So I've taken my 2010 across the country

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by cyclopathic, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    you'd probably need a bit more than 10min there were several construction road blocks long enough to step out and have a picnic. And August isn't the best time to see Yosemite it was crowded and there was no water in main waterfalls. :( Memorial day would be a better choice as the pass had been open mid May for last few years.
     
  2. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I meant 10 minutes extra since the car is a Prius and not a hot rod ;)
     
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  3. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    worry not there will be enough RVs :p
     
  4. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    No ICE is fine it was just one of those long steep climbs. 10%+ avg grade for several miles. There is nothing on East Coast of that nature; perhaps climb to Mt Washington? and even then it would have been fine if not for full load (4 people + all gear). It was fine on lesser grades like Vale pass (which is 7% avg for several miles)
     
  5. smassey22180

    smassey22180 Junior Member

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    We also drove our Prius cross country. Last Dec. we went from Sacramento to Jacksonville, FL. Our total average was 34 mpg. It was cold. There were lots of hills. The car had 4 people in it with luggage. And we drove fast (80 mph in the 80 mph speed limits areas of TX).

    Handling was fine for us as we have 17" wheels.

    I will NEVER drive a Prius that far again :). It is just not the right tool for that job.
     
  6. CardiffChris

    CardiffChris Member

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    I drove my 2010 Prius cross country from San Diego to Tampa.
    The 75 to 80 mph on the highways beats up the gas mileage.
    I usually get 51 to 56 in my normal driving, on the long trip I got 38 to 42.
    No lack of power though, Especially good for passing 18 wheelers on two lane roads.
    A combination of good aerodynamics and the cvt made the 65 to 95mpg acceleration quite good.

    BTW Not too many Prius on the road Between Tucson and Tampa.
    There are dozens in my neighborhood though.
     
  7. cary1952

    cary1952 Member

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    Ive taken several 3000+ mile round trips in my 2013 4. I have never had an issue.
     
  8. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts. I don't agree with all of them, but I get where they are coming from. Having just completed our own 7.300+ mile trip to Yellowstone, Glacier and the Green Bay area, we were completely satisfied with every aspect of the Prius, when compared to our Montana van. I posted my comments in this thread and I hope you don't mind a couple of questions.

    We only had one really long uphill stretch. Did your Prius lose power or was it able to maintain speed going up? We had no problem, though we definitely could hear the engine working hard and the battery did get low.

    Would you expand on your comment about the cargo area a bit more? We only had the 2 of us, but we did carry about 600 lbs altogether, we take a lot of stuff with us, like multiple laptops, tablets, cameras and my wife's clothes. :) I was able to get 4 suitcases (26" laying flat, 16" on top and two 22" on their sides), 2 Queen pillows and some smaller items tucked in behind the seats without blocking the top rear window. I couldn't use the tonneau cover though because the suitcases were higher than 12". I then put the seats down and got in another 22" suitcase, two camera backpacks, C-Pap machine, 2 gallons of water, gym bag of crochet materials, 2 cf snack bag, 1 cf ice cooler and some smaller items. Since two of the suitcases could stand to be replaced, I'm looking for 3 duffle bags with wheels that are about 12"x16"x 32" to better fit the cargo bay. I also want 2 soft-sided bags to fit in the side cavities to keep smaller items from falling out when I take out the suitcases. The hidden bay came in handy to protect a couple of pictures and some smaller fragile stuff we bought. I'm now sure how they could design the cargo area better, though I admit I don't know if there is a difference between the 2010 and 2014 models

    I totally found out how much speed, hills and crosswinds affect mileage. The Prius is the first car I've owned where I could watch the impact on the CONS display. Our van displayed instant mpg, but that's not quite the same as watching an average mpg number fluctuate with conditions.

    You didn't mention GPS, so can I assume your Prius doesn't have one and you used a standalone device (phone maybe) or paper maps?

    We've driven the PCH and many roads with serious switchbacks and I don't completely understand the comments about the pillars blocking the view, at least not any more than other cars. I didn't have any problems seeing the road on the Beartooth or Going-To-The-Sun highways and there was plenty of oncoming traffic through the switchbacks. I know we're all different and what bothers one doesn't always bother another. The design is definitely different though and I'm looking forward to seeing the changes you mentioned are coming to the GenIV.

    I also don't understand the handling comments I read here. Admittedly, this is my first smaller car and my best handling cars were a 1970 GTO and 1988 Gran Prix, but the Prius seems to handle just fine for how I drive. For sure, it's no sports car, has little power coming out of turns, etc., but I didn't feel at a loss for control on any of the roads we drove, from 80 mph freeways to 2-lane roads in Northern Wisconsin.

    Living in Phoenix, A/C is a must much of the year and we have tinted windows, so I never gave much thought to the "solar effect". I'll have to give that some thought now that the temps will be cooling off around here.
     
