Hitch cargo carrier

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by hoopleheader, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. hoopleheader

    hoopleheader New Member

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    Hi all.

    Is anyone using a hitch with a cargo carrier/basket on a gen4? Any I’ll effects like bent unibody from the tongue weight? As Toyota does not recommend a hitch at all in our market, even for a bike rack, I was just curious about real world experience. Carrying 2-3 bikes in a bike rack would be comparable, I would think.

    For using one of these hitch mounted accessories, I usually reference the vehicle’s tongue weight rating and divide by two to get how much I can safely carry, as compared to a trailer it is more of a levered load on the hitch/vehicle frame.

    I’m strongly considering a gen4 Prius as our second family vehicle, and hopefully one that will rack up the most miles vs my Outback (used for outdoorsy/towing). My wife would like a Rav4 hybrid (because of course we need to look rugged, have ground clearance and 70 cu ft of cargo space to commute to work or go get groceries...), but honestly the highway fuel economy, which makes up 75% of our driving mix, isn’t that impressive when compared to sedans or hatchbacks.

    I feel comfortable that the cargo area of a Prius will work for most of our daily needs, and I was able to fit our dog kennel (37lb Springer) in the cargo area. I would have to concede to my wife that a Rav4 would be better any time we have to load up pooch+baby + baby stuff and a change of clothes.

    A hitch mounted cargo carrier with a waterproof bag, a suitcase + stroller and pack and play... maybe 75-100 lbs tops total tongue weight, would be just the ticket and take < five minutes to install/remove. I’d expect much better fuel economy than if using my Outback, Rav4h, or a Toyota sanctioned roof rack with cargo box.

    As an aside, if this vehicle had even a 500 lb tow rating, I could make that work. I have a 300 lb covered Coleman Versatrailer from the 80’s. Loaded it would have a 50 ish lb tongue weight (easier on the unibody). I’d prefer to stay on the good side of Toyota’s powertrain warranty, however.
     
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    if you are considering any Prius from a dealer, read the chapter of customization and make setting those options as a condition of sale, the salesman will agree to anything. After you buy it, Service may try to charge you to set the options_
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    New, old stock alternative.

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    I would go with the Rav 4, ideally a PHEV Rav 4, but if you can't wait, just the hybrid.

    Toyota tests plug-in hybrid RAV4 SUV in new images | Autocar
     
    #2 JimboPalmer, Aug 25, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  3. priusman09

    priusman09 I used to be a TDI

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    I don’t think that you have to worry with a couple bikes on the back. I’ve seen many tow a light trailer to go to the local home supply store etc for a short distance. I’d just follow the hitch load ratings as they design the hitch for the car and load. I’d keep it to bikes for a longer distance and use the Subie for your large camp outings. The Prius is an amazing car for road tip and commuting. An all around amazing car for what you can put I the hatch as well as stellar mpg. The radar cruise makes highway driving so relaxing. Then there is the amazing reliability records for the Prius. Makes a perfect second car for your needs. Having one suv seems like enough. So with what you’ve told us- get the Prius for all the running around. Save the subie for the heavier work and camping weekends. The Prius easily meets (even exceeds) the EPA mpg figures when you drive it sensibly. It handles pretty darn good and is quite zippy for most people’s needs. I’m on my second one. The first I drove over 225,000 very reliable and happy miles. (BUT.... If you’re thinking you’re gonna turn a Prius into a 50 mpg Subaru WRX turbo with large tires and lowered suspension etc.- I’d say you should shop in a different segment because this is not this car’s mission) lol

    Of course if you get to the point of needing to replace the subie- then the newest 2019+ RAV4 Hybrid would be my suggestion. The “all new” 2019’s are good for 40 mpg! (the earlier versions 2017-2018 only got up to 33). 40 mpg is amazing for this type of vehicle and the best in its class. It is a no compromise choice that accelerates faster too and is only a $800 addition on the all wheel drive models making the payback only a little over a year.

    So either way you choose- you’re gonna win with Toyota being an excellent choice.
     
  4. hoopleheader

    hoopleheader New Member

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    We test drove a Prius V. While cargo size size it is perfect, the newer TNGA hybrids are light years ahead in terms of drive-ability and interior refinement. I could live with it, but wouldn’t love it.

    The highway fuel economy of the Rav4 hybrid is less than I’m hoping for, as it makes up the large majority of my miles.

    Per consumer reports testing:

    2019 Rav4 hybrid- 41 mpg highway
    2018+ Camry hybrid- 53 mpg highway
    2016+ Prius- 59 mpg highway

    Using 30% less gas on the highway seems worth a good ole college try on a cargo solution.
     
    #4 hoopleheader, Aug 25, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  5. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    We currently have a 2017 RAV4 HV and a 2015 GEN III...the latter having been used to haul trailers and with a hitch bike rack. With the Baby and dog variables thrown in...go with the RAV4 HV. Trust me on this one.
     
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  6. Ranko Kohime

    Ranko Kohime Member

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    [​IMG]

    I think it'll be fine with a bike rack. I advise avoiding the Reese and similar, and getting the Curt 11473, as the others seem to have a Class I restriction notch that prevents practically ALL drawbars/carriers from seating enough to install the pin.

    The unibody is quite a bit stronger than any hitch available for the Prius, so definitely no worries there. Mine suffered an impact in the rear, and the unibody attachment points weren't bent, while the previous hitch was.

    And as to tounge weight, it would certainly be a good idea to stay below 200, but I've had trailers with 300lb tounge on there, and I'm more concerned about my drawbar than I am about the receiver.
     
    #6 Ranko Kohime, Aug 26, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
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  7. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Member

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    I like it, but what about the top review that gives the Curt a one-star review on Amazon claiming that it is too short:


    I read this two days ago, and thought I might skip going with Curt due to whatever it is he is pointing out.
     
  8. hoopleheader

    hoopleheader New Member

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    Thanks, that’s very helpful info.
     
  9. hoopleheader

    hoopleheader New Member

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    His vehicle appears to be a Prime, which has a longer distance from the receiver to the end of the bumper. I checked reviews on e-trailer, and someone posted a similar comment for for a Prime.

    The pictures for a gen4 show more of a flush mount.
     
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  10. Ranko Kohime

    Ranko Kohime Member

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    Can confirm that, from that reviewers picture he definitely has a Prime, I have a Gen 4, which I have to agree with the other 5 star reviews.
     
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  11. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Member

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    Wow, great eye for detail!

    Never would have thought that the Prime was longer there. It's good to know for both us and Prime owners!
     
  12. Ranko Kohime

    Ranko Kohime Member

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    I definitely would not have realized that if you hadn't pointed out that review. Although the shape of the tail lights is different, I would have expected the overall length to be unchanged. Then again, perhaps the larger pip battery forces the bumper attachment further ahead, for some reason.
     
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