A Pri in the "prairie"

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by tanglefoot, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    I know these little liftbacks are designed for more urban environments, but I've kept the 2nd-gen with me through our rural move. I have to say, it seems very well-suited to the land of the tumbleweeds.

    [​IMG]

    The driveway is about a 1/3 mile dirt track that gets fairly muddy when it's wet. It comes off a dirt county road. Although they're really good about keeping it graded, the surface is soft enough that the corrugations (love the Ozzie lingo) come right back. It handles the conditions really capably and comfortably.

    The engine-stop is great for waiting at RR crossings, getting out to open and close the roll-up door and getting the mail out on the county road, emissions free and silently. I sure do like hearing just the wind and Alan Jackson songs emanating from the interior when I step out of the car.

    The county roads tend to get pretty icy after some snow. It made me nervous the first few times, but I'm starting to adopt more of the "Ice Road Truckers" steadiness of mind and am getting more comfortable with it. The car sticks nicely with the Hankook H727s, even without VSC on this package 1. I haven't come across any traction control issues. The few times it's activated, it's been in slow-speed maneuvers and nothing that a direction change couldn't remedy.

    Of course, the fuel economy is a blessing. It really helps cover the longer distances to spend time with family and friends. Even in the sloppy and cold winter conditions, I haven't seen the tank average settle below 52 mpg (reset at each fillup). It's my favorite thing to drive. It sure is smooth and easy compared to the truck, and even does better in most winter conditions.

    It's definitely a keeper, no matter how many funny looks I get from the oilfield guys. The miniature horses next door seem to like it. They used to sneak in through the fence and on a moving day, I discovered the Pri covered with smeary horse kisses. They didn't feel the same way about a floor lamp I had set outside. They knocked it over and stomped it to pieces.

    Happy trails!
     
    #1 tanglefoot, Jan 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    They sure do! While my roads are mostly paved, it still stands out in oil country.
    DSCN4651.jpg DSCN4617.jpg DSCN3783.jpg
     
  3. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    Love the paradox of those images. And, wow, is it cold there!
     
  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Thanks! That was the idea behind the pictures :)
     
  5. Jon Hagen

    Jon Hagen Active Member

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    Thats neat :) I also run a Prius on the prairie in North Dakota, a 2010 hatchback. Thats neat, having your heater reading out in C instead of F. Makes no difference at that temp, as -40C and -40 F are the same, and darn cold =:-0
    My Prius and my very low mile 11 F150 live a pampered life in winter, parked in the garage connected to battery maintainers and safetly away from the ice , snow and road salt. The sorry winter conditions fall on the little 2000 Dakota pickup.
     
  6. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    Got a wild hair today and decided to try taking a two track we walk the dogs on, on the way home. It does have an official county road number, and yes, many navigation systems suggest taking this route. I wonder if it was the first "hippie hatchback" on this road. The first part made me question my faith in humanity, as there was more furniture and old electronics dumped next to and right on the road than I had ever seen before.

    I did hug the center mound with the tires most of the way, and the undercarriage and right side of the car got a good scrubbing. I got a very curious look from a cow. At one point, I was getting a little wheelhop in the sand, but it did fine and it took some time to wipe the smile off my face--everyone needs a little adventure now n' then!

    [​IMG]
     
    #6 tanglefoot, Aug 18, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  7. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    You know what I noticed the last few times I was in prairie states?

    Several things actually, but the one thing that I remember the most is that everything is pretty friggin FAR AWAY from everything else!
    It seems to me that this would be one of the better places to have a car that gets 50MPG! :D
     
  8. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    Yes, it's very well-suited for covering the distances. Basic errands are pretty close (I can still get groceries by bicycle) but it's quite a bit further for family/social stuff. Even though the roads are pretty exposed and not especially smooth, it's still doing 55-60 mpg, just like in the suburbs.

    It seems like it was made for the sticks. They must have been thinking about opening/closing gates and checking far-away mailboxes when they thought of the engine-stop.
     
    #8 tanglefoot, Aug 18, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  9. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    Muddin'!

    The driveway's gotten pretty saturated with the melting snow (and there's more snow on the way.)

    Heading out (downhill), it was sucking the car in and activating traction control. Coming back, the car almost completely stopped but with some continuous pedal pressure, the traction control kept working away on the slop until it grabbed some firmer ground and pulled the car out! It felt a little adventurous!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    Dad ALMOST made it to the house when he came to visit today...

    [​IMG]

    ...but a slushy remnant of winter storm Selene didn't want to make it easy. A quick tug from the farm trucklet got him up to the gravel pad to turn around. I was impressed that the plug to the recovery port has a string attached to it to keep it from getting lost, and that the recovery eyelet easily accommodates a clevis.

    This was the wettest, significant snow we've gotten so far. I didn't think the plow would get through it, so I've just been waiting for it to melt, and hoping it does before the next snow!
     
    #10 tanglefoot, Mar 25, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
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