Towing with a Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by FJRCRAZED, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. FJRCRAZED

    FJRCRAZED New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    100
    0
    0
    Location:
    S.E PA
    I know the manual said the car it not for towing but I was wondering if anyone has put a Class one reciever on. I found 4 manufactures that make then for the Prius. Were not talking alot of weight, 3 kayaks and an alum kayak trailer. Maybe 300lbs total.
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    19,885
    1,156
    9
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(FJRCRAZED @ Apr 20 2006, 10:52 AM) [snapback]242617[/snapback]</div>


    The concern seems to be with the ability of the transaxle to tolerate that additional capacity. But several folks have towed very small trailers with 1G and 2G Prii without any reports of problems. I would be very cautious and 300 lbs seems to be pushing the limits unless you have absolutely no cargo inside the vehicle. But that's just speculation. I wouldn't do it with my car but that's mostly b/c I don't know enough about the physics of towing or the Prius to know the limits and what would be safe....and I don't wanna find out the hard way!
     
  3. FJRCRAZED

    FJRCRAZED New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    100
    0
    0
    Location:
    S.E PA
    Thats what I thought, guess I leave th towing up to the Tundra
     
  4. imatruebrit

    imatruebrit New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    5
    0
    0
    Location:
    Roseburg, OR
    We put a hitch on our Prius so we can tow our small utility trailer .. I talked to one dealer who had two customers who put hitches on their vehicles to tow less than 1,000 pounds .. that's what we'd do .. we only use the utility trailer for lightweight bulky items ...

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(FJRCRAZED @ Apr 20 2006, 08:52 AM) [snapback]242617[/snapback]</div>
     
  5. FJRCRAZED

    FJRCRAZED New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    100
    0
    0
    Location:
    S.E PA
    Jennifer: Who is the manufacture of your hitch?

    Thanks
     
  6. Emma

    Emma New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    122
    0
    0
    Location:
    Lake Erie Region - USA
    Eventually (probably soon), I will be putting a hitch on my Prius, but for the sole purpose of getting a hitch-style bike rack.
     
  7. eyeguy13

    eyeguy13 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    337
    0
    0
    Location:
    Vermont
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(FJRCRAZED @ Apr 20 2006, 11:39 AM) [snapback]242636[/snapback]</div>
    Coastal can help you out. Here is their web address:

    http://www.coastaletech.com/04prius.htm

    I ordered the 2" hitch to give me more options with my bike rack (the 2" will accomodate a rack that can hold 3-4 bikes and the 1 1/4" will accomodate a rack that can hold 1-2 bikes.) I'm going to use my hitch for my bike rack only. No towing.
     
  8. jbarnhart

    jbarnhart New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    629
    0
    0
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    I got a class I hitch installed at U-Haul for about $165 incl. tax. It turns out it's the Curt hitch and it is a very nice design. It even includes safety chain loops. Check it out.
     
  9. bike2work

    bike2work New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    1
    0
    0
    Jbarnhart,

    Do you tow a trailer with your Prius? Thanks for the info on the U-haul hitch. That was the one I was planning on buying to tow my trailer.
     
  10. jbarnhart

    jbarnhart New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    629
    0
    0
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    I don't intend to tow a trailer, but I want a bike rack for it. I'd like one that holds the bikes by the wheels (at the bottom) instead of hanging by the top tube. My bikes are cruisers and other models with no top tube or a weird top tube. I know they make a gadget that connects the handlebars to the seat post to create a mounting point, but I don't trust that setup.
     
  11. hawkjm73

    hawkjm73 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    258
    1
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I have the Coastal hitch on my '05 Prius and have done several runs with a trailer (i.e., the entire contents of my house into storage about 20 miles away). I estimate two runs were around 950 pounds (trailer included). I wouldn't care to tow that much very often. The car behaved wonderfully, but the trailer jerked around alot. (I probably had the load balanced poorly. I'd never towed before.) With loads around 300-500 lbs, she towed like a dream. More recently, I towed about 300 with a CanView in the car. While I didn't note the actual values (shame on me, I'll do better next time), I did note that the gas engine took almost the entire extra work. Also, the overall work was not very different from regular loading. This trip included reasonably flat travel with a moderate hill. (going into the Estrella Mountians south of Phoenix, if you know those) With that kind of load, you can forget the trailer is there unless you go over RR-track or the like.

