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Frequently Asked Questions
- How will I know how to put them on?
- What material is used to make Airtabs™
- Will Airtabs™ endure extreme temperatures?
- Does the Airtab® tape have any petroleum in it?
- What colour is an Airtab®?
- Can they be painted?
- I am going to put Airtabs™ on my tractor and trailer after I have it painted. How long should I wait before I may attach the Airtabs™?
- I haul a flat bed trailer. Will Airtabs™ help me?
- Do the Airtabs™ have to be painted prior to being fitted?
- How many do I need?
- How is an Airtab® attached to the truck and trailer?
- What are the ideal installation conditions?
- What tools are required to fit a truck and trailer?
- How long does it take to fit a truck and regular trailer?
- Can Airtabs™ be place farther apart than recommended? - I have some unequally spaced ribs on my trailer.
- Will Airtabs™ reduce drag with a tractor-trailer gap less than 18 inches?
- How close to the back of the tractor or trailer do you place Airtabs™?
- How far apart should Airtabs™ be mounted?
- Will Airtabs™ stick to the EPDM (rubber) roofs on RVs?
- Would you recommend putting Airtabs™ on the top of the Air-conditioning units on top of my RV?
- Can I put Airtabs™ on the hood of my vehicle and if I can where would be the best location? Do Airtabs™ work on the hoods of vehicles as bug deflectors? How is the best location determined?
- How do you locate the proper Airtab® placement on the front hood of your vehicle?
- Can I use Airtabs™ on Vinyl "curtain sided" trailers?
- I have a trailer with a translucent fiberglas roof. Are there special instructions for this application?
- Has NASA ever tested the product called Airtab® manufactured by Aeroserve Technology?
- What do I do about the rear vertical awning bar on my RV?
- I have a Vee-nosed utility trailer. Are there any special recommendations for mounting Airtabs?
Install instructions are available on this website under Installation Guide. Also, customers receive a hard copy with their purchases. .
Airtabs™ are made with Centrex 810® plastic, the same material used for outdoor satellite receivers and lawn furniture. For material specifications click here.
Thousands of Airtabs™ have now been in service for several years in Australia, South Africa, Europe and in North America from Mexico to Alaska There have been no reported temperature extreme related material failure issues in our history as Centrex has additional UV protection and is designed to withstand temperature extremes. However, we would not recommend hitting one with a hammer at minus 40 degrees. .
No the tape is an acrylic base.
Airtabs(TM) are manufactured in White or Black. We also have a new program to offset or illiminate customer in-house painting efforts for color match requirements exceeding 4000 Airtabs(TM). Call your local distributor for details.
Click here for painting instructions.Site/documents/paint.pdf
I am going to put Airtabs™ on my tractor and trailer after I have it painted. How long should I wait before I may attach the Airtabs™?
I would check with the painter and read the paint specification. Once the painter or manufacturer says the paint is cured you can apply them.
We recommend painting Airtabs™ prior to installation in a clean "work bench" environment. However, if you are repainting your vehicle, they may be installed prior to painting for a superior color match. Click here for painting instructions.
Measure the sides and the roof of the Vehicle at the back. They are placed 3 per running foot (4" inches on center) spaced as shown in the Install Guide.
Double sided adhesive tape for most applications and for those vehicles with slightly uneven sides where tape would not provide a good bond, a polyurethane glue. The tape is Acrylic and has no petroleum products.
Airtabs™ should be installed with the surface temperature of the vehicle +40°F (+5 °C) or warmer. All surfaces must be dry, clean of all contaminants and cleaning solvents. Simply put, the cleaner, dryer and warmer the better.
- Sufficient Airtabs™, spacing templates, tape measure and masking tape.
- Automotive soap & water, degreaser (if necessary), rubbing alcohol, Varsol or any paint thinner. Do not use Windex and other glass cleaners.
- Supply of clean shop rags or equivalent paper product.
- Scaffolding or secure work platform (preferred) or ladder.
See Install Guide
You can install the Airtabs™ yourself. If its your first install expect to spend an hour or so, reading instructions and getting familiar with the placement. For subsequent installs we estimate about 20-30 minutes for a typical trailer, and same for a tractor.
Can Airtabs™ be place farther apart than recommended? - I have some unequally spaced ribs on my trailer.
