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Old 11-28-2014, 11:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Towing with a Prius C

The owner's manual recommends against towing with a Prius C, but I don't mind voiding my warranty after doing a bit of homework. So here's what I've got:



It's a 2012 Prius C with an aftermarket Class I trailer hitch, towing a Harbor Freight 4'x8' folding utility trailer. This setup is rated to haul 800lb in the trailer, but I haven't had any cargo that heavy yet. I've used the trailer to move house, buy a couch, move appliances, and make trips to the hardware store, and I'm very happy with it.

It's kind of funny to watch a compact hatchback towing a not-so-compact trailer. Fully loaded, the trailer is just as long, wide, and tall as the Prius. :-P But the car weighs 2500lb, it's surefooted, and it has brakes to spare. I struggled to get 40mpg while towing, but the great thing about a trailer is it can be detached when not in use.

Just one more reason to get a Yaris instead of a Tacoma, if what you do is occasional hauling.

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Old 11-29-2014, 08:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Or a 92 Sentra and the same trailer used (but never used by the original purchaser) for $475 total for both, with a free u-haul hitch welded to the factory tie down brackets.

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Old 11-29-2014, 09:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Too bad our government took "warranty void when towing" as "towing is dangerous", and as a result:
If you tow anything at all with a Prius, your insurance will no longer cover you, and you'll get pulled over to leave the trailer at the side of the road and get a huge fine.

The only legal way to get a Prius to tow anything here is have it tested, this year they added a new procedure so you can finally have your car tested for higher tow weights, they add weight to make the car full load, then add a trailer of the desired tow weight, then do 5 uphill starts and 5 downhill handbrake holds, if the motor/gearbox and brakes don't blow up, you get the tow rating..

And that seems like an excellent way to fry the MGR2, so I don't want to risk it, really.. And thats why I haven't bought a Prius yet, I still want one, if only for the fact that its easy to convert into a PHEV.

As far as towing trailers with small hatchbacks:


My 1600 lbs hatchback has an 800 lbs unbraked and 1400 lbs braked tow rating, so I used it to move house. The huge air drag nearly doubled the fuel consumption, but it was still a lot cheaper than renting a van.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Interesting......

Now uhaul says you can tow a vehicle with another as long as the lead vehicle is the same weight or heavier than what is in tow. They also have universal hitches to bolt on to any vehicle.

Curtis and other manufactures makes hitches for vehicles with no tow capacity. I guess that can be used for a bike rack, etc?

My main concern would be to test the brakes and leave more room for merging and other actions. I too would try to go the speed limit if its seems like a load on the vehicle.

Me, I love renting vehicles and getting the extra insurance.
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Old 11-29-2014, 07:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Now uhaul says you can tow a vehicle with another as long as the lead vehicle is the same weight or heavier than what is in tow. They also have universal hitches to bolt on to any vehicle.
Apparently not a universal principle since in Japan they tow small cars with touring size motorcycles that are greatly outweighed by the car being towed.
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Old 11-29-2014, 09:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They use motorcycles to tow cars in Japan? Id expect that in China or India. Better yet, use of a rickshaw.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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They use motorcycles to tow cars in Japan?
I've seen this in Europe too. A motorcycle can cut through the gridlock to recover the cause of a jam better than a car could (for example on a bridge without an emergency lane). I believe they're only used to recover vehicles to the nearest safe point though.
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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A motorcycle can cut through the gridlock to recover the cause of a jam better than a car could (for example on a bridge without an emergency lane).
However, it seems like the source of a jam is often rubbernecking. Many times I have been stuck in traffic only to see a wreck where the cars were moved to the shoulder and that was where the emergency vehicles were also. At one point lanes must have been blocked, but not when I drove past.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you don't live in a commie country/state and your law officials will leave you alone if you are reasonable, a good rule of thumb [for no trailer brakes] is to make sure that your trailer weight is half of your vehicle weight or less. This formula works for any small vehicle.

It sounds like you are well within these bounds. And don't worry about your MG2. It is incredibly over-engineered and can take much more abuse than you think.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb View Post
They use motorcycles to tow cars in Japan? Id expect that in China or India. Better yet, use of a rickshaw.
My father had a double bed snowmobile trailer behind his goldwing on the highway.

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