Towing 2012 Pruis C: Tow dolly or flat bed?

Discussion in 'Prius c Main Forum' started by FB_PruisC, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. FB_PruisC

    FB_PruisC New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm going to move my car to another state (CO to AK) and would like to tow it behind a UHaul.
    The cheapest option is to use a tow dolly, so front wheels off the ground.
    I'm a bit nervous with going with this option, as I got some conflicting info from different dealers, so I am hoping to find a definite answer here.
    Can a 2012 Prius C be towed on a tow dolly?
    If so, will the mileage increase on it, as the back wheel are on the ground?
    Finally, it does not appear I can shut off the car in neutral, so I'd have to tow it in park. Is it OK?

    Thanks in advance!
    F.
     
  2. CPN

    CPN Junior Member

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    Firstly, I'm shocked that you get "conflicting info from different dealers"!! They should all be aware that the Prius C (Yaris Hybrid over here in the UK) is a front wheel drive vehicle and therefore of course a front axle dolly would be ideal for towing! Doh!

    It follows from this that of course it is OK to be in "Park" since that position only locks the transmission wheels not all four and since those (the front) are off the ground on a dolly, it would be perfectly safe to tow it this way.

    The only other thing to mention would be if your C has remote locking and keyless starting. Whilst towing, either make sure the fob is well away from the towed vehicle or alternatively, you could temporarily disable the remote system using the "customise" menu on the head unit whilst the vehicle is being towed. This would prevent the brakes hydraulic system from being auto charged even though the vehicle may actually be "off" (which of course, it never really is). Make sure the handbrake (which acts on the rear wheels) is also not engaged before you try and move away with it on the dolly!

    Last but not least, check the State laws for those you'll be passing through in relation to towing! ☺

    Nexus 5 ?

    P. S. I forgot to mention... Since the odometer is operated by the transmission (front wheels) then the mileage will not increase.
     
  3. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    Seeing as Alaska is the destination raises a question of road quality. It will obviously be easier on your car's rear tires on a full trailer.

    Does the c's steering wheel lock when park? If it's like the hatchback it does not. With a tow dolly you may have to secure the steering somehow.
     
  4. CPN

    CPN Junior Member

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    If the C's steering wheel lock is like ours here in the UK, then the actuator locks when the vehicle is turned off. "Park" is a mechanical (rotational) lock on the transmission wheels only. Doesn't affect the steering at all.

    Nexus 5 ?
     
  5. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Use the dolly.
    Miles will not increment.

    Make sure that the parking brake is not engaged, and make sure that you're comfortable with turning and backing with the tow (or be a rhinoceros.)

    Good Luck!
    Send pics!
     
  6. FB_PruisC

    FB_PruisC New Member

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    Awesome, thanks so much all. I feel a lot better. Yes, I was totally blown away that different dealers had different answers. I'd say I called about 10 of them around Colorado, and I got 40/60 of no/yes for a dolly. I just picked up the UHaul and the dolly :) Just have to move everything in there now and get my car onto the dolly... And off to AK! I'll see pics.
    Cheers!
    Thanks again.
     
  7. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    Good luck.
    IF you have no experience backing a "tandem" unit like that, be VERY CAREFUL to NOT get yourself into a situation where you will have to back up. NEVER.

    Go around the block to scope out the situation if necessary. Park nearby in a shopping center or truck stop or a church lot ( except when there is a service, of course) so that you don't get in a bind where backing is necessary.

    If you don't have the knack for it (most people don't), you can get into a real mess if you have to back more than a couple of feet.
     
  8. FB_PruisC

    FB_PruisC New Member

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    HELP!
    OK, so I've got a UHaul dolly, on which the platform where the front tires are can slightly rotate when the towing vehicle turns.
    I put my Prius C on "Park", parking brake disengaged and turned off to tow it. I checked on it a few times. At first, nothing to declare. But now, a few lights are on when I turn the car on!!!! ABS/regenerative brake/parking brake, and anti-slip. Did I damage anything? We did not turn much, just a few times on parking lots. I am thinking maybe the steering was locked in front but because the dolly makes the wheels turn slightly with turning, it messed things up???
    What should I do? I am thinking I could continue on with keeping the car turned on ACCESSORY mode and keep it on neutral, but that will likely kill the 12V after a while? Or I could turn the car ON, keep it on READY and NEUTRAL, hoping that the car engine will turn on when the battery needs to be recharged...
    What should I do? Kinda freaking out and still have 2,000 miles to go.
    Thanks...
     
