Towing with Prius V

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by wodza, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. wodza

    wodza Junior Member

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    I’m wondering if anyone has experience towing a pop up camper with their Prius V. I’ve already been using it to tow a utility trailer for dump runs and building supply runs and it handles the load quite well. I’m looking to get a pop up that weighs under 1500lbs. If any of you have been using yours for this purpose or something similar let me know you’re experiences. Just to head off the inevitable comments: yes I’m aware it is not rated for towing but I’ll continue towing with it anyway.
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    First we are in the Prius v "wagon" forum (2012-2017). The Prius v does have a better final drive ratio for loads than the standard gen3 hatchbacks or those before gen3.

    People have done it even though total load including people and luggage for a v is around 900 lbs.

    I believe the biggest safety concern is the brakes on a long mountain style descent. Once the hv battery is full, regen does not help. The brakes are not sized for heavy loads. Instead Toyota provides the manually initiated B mode which allows the wheels to spin the engine, eg engine braking. But the engine is small and the modest brake pads and rotors still need to carry much of the load. Plus an uninformed driver may not select B mode appropriately.

    A lesser concern is engine cooling and high loads at high speeds, particularly the risk of a head gasket problem. So moderate terrain and speeds would be prudent.
     
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  3. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    Just be prepared for a new trani around 200,000 miles if you don't go far..... otherwise total disaster
     
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Good luck finding a popup light enough. Many are advertised at a certain weight, but the truth is that they don't get in trouble for lying- so they stretch it like crazy and you wind up overweight before you even drag it off the dealer's lot.

    It can be done, but be very suspicious and run it over a scale before you sign on the dotted line.
     
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  5. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    I’ve been on this message board since 2017. On this board there have only been like 4 trans failures ever listed on here. Three of them the input shaft snapped off when the damper came apart.
     
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  6. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    I don't think this site accounts for all Prius failures worldwide... or even USA wide.....

    Most still go to the dealer..................... my trani makes a loud whine (car came with a trailer hitch) .... you can have a worn out trani.....it just hasn't blown yet....
     
  7. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    The picture you are painting of trans failure because of towing a trailer is supposition and conjecture. Granted, my statement of only four documented trans failures the very same thing, but is the more likely scenario. Why? Thousands of Prius owners tow hundreds of thousands, if not millions of miles a year with no issue. This is not the only message board where towing with a Prius is a topic, but all of them have one common denominator. As long as you are smart with the trailer weight, towing isn’t normally an issue.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Toyota's says no towing. Just saying.
     
  9. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    I have never seen a prius towing a trailer and I drive in Houston almost everyday for years......
     
  10. wodza

    wodza Junior Member

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    Thanks CNC97.
    I have been already towing a utility trailer with my Prius V and did lots of towing with my 06 Prius before that. It’s capable as long as you keep in mind weight, terrain and likely temperature. Like I said in my original post, I’m going to continue towing with my Prius V regardless of what anyone on this forum says. I’m curious however what others have done in terms of a pop up camper. I’ve found a few that look like nice candidates. One has a dry weight of 862lbs (quicksilver living lite) and the other a dry weight of 1100lbs (older Jayco). If anyone on here knows of any other models they would recommend I’d love to hear it. Also anyone have any experience with adding trailer brakes. Looks fairly simple to do from my initial research. Anyone have experience with this.
     
  11. RAM v

    RAM v Junior Member

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    Trailer brakes can help a LOT but you may have trouble getting them on a lighter trailer. They usually only offer hem as accessories on larger trailers. I got them on my present trailer (a 2010 Jayco ~ 2000-2200 lb loaded) and I immediately noticed the difference over my previous (roughly same size) Jayco camper.
     
  12. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    I don't care if anybody tows or not...................... I would if I had to....
     
  13. wodza

    wodza Junior Member

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    Are you towing that jayco with your prius V? Or with another vehicle?
     
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