Cross country camping and towing trip report

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by nomeansno, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. nomeansno

    nomeansno New Member

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    Location:
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    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
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    I bought my 2007 Prius used a couple of years ago with 103k miles on it and so far it has been very reliable (knock on wood). I had 123,430 miles on it at the start of the trip and put on about 8000 miles over the span of 7 weeks. Majority of this trip was solo and the purpose was to mostly go see some national parks. I kept track of MPG's and cost and figured I'd share that info along with some pictures in case anyone is researching doing similar like I was on here before I started. I also wanted to mention that I towed a trailer that weighs approximately 300-350ish pounds with a 310lbs dual sport bike on it (WR250X), a mountain bike, and a couple of other random things (total 700ish LBS?). Pics at the bottom.

    MPG average: 34.48 hand calculated, however about two fill ups were missed for recording. Average speed on the highway was kept at 70-75 MPH. Total cost for gas came to $797.
    Some other random stats
    Average miles between fill ups: 226.829
    Average gallons filled per fill up: 6.72
    Average cost per gallon: $3.324
    Average cost per fill up: $21.541

    Towing: I didn't have any issues with towing at all. Based on my research those who have towed don't have any issue with it and those who have never attempted won't touch it with a ten foot pole. I get the whole idea behind wearing down your car more etc, but I bought the car for $5700 and honestly don't care too much about that. My previous two cars in the same time frame that I've owned this car had depreciated more than I paid for this car altogether so I've already gotten my money's worth to me. I did not have trouble towing, did not have any sort of trailer sway or anything of that sort. Breaking distance was slightly longer obviously but that comes with the territory and just something to be aware of at all times and keep a safe distance. I started my trip in norther Illinois and the flat areas for this were very easy for towing. Getting up in the steep grades out west was a little different. I've driven multiple passes out west that were close to 12k feet and even over that. On the really long uphill parts you're pretty much stuck in the right lane with the trucks, the car will have a harder time with that as should be expected and there were quite a few times it simply couldn't go over 40 mph. Luckily there were many cars in those areas that were doing the same speed or lower so I just stuck in those lanes. I didn't have a scan gauge so I can't comment too much on the different temperatures during those runs. Overall I wouldn't hesitate to tow a couple motorcycles, especially on in the flatter parts of the country.

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    Sleeping/Camping: The rear seats were completely removed and a lock box was built. I would personally advise against the lock box and would just go with a easily accessible flat plank. The box was a pain to get things in and out of with my sleeping set up for it and I was never really scared of having things stolen out of the car anyways since I typically left the car in more busy areas. I kept an Insulated cooler behind the passenger seat as a refrigerator and it required $2 worth of ice every 2-3 days which was very convenient since it's a very simple set up and let me keep a bigger variety of food on me. I have a couple of flood lights that are sitting in the rear that I can take out and mount with magnets on the car to give me good camp light. For interior lighting I bought a battery powered LED Christmas light that I simply tucked into the roof trim. 3 AA batteries lasted me the entire trip so I'd say that it's efficient enough. I bought a coleman 2 burner camping stove although I much preferred cooking on my backpacking stove so I ended up using that more as it's a much smaller and quicker setup. I made some curtains out of construction paper for the rear in the middle of the night in a campsite in the mountains. Those are ok but moisture warped them. I redid the curtains for the rear and sides with hardboard paper and I like them way more. They are a perfect fit into the window, look much cleaner and are just there permanently now. The rear small window being blocked out also helped with the lights at night shining through it at stop lights is anyone has that issue. The side windows were covered with black fabric cut to size. I just take a credit card and jam it into the trim between the window and the rubber seal, it's very easy and very quick and also saves a ton of space. I had a small container in the rear with all the commonly used items and my toiletries. Behind that were two clothing bags, one with clean clothing and the other with dirty. Since space was limited, basically as one got smaller the other got larger. For showers, I connected a hose nozzle to a weed sprayer with some JB weld and it worked well enough. Took about a half gallon of water for a shower on the mist setting. I had a little pop up shower test that took about 60 seconds to put up and take down. If the water was cold since sometimes I would just fill it up from the rivers in the mountains, I would just boil some and mix it in to make it tolerable. I have rain guards on my car so to keep the car from getting stuffy I would crack the front two window a bit to the level of the guards, this way you couldn't tell the windows were open form the outside but I was still able to get fresh air and keep the moisture out. I had a USB fan that I ran at night. This made a huge difference for me in sleep quality. Circulating air just helped a ton and the fan could be powered for a total of 24 hours on one power bank charge that I would charge while driving. For my bed I had a yoga mat and a camping mat underneath a 4 inch tri fold memory foam mattress I got off of amazon. I actually liked the mattress so much that I bought a full sized one for my bed at home. I did have the front seat turned around a lot of the time since it gave me much more usable space in the car. Two of the four bolts match up when you spin it around and it is sturdy enough to prevent the seat from flying in case of anything. I didn't keep any weight on it while driving though as to not set off the weight sensor, but do this one at your own risk. Based on everything I've found in regards to this I felt ok with having it this way and only takes about 5 minutes to bolt it back in properly. Can also disconnect it but I guess you may need to re calibrate it since it seems like for some people the code does not go away. I did have the front seat out of my car for a while but once I hooked it back up the codes went away. If anyone has any questions or wan't any more pictures or anything like that feel free to ask away.

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  2. kenoarto

    kenoarto Senior Member

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    Great stuff. Could you do it with a partner?
     
  3. ski.dive

    ski.dive Active Member

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    nomeansno-

    Is the original HYBRID BATTERY still on your 2007 Prius??

    GREAT WRITE-UP!!! = ENJOY YOUR JOURNEYS!!!
     
  4. nomeansno

    nomeansno New Member

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    Location:
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    Very easily sort of. I did have someone staying with me in the car for about a week of the trip and it was built with the idea in mind to sleep two. I’m 5’11 and a little more on the built side and someone that’s 5’4 fit in there with plenty of space to spare! The only reason I say sort of is because you’ll have to move a bag or two to the front at night for that vs when I was on my own everything was always ready to go and nothing ever had to be moved or readjusted.
     
  5. nomeansno

    nomeansno New Member

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    Location:
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    2007 Prius
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    It is to my knowledge since the car had very detailed maintenance records and nothing mentioned the battery. I did buy it from a local small dealer that only sells priuses and I think they take the battery apart when they purchase the car and go through all the cells to make sure they’re good. I know they purchased it at an action though which leads me to believe they switched a cell or two out.
     
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