2017 4-bike rack(s) for Prius V

Discussion in 'Prius v Accessories and Modifications' started by etherplain, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. etherplain

    etherplain New Member

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    I have a new Pirus V and I just decided to buy the family bikes. I was hoping that the V, since it's a wagon and bigger than a regular Prius, I could get 4-bikes on a hitch-mounted bike rack.

    I've googled the s**t out of this, and it looks like I'm stuck with a combo of "trunk mount" and roof mount, but I noticed that most of the posts that proclaim this are from one site (and therefor limited to their product offerings) and also many years old (most circa 2013). Wanted to check-in here to see if anything has changed? Ideally I'd like to mount all 4 bikes on a rear hitch-mounted rack. Though I understand that the only-4 bike racks require a 2" hitch. In that I've only found one: the "EcoHitch," but I'm not even sure that would work. Has anyone here actually done this? Second choice would be to do all 4 bikes on the roof. Bikes are pretty light but still probably close to 100 lbs together.
     
  2. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    The Saris 'Bones' rack will handle three bikes. Not sure they make a 4. One on the roof, three on the Bones?
     
  3. Offline

    Offline Active Member

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    The 2-inch Ecohitch is rated for a 350 tongue weight which is far more than enough for a 4-bike rack and 4-bikes. The Torklift website even shows a 4-bike Thule "swing away" bike rack on a Prius v: Torklift Central | Torklift Central | 2012-2017 Toyota Prius V EcoHitch The Thule swing-away rack isn't exactly light.

    The only thing that kept me from buying the 2-inch Ecohitch was its cost. Since only my wife's bike is carried on the Prius v, I bought a sub-$100 Curt 1 1/4" hitch and a sub-$90 ProSeries 2-bike rack.

    The maximum tongue weight for the Curt 1 1/4" hitch and other class I hitches for the Prius v is 200 pounds which should be enough to carry 4-bikes on something like a Thule 1 1/4" receiver 4-bike rack.

    Edit: BTW, I noticed when answering another forum member's question recently that the Prius v (Prius+ in Europe) is rated to carry a maximum of 165 pounds on an approved roof rack such as the one shown at https://www.toyota-tech.eu/aimuploads/6a3d684f-1e77-4e2d-8f52-4d36fc35e3e9/Prius%20plus_Roof_Rack_PZ403_G8610_GA_AIM_002_288_1.pdf

    Toyota dealers in Europe sell bicycle carries for this roof rack.

    I carried bicycles on roof racks for years. I hated the wind noise and the risk that I would forget the bikes were on the roof when driving into garages, etc. I wish I could find a way to carry six bikes on a hitch rack ... going to end up buying a roof bike rack so I can carry six bikes on our Sienna van.
     
    #3 Offline, Oct 22, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  4. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Active Member

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    FWIW, not mentioned, how about a trailer?
     
  5. lrisius

    lrisius Member

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    The rating numbers on the hitches are what the hitch itself is capable of handling. The second part of this equation is what the connection to the car can handle. In the case of the Prius v, it bolts to the unibody frame and attaches to the bumper mounts. This isn't like bolting a hitch to a solid separate frame. Toyota gives no rating for towing capacity. I quizzed Torklift about what they thought the hitch and car could handle and they wouldn't/couldn't give a number- they said to check with the manufacturer. So at the end of the process, you really don't know what the combination will handle.

    I have the Ecohitch on our v and use it for a two bike Thule T-2 and it seems really solid. I would love to have the extension to handle four bikes but just can't convince myself that the frame will handle it. That combination is approximately 4 feet long and is quite heavy. The leverage on the mounting would be substantial. The Ecohitch is a nice product and I went with it because I needed a 2" receiver for this rack.

    Several people have posted in another thread that they use a 4 bike rack of the type where you hang the bikes from arms that are connect to the top of a vertical post. These racks are a lot lighter and do not extend nearly as far back so I think they are ok. But there is more danger of damaging the paint on the bikes because they likely will swing and make contact with each other which is why we didn't go with that type.

    We also have Yakima rack to carry two bikes on the roof when necessary. I suspect it would handle four just fine.
     
  6. Offline

    Offline Active Member

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    At 50 pounds, per the specs on etrailer.com, the Thule T-2 is an incredibly heavy 2-bike rack. My Pro Series Eclipse 4-bike hanging rack weights only 30 pounds but is so strong that it can hold my 180 pound body weight without flexing downward if I hang from the arm that holds the bikes.

