4 Bike Carrier for 2010 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by Jpstewart19, May 9, 2011.

  1. seether166

    seether166 New Member

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    How hard was that to install? I'm looking at doing something similar and I'm curious about the difficulty in installing a hitch yourself.

    I didn't see that particular hitch listed on etrailer.com (2011 Toyota Prius Trailer Hitch | etrailer.com) so I wondered if I should look into finding that hitch instead of the three listed there.

    I'm a little surprised you found a hitch with a 2" receiver and/or that it makes a difference. Do you think it's worth stepping up to a 2" as opposed to the standard 1.25"?
     
  2. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    I got the quality s from here: Toyota Prius Trailer Hitch 2010-2011 / "No-Drill" Receiver Tow Hitches

    It's not terribly difficult. It does claim to need a torque wrench ($20 from harborfreight) and I did use one. Otherwise, you undo four bolts to remove the existing hardware and replace it with a hitch.

    Two "trickier" parts are:

    1) Removing the muffler hanger. It just "slips" off a rubber hook. Slip is in quotes because it can require a little grease to help get it off, but it's not like you can screw it up.

    2) I'd recommend removing the muffler heat shield (3 additional bolts, all easily accessed) so that you can cut away the rear half inch or so necessary so that it doesn't get in the way of the hitch. When you put the hitch in without doing this you'll immediately see what I mean.

    Even for a neophyte mechanic I'd say this is an appropriate job as long as you have a wrench set. I imagine any old mechanic could install it for 30-60 min of labor alternatively.

    Most people use 1.25" hitches without issue. I just wanted 2" because I had a 2" bike rack, so if I went 1.25" I'd need an adapter anyway, and certainly 2" is more stout than 1.25". Whether that matters for a bike rack or not I have no idea (probably it doesn't), but it couldn't hurt and saved me bothering with an adapter.
     
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  3. seether166

    seether166 New Member

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    Great! Thanks for the link and the detailed explanation. I helped my buddy install a hitch on his Malibu Maxx a few weeks back and, while not difficult, it wasn't as easy as this sounds. It involved fishing bolts through the frame and stuff; kind of annoying.

    I might jump on this bad boy soon. How does it look on the vehicle itself? You don't happen to have any pictures floating around, do you?

    By the way, we bought our Prius, in large part, because we live in CNY (Syracuse) and drive back to WNY (Buffalo) a lot to visit my wife's family. So, in short, we probably travel good ol' 90 like you do a lot :)
     
  4. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    No fishing required for this. Accessing everything is really easy. You may want to just back the car up on a couple of pieces of wood for extra clearance.

    Pics here: http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii.../72676-quality-s-2-square-receiver-hitch.html

    It comes very close but does not quite end up touching the bumper.

    I do travel 90 from time to time!
     
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  5. seether166

    seether166 New Member

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    Good advice. I have some ramps which hopefully will make the job easier...

    Thanks! Sorry I didn't search the forums first. :-/
     
  6. Yates

    Yates New Member

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    Having carried 4 bikes on top, on a receiver hitch and on a trailer each has pros and cons. I tried all three setups w/ a Focus wagon. I was not comfortable having four bikes on top or out back. My preferred method to carry our bikes is on a light trailer. (I don't pull the trailer w/ our Prius, not that it couldn't, I just have not done it.) With the Prius or our compact car I only put two bikes on a receiver hitch setup. We only put the 4 bike carrier behind the minivan and even then you know they are back there.
    If you put the bikes on top I would follow nickfromny's advice, it is a much more stable setup than the one pictured by sa68ta. Observe cars going down the hwy and you will see the big differences in stability.
    It all becomes a compromise, on top you loose mileage, out back the car squats, pulling a trailer is a hassle and the minivan only gets 24 mpg. Pick your poison.
     
  7. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Here is exactly what I just received from Toyota, straight from the horse's mouth (bolded is mine):

    This is what most people have thought and it makes perfect sense.
     
  8. JaKellyV

    JaKellyV New Member

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    I know this thread might be old but it was the best info I could find when I was planning to roadtrip with 4 bikes on my Prius, so I thought I would add to it.

    We wanted to transport four, basically fullsize, bikes from Chicago to Sanibel Island (2600 miles total). The roof racks looked tricky with our sunroof and expensive (plus my wife is not very tall and would need a ladder to load them). None of the cheap strap-on racks would fit four bikes, reviews said they scratched the car, and we would need access to our trunk on the trip.

    Hitch: $120
    We bought a CURT 1 1/4" hitch on Amazon Prime and installed it ourselves. We reviewed YouTube videos for a bit and then it took us about an hour. It was a little tricky but we did it on the floor of our garage without jacks. Much of the time was wasted trying to work around the muffler rather than heeding advice to unsecure the rubber muffler hanger (which only took about 3 minutes and made the whole thing easier). You will need a torque wrench. I bigger one is helpful because the bolts need to be torqued to 84? pounds. The hitch is super solidly attached and handled the maximum tongue weight without any problems.

    Bike Rack: $300 (REI 20% member coupon made it $240)
    We opted for the Yakima 4 bike rack. It solidly attaches and locks to either 1 1/4" (or 2") hitches. The rack itself is really nice and uses zip-tie like straps to attach the bikes that we liked better than the Thule. We fit 4 bikes with a little bit of effort (it probalby takes ten minutes to load and unload each time). We bought optional Swagman crossbars for 3 of the bikes to make it easier ($40 each on Amazon). The other surprising advantage was that our trunk opens perfectly with the hitch fully loaded! There is no need to buy the heavier and more expensive swivel bike rack.

    The Ride: Low 30s MPGs
    We had 4 adult size people, luggage, and bikes. We were going 75 MPH, with cruise control, A/C, and our MPGs definately took a hit. Other than a little swaying and bouncing, the bikes were secure and the ride was good. Just like any car hitch, it will bottom out on speed bumps but the nicer bike racks have a built in piece of metal that gives a warning and doesn't damage the rack.

    Total: $500
    Although, renting bikes would have been $200 on Sanibel and now we have options for more riding with our (forceably willing) teenagers. I was glad we bought a more expensive bike rack. I think the $100 ones would be fine for around town but not for road trips. Hope this helps somebody!

    Cheers! image.jpg image.jpg
     
  9. timclaes

    timclaes Junior Member

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    how did the Thule sidearm work if the bikes are parked backwards? No risk of falling off? Many thanks in advance for your reply. I assume that if I have two big bikes and two small bikes, the handlebars won't interfere (high and low aternating)
     
  10. Starbrand

    Starbrand Senior Member

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    hello neighbor :D
     
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