    Also, keep in mind, the weight limit in the manual is a cargo weight limit, not a towing limit. The Prius does not have a listed towing limit, but cars that do have limits that are much differentthen the cargo limit. The cargo limit is going to have much more to do with the forces on the suspension and wheels, while the towing limit has much more to do with available power and braking power.

    Based on my experiance with my one Prius, I would expect you can tow your kayaks with reasonable ease. Note though, Toyota will almost asureadly not replace anything that fails due to towing under warrenty, so it is at your own risk. The hitch, though, can be removed if needed in about 30 min. ;) You will need some way to adapt Coastal's hitch for safety chains if you use that one. I used cables that I could connect to the cross beam of the hitch. The hitch from U-Haul does not need anything extra, but I believe it requires a modification to a plastic cover piece under the rear of the car. Coastal's is plug and play.

    Also, this probably dosn't apply to you, as I think kayaks are hand-carried from trailer to water, but the mathmatics pertaining to friction show the Prius should most definetly not be used as a boat launch vehicle. It simply does not have enough mass to ensure the trailer will not pull it down the ramp under wet conditions.
     
  12. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    6,057
    382
    0
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Darell says:

    Get the Curt.
    http://www.darelldd.com/ev/prius_hitch.htm

    I've installed a few hitches on vehicles over the years. This is one of the nicest-finished ones out there. I like where the cross bar is (does not interfer with the exhaust as I've seen the Coastal one do) and has chain loops. I nice unit that does not detract from the car.

    I have NO experience with the Uhaul unit. Don't even know what it looks like, unfortunately. For the first time in a long time, I got the product that I'm happy with the first time!
     
  13. jbarnhart

    jbarnhart New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    629
    0
    0
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(darelldd @ Apr 20 2006, 10:57 PM) [snapback]243034[/snapback]</div>
    I have it and it looks EXACTLY like the one on your web site. The installer even had to cut the plastic pan in the same place, only he didn't cut a slot but a hole. It would have been even quicker for him to install with the slot, I think. The price of the hitch installed at U-Haul is about what you'd pay for the Curt hitch by itself anywhere else.
     
  14. Rmutzabaugh

    Rmutzabaugh New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    40
    0
    0
    Location:
    SC Penna
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Just had a Curt Class 1 hitch installed. Then read the forum about plastic melting. Ran home and checked to find Curt hitch has been modified to allow exhaust flow. Am also looking into Time -out trailers in Ind.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. benighted

    benighted New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    530
    0
    0
    Location:
    Westport, WA
    Yes you can pull a trailer. The engine revs more but it seems ok. Heres a few thousand words worth of details:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If anyone is wondering it gets about 25MPG pulling that empty or full, its like a big parachute.
     
  16. joelparks

    joelparks New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    82
    0
    0
    Location:
    Bedford, MA
    I bought the Curt from E-trailer.com, plus the parts like Darell used for lights.
    I tow a puny 3'x4' utility trailer with very light loads. Oh, I guess 14 forty-lb bags of lime from Home Despot makes nearly 600 lbs.
    Also I tow my old Alcort Sunfish on a little Load-rite galvanized boat trailer. Don't know what it weighs. I have no problem launching the boat with the Prius, although I won't back the rear tires in far enough to get the brake drums wet, like I used to with my Sidekick.
    Anyway, no problem towing the Sunfish at 70mph. I just don't try to accelerate fast when towing.
     
  17. daveleeprius

    daveleeprius Heh heh heh you think so?

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    429
    2
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(FJRCRAZED @ Apr 20 2006, 10:52 AM) [snapback]242617[/snapback]</div>
    I would not tow anything with my new Prius. The manual says not to do that, and I imagine that the transmission and drivetrain isn't really designed for it. If there was a problem and Toyota found out you had towed a trailer, they could possibly void your warranty...

    Dave
    07 Prius
     
  18. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    10,339
    12
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
  19. hammermill

    hammermill Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    16
    0
    0
    Location:
    Imperial Beach, CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
  20. Allannde

    Allannde Just a Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    874
    138
    0
    Location:
    Washington State
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Godiva @ Oct 29 2006, 09:03 PM) [snapback]340529[/snapback]</div>
    Godiva - Try this: http://evnut.com/prius_hitch.htm
     
Loading...