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Towing?

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by cinder's mom, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. cinder's mom

    cinder's mom Junior Member

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    Danny, I read your info on the Prius v wagon. It sounds great! What do you think about it's ability to pull a fairly light trailer?
    Hope I asked this in the correct place--
     
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    If you you tow a Prius be sure the front wheels are completely off the ground, a flatbed tow is best.

    No Prius is rated to tow anything, the Hybrid Highlander may be your best choice, 3500 pounds.
     
  3. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    Towing a light load once in a while at low speed would be OK. If you push your Prius more than that, make sure to drain and refill your ATF at 30k mile intervals and have the fluid lab tested to see if you are doing any harm to your tranny.

    You will be making the HV battery work a bit harder, but so does hills and hot weather.

    JeffD
     
  4. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    Toyota say no towing with a Prius but some do anyway. Hitches are sold - mostly 1.25" but there is a 2" bolt on out there. Trailer light bulb interfaces are another issue; some have used modified Camry adapters and you have to tap into the Prius wiring harnesses.

    One concern are brakes; the Prius depends on "generator" regenerative braking first; friction braking second; engine braking last. Generally people limit trailers to 1000 lbs total; that technically counts people and cargo weight in the car which could mean no weight left over for a trailer. See weight load limits on door jam.

    Some concern about insurance coverage in the event of an accident; some concern about warranty coverage in the event of a Hybrid failure.

    The gas engine is not very powerful; you would be surprised how much your electric motors are helping on a regular basis. If you run out of HV battery on a long uphill pulling a trailer, you are on gas only and you might not be able to keep up with anybody as your Prius bogs way down. Some would argue a 500# pop up works well. You want aerodynamics as well as low weight if you go for it.

    If you are not a worry wart then check out this Prius Towing site. It's a chore to navigate (Yahoo) but they have lots of real world stories.
     
  5. JBumps

    JBumps Member

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    OP: I've used my wife's GenIII to tow a great deal of different loads including:

    Lumber
    4,800 pounds of stone and mortar for a two story fireplace (quite obviously not all at once).
    Firewood
    Gardening supplies
    Riding Lawn Mower
    Even moved a friend's fourwheeler once when the injectors went on his diesel truck - I haven't let him forget
    that he had to get a Prius to fill in either.

    I have a Curt hitch and a 4x8 trailer I bought from Norther tool. I modified the trailer, as it now has two interchangeable poles. One drops the trailer back 8 additional feet, allowing me to carry lumber etc... The mod was deemed necessary after getting tired of strapping down 24' laminated beams and using counter weight to balance the load. If you are diligent in monitoring the feedback that the car will provide through a ScanGauge and perform routine transmission fluid changes (I've changed ours three times and the results from UOA have improved with each drain and fill), the Prius has proven a very capable towing platform, all things considered.

    My 2 cents.
     
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  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    [​IMG]
    • 2010 Prius, 1.8L engine
    • 1,000 lbs, pontoon boat trailer
    • 750 lbs, Dragonfly airplane
    • 600 miles, 52-53 mph, 28 MPG
    • Nor'Easterner, 25-30 mph wind, low 40s, drizzle/rain
    Recommend adding inflatable bags for rear springs, many thought I had high-beams on.

    Bob Wilson
     
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