Teardrop Trailers

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by McDonald, May 23, 2008.

  1. McDonald

    McDonald New Member

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    I am looking to buy a small Teardrop Trailer to tow behind the Prius. I have a Curt hitch installed by Uhaul, and am looking to keep the weight reasonable.

    I would like it to be affordable (under $5000), and I don't need it to be all decked out in luxury. Won't be using it to cook or don't need it to have any of those extras like a fan or fridge, etc. But it needs to have a sleeping area, i.e. not a cargo trailer.

    I have found a few, but am not really sure what the standard of this industry is. Fender and Gibson are to guitars as ___________ and ___________ are to teardrop trailers. What are the prominent brands?

    I have found a few websites that offer lists and I have looked up a few on the web, but wondered if anyone had used one (on any vehicle, but better yet on a Prius) and had any luck.

    Teardrop 72 is one of the shops I checked out, and is just my style. Simple and hand-crafted, and basically $3000.

    Also to mention, I'd like to buy one that's already built up, not to buy the plans to build it, etc.

    Thanks!

    And if anyone doesn't know what a teardrop trailer is,

    [​IMG]
     
  2. liznowen

    liznowen New Member

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    Can you tow one with a Prius?! I was actually just talking to my boyfriend about if the Prius could tow anything, I would get a tear drop trailer.
     
  3. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Not according to Toyota. The Prius is not rated for any towing. Can you tow with it? Sure, but keep in mind that it's not designed for towing. Anything you can tow behind a motorcycle will be fine for a Prius.

    Tom
     
  4. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    McDonald, I think you are going to have to self educate on this issue. Might as well google teardrop trailers and get started.

    Towing anything with Prius is officially disapproved. Meanwhile, a relatively small group of owners do it, and I have yet to read of problems resulting. Yahoo has a dedicated group.

    The first goal should be as light as possible, and some teardrops are more than a ton. Second is attack the long uphills a bit more gently. remember you can be putting an unusual load on the drivetrain, and Prius does not come with the instrumentation you'd really like to have. Electric motor and inverter temperatures on the uphill, and HV battery temperatures coming down.

    Third of course applies to any vehicle towing a ball-hitch trailer, and I bet you already know it; Turning and braking, when done at the same time, have more conservative limits.
     
  5. ibmindless

    ibmindless Member

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  6. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Check that it is legal to tow with a Prius, I know it isn't here.
     
  7. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Illegal in the land of road trains? That is a surprise. I have also heard that Prius towing is not legal in the UK, so it is appropriate to check.

    The other legal aspect, not Prius-specific, refers to braking systems and trailer weight. Here's a neat map:

    Towing Laws | BrakeBuddy - Braking systems for motorhomes towing a vehicle

    Perhaps of interest to our thread-starter who cannot escape to the west without passing through 1000-pound NY.

    Having found this info after Pat's (unintentional?) prodding, I must now post it at Yahoo prius trailers. Ta.
     
  8. metal_chair

    metal_chair Nashville Prii Unite!

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    I was just thinking of doing this and having it painted barcelona red of course
     
  9. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    That's going to be too heavy. It's wood with a metal skin. Base weight is 700 lbs with a tongue weight of 100 lbs. That's empty and with no propane tank.

    The Little Guy Rascal Lite has a stripped weight of 460 lbs and a tongue weight of 40 lbs.

    The four foot wide platform is 660 lbs with a 60 lb tongue weight. I figured that as about as heavy as was safe to go. Both of these Little Guys would allow for a small camping stove and ice chest if necessary.

    Read through a lot of the sites.
     
    mtbiker53 likes this.
  10. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    The Little Guy Rascal Lite is rated to be towed by a motorcycle. 460 lbs and 40 lb tongue weight.
     
  11. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    Here's the tent I bought. It's a Napier Sportz Dome to Go Hatchback Tent.

    [​IMG]


    I also did a photoshop of what a Prius would look like towing a teardrop trailer.
     

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  12. Rhino678

    Rhino678 New Member

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    I am planning to pull both of my trailers I have for my motorcycle. One is just a little utility trailer and the other is a pop-up camper. Now granted my motorcycle has a bigger engine than my car I think it will be fine. Here is a link to my Honda Goldwing board, they have a section which discusses trailer at legnth. GL1800Riders
     
  13. maestro8

    maestro8 Nouveau Member

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    We made our trailer's maiden voyage to Big Sur this weekend! I don't have any specs on it other than this WAG:
    Tongue weight: 75 lbs
    Total weight: 650 lbs

    U-haul fixed us up with the hitch for $180 including installation. Craigslist hooked us up with the trailer for only a grand :)

    We had no problems on the hills, aside from a little brake smell when I had to make a quick stop. 32.5 MPG average for the trip... on non LRR tires, inflated to recommended pressure.

    My only complaint is that the trailer transmits a lot of shock to the car. It makes for a bouncy ride, although nothing that feels unsafe. I'm thinking of replacing the trailer's leaf spring axle with a torsion axle... maybe some stiffer springs are in order for the car as well.

    My advice for those on the fence: go for it! Its surprisingly easy to get hitched up, and it makes for a much more luxurious camping experience :)

    Galaxy Nexus ?
     

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  14. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I have same color! Remove the wheel trim rings car will look much better.
    I agree 100% with the bouncy and shocky ride when towing. It's disturbing.
    Because of the cars chassis /cabin design it seems to transmit any noise through the frame real good. I can't imagine any long mileage
    tow.
    Plus the brakes really really suck when your towing. This car was not designed to tow. It does not have the power or the brakes. And any additional weight load is very hard on the electric motor so at the least hyper maintenance is required of the trans fluid.
    Around town light load is ok with fresh trans fluid but anything longer than that I would not do.
    IMHO.
     
  15. cdltpx

    cdltpx Junior Member

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  16. cdltpx

    cdltpx Junior Member

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    IDK what just happened but all I typed was gone and only a non related video was left as a reply. Not my intent.
     
  17. Handygeek

    Handygeek Member

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    There's a thread elsewhere describing what Prius owners have towed - and as I recall, debunking the rumor that towing is not "allowed" (I believe that Toyota sells towing accessories).
    I tow a 21' heavy duty aluminum former boat trailer & have carried half a pallet of concrete block (it could handle a full load but I worried that were I to be on wet pavement & had to make an emergency stop the weight of the block could push me down the road).
    I have observed no braking problems (the Prius has dual-braking, the energy-reclamation system and traditional), it has a very low center of gravity (due to the battery), and is simply well-engineered.
    See if you can find the "what have you towed" thread.
     
  18. Yakoma

    Yakoma Active Member

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    Very cool...keep posting updates.
     
  19. Handygeek

    Handygeek Member

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  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    toyota doesn't want you to tow anything.
     
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