AirTabs dust reduction for a Topper and sides of truck bed

I will get my Topper in the Fall, but I am trying to figure out dust mitigation. There isn’t a dedicated thread about this, that I have found. I did find a couple of posts here, but they are inconclusive and I need more info.

https://forum.gofastcampers.com/t/1994-rwd-single-cab-toyota-pickup-build/18735/20

https://forum.gofastcampers.com/t/1994-rwd-single-cab-toyota-pickup-build/18735/31

https://www.airtab.com/how-do-they-work.htm

Found this pic here YIKES:

Positive pressure from a forward facing scoop with raw (unfiltered) outside air works reasonably well, if you are moving quickly, it reduces the amount of dust getting sucked in back due to the low pressure area behind the tailgate and camper. However, the AirTabs will do more, they will eliminate most of the dust there BEFORE it can get sucked into the bed, and they also will reduce the road spray and muck in wet weather that coats the entire rear of the rig .

Has anybody played with the AirTabs?

FYI they are spaced at 3 per linear foot and cost $2.75 each.
https://buyairtab.com/

FYI, I am coming from an Oliver travel trailer, I used a Stone Stomper on that rig, it kept 80% of the dust and road spray off the back of the tow vehicle AND off the front of the trailer (but not off the BACK of the trailer). At highway speeds in moderate rain the rear truck glass remained almost DRY. I don’t expect that kind of benefit on a GFC, but any significant reduction would be welcome.

I do like to drive fast on gravel ranch and farm roads…:wink:

Thanks
John Davies
Spokane WA

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Interesting, it’s basically a mesh net that directs air/stones/dust?

I actually installed a new to the market active positive pressure system in my GFC made by Adventure Ready @goadventureready on instagram. It uses a fan and a filter to force the inside of the GFC to keep dust out and it works pretty well. With a little bit of effort to close up some of the massive gaps in the tailgate, my bed stays basically dust free, even on pretty dusty Utah desert roads. This is a picture of it.

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Stone Stompers are extremely effective, I have never seen another one in the USA. They will ship from Australia.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/2504-how-to-stone-stomper-gravel-guard/

John Davies
Spokane WA USA

I don’t understand why I never heard of this device. I just now found the site.
https://goadventureready.com/products/the-dustbox

I can’t find any details or reviews, can you comment on yours? Post some more pics? How hard is it to remove the filter and is it a common size? I have been searching for an affordable dust filter, all I found were the huge ones from Dometic and other brands, designed for a standard RV hole.

Is AR a US company? I can find no solid info about them…. I don’t do social media, maybe they are more talkative on Facebook or X.

Thanks,

John Davies
Spokane WA

It’s brand new. I would very much qualify as a beta tester for the product and have spent a fair amount of time with the founder on the phone going over things before I decided to buy in on it. It is a common cone filter - I think a 2.5 or 3" cone filter is what it uses. Changing it is very easy and uses roughly a 3-4" square hole for mounting + 4 bolts. If you are okay with cutting into your camper and doing just a little bit of weather sealing in the bed, it’s a fantastic solution. Because it is active it works at any speed - I rally my truck as well and frequently see 80mph on dusty dirt roads.

As for reliability I’ve not had a single issue through heavy rain, snow, power washing, being left in the sun for hours, etc…

They are a US company - based in Oregon. It’s definitely a premium product though. Not what I would call super budget with an msrp around a grand. My largest feedback has been that the price will likely steer some people away, but his goals is produce the highest quality item, which I am okay with. That’s why I bought a gfc.

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I can find some more pics or take a little video. I just don’t have any on my phone at the moment

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OK ! ! ! I finally found a thread about it at Expedition Portal. Why is info so difficult to find for this?

https://forum.expeditionportal.com/threads/dustbox-dust-mitigation-device-positive-pressure-system.244260/

I am following that thread, you can reply here with your GFC pictures or better yet, on that EP thread.

I do think that AirTabs would help a great deal, you would have way less dust at the rear, so you wouldn’t have to use a compressor to blow it away before accessing the truck bed. And it would keep the back glass clear.

