Camping with the hatchback open

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Debbie Z, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. Debbie Z

    Debbie Z New Member

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    I purchased one of those tents that attach to the back of the Prius that allows you to keep your hatchback open. I was super excited my first solo car camping trip. But the first night I got set up to sleep I realized the Open Door light was flashing on the dashboard. I worried about draining my battery so I ended up closing the hatch. It there are way to override this so the hatch can stay open. I did try to stick carabiner in the latch to press it down and fool the car to thinking the hatch was locked but I couldn't get it to stay in place. Do the people who created these tents not think about this issue? I was pretty far out on a dirt road camping and didn't want to get stranded out there alone. I appreciate any of your advice or feedback. Thanks.
     

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  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Are you talking about the interior lights?

    The hatch/cargo area light has an on/off switch beside the light itself. You can use that to turn off the cargo area light.

    For the interior lights (rear dome light and front map/dome lights), they're both controlled by a switch towards the front of the ceiling. Locate a switch above the shifter on the ceiling and slide it to the OFF position. This also keeps the interior lights off if you open any door.

    If you're talking about the red "door ajar" light, that should be fine (i.e. it shouldn't drain the 12V but it depends on the health of your 12V I suppose)
     
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  3. Debbie Z

    Debbie Z New Member

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    Thank you. I am talking about the red flashing “door ajar” light. I’ll have the 12v checked when I bring my car in for service this week.
     
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  4. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    Are you sure it was the open door light or was it the imobilizer/security light flashing. This light flashes once you shut off the vehicle.
     
    #4 orenji, Sep 14, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I often just push that latch down with my pinky till it clicks.

    Sometimes I do it so I can lower the hatch to the bumper without having it latch. Just have to push the open button once more to spring the latch back open when I want to really close it. No need to try to get a carabiner or anything stuck in it.
     
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  6. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    VERY low draw so I wouldn't worry about it. The SKS is drawing a lot more. Carry a small jump pack (you should already) for Plan B.

    Also, you can get small plastic clamps from the hardware store that could be clamped to the switch but, again, that's a very low draw if you have the dome/cargo lights set to off. Remember, many cars have a blinking "security" light on the dash anyways.

    Finally, I "camped" in my Clarity at home during a multi-day power outage and the dash lights and DRL's were unanticipated issues.
     
  7. Debbie Z

    Debbie Z New Member

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    That was flashing too, but since that is standard I wasn’t worried about that.

    I tried pushing it down but it never clicked. But I’ll try that again to see if I can make that happen. Thank you.

    Thank you. What’s SKS? I did turn off my dome/cargo lights.
     
    #7 Debbie Z, Sep 14, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2020
  8. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Smart Key System.

    Also, I would use a wooden object instead of metal to close the liftgate switch just in case it gets jammed up; especially being out in the middle of nowhere.
     
  9. ForestBeekeeper

    ForestBeekeeper Active Member

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    We have been having problems with the micro-switch in the rear hatch latch. The hatch latches fine, but the car thinks it is still open. So it refuses to un-latch, and it will run the 12v battery down over-night.

    The easy solution we have found so far, has been to slam the latch really hard.

    5 or 6 times so far, I have had to put a charger on the car to recharge the 12v battery before the car will start again.
     
  10. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Pull the “dome” fuse.
     
  11. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yes that will solve the dash light remaining on issue but it also (obviously) keeps the dome/cargo lights from working and anything else that might be on that circuit. While laying in the back, being able to reach up/over to flick on either of those lights is very convenient.
    FWIW
     
  12. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Camping with no flash light on hand? :whistle:
     
  13. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    First rule of Flash lights: Never near by (or work) when you need them the most.... :ROFLMAO:
     
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  14. PosauneGuy

    PosauneGuy Member

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    I once left my hatch open accidentally overnight in the garage. When I saw it in the morning, I was convinced the battery would be dead since there is that rear light that turns on when the hatch is open. Turns out the Prius just shut things down on its own. I don't know how long it took for the car to auto shut-off the light, or even if the dash light was on; but I can tell you from personal experience that I left my hatch open overnight and the car started up just fine in the morning.
     
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  15. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Senior Member

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    Like others have said, I would not be worried about the "Open Door" light flashing on the dashboard. It is too small a drain to worry about.

    My camping is mostly stealth so I have configured the Prius not to emit a single light when I open the door. That actually involved disconnecting the door/puddle lights on the doors since they will come on when the door is open and are not switched.

    Having said that, I have had the battery drain twice when a door was left ajar. Not a single light was on, but the battery drained to the point where it would not fire up the computer to start the car. My two experiences were confirmed by Fuzzy1's vague memory (better than no confirmation at all, I guess),
    So it might be a good thing for the OP to fake the car into thinking the hatch is closed. I think I saw a thread on that awhile back.

    EDIT: Quick search and found it. Even has a video!
    Hauling lumber and driving with hatch open (annoying beeps) | PriusChat
     
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  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I ... literally ... just push the latch closed with my pinky. There is no need for any object to stay there (I would object to leaving my pinky there). It just has to be pushed to the latched position.

    Like most car door latches, it has two stages of click. To interrupt the light circuit, it has to be pushed to the second click. That takes two distinct pinky pushes: one on the lower arm of the latch to get it started, then again on the upper one as it pivoted into place by the first click.

    After the second click you can see the red door light on the dash go out. You can then use the 'lock' button to hurry the dome lights out, if you don't want to wait for their timed fade.

    For simpler tasks like keeping the hatch from latching while you have the battery disconnected, the first click is enough.
     
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  17. Debbie Z

    Debbie Z New Member

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    Hi! That’s my exact fear. I was able to close the hatch latch but the car thought it was still open. So I tried pushing the sensor down with my finger. The light would go off while I’m pushing it but go back on when I stopped. Did you have to recharge your battery 5 or 6 times before you discovered slamming the latch hard works or did that happen even after you slammed the latch? Thank you
     
  18. Debbie Z

    Debbie Z New Member

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    Thank you! So It seems like this should trick the car to thinking the hatchback is closed and will not drain the battery. Here’s the video link if others want to view it.
     
  19. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Senior Member

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  20. Debbie Z

    Debbie Z New Member

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    Thanks!!
     
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