Could a Prius tow this camper?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Pri3C, Jun 22, 2022.

  1. Pri3C

    Pri3C Member

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    I’m not sure, but I thought some of you might find this interesting/appealing. A lightweight solar-ready camper option:

     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    A quick google search on specs says it weighs 1800 pounds... And a Prius is only a few thousand pounds... So that amount of weight is going to have an uncomfortable amount of influence over how the car drives, especially when trying to avoid an accident.

    I'm fairly comfortable hauling a yard of compost or 2 yards of chips in my 4X8 Harbor Freight trailer at speeds lower than 40mph. And when that total load starts going over a thousand pounds when the trailer bounces the car gets thrown around alot. Very uncomfortable but manageable on local roads.

    If I was to do freeway driving though I'd want the load to be under 700 pounds to even consider it and even then I'd be driving real slow and wouldn't feel very relaxed traveling. My friend who experimented with his tear drop camper on his Prius hitch a road trip only did it once.
     
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  3. Pri3C

    Pri3C Member

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    Thanks for the info @PriusCamper - I figured the Prius wasn’t up for the job, but I thought some around here might find a camper option like this interesting. Yes, it’s 1800lbs, which does make it pretty versatile for towing, but probably too much for a Prius (and certainly too much my PriusC lol).

    This is a partnership with Camp365 and GoSun, but the standard Camp365 without all the extra solar products from GoSun is still solar ready.
     
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    1800lbs? That's beyond what you can safely tow with a lot of cars.

    Also almost all RV makers lie about the weight, and best case they are reporting it with zero options, no propane/battery/generator/water/ice/clothes/food/toys loaded and helium in the tires. Once you have it kitted out to actually be worth camping it is deep in "tow only with a truck" territory.
     
  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    IIRC, the Prius tow rating in Europe is 750kg, which is a bit below 1800 pounds. My old Sonic is rated for 1100kg there. However, nearly every car spec I've seen has 500kg as the limit for a trailer without brakes.

    Europe allows heavier trailers to be towed by cars because of the differences in their regulations. They call for the weight to be loaded so that the tongue weight is lower than what is called for in the US. This mean less weight being transferred to the car, but the trailer is less stable at speed. When towing, cars have a hard speed limit of 60mph, because at 65mph the trailer starts swaying.

    If a car had a tow rating in the US, it would be half that of the European spec for that stability reason.
     
  6. ETC(SS)

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

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    Asked and answered.

    There's a "yuge" difference between towing...and pulling, and even truck owners get out over their skis a lot more often than one might imagine.
    This is because even though a "Zero pound tow rated" Prius has enough grunt to get the ball rolling, one must also worry about trivial little things like stopping, turning, and (most people forget this last bit! ) relative vehicle lengths.
    A travel trailer has a broad profile in the wind, so if mother nature is blowing hard, or if you're getting passed by tractor trailers at high speeds, your trailer basically acts as a sail. It's not unlike carrying a piece of four foot by eight foot plywood. The same way it takes strength (and weight!) to handle that plywood in the wind, it takes a long wheelbase on your tow vehicle to handle the tug of a relatively long travel trailer. If you've got a twenty-three foot boxy trailer and you're pulling it with a small SUV, chances are you're going to get jerked around quite a bit.
    MOST people have seen this on an interstate, even if they didn't realize the forces at work, and YES even small low-slung pop-up campers are subjected to this.....it's like carrying a 2'x8' sheet of plywood.
    Easier but not necessarily easy.

    There's math and science involved and the Priuses 106" wheelbase (?) DOES put it squarely in Jeep territory - FOR LENGTH, but even an SUV with adequate tires, brakes, and weight should think long and hard about what they tow, and according to the Googles that length is about a 20' trailer for a Priuses wheelbase.
    What Priuses HAVE in wheelbase, they LACK in tire size, weight, braking capacity and engine grunt.

    Fortunately, VERY FEW people are moronic enough to tow something that large with a Prius, at least without doing the noodle dance FIRST.
     
  7. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I might consider something like this, (link) but even then it's really only going to enable solo camping. Once you add the weight of a passenger plus their stuff, even this would be a big ask for a Prius on US interstates.
     
