Driving up mountains fully loaded down?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Rph74, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Rph74

    Rph74 Active Member

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    I’ve read threads about trouble ascending mountains in the GenII. I’m just wondering if any of you have had experience climbing mountains while loaded down near the weight limit. We are making the 17 hour journey to Florida Thursday, and Between my family of 4 and all of our luggage we will be aroung 700-800 pounds. The “mountain” I am concerned with is Monteagle between Nashville and Chattanooga. It’s only a plateau that goes to about 2000 ft.

    I have the choice to take a different route to avoid Monteagle, with virtually no time penalty, but I would kind of like to stop and see Nashville if I can. Would also be nice to take 1 route there and another route back to see different places. I just don’t want to cause any trouble for myself in doing so.

    Thanks!

    Chris
     
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  2. MickyMatter

    MickyMatter Active Member

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    "It rises to an elevation of around 600 metres, with gradients of 6%." Wikipedia about Monteagle

    I'm living between river Rhine and the Black Forest in Germany. I've driven countless times up and down which means each time about 700 metres difference with up to double or more gradient.
    I also passed the Pyrenees one time and the Alps two times.

    It's no problem!
    Driving longer passages downwards use "B" instead of "D". Then the engine is used as a kind of brake, too. (When the battery is fully loaded, the friction brakes have to brake alone. The dry engine can help them.)
     
  3. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    Iive outside of Nashville and a few of my siblings live in Chattanooga so I go there a lot. I've owned 4 Hybrids and my was a 2005 Prius. I remember when me and 3 of my buddies all loaded my prius down with a weeks worth of stuff for the beach and headed to tybee island GA In that old Prius. It was at least 1000 pounds of people and stuff!

    The prius didn't have a problem, near the top the engine revved higher due to low battery but that's completely fine. That old Prius has 312k miles and my brother and his wife still dive it back and fourth from chatt to Nashville every week or so. Actually they are coming today!

    Anyway, the prius can handle it no problem. Don't worry about "high RPM's" because even with your foot to the floor it can't rev over 5k rpm.

    Oh and also, the engine will rev near the bottom of the decent weather you put it in B or not. Your battery will max out and cause the engine to rev up to burn off excess energy. Kinda like a big vacuum cleaner under the hood
     
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  4. MickyMatter

    MickyMatter Active Member

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    That's true, of course!
    One doesn't have to use B.
    (But switching into B earlier, the engine will rev earlier, too. This means the battery will be charged more slowly (less heat stress for the battery) and the engine should rev with less rpm (more silent))
     
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  5. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    I actually had someone ask me if the Prius can be driven on the interstates.

    I just smiled.:)
     
  6. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    I talked to someone the other day and he didn't know that Prii actually had a gas motor.. Lol!
     
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  7. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Unless you get off of I-75 it won't be a problem; no place on I-75 should be a real problem but Chattanooga worries me more......no matter what I'm driving.

    Don't try to use the cruise control going UP though. Get a running start if you can and take whatever speed it will maintain. In some short climbs, that might be 45. Stay in the right lane if possible.

    If you want a hilly, curvy scenic road, use US-41 in the Monteagle area. It's a mini "tale of the dragon". The max safe speed on parts of that road is about 15 MPH.
     
  8. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    I was able to maintain 75 mph on that road this spring with the cruise control set and could have gone faster.
    I emember commenting to my wife.
     
  9. Rph74

    Rph74 Active Member

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    Thanks guys I’m not worried about it anymore!
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how many miles on her?
     
  11. Rph74

    Rph74 Active Member

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    195,700 miles. Brand new Oem Toyota battery installed 2 years/46,000 miles ago.
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    nice, have a great trip, don't overtax her in the heat!(y)
     
  13. Rph74

    Rph74 Active Member

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    Thanks Bisco! This thing is an awesome road trip car.
     
  14. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    Let us know how the trip went, we will be waiting.:)
     
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  15. milkman44

    milkman44 Active Member

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    Just drive it like any other car, it'll take care of itself.
     
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  16. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    The Gen2 has a smaller engine than the Gen3. I think the reason they increased the size was that the Gen2 was running out of battery on extended hill climbs with a large load. But even when it happens, it just means that you have to join the trucks in the right lane. Not the end of the world, and the car recovers as soon as the road levels out a bit.
     
  17. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Nice sentiment.......but at 12 years old and 195,000 miles it might not turn out to be true.

    I wish him luck. I hope he is checking the oil and other fluids often.
     
  18. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    I'm guessing all will go well. Our '04 did on a 7500 mile cross country road trip, 2 adults, 2 teens, camping gear, roof rack, and a few mountains.
     
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  19. Rph74

    Rph74 Active Member

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    I’m very anal about preventative maintenance, especially on the Prius since it’s our long distance runner.

    I actually went ahead and had the ICE water pump, belt, radiator hoses, and thermostat replaced in anticipation of this trip. Inverter coolant pump replaced last year preventatively, and I just changed the oil a couple of days ago. Battery is OEM new, had it done 2 years ago.

    That being said, I know it’s always a risk to take an old car on long trips, so fingers crossed all goes well!
     
  20. PriusV17

    PriusV17 Active Member

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    I haven't tried this yet and maybe someone already has tried it. But I do wonder if removing the engine cover during steep mountain ascents lowers the engine temp in anyway. You would need to monitor from ODB2 scanner to know if it works or not. I don't see any value to having a thick plastic engine cover on when it's piping hot. Maybe it's there to protect the paint on the hood from extreme heat?
     
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