They have a couple of other versions in the works.

" > How does it filter the air that it’s pumping into the trailer?
Cone style washable/reusable automotive filter similar to K&N
Low profile version and an RV drop in units will have MERV rated filters, that are washable, like the cone one on the original unit (V1)
Low profile version (v2) uses Merv6 rated filter and its under 3in from the mount surface, but will require a larger opening.
Attached pictures on a stand that I use in our show booth.
Stand has1.5in wall thickness, thus you’ll find the inner section about 3 inches inset, opening is around 8.5x8.5in"

I quite like the low profile white one for a GFC side door…

Thanks.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA





I have had my GFC on a Ford Maverick Hybrid for a year now and do have some dust infiltration driving on dirt roads. I was interested in your AirTab option since it does not involve drilling holes into the GFC. Where would you place the AirTabs, on the GFC and the truck tailgate or only on the GFC? I have sent this question to AirTab but thought the GFC forum would have a better idea for placement options.
Thanks,
Susan
Boulder, CO

Susan, the tabs do not go on the tailgate itself, they would go on the sides of the truck bed as far back as possible without interfering with the lights. On the GFC they would go up both side panels and across the top, again, as far back as practical . In an ideal world, there would be a belly pan under the back of the truck and you could add tabs on the back edge of that too.

John Davies
Spokane WA

I will also be trying the tabs as they are cheap and removable. Was only really considering on top and sides of the GFC, not sticking to the truck. John’s comment now has me thinking about adding to the truck also, TBD.

BTW, I worked with an English bloke named John Davies in So. Cal area for a while. Could that be you?

Hi John, Thanks so much for the detailed info! After looking at the picture of your trailer on the GFC forum, these looked like a good, not expensive and simple option to try for my GFC. Hopefully I can send you the results of the experiment this summer before your GFC is installed. I love mine! Spent all last winter in it (escaping CO winter) and it was great. I usually travel with a tent in my Subaru and this setup is one step up for me. Simple and so much more comfortable. Hope you get to enjoy your new GFC soon.
Susan
Boulder, CO

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Nope, there are a lot of Englishmen with my name, my dad came from Yorkshire…

John Davies
Spokane WA

I didn’t really think so. Wrong area, he wasn’t really the outdoors type, and he was kind of an a hole.

Back to this being a brand new product - I’m not surprised at all that info is a bit hard to find on it.

I actually ordered some air tabs to test out in conjunction with it. I’m hoping a line along the top edge of the GFC will be enough, but they’re ugly enough that I won’t be trying them along the door panels.

LOL, good luck putting them just on top. That is not how they work. Their intent is to break up the huge vertical vortices that form on the sides of the vehicle. Those curl around the back and break up, creating drag and instability…

Ugly is a rather odd reason to avoid using them. Lots of overlanding accessories are ugly, like fat mud tires, armor, recovery boards and tools hanging off the sides, and snorkels. I think they are all cool, but they are in no way attractive, and MOST mods have very undesirable side effects too. (FYI: for example, a snorkel destroys the aerodynamics on that side, creates wind roar for the occupant of the nearest seat and lets dirty road spray block your view out that side, and a forward facing scoop collects bug guts like crazy… I do not recall reading this information anywhere.)

If you are going to the trouble to test these, please install them on top, drive on a dusty road, take pictures, and then add them on the sides where they belong. Do another test drive… I bet you retain the side ones.

John Davies
Spokane WA

I’d argue that subjective ugliness is a very good reason to avoid a thing :joy: It could be argued as well that many overlanding accessories look cool to some people. (I keep all of mine on the inside of the truck out of sight)

Anyway, if they do nothing I won’t be very surprised. If they do something, I’ll leave them on. However, I will not be installing $200 of plastic triangles all over the back of my truck - it would ruin the aesthetic!

I’m acutely aware that it could be snake oil in real life applications outside of simulations. If they are so great, why doesn’t every semi truck use them? They all have massive square backs with sharp corners and if they could save .1mpg by installing them would save thousands of dollars a year in operating costs.