Do Camper Shells Improve Gas Mileage?

Camper Topper

Camper shells, also known as truck caps, are structures that fit over the bed of a pickup truck. They provide additional storage space and can be used for sleeping or hauling gear. Some people even use them as permanent homes.
The camper shells do not improve the gas mileage. They can lower your gas mileage by as much as 10%. The wind resistance created by the camper shell causes a decrease in fuel efficiency.

Do Camper Shells Improve Gas Mileage?

Camper shell can not improve the gas mileage due to the following reasons.

  1. Camper shells lower your mph: The average truck or SUV camper shell will lower your top speed by 2-5 mph. This is because the shell creates drag, which makes it harder for your vehicle to move through the air. The larger the shell, the more drag it will create.
  2. Camper shells can reduce your fuel efficiency:
    In addition to reducing your top speed, a camper shell can reduce your fuel efficiency by as much as 10%. This is because the shell makes your engine work harder to move the vehicle through the air.
  3. Camper shells can increase your weight: A typical camper shell can weigh anywhere from 100-200 lbs. This extra weight can put a strain on your engine, which can lead to reduced fuel efficiency.
  4. Camper shells do not improve your truck’s aerodynamics: One of the main benefits of a camper shell is that it can help improve your gas mileage. However, this is only true if the shell is appropriately aerodynamic. Unfortunately, most truck and SUV camper shells are not very aerodynamic. Many of them make your vehicle less aerodynamic than it was without the shell.
  5. While weight increases, gas mileage decreases: As stated before, a camper shell will add weight to your vehicle. This extra weight will put a strain on your engine, which can lead to reduced fuel efficiency.

The Basics And Benefits Of Camper Shells

Adding a camper shell to your truck can improve your gas mileage by increasing aerodynamics and decreasing wind drag. It can also help keep your cargo secure and protected from the elements. If you’re planning to use your camper shell for camping, it’s essential to choose one that is sturdy and weatherproof.

How To Improve Truck Gas Mileage?

Speedometer with Heavy Mileage

Keep your camper shell/tonneau cover:  One way to improve your truck’s gas mileage is to keep your camper shell or tonneau cover on. This will help reduce drag and improve aerodynamics. You can also set your speed control on highways to help maintain a consistent speed.

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A truck’s aerodynamics are vital to maintaining good fuel economy. The shape of the truck’s bed and its contents significantly impact how much drag is created while driving.

Set your speed control on roads: One way to maintain good fuel economy is to pack your truck lightly. The less weight you have in your truck, the less drag you’ll create. You should also set your speed control on roads to avoid speeding and wasting gas. Keep your speed between 55 and 65 mph when traveling on the highway. Going over 70 mph creates.

Use regular gasoline: While many different types of gasoline are available, the best gas for your truck is regular unleaded gasoline. Using premium gas won’t improve your truck’s performance or fuel economy. Using premium gas can decrease your truck’s fuel economy by up to 2%. Stick with regular unleaded gasoline to get the best gas mileage for your truck.

Avoid idling when possible: Your truck is still burning gas when you’re stopped in traffic or at a red light. Try to avoid idling whenever possible to save fuel. If you’re going to be stopped for more than a minute, turn off your engine. This will help you save gas and reduce emissions.

Avoid stop-and-go driving: One way to improve your truck’s gas mileage is to keep your camper shell or tonneau cover on. This will help reduce drag and improve aerodynamics. You can also set your speed control on highways to help maintain a consistent speed.

Regular gasoline typically provides better fuel economy than premium gasoline, so try to use the regular grade if possible. Idling can waste a lot of fuel, so try to avoid it when possible. And finally, stop-and-go driving can also decrease fuel economy, so try to avoid that.

Follow your truck maintenance schedule: The best way to improve your truck’s gas mileage is to follow the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer. This includes regularly changing your oil, checking your tire pressure, and keeping your engine tuned. If you take good care of your truck, it will run more efficiently and use less fuel.

How Are Camper Shells Different From Truck Campers?

Camper shells, also called truck caps, topper shells, or simply toppers, are hard-sided covers that fit over the bed of a pickup truck. They protect you from the elements of your cargo and can also improve gas mileage by streamlining the shape of your truck. Camper shells are different from truck campers in that they are not self-contained living quarters; they are simply a cover for your truck bed.

One advantage of a camper shell is that it can improve your gas mileage. A streamlined camper shell can reduce drag and help your truck’s aerodynamics, leading to better fuel efficiency. In addition, a camper shell can keep your cargo more secure and protected from the elements, which is especially important if you’re carrying expensive or delicate items.

Do Camper Shells Make The Truck More Aerodynamic?

The short answer is yes, and camper shells can help to improve gas mileage by making the truck more aerodynamic. However, a few factors must be considered before deciding if a camper shell is suitable for you and your truck.

  • First, it’s important to note that the type of camper shell you choose will affect how much of an improvement you’ll see in gas mileage. A basic camper shell made of fiberglass or aluminum will provide a slight aerodynamic boost. In contrast, a more complex and expensive shell that’s designed specifically for aerodynamics can give a more significant improvement.
  • Second, the size and shape of your truck will also impact how much of an improvement a camper shell can provide. A smaller truck will benefit more from an aerodynamic shell than a larger truck.
  • Finally, it’s worth considering how often you’ll use the camper shell. If you only plan on using it on long trips or when towing a trailer, the gas mileage improvement may not be worth the cost of the shell. However, if you use your truck for short trips around town or work, a camper shell can help you save money on gas.
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Alternatives of a camper shell

If you are not interested in purchasing a camper shell, there are a few alternatives that you can use to improve your gas mileage. One option is to use a truck bed cover. These covers come in various materials and styles, so you should be able to find one that fits your needs. Another alternative is to use a tonneau cover. Tonneau covers are similar to truck bed covers but cover the entire truck bed. This option is good for those who want to protect their belongings from the weather and keep them out of sight.


Is the camper shell useful?

It depends on your needs and preferences. Some people find that camper shells provide significant advantages in gas mileage and storage space, while others find them unnecessary add-ons. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to invest in a camper shell is a personal one.

Does The Camper Shells’ Weight Affect Gas Mileage?

Yes, weight affects gas mileage. The heavier your vehicle, the more fuel it will consume. Camper shells can add a lot of weight to a vehicle, so if you’re looking to improve your gas mileage, you might consider leaving the camper shell home.

Are There Any Camper Shells That Can Improve Gas Mileage?

There are a few different types of camper shells that can improve gas mileage. One type is the aerodynamic shell, which is designed to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. Another type is the lightweight shell, which helps reduce the vehicle’s weight and improve mileage. Insulated shells help keep the interior of the vehicle cooler, resulting in better gas mileage.

Are There Uses For Camper Shells?

Yes, camper shells can be used for a variety of purposes. Some people use them as extra storage space for camping gear, while others use them to create a comfortable sleeping area when camping. Additionally, camper shells can provide additional protection from the elements when driving in inclement weather.


A camper shell can help improve your gas mileage if it is properly aerodynamic. However, most truck and SUV camper Shells typically weigh between 100-200 pounds. The extra weight will put a strain on your engine and can lead to decreased fuel efficiency. Camper shells do not improve gas mileage; they lower it. To increase fuel efficiency, you should consider alternatives such as aero kits or fuel-efficient tires.

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