  9. PecosBill

    PecosBill New Member

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    Can't answer on most points but my 2013 IV manual states the batteries are not charged in neutral. If the car is fully secured as I suspect, you might be okay leaving it On and in Park (Ready) where it does charge them.

    I have to wonder if Toyota has a hotline
     
  10. SwhitePC

    SwhitePC Active Member

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    um...shouldn't you put it in neutral and turned off? like any ole car?

    turned on and in neutral would mean you're going to kill the hv battery

    acc turned on and in neutral is (pointless?) acc will auto turn off in 15min or so

    turned off and in park...wouldn't that mean you can't tow the darn thing (and if you do attempt to tow wouldn't that cause some damage)
     
  11. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    It's a front wheel drive car. The drive wheels are on the dolly, so this is appropriate. Towing "any ole" front drive car on a dolly you should leave the car in Park.

    Leave the car off, in Park and proceed. Did you tow it at all while the car was in ready mode? It might have seen rear wheels rolling while front wheels were stopped and panicked.

    Deal with the lights after you reach your destination.
     
  12. FB_PruisC

    FB_PruisC New Member

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    I didn't tow while the car was in ready. It's always been engine off, on park. I can't put it in neutral while it's off, it just won't let me.
    My guess is that the front wheel are locked in park and so is the steering. While turning on the dolly, the car front wheels are forced to turn as well and maybe it damaged something?
    The manual says that for emergency towing the car should be towed while on ACC or ON. But nothing for long distances! So frustrating that there's nothing better explained anywhere.
    If it's in neutral while on ACC, is the car eventually going to turn off and stay in neutral? Anyone knows?
    And if I leave it on and neutral, will that kill the battery?
    Thanks...
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the car will not turn itself off. i don't think you want the front wheels to move at all when towing. for emergencies, the manual is correct, but for long distance, you can't leave the car on. not accessory or ready, it's just going to run something down.
     
  14. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    I don't have a C-manual handy, but I cannot imagine why the procedure would not be:
    1. Front wheels on dolly.
    2. Parking Brake disengaged.
    3. Car off.

    Keep towing and deal with any symptoms when you arrive at your destination and you back-haul the car off of the dolly.
    I can't see how you could have possibly damaged anything - but if there are two of you driving the tow beast, maybe one of you should grab the manual out of the C-type and check the TOC for a chapter relating to towing.
    I'm thinking that "emergency towing" means towing with all four wheels on the ground and for very short distances.
    According to a quick check I did Toyota does approve Prius towing on dollies.
    I see them behind motor homes a LOT.



    Good Luck!
     
    #14 ETC(SS), Apr 14, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  15. FB_PruisC

    FB_PruisC New Member

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    Thanks. I'll just do that... Hopefully nothing too bad is happening. I'll avoid turns as much as possible and deal with the symptoms when I get to my final destination. The manual sucks, there's really nothing helpful in it. And I did call 10 different dealers before towing and about 60% said a dolly was totally fine, and the rest not. Frustrating.
     
  16. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    You're under warranty....hopefully.
    If there are problems when you get to AK, let the dealer sort it out.
    (Take it to a delaer that says towing is OK.)
    If they give you flack about towing on a Dolly, escalate topside to corporate.

    It's been years since I've been to AK, but I'm betting that you'll see lots of motor-homes towing lots of FWD cars.
    Gas is expensive in AK.
    There will be Priuses there. (ask @spiderman!)

    You're supposed to be having fun!
    Worry about the car later.....and let us know how it sorts itself out.

    Good Luck!
     
  17. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Yes gas is expensive in Alaska but it is astronomical in Canada especially along the Alcan.
     
  18. FB_PruisC

    FB_PruisC New Member

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    Will do. Thanks all. Just realized that the wheels actually do not turn even slightly. It's the dolly that does. Of course! So there's really no reason for things to be messed up with how I have it. Hopefully it's a false reading by hitting a bump or something. Maybe the car is just "upset" that the back wheels rotate when the front ones don't. Go figure. It ruined out plans to check out Calgary last night... Oh well, I'll try not to think about it until I've got to deal with it. My car is still covered by the bumper to bumper warranty fortunately. So let's hope they won't bother me!
     
  19. Johnnyrw

    Johnnyrw New Member

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    I have purchased a tow dolly and towed my 2013 Prius about 4 miles and now lights are on the dash. I've been looking at different posts and am confused about what I need to do. I believe I need to leave steering wheel locked, but do I turn engine on, and in neutral? Have you learned anything? Tks
     
  20. DonDNH

    DonDNH Senior Member

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    I could see that the VSC might get screwed up with the rear wheels turning and the front stationary.
     
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