Exclusive MotorWorks is proud to be an affiliated dealer for Aerovault Race Trailers. Aerovaults are produced in Henderson Nevada with the Mission to redefine the towing experience through innovative design and quality lightweight materials, building trailers that improve the lives of their owners, the people who build them and the planet.
Frontal Area and the Myth of the “V”
One of the most important aspects of aerodynamic efficiency is frontal area. Some trailer manufacturers make an attempt at reducing drag by simply angling the nose of their trailers into a V shape or incorporating a slope nose. Those tricks don’t reduce frontal area however. It’s an uneducated guess, or at best an attempt in reducing the CD (co-efficient of drag), but, believe me… sharp angles don’t help much.
If you’ve ever towed a trailer in the rain you may have noticed the rain doesn’t hit the front of a trailer straight on. It’s actually deflected towards the sides… the reason being that the trailer is always being towed behind something. The air that hits the trailer has to go around the towing vehicle first. It is only when the air finally clears the tow vehicle and starts to fill in the void just behind it, that it hits the trailer. Unless you have a 10 foot tongue, the air won’t fill in around your tow vehicle efficiently enough to even hit the center of a V-nose trailer.
More important to reducing frontal area than a V-shape is the height and shape of the nose of a trailer. If a trailer’s nose is higher than your tow vehicle it’s sticking up into the oncoming flow of air like a huge air brake. Even if it’s lower than your tow vehicle’s cab, the air is still hitting the top forward edge of the trailer. Designing the whole trailer as low and smoothly shaped as possible, so the air can flow over the forward end and around the sides is critical. Keeping air attached to the surface as it flows over the entire form, is key to efficient aerodynamic design and to gain the rewards of reduced fuel consumption and good handling.
Aerovault’s Reduced Frontal Area
A rounded roof, from all sides, makes for a great handling trailer. Here’s why… The front of the Aerovault is rounded and smooth so wherever the air comes in contact with it, it stays attached and follows the shape of the trailer. Smooth air flow (boundary layer), as opposed to turbulent air flow, is what contributes to a vehicle’s efficiency. You might also notice that this reduced frontal area flows back along the top and sides of the trailer. When air comes over the top of the tow vehicle it strikes the trailer in such a way that it flows smoothly over and around the top and upper sides. It’s the angled sides of the roof that really help reduce frontal area while greatly increasing stability in crosswinds.
With the Aerovault’s low profile it naturally does well in cross flows. Another factor is the angled sides of the roof. In addition to significantly improving air flow from the front, they give a gusty crosswind another way to easily make its way over the top of the trailer from the side. Better handling and that lack of turbulence is also what minimizes fuel consumption.
Flush Mounted Side Doors! Everything on the front and sides of the Aerovault is as flush as possible. That beautiful curved nose at the front dictates custom made, curved aluminum side doors, formed in place on the trailer to be the perfect shape, including high quality flush mounted locking handles.
The Oft-Forgotten Underside
Making the underside of a vehicle aerodynamically efficient is an integral component of successful racing. With trailers however it appears a seldom given thought. Objects dangling down or exposed below the structure make it difficult for air to make its way to the rear.
One of the worst “performance thieves” is a bare axle shaft hanging in the breeze. Some trailers even store ramps underneath. Such unrefined details all have a cost in terms of fuel efficiency and handling. The underside of an Aerovault is covered, flush and fully skinned in aluminum. The difference in handling and fuel efficiency is amazing. Just think how much material and labor this requires… not a chance you’ll find it on another trailer! We do it because it makes that large of a difference. Peter Brock wouldn’t accept anything less on his personal trailer so why should you?
Breakthrough Semi-Monocoque Design and a Brilliant Roof
The Aerovault has a semi-monocoque chassis and body so the structure is its own frame. This eliminates the need for the numerous and heavy, internal braces and framing systems typically seen on other trailers. The construction methods of other trailers are the same as used with mobile homes. That’s why when you see a typical trailer crashed on the highway, the debris resembles a mobile home that’s been hit by a tornado.
In addition to eliminating a lot of weight, our semi-monocoque design gives the interior as much headroom as possible with no obstructions on which to hit your head (or elbows). Six foot tall Peter Brock is seen here standing inside an Aerovault. The interior not only looks good but it’s extremely easy to clean.