Cab Rack for Improved Gas Mileage?

I have a 2020 manual off-road DCSB Tacoma and I had a GFC installed in October. Before the GFC I was getting anywhere between 18 mpg and up to about 22 mpg depending on the tank and type of driving. Since getting the camper my gas mileage has tanked to about 15 mpg to 17 mpg if I’m lucky. I previously had an ikamper and diamondback cover on the bed so the weight was pretty comparable to the gfc. Previous setup was all in line with the cab and I know the GFC increase the drag quite a bit, but I was expecting such a drastic drop in mpg.

I don’t have any wind fairing installed, but I’ve been thinking about getting a roof rack for the cab for a while and I’m wondering if anyone has seen any improvement in mpg with one? I’ve been looking at the sherpa racks and martin off-road (leaning towards sherpa) without the lightbar cut out. Anyone have either of these racks and have seen and increase in gas mileage after installing?

Thanks in advance!

I have a prinsu cab rack on my manual 2nd gen Tacoma. I top out at 15 avg mpg on the highway. I only had my camper on for a day before putting my rack on, but I believe I gained about 1mpg, if that. It did a lot to reduce the wind noise too.

I have a rack but honestly with a wind fairing and I think it helps but really I just gave up on the MPG and try to just drive more chill. 2016 taco get about 17mpg

Yeah I really find keeping my rpm at >2500 on the hwy helps a tom

I made my own wind fairing and it helps a lot with noise but I really haven’t seen much of a change in mpg. I’ve got a 3rd gen Taco as well (automatic though) and noticed they just don’t do well carrying weight in general. Even before getting the camper I’d notice a significant drop in efficiency just carrying tools and materials around. Point being, I think it’s more the weight that kills you, not the drag.

I hear ya, when I’ve really loaded it down I’ve noticed a drop but the GFC is about the same weight as my previous setup and similar distribution so not sure it’s all down to weight

In my previous life I worked a lot with Thule and Yakima racks; both of the companies engineers claim that fairings on racks only assist with wind noise and can actually increase drag and resistance, effectively doing nothing for MPGs.

Obviously the form factor in front of the GFC is vastly different, however I wouldn’t expect the fairing to help in any significant manner.

I have noticed my ‘06, manual, ACLB gets almost exactly 17mpg pretty much across the board with or without my V2. As long as I am not living up to the campers namesake. :sunglasses:

All that being said, I am ordering a sherpa rack to see if it helps with wind noise. :face_with_spiral_eyes:


I haven’t seen this said yet, so an out of the box suggestion; increase your tire pressure (at least in the back).

Anecdotally, I haven’t added more air to my tires since the summer, and I’ve noticed about a 2 MPG drop because I’m running closer to 32 PSI than my typical 35 PSI in a cold tire.

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Update: So I installed the Sherpa Animas rack and haven’t seen much improvement in wind noise or MPG… still rocking about 16.5 mpg tank average. Most of my driving is about a ~30 mile commute about half city driving and half highway driving. I’ve noticed that my trip MPGs is can reach up to ~20 mpg if I’m cruising about 55 mph or below but if I average 60 mpg or above it drops to the 16.5 mpg mark.

I recently put new tires on as well… Open Country ATIII in 265/75r16 so slightly larger tire and only about a pound heaver than the stock wranglers that came with the truck but honestly didn’t notice any real change in MPG with the new shoes. The open country probably have a slightly more aggressive tread and they’re sitting at about 36-38 psi (rated for 44 psi max).

Do I need to be running higher pressure? Could my dash be reading incorrectly with the increased tire size? I know they are larger than stock my the actual measurement is closer to the stock stated size than the new tire’s stated size and when I installed them and compared the mph and distance against the dash, the mph was dead on and the odometer was about 1.5 miles off over 30 miles.

I know I shouldn’t expect stellar gas mileage with the camper on the back, but I had an ikamper and diamond back previsouly and got about 22mpg average. Similar weight but the ikamper sat about level with the cab so not much drag. All other components are completely stock. Any recommendations?