Prius Towing Capability

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by moshe_levy, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. Devil's Advocate

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tochatihu @ Sep 20 2007, 03:31 AM) [snapback]515180[/snapback]</div>
    Yeah, I am checking in to the monitoring equipment. The CanView isn't made right now and the ScanGauge doesn't give the neccessary info.

    I will be attempting another heavy haul in about two weeks, so I am having a full flush of the "trans" fluid done this weekend.

    The uphills are my only real concern as the Prius is actually a relatively heavy car, at 2900lbs, so I am not going to go over 60% of the curb weight, so shouldn't have any handling problems. Given rational driving.

    As far as overheating or stressing the electrical components, I am going with the "force over time" theory. The longer I spread out the force applications, i.e. acceleration, the lower the stress put onto the electrical componensts. (and Planetary gears). So it will be very slow accelerations and 55 mph. A first for the Vegas /LA run!
     
  2. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    After each of the major hill climbs, I would suggest a 15-30 minute cooldown, Prius in 'Ready' (electricals coolant pump running) and hood open. This will give other drivers the impression that you are disabled, but in fact only trying to prevent that.

    The only other way I can think of to spend your money is a non-contact infrared thermometer. "Snapshots" of the transaxle underside after different workouts is sure to yield some interesting numbers. This device is also great for making sure that tire inflations are correct for load and other conditions.

    Good luck exploring the edge of the envelope!
     
  3. jimnjo

    jimnjo Member

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    Some years ago I had a Ford Festiva (remember that little econo-box?) that said in the manual 'towing trailers not recommended.' We hauled a small light trailer filled with camping gear and stained glass items for sale (adding some hundreds of pounds until they sold) from Michigan to California and back. No problems, no damage (put another 50 or 60,000 miles on the car before it disintegrated into a heap of rust).

    I don't plan to do the same to our Prius, but I also would not be afraid of a small trailer on it (though I think the advice about taking it off for dealer service is a sound).

    Jim
     
  4. narf

    narf Active Member

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    I have a scangauge and regularly tow my 400 pound shifter kart trailer with the Prius. I live in Colorado and tow from Boulder to Colorado springs over Monument Hill several times a year. The water temp on the scangauge never gets any higher when I tow than when I don't tow. I try to keep it at under 70 mph while towing, mostly because of the tiny trailer tires. When I tow the tongue weight is under 50 pounds (less than a bike on a bike rack), and car control is not a problem.
     
  5. lynnfield

    lynnfield New Member

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    I found this hitch before the curt and installed it, I like it better, has a cleaner look. Receiver Hitch
     
  6. Goldwingerx2

    Goldwingerx2 New Member

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    :playball:We have an 07 pkg 2. When we purchased it we had included in the deal a class 1 hitch. The dealer did not install it but had a local hitch dealer do it. It is built in such a way the the muffler has free flow and will not harm the car from heat in any way.

    We have a small Aluma MCTXL trailer about 200 lbs and we put my wifes mobility cart in it about 130 lbs. We are currently on a trip and have pulled it on this trip over 2100 miles. We are averaging 51.1 mpg for the trip. The only thing that I am doing is trying to hold the speed to 60 mph. We are not loaded extremely heavy but have been on the road for a month.;)
     
  7. RMLamp

    RMLamp New Member

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    If you tow more weight than the manufacturer specifies and are involved in an accident your insurance company has the option of declining payment of your claim. Before you do any towing you should read your policy restrictions.
     
  8. RichL

    RichL New Member

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    That looks clean but where do you attach your safety chains???
     
  9. RichL

    RichL New Member

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    Great link & pics etc.... MUCH appreciated...!!! This solved and answered so many questions. I occasionally need to haul things from Home Depot etc and a small trailer makes good sense. THANKS...!! btw... Did you build all those trailers yourself???
     
  10. onesiks2

    onesiks2 New Member

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    can the prius tow a 14ft aluminum boat on a trailer???iam not sure how heavy it is but this is gonna be a deal breaker for me..
    anyone??:confused::confused::confused::confused:
     
  11. RichL

    RichL New Member

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    If you don't know how heavy the boat and trailer is I don't think your question can be answered accurately. You might want to find someplace to weigh it and then go from there.
     
  12. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    if you do try the boat.. can you film the launch?... i don't want to see a prius get pulled into a lake or bay.. but i'm curious if it will be. pulling a boat with trailer out of the water may not be a pretty thing to see a prius attempt. wet pavement.. wheel slip.. trac kicking in ..... etc.
     
  13. timm

    timm Medical Transport Driver

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    I have towed my 16' river boat that is made of thick/welded aluminum with no problems. The 50 horse outboard, trolling motor and two batteries add quite a bit to the weight, but you will notice in the pic that the weight is mostly carried by the boat trailer axle.

