Gen 3 Prius Max Cargo Capacity/Load Weight

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Siward, Feb 22, 2020.

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  1. Siward

    Siward Member

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    I am going on a 500km trip and I have been asked to bring three passengers (including driver) and heavy floor tiles.

    I think the driver's door jam says a cargo capacity of 830lb.

    1) 3 passengers = 400lb
    2) 5 floor tiles packages at 70lb each = 350lb
    3) 8 wall tiles packages at 45lb each - = 360lb
    4) Miscellanous stuff = 50lb

    Looks like I am overweight. I plan to drive slowly. I guess I can remove the floor board and spare tire to find weight savings.

    Has anyone overloaded the Prius? How far did you go? I saw one thread where somene loaded 1300lb.
    Cargo load capacity of Five? | PriusChat
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you folks are lightweights(y)

    i never pay any attention, but i drive the speed limit and carefully, leaving plenty of braking room, and taking extra precautions in inclement weather

    i'm more concerned with the rear springs and bottoming out. check your tires pressure
     
  3. bettergolf

    bettergolf Active Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it...just go. And keep the spare in there too. Take off a little slower and brake a little earlier.
     
  4. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    I would trust the label on the door. Not what somebody says...

     
  5. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    I wouldn't check tire pressure, I would inflate them to door jab specs. Checking would just be only a visual snapshot.
     
  6. bettergolf

    bettergolf Active Member

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    If he wanted to just trust the label on the door he probably wouldn't bother to ask the board if anyone has ever gone over the recommended limit. I have many times and had no problems.
     
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  7. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Besides the predictable longer braking distances, did you notice any degradation of the handling?
    The few times I have been over the 800 pound limit, I felt that our 2012 hatchback was starting to “roll like a log wagon”, to use a very old metaphor. The distribution of the excess weight may also affect whether front or rear tires will tend to lose traction in hard corning—not sure as I did not test this.
    Due to bad experiences with overloaded cars and under inflated tires, I would be tempted to compensate by running tires at a slightly higher psi, but I would not go over the 40 psi I routinely use.
    I should mention that IIRC, I overloaded one vehicle to the extent that I slightly bent the rear axle, and either that or simply the excess load may have contributed to early wheel bearing failures on that axle.
     
  8. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    If you play with fire, you're going to get burnt!
    And when you do, who else will you burn?
     
  9. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    The psi posted on the label correlates to max load lbs so I trust the label also.
     
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  10. 2012 Prius v wagon 3

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    I've transported tile before, in a different car, and yes, it is kind of amazing how dense and heavy they are. In addition to the other things you're thinking about, I'd recommend to put all the tile (if you can) equally on left and right sides, in the rear seat floor area (where the rear-seat passengers would put their feet). Or additionally in the front passenger footwell, if you need to even things out more so the passengers can put their feet on top of the tile.

    Putting it in the footwell areas keeps it as low to the ground as possible, helping with stability and handling.

    Putting it all in the back (in addition to your other concerns) would affect the spin-stability and handling of the car. It would be prone to oversteering, which could be dangerous.

    It could be that with such a heavy load, the struts will be constantly bumping against the bump stops, and maybe even tires rubbing. You could load things up, see how it looks (how slammed to the ground it looks - post some pics here) and you may find your decision easier to make at that point.
     
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  11. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    It's a little heavy but you'll be fine.

    Put at least some of the tile down in the footwells, including front pass footwell to help distribute the load and keep it low to the ground.

    Keep the tires pumped up near or at maximum for heavy hauling.
     
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  12. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    I am sure there has been much worse

    expect lower mpg
     
  13. Siward

    Siward Member

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    I am mostly going straight on the highway. I can drive slower. I don't think I have to worry about braking. My tire pressure is already 1-2 psi over Toyota spec.

    I am more worried about damaging my rear suspension in the long run.

    The tiles cost less to buy here than it is 500km away (40% less). I can make two trips or I can try getting some weight put in another car but I would prefer if I can do it in one trip.

    Looks like other PriusChat users have already overloaded their Prius before.
     
    #13 Siward, Feb 24, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  14. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    Well roughly 8 years on the struts/shocks already (if original)
    so that is a good reason to be concerned.

    Not sure how they are currently
     
  15. 2012 Prius v wagon 3

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    I'd see how it looks once loaded up. If your suspension is compressed to the point where your struts are almost hitting on the bump stops (hard plastic bumpers hidden by the bellows), they may hit them enough along the way to destroy them. Or not. But you'll know better once it is loaded.
     
  16. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    You purposely are going to overload your car with equipment, and 3 other people.
    Do you NOT care about the 3 people, and their safety? Clearly you are not concerned with your safety.
    And what about anyone else on the road that may be effected should you lose control of your car????
    Just to save a few dollars?
    And if you do cause an accident, you risk several law suits, that you will surely lose.

    Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD do it!
     
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  17. Siward

    Siward Member

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    I spread out 700lb of tiles in the rear trunk/rear seat of my car today. One passenger (so I should still be under the 830lb cargo limit). Here are the before and after pictures of the tire sag. For those who are worried, I only drove 13km with the load. I plan to only take 350lb with me on my trip, the rest will stay home.

    Before: (I think about 2.5 inches)

    After 700lb (1.25 inches maybe?)

    I didn't have problems with braking or handling, but I drove very slowly.
     
    #17 Siward, Feb 25, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
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  18. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Steel rims?
     
  19. Siward

    Siward Member

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    Well yah. It is winter tires. My OEM rims are 17". I am in Canada where it snows.
     
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