing, worth a lot of hassle. We take that minor issue on the cheek.

Our bigger issue is to tow, we need a large car that for many also doubles for our solo use, that has too poor a consumption, 90 odd % of the time.

Edited by JTQ
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Can't find any info on Google when typing in Aero Trek? Maybe the OP could provide some photos of the device fitted to a towing combo?

I am concerned however that it might generate noise at speed which on a long trip, for me at least, would not be worth the saving.

 

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1 minute ago, GaryB1969 said:


They are asking for input into the drawbacks of fuel economy while towing and whether caravan towing folks would support the research. I certainly do.

" input into the drawbacks of fuel economy while towing ",  do we need to provide input, you have poor fuel economy when towing. If the op wants to know if we would support research surly that could have been asked using a lot less waffle. I read and thought  troll.  Glad others understood what was being asked

 

macafee2 

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1 minute ago, macafee2 said:

" input into the drawbacks of fuel economy while towing ",  do we need to provide input, you have poor fuel economy when towing. If the op wants to know if we would support research surly that could have been asked using a lot less waffle. I read and thought  troll.  Glad others understood what was being asked

 

macafee2 

I almost flagged it up as a spammer

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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I understand the principle but surely the device will only work optimally if there is no gap between the roof of the towing vehicle and the device itself. In order to allow for pitching movement between the towcar and the trailer, such as when negotiating speed bumps, the device would have to be hinged at the rear and measures would have to be in place to prevent roof paint damage due to resultant sliding movement between the device and the roof of the towcar.

I also foresee issues when manoeuvring and the caravan with the device attached (I presume that is the intent) is at right angles to the car. In that case, what prevents the front end of the device from dropping down?

For the device to work properly, the shape (curvature) of the front edge would have to match the roof line of the towcar. That would mean that the device would be specific for each design of towcar.

I suspect that the device may also obscure the existing front clearance or front position lamps of the caravan. In that case and in order to fulfil legal requirements, the device would have to have such lamps instead, together with corresponding wiring.

Presumably the device is not intended to be a permanent feature, but rather only a temporary one. Otherwise it would affect whole vehicle type approval.

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29 minutes ago, g7eor said:

I can remember an "air dam" fitted to the roof rack of the towing vehicle which was supposed to improve the efficiency of the tow

Yes It is the similiar concept but complately different designs and approach. These devices are strongly supported by intensive research work.

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Can we please see a picture or photo of the device? 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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27 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

I love research like this and computer modelling must help understand theories a lot greater. My own issue (that possibly affects a lot of other people) is that a towed caravan is typically used for holidays and as such often requires the use of roof storage systems (roof boxes, bike racks etc) that might negate the positive effects of anything designed to assist with air flow?

 

Not knocking your work though, it’s a credit to see research into this sort of thing.

Hi Gary, Thanks for your interest. 
Yes I completely gree with you. Storage devices defintly affect the performance of these devices. I have noticed your point and will defintly run some more analysis to see the effect of roof boxes and bike racks on the performance of these devices.

 

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27 minutes ago, atif said:

The money you are saving for caravaning should not burn with fuel but it should be well spent on yourself. Even though you have the most aerodynamic towing car does not mean it will give you the best fuel efficiency while towing a caravan. The aerodynamic of vehicles-trailer combination is complicated and strongly dependent on the turbulence in the region of the rear of a car, the front and rear face of a caravan. The flow separation at the front and rear face of the trailer leads to an unfavourable pressure gradient which causes high drag force (opposing force to the vehicle motion). At higher travelling speeds (e.g. 60mph), more than 50% of the power generated by the engine is consumed to overcome the drag force.

Being a researcher in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics, we have researched several flow-modifying devices named AERO TREK. The performance of these devices has been tested in the wind-tunnel and Computational Fluid Dynamic software. The Aero Trek devices have the potential to reduce the fuel consumption of towing car by 10 to 15%. One of the concepts of these devices is shown in the figure below. The device guides the flow on top of the trailer and reduces the turbulence region in the gap between the car and caravan.