    There is no danger of damaging paint on bikes if one heeds the cautions that come with bike racks of the hanging type. The key is to never let bikes swing freely and to use padding material to keep them from contacting each other. I use shop towels and quick release REI nylon straps when necessary. I was able to load four adult "hybrid" bikes recently including two women's bikes of the step-through type on my 4-bike Pro Series Eclipse hanging rack using only one shop towel and strap to prevent rubbing. Additionally, I strap the inside pedal of the first bike loaded to the vertical bike rack tube and then strap each bike to the one previously loaded - preferably a strap at the pedals. I also strap each bike front wheel to its bike frame to keep the wheel from swinging or spinning. It might sound timing consuming, but it isn't very. The result is that all four bikes and the rack function as a single unit. with no movement at all when on the road.

    IMO, the main advantage of a platform bike rack like the Thule T2 is that adapter bars are not needed to carry step-through bikes. Adapter bars, however, are inexpensive ($20-$30) and take only a few seconds to attach to a step-through bike. Other advantages of platform bike racks are that they can be easier for a short person to load and are better at carrying unusually heavy bikes such as beach cruisers.

    I've had both "two arm" and "one arm" hanging hitch bike racks and have found that the "one arm" rack type has advantages. (Both the Pro Series Eclipse 2-bike and 4-bike racks are of the "one arm" type.) The main advantage of the one-arm type is that they provide greater flexibility in positioning bikes on the rack since the bikes can be slid right and left further on their top tubes or adapter bars.

    No one can guarantee that a Prius v can carry four bikes on a hitch bike rack without damaging the Prius body structure. However, my assumption is that the 3-bike platform hitch rack sold by Toyota dealers in Europe for the Prius+/v is at least as heavy as the 50 pound Thule T2 2-bike rack since the Toyota platform rack includes a registration plate mounting area and two rather large EU compliant tail light units.

    I'd choose the 2-inch Ecohitch and a Pro Series Eclipse 4-bike rack if I wanted to carry 4 bikes on our Prius v. Another nice feature of the Eclipse 4-bike rack for 2" receiver hitches is that it comes with a 22mm threaded pin/bolt that makes the connection between the hitch receiver and the rack absolutely rigid. This threaded pin/bolt even accepts a standard hitch pin lock - the type of lock normally used with hitch pins for 1 1/4" receiver hitches. There is absolutely no wobbling of the Eclipse 4-bike rack when driving which means there is no forward and backward momentum of the rack and bikes that would flex the bodywork where the receiver hitch is attached. I've seen some reviewers complain about having to a 22mm metric wrench. I never have to hunt for mine since I keep it with our bike stuff.

    Sorry for the long response. Cycling is my main exercise activity and I've gone through a butt-load of bike racks of all types over the past 50+ years of driving.
     
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  7. lrisius

    lrisius Member

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    To me, the biggest advantage of the platform type rack is that I don't have to go through all the strapping and padding that a hanging rack would require. I've had the hanging rack and done the strapping and padding. It took quite a bit of time. With the platform, I can have them on almost in seconds with no risk of damage. Probably a lot of personal preference here......
     
  8. Offline

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    We should have a bike rack mounting face-off, LOL! I'll bet pizza that I get my wife's and my bikes mounted on our 4-bike hanging rack, including the REI straps, faster than you can put two bikes on your platform rack. I should warn you that I have this down to a science as I've done this as many as 14 times in a week. Where's a good point between Kansas and Illinois for us to meet? How about Rocheport, Missouri where we can ride the Katy railroad bed bike trail and you, as loser of course, can buy us pizza at Mulberry Grill within a few feet of the trail: Mulberry Grill & Bakery - Home

    Seriously, I actually like platform bike racks and would like them a lot better if the ones used here were more like the ones required in Europe and had separate tail/brake lights. Bikes on hitch racks sole in the U.S. often block the view of the tail/brake lights. I had a close call just two days ago (Saturday) when a driver barely missed crashing into our bikes and the back of our Sienna when I stopped for a traffic light that apparently he was going to run.
     
  9. lrisius

    lrisius Member

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    Glad you dodged the accident and one of these years we are going to go do the Katy Trail. We hear a lot of good things about it. Cheers!
     
  10. Barbi

    Barbi New Member

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    I just leased a 2017 Prius 3 Touring and now discover that there does not seem to be any trunk mounted bike rack that will fit on the 2017 Prius models. Has anyone found a trunk mounted rack that works? (Don't want to use the hitch because it's a lease.)
     
  11. Offline

    Offline Active Member

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    I was surprised when someone reported in a thread not long ago that his leased Prius v had a dealer installed trailer hitch - don't remember how that happened but you can probably find the thread by searching.

    A 1 1/4" receiver hitch is only around $100 if using a hitch mounted bike rack turns out to be your best option. I've installed a lot of receiver hitches but installing the Curt hitch on our 2012 Prius v was the easiest of all - took barely 15 minutes. We use it only for carrying a bike rack.
     
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