Can I tow a very light jet ski and trailer with my 2010 Prius IV?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by TheGrayt1, Mar 18, 2021.

  1. TheGrayt1

    TheGrayt1 Junior Member

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    Thinking about installing a class 1 trailer hitch to tow my 800lbs total jet ski and trailer. Not sure what the tongue weight would be. Also might get a bike rack for it to sue as well. Is this okay if I am towing short distances and very flat surfaces here in Texas? Any damage to worry about?
     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    That's probably a safe limit depending on the trailer design... But it has alot to do with you driving ability and driving conditions... In general it's best to haul lighter stuff and then slowly add weight till the car's handling starts to decline. Once you know how much is too much to safely haul, you'll know how ideal your set up is.
     
  3. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    Just do periodic ATF fluid exchanges as you are making the Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) work hard. Every 60k miles is a good maintenance plan. My Toyota dealer does it for about $100 so I don't have to DIY (although DIY is a reasonable job)

    JeffD
     
  4. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Toyota says NOT to tow anything. The Prius was not designed to tow anything.
    You could possibly damage the transmission and/or motor or other parts of the vehicle.

    But, people do. Which puts other drivers on the road at risk.
    You could contact Toyota and ask them why.

     
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  5. Higgins909

    Higgins909 Member

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    I put the Class 1 Curt hitch on my 2010 Prius a few weeks ago. Tongue weight on the car shouldn't be a problem. But it's the hitch to worry about. When I installed the ball to my ball mount, I put it in the receiver and pretty much was jumping my whole 150lbs body on a 14" long adjustable wrench. The suspension seemed to be bouncing, but I didn't notice the receiver or ball mount flexing at all, but it could have been. I've had 400lbs of paverbase in the trunk, some over the axle, some towards the rear bumper. Squatted but was fine. Keep in mind the Prius has a 850lbs~ payload rating, which is the driver, passengers, fuel, cargo.

    The other things are stability, acceleration, braking. I think it's completely fine to tow with it, just have to use due care. People in other countries do it with small hatches. Then you get to America where people think you need a F-350 to tow a single jetski, for example. Acceleration is going to be a lot slower, hopefully things are loaded in a balanced way (10-15% tongue) good tires at a good psi. I have a scan gauge 2 to watch temperatures. Braking, just like a F-350, it's going to take more room to brake when towing.

    I think in Texas you can have a trailer up to 3499lbs and brakes are not required. I've seen them at 3000lbs GVWR with no brakes. I haven't towed yet, but a 1700lbs bass boat was my goal, but I think I've changed up plans. I was going to rent a 5x8 metal side single axle trailer with a ramp, and load it up with 280lbs of softner salt and a bunch of plywood sheets. Might way around 880lbs total. But that was going to be my test before going out and buying something I can't town. I'm wanting to get a kayak instead, but really would like something bigger... Maybe a Jon boat.

    Also when towing you are going to put more strain on a vehicle. I change my engine oil every 5k or 1 year, whichever comes first. I changed the CVT fuild with me wanting to tow in mind. I changed it at about 183k and it looked like motor oil was coming out. Someone on amazon wrote a review about how they change their CVT fluid every 30k and it looks horrible at that time. I have no idea the last time my CVT fluid was changed. I essentially did a ton of maintenance to make sure I was good for a while.
     
  6. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    o_O
     
  7. ETC(SS)

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

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    IIRC 800# happens to be the cargo capacity of the G3 (GVWR-curb weight?) but this also takes into account the driver, pax, and the 32 pounds of junk in the glove boxes.

    So....Can you?

    Yeah.
    I think so personally.

    800# trailer+not-a-boat.
    Flat surface.
    Short distance. (In Texasass, what’s SHORT?)
    Presumably not prolonged interstate speeds.

    I would expect that you will be fine, as will your fellow motorists - or at least you will not add significantly to the chaos.

    Just be careful ramping out. :eek:
     
  8. AW82

    AW82 Member

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    Here's my wild theory knowing relatively little about these cars, so feel free to shoot me down:
    People tow light trailers with all sorts of dinky small cars. Toyota says a Yaris (with the same ICE as a Prius, right?) can tow 500 lbs. I don't think the advice to not tow with the Prius has much to do with the strength of the frame, suspension, transmission, etc. Around town I have no doubt that a Prius can easily tow a 1,000lb load. What makes towing with the Prius different than towing with a Yaris is 1) regenerative braking that may get overloaded if you're not using B and 2) people will get used to towing a load over 500 lbs and then head to the mountains where they might quickly end up on ICE-only power and get in a real jam.