Airtabs™ can be spaced farther apart than the recommended 4 inches on center to avoid ribs, rivets, running lights, grab bars, back up lights etc. They should not be placed closer together because the adjacent vortices will interfere with each other and reduce performance. As much as we'd like to sell more, more in this case is not better, and 'shoulder to shoulder' mounting is counterproductive.
Airtabs™ are very effective in cross wind conditions as they help minimize the flow of air across the tractor-trailer gap to the "downwind" side of the trailer. This "crossflow" adds drag because it is turbulent and "detached" from the downwind side of the trailer. Cross winds are a constant factor as winds are rarely "right on the nose" for extended periods. Although the drag from a tractor - trailer gap less than 18 inches is minimal, we recommend the application of Airtabs™ to combat crosswind induced turbulence and drag at the tractor-trailer gap.
For best performance, Airtabs™ should be placed as close to the trailing edges of the vehicle as possible. They can be mounted further forward than this, but the further forward they are mounted (within reason) the more their performance is reduced. We recommend placement so that the wide end of the Airtab® is no more than 14 inches from the trailing edge of the vehicle.
For maximum performance, Airtabs™ should be mounted 4 inches on center. They should not be mounted any closer than 4 inches as their vortices begin to interfere with each other. Spacing them further apart to avoid obstacles is acceptable but 4 inches is the design optimum.
Airtabs™ are now manufactured with a new thicker high quality foam tape. This tape is applicable and suitable for all vehicle hard surfaces including fiberglass and EDPM roofs or side extenders. However, for truckers, we still do not recommend mounting on rubber side extenders
Yes, these units stick up into the air flow and cause drag, the Airtabs™ placed three per foot on the top and sides will help reduce this drag.
Can I put Airtabs™ on the hood of my vehicle and if I can where would be the best location? Do Airtabs™ work on the hoods of vehicles as bug deflectors? How is the best location determined?
We have reports of users experimenting with Airtabs™ on the hoods of their vehicles and they make the following claims:
- Fewer bug "hits"
- Less airflow noise or wind beating when windows open .
- Cleaner side mirrors
Airtabs™ should be mounted across the hood in a straight line or a shallow "V" formation. Remember that Airtabs™ are best suited on flat surfaces. To determine the best location, find an observer, wet the hood with water and accelerate to highway speed. The observer makes note of the line where the water clearly stops migrating towards the windscreen. The Airtabs™ should be mounted just forward of this line.
Method one. By using 6 inch tufts of yarn taped to the hood. Tape the strings 8 inches apart across the hood and in rows 8 inches apart. Stagger the rows so that the tufts do not interfere with each other. If a row of... Read more…
The acrylic tape used to attach Airtabs is not suitable for placement on vinyl. The elastisizer chemicals used to make the covers pliable leach into the Airtab tape over several months and will cause chemical decomposition and tape failure. In addition, the loss of these elastisizer chemicals cause the tarps to become brittle and shorten their life spans.
I have a trailer with a translucent fiberglas roof. Are there special instructions for this application?
Ensure the surface is clean and dry. Our new thicker foam tape creates a very good bond with rougher fiberglas surfaces.
NASA tested the basic shape that is used by Airtab®. They found them to be the lowest drag vortex generator they had seen. There are several technical papers written on vortex generators and other drag reducing devices, (NASA Recognition Paper) and the Airtab® shape was amongst those tested. This is not to imply that NASA endorses Airtabs™ - they never endorse commercial products. NASA is using them in the Langley Wind Tunnel to improve the aerodynamics on standards and walls.
See: Picture of Helicopter in the Langley Wind Tunnel
We get this question very often. The attached picture helps describe the problem. This RV has ample space aft of the bar to mount, but the space is unsuitable due to the edge of what appears to be a push out. However, even if the area aft of the bar was suitable, we do not recommend mounting there because the bar disturbs the airflow too much. We recommend mounting forward of the bar by about 5-6 inches or approximately the length of one Airtab. This allows relatively undisturbed airflow to reach the Airtab and deliver better performance.
Yes. Mount Airtabs on the roof and sides at the trailer rear as is normal for any similar trailer. In addition, mount Airtabs at the trailing edges of both sides of the "Vee" just before they bend to form the trailer side walls. If the Vee section has an upsloped roof, mount a row at that trailing edge as well, just before it flattens out to form the roof of the trailer body.