    I must state EMPHATICALLY that I'm am blessed with only having to travel a short distance at low speed to the boat launch. I would not want to travel a long distance or in high speed traffic with this rig.

    However, I also towed a canoe around on a modified utility trailer quite a bit last summer. (This canoe/trailer combo might be closer to the weight of your 14' boat.) I had no problems driving all over the area at highway speeds with this setup.

    A simple test method I suggest is that if you can fairly easily move the boat and trailer around manually on level ground... you should be ok. Another tip, (for anyone), if you ever start spinning your tires trying to get up the boat ramp... stop and let the air out (down to about 20lbs.) of the driving tires.

    I am NOT recommending the above, just sharing that I have done it. :cool:
     

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  14. onesiks2

    onesiks2 New Member

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    well if i do tow it would be about a 15 min drive down the freeway to the closest launch..have you ever had any trouble getting the boat out of the water with the incline from the launch??iam guessing that the boat with trailer would weight around 1500lbs??:confused::confused:

    do you know what the tounge wieght is on your trailer with boat??
    iam thinkin if the rear shocks would hold up to it or would i have to modify some sort of helper air bags for the rear..
     
  15. onesiks2

    onesiks2 New Member

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    btw what trailer hitch are you useing??how much?? thanks
    ps it lloks good and boy does you prius look small towing that boat..:D:D
     
  16. LYLUVLY

    LYLUVLY New Member

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  17. timm

    timm Medical Transport Driver

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    Once again please allow me to state that I agree with Toyota in that they don't "Recommend" towing with a Prius. It IS harder on the car and could void the warranty, etc. Even though I've had no problems... I just hit 50k on my 2005 and intend to change the tranny fluid after abusing my poor baby by towing and delivering the U.S. Mail.

    Sorry, I don't know the tongue weight or total weight of the different things I've towed. To be more specific about the method to my madness: I am 55 y/o, 5' 7", 155lb. All by myself, I can lift the tonque on my canoe trailer easily and roll the whole unit around on fairly level ground including on gravel or grass. I can't do that with the bigger boat. I have to grunt to lift the tongue on my river boat & trailer and I can only roll it around by hand on level concrete or blacktop surface. If you can man-handle your boat and trailer easily by yourself, you should be ok on that freeway.

    I have not got stuck at a boat ramp or elsewhere. The car has plenty of power/torque. TRACTION is the bigger concern and I've been successful in avoiding a situation where I would not have traction. If a boat launch is steep, has gravel or dirt surface you could get in a tricky situation. I always have a tow strap with me in case I need to ask someone to help me out and a 12 volt air compressor in case I have refill the tires after letting air out to obtain better traction.

    Prius traction control works like this: No Traction= No go!

    Here's a link to another thread with pics of my beefed up 2" Coastal hitch, (made it into a three-point mount unit) I store my wiring in the little cubby when not in use. Click this: http://priuschat.com/forums/newbie-forum/42395-question-about-hitch-mount-bike-rack-prius-2.html
     

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  18. drysider

    drysider Active Member

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    I would be more concerned about the capacity of the bolts and threaded attachment points for the hitch than the cars ability to pull a small trailer. There is no factory rating available, and it is all guess-work without that. There may actually be a good reason for the "No Trailer" advise in the owners manual.

    Pat
     
  19. RhythmDoctor

    RhythmDoctor Member

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    Well, I have the same question as some others here. I have a Prius and would like to buy a second one. In order to do this, I will have to be able to tow a small Phantom sailboat with the Prius. If I cannot pull this little boat, I will have to buy a different car for our second vehicle.

    I weighed the boat+trailer today, and there's 325 lb on the rear axle plus 75 lb on the tongue (total 400 lb). I show a picture below. The Honda pulls it as if there's nothing there - no temperature problems, no heat - can't even tell it's there.

    I will tow this once a year - about 150 miles up to the Poconos, then 150 miles back two weeks later. That is all the towing that we will do. Do you guys have any advice?

    Also, is the Curt hitch definitely better than the other options? If so, why? Also, I've seen some scary pics of melted fascia with early Curt hitches. What did Curt do to fix that problem?

    Finally, the trailer has a brand new light kit, but they are incandescent lights. Have there been problems with blown fuses with incandescent light kits?

    Thanks for all of your help.
     

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  20. robandjeanne

    robandjeanne Junior Member

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    Re: Prius Towing Capability - loss of MPG & Tranny?

    For those towing light trailers say 600 pounds or less, what do you estimate your loss of mpg to be?

    I agree with those who believe the risk to the Prius transmission is how hot the ATF gets. One person noted no change in the coolant temp while towing and this is a good sign, but I wonder what the difference is between the coolant and ATF temp? Also how hot does the coolant temp get? No ATF likes temps above 200F, and the fluid breaks down increasingly fast as temps get hotter. If already hot coolant "cools" the ATF as with some vehicles, the Prius would have a problem towing without an external cooler.

    Rob
     
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