Which Prius generation and year is best for camping?

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by surfingisfun001, Dec 21, 2019.

  1. surfingisfun001

    surfingisfun001 New Member

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    I am looking at getting a used Prius in which I could camp/live in. The 3 most important things for me:

    1) MPG
    2) Flat area to sleep
    3) Climate control

    Which generation, year, and model of Prius is best for camping/living in?

    I am open to Gen 2, 3, or 4. Are there certain years where the back seats fold down perfectly flat whereas others don't? Best years for MPG? Do all generations have climate control? I tend to like the look of the liftback (regular) more than the v (hatchback). I don't think I necessarily need the Plug In, though if it comes with, it can't hurt.

    Basically I'm just wondering if there is an obvious well known generation or year that Prius campers swear by, that is better than others.

    Thanks for your feedback!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    gen 2 and 3 are flat, and have spare tires. gen 4 is not flat, so you have to build up part of it with foam or whatever. some gen4 have spare and some don't.

    each gen gets better mpg and of course, newer years/lower miles should be a little better depending on maintenance and condition.

    all gen's have climate control, but probably a bit more efficient with each gen, and newer batteries should run it longer with less engine cycling.

    i don't recall a concensus from campers, but i may be mistaken.

    both gen plug in's don't have a spare. the larger battery will give you a little more climate control the first segment before the engine starts cycling.

    if you looking at new, you can often buy a plug in for less than a non plug in due to rebates and credits.
    the roomiest prius is the v, but lower mpg's.
     
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  3. surfingisfun001

    surfingisfun001 New Member

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    Thanks for the response!
    so all the ones with spare tires are flat, and the ones without are not flat?
     
  4. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no, the gen2 and 3 have spares and are flat. the gen 4 comes with and without spare, depending on model, but neither is flat. the first plug in is flat with no spare, the second is not flat with no spare.
     
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  6. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Gen2 and Prius V allow you remove the center console between the front seats, which allow you to replace console with a pillow, then when it's time to sleep you slide both seats all the way forward, remove the headrests and recline the front seats all the way back flush with the back seat, then add lots of pillows and blankets to make everything flat. Alternatively, you could remove back seat entirely and replace with full size futon mattress which will lay out flat and turn the whole inside of the car into a bed.
     
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  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    don't wait for a 2020, toyota has cancelled 'camping mode'. car shuts down after 20 minutes with no input
     
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  8. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Also Gen2 Prius shuts down after an hour if you're listening to the radio in ACC mode....
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    gen3 20 minutes, iirc
     
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  10. surfingisfun001

    surfingisfun001 New Member

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    So no overnight climate control in gen 2?
     
  11. Vman455

    Vman455 Senior Member

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    Gen 4 with spare have a flat floor with the seats down. No spare means a 2" lip (trunk lower than seat), and Prime has a 4" lip (trunk higher than seat). I haven't seen the back of an e-AWD yet so don't know about those.
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    is it flat with the folded front seats?
     
  13. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Best to go and have a look - this is mine, 2016 with a temporary spare:
    upload_2019-12-23_9-12-3.png

    I figure if I were to camp, I'd possibly have a thicker mattress portion to the rear, and thinner over the back seat, and only a small pillow.

    Best to go and have a look at a few in car yards.
     
  14. Vman455

    Vman455 Senior Member

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    Are Australian market cars different from North American then? Here's what American market cars look like with a spare (this is a Hong Kong car, but same as NA as far as the seats folding):
    [​IMG]

    Without spare:
    [​IMG]

    Prime:
    [​IMG]

    For comparison, Gen 3:
    [​IMG]

    Prius c:
    [​IMG]

    And Gen 2:
    [​IMG]

    That I do not know; I assume not.
     
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    great pics, very helpful, thank you.
     
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  16. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Never once slept in that part of the car.... I camp comfortably in a Prius, which is why I'd never subject myself to that back part of the car, which is for cargo, not sleeping.
     
  17. surfingisfun001

    surfingisfun001 New Member

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    Where do you sleep?
     
  18. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    If car is in ready mode in Gen2 it stays on all night... If it's in ACC mode, it does not...
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    don't let that post confuse you, it is not pertinent to the discussion
     
  20. surfingisfun001

    surfingisfun001 New Member

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    Some good feedback here. Thanks everyone.

    I think I am leaning towards gen 3, around 2012-2015, something with roughly 100k miles or less. Reasons being it's not too old to where it may have more problems, and not as expensive as the newer gen 4. A happy medium. Also I don't see anything wrong with those years and that generation in relation to my camping purposes, mpg, etc. The back looks a bit bigger in gen 3 than gen 2, and the seats look nice and flat.

    Sound like I'm on the right track? Am I missing anything? Any reason why gen 2 or 4 is better?
     
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