View Full Version : Fifthwheel tailgates ...

07-19-2006, 10:13 AM
Was wondering how many out there are using a fifthwheel louvered tailgate and is it worth the money .... benefits .... brands .... I'm looking at them but wondered if I should invest in one or not?


I guess it may be obvious now, with all the questions, that I am getting ready to travel to pick up the Grand Canyon.

07-19-2006, 10:53 AM

I am assuming you are referring to the louvered V-gate.

I bought one right away and I really like mine. I have to admit that I like the finished look of the truck with the OEM tailgate but the function of the louvered V-gate wins out. The first year, I put the OEM tailgate back on for the winter. This last winter, I got lazy and get the louvered V-gate on.

Here's a CW link to the Custom Flow brand (http://www.campingworld.com/search/index.cfm?affiliateID=577&siteID=CRmXdm5X5mI-ytOI6qSyt.ZckqnQZ.zhQA&action=search&keywords=custom%20flow%20tailgate&x=6&y=8) I have on my Dodge RAM.

Not only does the V-gate provide functionality when backing under the trailer to hitch but I can see through the V cut-out and a bit through the louvers for general non-trailering backing.


07-19-2006, 12:33 PM
We have a Custom Flow louvered tailgate on our GMC 3500. It is great - everything Jim says about it is true.

07-19-2006, 12:44 PM
Lynne. I went plastic this time. Third fiver louvered tailgate and I got tired of sanding and repainting. I like the plastic because it is maintenance free and latches and unlatches easily. I have seen enough bent and crunched OEM tailgates from people missing when connecting or forgetting when disconnecting. Another advantage with the louvered tailgate is the front of the fifth wheel is pushing a lot of air down into the pickup box. The tailgate allows it to flow out which helps in fuel economy. Here is what I have and where I bought it. http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_1029582_1029582

07-19-2006, 01:01 PM
I checked on Ebay ... saw a few used ones ... aluminum ... looked nice, then I saw the poly and aluminum and I would think that the lighter, less or no maintainance would be best .... I know the OEM tailgate can be hard to handle sometimes and I sure don't want to be taking it on and off so I want something that looks good too. Not sure I want to spend the money for the all aluminum though!

07-19-2006, 05:28 PM
In this case .. Function wins over form.. We have a Stomberg Carlson that DW picked up a camping World..Fits the Dodge well and no hassells at hookup

Tom of Ypsi
07-19-2006, 08:30 PM
As long as I am towing a 5th wheel I will have the a "V" gate. No worries or hassles, just make sure the 5ver is high enough and back in.

07-21-2006, 11:44 AM
Well ... after searching for the best prices and looking at the different styles available, I found a 'TURBO NET" designed for 5th wheels that I have decided will do just what I need and the price was right! I ordered it at etrailer.com and the total with shipping was $62.88.

Because I am not going to be towing alot but needed the functions of the "V" gate, I think the net will be great for me, for now! Has anyone seen these? I keep ya posted on how it works out!

07-21-2006, 09:28 PM
I have an OEM tail gate that got its first fiver "welcome kiss" Will gladly trade it for one of those fancy pants louvered tail gates! :o

07-21-2006, 09:50 PM
Used these on work trucks for many years. The only bad thing I have ever seen is after a few years of hauling lots of heavy things in box, the sides of bed can flare out at the back end making it impossible to use oem tailgate again. When this happened we used to weld a small chain and boomer on box to cinch it back in.

08-07-2006, 09:49 PM
Nelson put one on our truck. That's all the info I can share. I don't know why he did it, but he isn't one to spend money on non-necessities. He is away from home for work right now or I would get his input.

The graphics on the truck, I bought and surprised him with, or they wouldn't be there.

08-08-2006, 07:07 PM
I ordered one on Ebay just like Midastouch. $55 including shipping. For that kind of money I cant get hurt too bad. :)

08-13-2006, 09:23 AM
One problem with these louvered tailgates is that they are real easy to steal. All of the ones that I have looked at have no locking mechanism. I had my first one stolen and the one I have on now has some well placed screws to make it hard to remove. I donít think they make any difference in fuel milage, but frankly I like the appearance. I like my truck to say I am a member of the RV community and no longer struggling to make a dollar. Just a little ego trip.

08-13-2006, 10:51 AM
The University Of Michigan did testing on the wind in back of pickup trucks with the tailgates up ,down and off. I was amazed at the results and interesting reading. Some reason I can't get a direct link to work, but go to www.sitemaker.umich.edu (http://www.sitemaker.umich.edu). then site search, type -gm truck bed this will give you the link.

08-13-2006, 05:53 PM
The big difference with the fifth wheel tailgate when you are towing is that the front of the trailer is pushing a tremendous amount of air into the box of the truck. With the louvered gate, it is allowing the air to flow out and under the fiver, and it does make a difference in fuel economy. The study done by by U of M was not done towing and there was a definite improvement in fuel economy with the tail gate on and up. It works in reverse when towing with the stock gate.

Ray LeTourneau
08-14-2006, 12:25 AM
We have the dropped/louvered tailgate and I like the fact that I don't have to drop the gate anymore to hook up. Much easier than wrestling with a factory tailgate. I have no idea if mileage is improved or not. Don't really care.

08-14-2006, 09:59 AM
I got the "turbo net" installed when I got it and it's been on the truck ever since! I like the fact that I can see what I'm pulling behind me. Not sure about the milage factor either ... I sure like the "net" ... big heavy factory tailgate stored in the shed for and undetermined amount of time.

08-14-2006, 11:07 AM
I have the Stromberg-Carlson plastic one. I got it from Camping World and I like it a lot. I have had my trailer for three years and I have thought about getting one for some time. Never had a problem with forgetting to lower the tailgate before hooking or unhooking and I didn't expect any improvement in mileage. I just thought it would be more convenient. Anyhow, the reason I finally got one is because my OEM tailgate became very unserviceable when I backed into a steel post with the tailgate open. Ouch! Talk about embarrassing. Oh, well. If the tailgate had been up I probably would have destroyed my rear bumper and I am sure replacing the bumper would have been more expensive.

08-14-2006, 04:58 PM
I saw a neat one in Calgary the other day on a Dodge 3500 dually. The guy took his oem gate and dropped the handle and cut a V in it. Looked very sharp although I am sure very expensive.