 

 

This post is not a marketing pitch but a part of a PhD research carried at the University of Huddersfield to survey the interest of caravan and horse trailer owners and users. The purpose of the post is to understand the pains and gains of caravan and horse trailer users and use your feedback in value addition and further research and development process. I am pleased to have your opinion on such devices which can reduce fuel consumption and contribute to the global Green Environment campaign. I am happy to share further information and discuss the performance of the Aero Trek devices in the comment area.


 

 

FFF-5-1-00092.jpg

Good luck with your research I take it this is for your thesis. 

 

My outfit 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV towing a 1500kg 2016  Swift Conqueror caravan starting with the batteries fully charger 10kWh towing a distance of 178 miles averaging 50mph measured brim brim just over 28mpg, towing at 55mph drops down to high 26/27, not tried 60mph as yet but would expect 25/26 mpg.

 

We also notice towing the same caravan without the front towing cover towing @ 60mph approximately 32mpg with the front towing cover nearer 30mpg. The Swift Conqueror HT has quite an aerodynamic front end, especially compared to a Bailey which is more upright.

 

 

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4  PHEV and 2016 Swift Conqueror 480 HT

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30 minutes ago, macafee2 said:

from the OP's post "The purpose of the post is to understand the pains and gains of caravan and horse trailer users and use your feedback in value addition and further research and development process." This does not really make sense, what does the OP want to know?

 

macafee2

I am really sorry Macafee2 for unclear statement. Actually English is my second language. The purpose of this post is to see the interest of the caravan users and any recomendations on adopting such devices. Any good or bad experince you had in the past can help us improve our research and developemnt of these devices. A lot of research has already carried which is just part of research papers but was not adopted by the industry and customers. Your suggestions would help us to align our research according the the end user demand.

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Further to my comments above I would also like to add that where the front edge of the device is relative to longitudinal sweep of the roofline of the towcar will also have a bearing on its efficiency. Just compare the roofline of short two seater fixed head coupe with that of an estate car, for example. There again, that would make the device specific to each and every model of towcar.

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33 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:


They are asking for input into the drawbacks of fuel economy while towing and whether caravan towing folks would support the research. I certainly do.

 

Just a note for any doubters on here.  Those folks that enjoy using a touring caravan/towing a trailer with a family vehicle have the "EV-challenge" facing them where the range of these vehicles is seriously affected by hooking a trailer on the back.  ANY research which improves the aerodynamics and thus improves the range has got to be a good thing.  You have got to look at the bigger picture than simply giving your diesel economy a bit of a boost.

 

Thanks Garry for your supportive comments

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8 minutes ago, atif said:

Hi Gary, Thanks for your interest. 
Yes I completely gree with you. Storage devices defintly affect the performance of these devices. I have noticed your point and will defintly run some more analysis to see the effect of roof boxes and bike racks on the performance of these devices.

 

 

As an example I have attached two photographs of our car/caravan, one with nothing on the roof and another with bike/roof box showing the severe disruption to any air flow over the car.  My economy towing is the same whether there is anything on the roof or not:

 

72786335_10220525088776308_4961538953254535168_o.thumb.jpg.9273ce9632ad2461939de7d48f99c512.jpg

 

67235278_10219807307072214_5046531043167830016_o.thumb.jpg.6d703b55bd83e096f9f5ac6639f2da64.jpg

Edited by GaryB1969

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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This question is directed directly at the Original Poster.

 

What exactly are you seeking from members of this forum?  It is a very well known fact that towing a caravan hammers towing vehicle fuel consumption. There are two main reasons. 

1. The caravan virtually doubles the weight that the towing vehicles engine has to move and.....

2.Car manufacturer’s spend vast sums of money on making their cars as aerodynamic as possible, we caravaners then go and ruin all that work by towing  a big square box that’s about as aerodynamic as a breeze block! 