    #7 Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, Jun 23, 2022 at 10:54 AM
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022 at 11:36 AM
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Why do I fall for this stuff...

     
  9. PaulDM

    PaulDM Active Member

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    A whole world of wrong information.

    Euro towing weight is 725kg
    The speed limit is nothing to do with sway. 60mph is a hard limit in law in most countries. Sway is caused by badly loaded trailers with most of the load at the back and not evenly distributed.
    There are plenty of videos to show how to correctly load your trailer.
    I can’t agree with your sweeping statement “US cars have half the towing weight of European ones” pretty much not valid…
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Officially North American Prius have no towing capacity, zero?
     
  11. PaulDM

    PaulDM Active Member

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    Agreed. I was commenting on troll bait European towing post. the only reason you have zero is that the test for US towing vehicles involves a mountain and the Prius hasn’t been tested. That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Yeah I think questions like this, it's up to the owners. Just cus you "can" do something, doesn't mean...

    What I always come back to, is I just buy new. :)
     
  13. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Plenty of reports of Prii towing trailers going up interstate mountain passes. At 35 mph once the stored energy battery contribution is gone. Often bordering on overheating. Going down is also interesting as the regen fills the battery quickly eliminating that braking force. Then they are left with 1.5L of engine braking and econobox brakes. The drivers lived to talk about it but Ralph Nader would have had a field day with it, although Toyota would not be the target.

    In everyday use, a Prius can be quickly overloaded with bags of mulch from Home Depot stowed in the hatch. Down the road the hubs gets replaced.
     
  14. PaulDM

    PaulDM Active Member

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    I guess you don’t tow.
     
  15. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    The folks who own a Prius for a long time make the right choice when it comes to towing stuff. The people who don't end up owning their Prius for very long tend to make bad decisions when it comes to towing stuff.
     
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  16. PaulDM

    PaulDM Active Member

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    Agreed. I have towed for 6 years…
     
  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Thought it sounded high.
    The trailer regulations for loading are different across the pond. In the UK, the tongue weight is 4% to 7% of the trailer's weight. The lower tongue weight means less weight carried on the car's rear axle. With the trailer applying less strain to the car, the tow rating can be higher than in the US.

    The tongue weight in the US is suppose to be in the 10% to 15% range. Roughly double that of the UK's. If we accept that the UK's tongue percent of the tow rating is the maximum amount of weight the car manufacturer wants on a trailer hitch, this means the max trailer weight will be half the UK tow rating when the trailer is loaded for US tongue weight specifications. The half of the EU tow rating is guideline I came up with because virtually no true cars for sale in the US have a tow rating. If the SAE J2807 is actually conducted, the rating will likely be lower.

    Why Tow Ratings are Different in the EU vs. the US | PriusChat


    Here's a description of the SEA J2807.
    SAE J2807 Tow Tests - The Standard
    It's been out for nearly a decade, and isn't mandatory, but I think all the major truck makers use it now. Before that, tow ratings were a compromise between the marketing and legal departments.
    According to the owner's manual, a hitch and bike rack is too much weight.
     
    #17 Trollbait, Jun 23, 2022 at 4:00 PM
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022 at 5:33 PM
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  18. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    My understanding was that a tow rating is a limit on the full mass of the trailer and its cargo. Is that not right?

    The tongue weight bearing down on the hitch would then be a small fraction of that.
     
  19. Pri3C

    Pri3C Member

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    Sorry for the clickbait thread title. I understand this isn’t for a Prius (that’s why I posted in the off topic forum).. I just thought some of you might find it to be a cool camper like I did. I feel like the solar option would be great for many larger hybrid trucks and SUVs.. or even a mini-van like the Sienna. They show it being towed by a Tesla, but for now I think a hybrid would be better than most EVs because there’s no range anxiety and it could serve as a generator for the camper when the solar power is low and not use too much gas.
     
  20. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Yes. I tried clarifying what I meant in this quote above.

    It's usually expressed as a percent of the trailer weight.

    It is important because in addition to being the amount of weight actually being carried by the towing vehicle, it affects the trailer's stability. The higher the tongue weight, the faster you can go before the trailer becomes unstable. Of course, the higher the tongue weight means more weight on the car, which counts against its payload rating, and could put too much weight on the rear axle.
     
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