    I am curious about rear end sag, though. I'm considering putting a hitch on mine for a cargo carrier. I've already been through this with my CRV (prone to rear end sag even with only 100lb of tongue weight) and put SumoSprings on the rear coils.
     
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  9. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    what happened to the infamous reply “its your car, you can do anything you want?”
     
  10. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Yea, what does Toyota know about their cars?????? They are stupid!
    They just don't want you to have any fun!

    There is this amazing book that comes with every vehicle(new anyways) that tells you all about the vehicle.
    It's a pretty good read.

    And for Grit: It's your car, you can do anything you want!

     
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  11. ETC(SS)

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

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    Copy.
    Warshots loaded in tubes 1,2,and 3.
    Tube 4 empty for training with a MOSS on the stow....


    Firing point procedure: Master 1.
    Horizontal Salvo: Tubes 1 and 3.....
    Ship ready.....Solution ready....Weapons Ready....

    Shoot!
    Fact check:
    Mixed.
    People haul mattresses all the time on the roofs of cars all the time too....

    Priuses do not have "transmissions" they have power-split devices.
    The 1.5 engine in the Yaris is also a little different than the one that's underneath the Prius' hood.
    The brakes are different too.
    In fact.....the Prius is like a whole different car..... ;)
    Again....I think you'll be fine towing an 800# 'not-a-boat' with a dinky little garden trailer......over a short, flat, relatively SLOW route.

    Towing isn't just yanking on something with a car until the wheels start rolling, otherwise you could probably tow a 28' trailer with a golf cart under the right conditions.

    You ALSO have to be able to SAFELY do things like stop....and turn. :D

    Probably.
    Maybe even safely.....BUT(!!) even Toyota's humble warranty will be voided, and if you squish somebody's kid, some slip and fall injury lawyer is going to tumble to the fact that you were endangering the public by wantonly towing a half-ton object in a car with a 0-pound tow rating.

    ...cha-CHING! ;)
     
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  12. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Just remember, if you play with fire, you're going to get burnt!
    And maybe someone else too.
     
  13. AW82

    AW82 Member

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    If that's directed at me, I wasn't suggesting anyone tow with their Prius. I was saying that while other small cars are rated to tow, I had some ideas as to why Toyota doesn't want you to tow with their Prius. I know I never plan to!
     
  14. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Just a general statement.
    If you want a fast supped up car, it's not the Prius! You want a load stereo? Not really the Prius.
    You want to tow stuff, it's not the Prius.
    Get a vehicle that can SAFELY do it and has the capability to do it. WHY put other people at risk?
     
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  15. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    and being the few that reads the manual, it also states don’t tow.
     
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  16. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    As long as it's changed at least once after the initial break in so you're clearing out all the particles common with new machinery, you're good. Some change it more often but trans fluid analysis hasn't shown much need for that...
     
  17. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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  18. Higgins909

    Higgins909 Member

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    Go for it. Assuming you don't exceed the tongue limit. You might need those supporting straps that they talk about for non trailer usage. I've had 400lbs of paverbase in the trunk, some over the axle and some towards rear bumper. It did sag a inch or so. I weigh about 150. Lets assume I had around 600lbs payload fuel and junk I have in the trunk. I don't think sag is necessarily a bad thing. Just make sure you don't extend the carrier out, otherwise you will give the carrier more leverage over the receiver and possibly bend stuff.

    I think of the regen braking and B mode as extra braking. I don't think the regen would get overloaded. B has rules that I don't remember, but I never use it. Mine being a 2010 with 183k on it, there are times when the regen is almost useless and other times it's like I slammed on the brakes. But for a while now it's been more towards the useless. Maybe it has to do with my oversized tires that I've had for a bit. I find when I'm on ICE because the battery is at 1-3 bars, it drives so much better. It will actually accelerate and the gas pedal feels connected.
     
  19. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    my taste buds aren’t that strong so my towing belong to trucks only
     
  20. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Some people have to waste money. Some people have to take all the money from those who waste money.
     
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