Good evening forum, The "Old Man" of LiL Snoozy
asked me to post this in response to some aerodynamic discussions.
Hello everyone, My name is Robert Smoak ( I am the old man at Smoakin Concepts Composites, creators of the Lil Snoozy). I generally don't talk very much and have let my son Nicholas handle all of the internet traffic of our new design and creation. But after seeing and reading some grossly in acurate info being thrown at me, my son , and our design I felt it was my duty to set the record straight with some accurate information. Mostly all of the comments on this site have been very supportive and we really appreciate that. Altho some at the beginning had doubts of us, have all since been extreamly nice since and some have even apologized for doubting us. That shows me the quality of the majority of the people on this site.
Now to get to why I am responding. We seem to have someone who is attempting to provide aeronautical information and has made some statements about aerodynamics that are totally false, inaccurate, and just plan with out any common sense. The use of some terminology are grossly inaccurate to the point they don't even vaguely resemble the definition of the wording being used.. He states he is a recreational engineer' I don't find that degree in any of the colleges I have delt with. So where does he really get his information or aeronautical knowledge?
Camper Bob I read these statements you have been making about aerodynamic properties and also of the aerodynamics of the LiL Snoozy
. They at first I was upset, but after reading them for the second time I see that you are recreational engineer not an aeronautical or marine engineer. This is why I am responding to let you know that the info you have been provide and forwarding on this site is grossly inaccurate and unfounded to put it mildly. Obviously who ever gave you this information is trying to promote another brand or product by trying to slander the LiL Snoozy's design and advantages to say the least. That being said, the following should clear things up for those are really looking for the true facts to help them make their own educated decisions to better their lives, purchases and actions. All of the terms I list can be Google'd and proven correct for their own benefit.
For an example: Quote: “
There is a critical speed that determines which rules apply. RVs operate in the super-critical flow regime.” This choice of words is interesting, as it is a Fluid Dynamics term not an aerodynamic term of which is where RV' really operate, but we will get to that in a few lines. From reading this passage I understand that an RV's velocity(super-critical flow regime) equates to a Froude ratio of 1 or greater, which is the simple definition of “super-critical flow regime”. This particular member states that Fluid dynamics and Aerodynamics are basically the same with different constants. This is completely accurate, Air (gas) acts the same (for the purpose of this argument) as water (fluid) simply with different resistant. When we take these factors into consideration, we can understand the translation between fluid and aerodynamics. A Froude ratio of greater than 1 in fluid dynamics is “super-critical flow regime”, when put into aerodynamic terms, a Froude ratio of greater than 1 is super sonic. For those of you not involved in aviation, super sonic is faster than the speed of sound (or about 760 MPH at sea level). Stated more simply, this member is saying that RV's are traveling at more than ten times the legal speed limit for most states. I am unaware of any RV's capable of that speed.
I am not an aeronautical engineer, but I have been a avid pilot for over 39 years, an aircraft builder, re-builder, modifier, and owner of over 43 different aircraft in my life. I know that sounds hard to believe but I use to buy restore and sell aircraft as a hobby. I have over 7,000 hrs as pilot on command. I have been heavily involved with the design of several experimental aircraft, builder of three from scratch and am very good friends with several REAL aeronautical engineers. Also I have been involved with boating since I was 7 years old, and have owned and operated boats from 13 feet up to long range 58 foot motor-yachts, and have done extensive long range cruising thru out the Caribbean. So I know a little bit about lift,drag, resistance, weight
, fuel economy and efficiency. Do I know it all? Heck no, but I feel I have a lot of hands on experience. So I do know a little about fluid dynamics, and aerodynamics which are similar but also vastly different. And when I see some one spreading grossly inaccurate info to the public, that bothers me and when they make an outright a slanderous statement about a product I have put so much thought,blood, sweat, tears and money into I will come out swinging.
I am sorry for the length of this but I feel it is in the best interest of all on the Fiberglass RV Site to get real time accurate and verifiable information.
Lets for common sense discount all of the inaccurate $2.00 words and deal with the facts. 99 percent of all campers have a flat rear bulkhead, why, because it is more practical, it offers more room and ease of building. Is it the perfect shape? No but we all live in an age of compromise. Why are all 18 wheelers flat on the rear, same reasons. The space shuttle, the most expensive and researched vehicle known to man and unheard off amounts of money was spent to maximize it's efficiency and was designed to be extremely aerodynamic with a pointed front and a flat rear.
So to say that some thing that is pointed on the front, with rounded side is non aerodynamic is just a plan false statement. To prove this, why are all missiles pointed on the front , why are all jet aircraft pointed on the front, why are all the 18 wheelers putting the sloped fiberglass tops on the cabs, why are most large camper pulled by dualies and larger trucks putting the sloped front fiberglass deflectors over the cabs, why do all modern day cars have sloped windshields and sloped hoods, why are all boats pointed on the bow, imagine trying to pull a flat sided 4x8 sheet of plywood down the interstate at 70 miles per hour. Is that aerodynamic?
Now lets take that same sheet of plywood , cut it in two and reassemble it with the two pieces at a 45% angle (similar to the front of the LIL Snoozy) and you try to say that has no aerodynamic properties? Give me a break.
When the Hummer H2 SUV was first introduced I drove one. We all know that it has a blunt windshield and front end. At interstate speeds I could feel a pronounced buffeting. Needles to say I knew the gas mileage would be horrible so I did not buy one.
Is the Lil Snoozy
a perfect aerodynamic shape? No but it is far superior to the flat piece of plywood or tin others are hauling down the road.
We have tried to offer as much as possible in all area's with the Lil Snoozy and have succeed in most. There is NO buffeting going down the highway, the front does not bow in like so many front caps on large campers, there is no swaying in and around 18 wheeler trucks, even the dreaded car carriers. Heck in some instances I've gotten so preoccupied that I have forgotten it was back there and almost pulled over in front of a car on the interstate. Also if you notice some of the newer highly priced campers have a very similar shape on the front as the Lil Snoozy. I wonder why they did that? Could all of their engineers be wrong?
This claim that you make about your gas milage, you state that your EPA rating is 17 mpg on the highway (we all know that those number are optimistic) Miraculously you put a fifth wheel box behind this same truck (one that sticks above his cab roof) and now you say you get 18 +/-2 MPG and has recorded 22 as your best? The laws of physics deny that possibility. Common sense says that if you put 4,000 pounds of weight behind any vehicle (regardless of aerodynamics) it will decrease gas mileage significantly. Add the presence of large blunt frontal area and you have the equation for decreased gas mileage. Come on Lets speak the truth and try to help on another. It makes camping so much more fun.
I have read a lot of the comments on this site and am pleased to see most are in good faith and are trying to help one another thru this warped world we live in. I sincerely hope this continues and will also see that we do the same.
Thank you all for your words of encourage and support, I sincerely hope we will meet some day and have a beer or maybe I can offer a helping hand. Do I know it all, heck no but ask me for help and if I don't know how I will search and I try my best to help. That's just me and I have raised both my kids that way.
Robert Smoak (The Old Man)
Smoakin Concepts Composites