  9. stephensprius

    stephensprius Active Member

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    wow. cool trip. the farthest we have gone from mn in the prius was to north dakota. it did ok. wasn't the best on gas going 70 on the highway, even with cruise control.
     
  10. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    It was on long steep hills, it did fine on interstates. The interstate system was designed to avoid steep over 8% sustained grades, so there were no issues on Vale pass in CO, I-40 climbs around Flagstaff, OR-CA border grades on I-5. We had not taken I-17 to Flagstaff, but I guess it would have been fine there too. I had to slow down on climb from Death Valley, mostly because it was hot (108F), A/C was on and I was worried to run engine at 100% for ~5000' gain. The speed limit there is 55 and we were going at 45, so if the car was 20%/600lbs lighter it would have gone 55 w/o issues.

    There were a couple climbs in Sierra Nevada which were just too steep (10%+) and too long to be able to maintain speed. And with 4 of us we had a bit more load than you. Not holding that against Prius, it is just amazing how well electric assist hides it.

    We use plastic see-through boxes to pack stuff, just alot easier to pack and unpack at stops and the cargo area is not shaped with that in mind. Part of it the boxes were originally bought for minivan, so their dimensions were not ideal for Prius. And again there are 4 of us, so no putting seat down! The underfloor tray was really convenient to keep stove, propane, perishable food etc.

    BTW suitcases and bags are not ideal for travel. The plastic containers and spacebags go long ways to minimize space and wasted time on camping trips!

    Yes we used TomTom. Would not trust phone GPS in areas with no coverage.

    With respect to left A-pillar blocking view it probably very condition dependent. For me it was ~25MPH switchbacks, but if you are taller or shorter or going slower, than perhaps it is not an issue or issue under different conditions? Either way it is too much forward and does obscure view.
     
  11. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I totally agree for camping. We tried them, but anything without wheels just doesn't work well for us and motels. :)
     
  12. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Resurrecting this thread...

    We just acquired a used 2010 Prius and will be taking it on a 2500 mile trip. We are starting in Rochester, MN and will head west through the Bighorns and will end up at Yellowstone ( via Cody - east entrance ). We will tool around Yellowstone for a week and then will head out through the south ( Grand Teton ) entrance and then will head back east from there ( via Hwy 26 ).

    I am familiar with this route as we did a similar one last year in our Hyundai Sonata. However, I'm a bit worried about the switchbacks on the east side of the bighorns. Have any of you done this? At any rate, it will be a good test for the car!

    By the way, the bighorn mountains really are a 'hidden gem'. I really recommend at least a drive through if you plan on arriving to the Yellowstone area from the East ( via I90 ).
     
  13. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Six years ago, I took my first Prius westbound across Hiway 14 (Granite Pass), then eastbound across Hiway 16 (Powder River Pass). While the engine will howl on the descents (learn to use B mode), I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. My Prii have been on many roads like that.

    Consider also the very scenic Northeast entrance, via Red Lodge, across Bear Tooth Pass. While my most recent visit there predates our Prii, both Prii have done equal and higher in Colorado.
     
  14. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    You'd be fine. I've gone similar route twice, once on motorcycle and 2nd time in '08 Grand Caravan. Are you taking Alt-14 or just 14? both are nice. If you are taking 14 stop by and hike to Medicinal wheel. Also there are Black Hills, Mnt Rushmore, Needle Eye, etc and Devil's Tower alone the route - plan to stop by. And as Fuzzy1 said, Beartooth highway is nice, even better then Chief Joseph, but visit both! Also bring swimsuits, you can actually soak in hot springs at Boiling river. We regretted for not bringing them. Here is info: Soothing Natural Hot Springs in the Yellowstone Park Area - Yellowstonepark.com

    Prius will be fine, don't worry. The stuff we've gone through in Rockies, Cascades and Sierra Nevadas was much worse. It terms of handling switchbacks I have rented Sonata 3 years ago in LA and took it through CA2 - Angeles crest highway. It handled worse than our Gen3, but our Gen3 had rear sway bar and strut tower bar fitted at that point.

    Since trip last year I've also fitted camber kit, and the way it is handling now it can be taken through some really gnarly stuff. I'd say unless you're addicted to mountain driving or planning to take it to local autocross event, there is really no reason to go any farther.
     
  15. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Good tip on the Beartooth highway and the Northwest entrance. We did that two years ago. - amazing route! We have also been through the East entrance twice, and have taken the Hwy 14 'south' route that follows Shell creek. If you ever do this, stop at Dirty Annie's country store. As far as Yellowstone goes, we did do the Boiling river - it was great! However, to beat the crowds, it helps to stay in Mammoth so you can arrive late ( 8PM or so ).

    This year we will try the Alt-14 'north' route and will try to visit the medicine wheel. There are also a couple of nice short trails to Porcupine falls and Bucking Mule falls. We will then enter Yellowstone via the East (Cody) entrance.