 

So what “input” are you seeking? I am pretty certain that a decent ballpark figure will be that towing a caravan halves most people’s MPG figure. 

 

I am happy to help but struggle to see what information we can orovide that isnt already well known. 

 

Are you planing on/have you spoken with the caravan manufacturers to see what, if any, research they have done on aerodynamics Thet might have a shed load of data already! 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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1 minute ago, atif said:

I am really sorry Macafee2 for unclear statement. Actually English is my second language. The purpose of this post is to see the interest of the caravan users and any recomendations on adopting such devices. Any good or bad experince you had in the past can help us improve our research and developemnt of these devices. A lot of research has already carried which is just part of research papers but was not adopted by the industry and customers. Your suggestions would help us to align our research according the the end user demand.

Thank you for advising English is your second language,  it is actually very good. You put many of us Brits to shame.

I have never used any form of air deflector. A fair bit of the time I have cycles on the roof of the car

 

macafee2

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9 minutes ago, WispMan said:

Can we please see a picture or photo of the device? 

 

31 minutes ago, Tunnelvision said:

Can't find any info on Google when typing in Aero Trek? Maybe the OP could provide some photos of the device fitted to a towing combo?

I am concerned however that it might generate noise at speed which on a long trip, for me at least, would not be worth the saving.

 

Sorry dear, We have not commercialise these products yet. These are part of my PhD researcha nd I am still working on them.

I will post some more Pictures od concept designs. Your concern of noise is obsolutely right. we have initially calculated the noise which was not that bad but I will surely keep this in mind and work on your suggestion.

Thanks

15 minutes ago, Oscarmax said:

Good luck with your research I take it this is for your thesis. 

 

My outfit 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV towing a 1500kg 2016  Swift Conqueror caravan starting with the batteries fully charger 10kWh towing a distance of 178 miles averaging 50mph measured brim brim just over 28mpg, towing at 55mph drops down to high 26/27, not tried 60mph as yet but would expect 25/26 mpg.

 

We also notice towing the same caravan without the front towing cover towing @ 60mph approximately 32mpg with the front towing cover nearer 30mpg. The Swift Conqueror HT has quite an aerodynamic front end, especially compared to a Bailey which is more upright.

 

 

You are right dear. It is part of my Thesis. I see you have already done some interesting work on fuel consumption calculation. Can I ask how did you measure the MPG at 50 and 55mph?
Thanks

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Couldn't find anything related to caravan towing for Aero Trek, but found this one from Purpleline in Aus. called Aeroplus.

 

Not so sure about the fuel saving claims for this one as the fitment on the one in the video (link below) looks too far away from the front of the caravan, also think that guy in the video may have shares in the company! but also found some info on a similar device in the US and it claims to reduce the amount of bugs that get spattered on the front of the caravan, so must be doing something positive for the airflow that's being deflected from the towing vehicle.

 

 

Edited by Joeblogs
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13 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

 

As an example I have attached two photographs of our car/caravan, one with nothing on the roof and another with bike/roof box showing the severe disruption to any air flow over the car.  My economy towing is the same whether there is anything on the roof or not:

 

72786335_10220525088776308_4961538953254535168_o.thumb.jpg.9273ce9632ad2461939de7d48f99c512.jpg

 

67235278_10219807307072214_5046531043167830016_o.thumb.jpg.6d703b55bd83e096f9f5ac6639f2da64.jpg

Great you have a nice and big caarvan. I can see your storage box is already designed very streamlined and I believe that's the reason why you have not noticed much differece in fuel consumption. It will be interesting to see the effect of storage and byce on the car. I will share my finding with you guys. 

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.......a lighter Mk.1 right foot is the best modification for reducing fuel consumpsion and comes at no extra cost.

Keep active ....be happy...stay safe.

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