    Here is a first cut at our route. Hopefully I set it up correctly so you can view it.

    Yellowstone 2015

    Take a look.. Any ideas?
     
  16. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    a couple:

    Black Hills:
    Alt 16 in Black hills (many switchbacks, overlooks and good views)
    87 to Needle Eye Eye of the Needle - South Dakota
    87 south Caster state park (good place to see buffalo, pronghorn, wild donkeys.. sometimes wolf)
    Deadwood to Cheyenne Crossing and alternative 14 though Spearfish canyon.
    perhaps venture south to Windcave(?) (you can always count on getting a campsite there).

    If you get a chance I would hit Black Hills/Devils tower/Yellowstone on the way there, and on the way back go through Grand Tetons, take US191 and WY 530 to Flaming Gorge. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia We camped at the southern tip with tent 20 steps away from cliff. (look up Flaming Gorge pics). Also check Sheepcreek geological area, it loops off UT44. Sheep Creek Geological Loop | Utah.com

    Then take 64 to 139 to I70 or US40. CO139 is picturesque, and I-70 through Cottonwood canyon perhaps the prettiest section of interstate in US. If you take I-70 you can stop by Mt Evans, and then get back to I-80 via Trail Ridge road/Rocky Mnt park and I76. I80 to Des Moines and then I35 north home.
    here are links:
    Trail Ridge Road - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Mount Evans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Interstate 70 in Colorado - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (there are NO dinosaurs running amok over there)

    Also forgot: you'd be passing Badlands just east from Black Hills (you can actually see them from Black Hill mountain top observation points)
     
    #36 cyclopathic, Jul 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  17. Blizzard_Persona

    Blizzard_Persona Senior Member

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    Sounds like an unforgettable experience. I would love to make that trip and take my time doing so.

    Back a bunch of years ago (over a decade now) after I got out of the Military I did San Diego to Philly in 3.5 days. Mind you this was in a 6" jacked up f-150 rolling on 35's and geared down to 456 gears front and rear, towing an enclosed trailer with all my worldly possessions and with the bed overflowing with a mattress strapped to the top. It was brutal. I drove from sunrise till I got delirious even after pounding Starbucks double shots, and energy drinks the whole way. Nothing enjoyable about the trip. The 8-10 mpg hurt too, ok I'll admit that I did get up to 12 in the very flat panhandle of tx. Lol. I couldn't get a hotel for fear of getting my stuff ripped off so I slept at rest stops in the cab for a few hrs at a shot.


    Then



    I did it all again a month later with my wife this time (who stayed behind to keep working for that last month) in her Mazda protege. I think we got a hotel for a night or two this time and actually got to somewhat see a few sights but we were still pressed for time..

    I did do San Diego to Austin, San Diego to Killeen at least 2-3 times non stop. 24 hrs. :(

    I try to fly and rent a car now if it's over 8-12 hrs..

    Although a Prius would still prob trump the price of a plane ticket for a cross country trip. Lol
     
  18. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    well yes and no. Biggest commodity with doing x-country trips is the time. If you are on east coast and wanna venture to see California (Yosemite, Death Valley, Sequoia, Redwoods, Joshua Tree, etc), Grand Canyon, Utah (Zion, Bryce, Arches), Arizona, the most efficient way to do it to score cheap tickets to Vegas and rent a car. They can be booked in advance for less then $250/person, ~$170/week for rental.

    Just going from coast to coast adds time, and for trip to be enjoyable you need 3-4 weeks at least. So if you add 10-12 additional unpaid days for round trip, cost of gas, tear and wear on car, you are not really saving any money by driving.
     
  19. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the great tips. I will look to see if any of those routes fit into our schedule ( we only have a little over a week ). Also, this trip is meant to be more of a 'hardcore day hiking' trip than a sightseeing trip. That is why I want to keep it in the Yellowstone area. We are also going to cabin camp this time as I was able to get cabin rentals inside Yellowstone. This will mean we can spend more time hiking and such and not have to deal with setting up and breaking down camp every day. Don't get me wrong though...I do love to camp! However, I usually tend to camp on trips to the BWCA ( boundary waters canoe area ) and when we do extended hiking trips.

    That means the Black Hills and Badlands will have to be relegated to a 'drive by' on this trip. In fact, depending on how it is going, we may not even get to stop at Mt Rushmore. We have done trips exclusively to the Black Hills area though...and have done pretty much everything you mentioned. I know that area very well. Other than what you mentioned, some of the other 'non touristy' highlights for me in that area are Harney Peak and Bear Butte state park.
     
  20. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    reserve you campsite in advance, Jelly-stone could be hard to get site in. And watch for Yoggi ;)

    The side trip to NE UT and CO will add ~3days. If it is about hiking you may hike what you want in Yellostone and just drive throw the rest to get an idea if you wanna come back. Good luck!
     
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