A Toyota Prius Can Tow a Gooseneck Trailer If You Try Hard Enough
If you’ve ever—for any reason—wondered if a Prius could become a towing rig, here’s your answer.
What do you do if you have both a second-gen Toyota Prius and a massive flatbed trailer lying around? Naturally, you weld a mounting plate to the roof of the Prius and turn it into a tow rig. That's exactly what the crew from JH Diesel 4x4 did in their most recent video.
I'm not talking about some little trailer for hauling leaves to your local recycling yard, either. The JH Diesel crew mounted a massive, dual-axle trailer large enough to fit two full-size SUVs, to the roof of the Prius, and, somehow, it actually worked.
To fit the gooseneck trailer mount to the Prius, they first had to weld a mounting plate to the roof. On the mounting plate was a ball hitch, to which the gooseneck trailer mount was attached. Once fitted, the weight of the gooseneck and the heavy steel mounting plate did cave in the roof of the Prius a bit and essentially slammed its suspension, but the plucky little hybrid handled it surprisingly well. Of course, it probably can't tow big stuff on that trailer, but it's impressive to see it pull the empty trailer around.
With the mount in place, the Prius is also able to completely turn around, with the trailer stationary, as the entire car can fit under the gooseneck—sort of like that vintage Beetle/trailer setup. Hilariously, that allowed the Prius to drive with the trailer in front of it, completely obscuring its view forward.
On the road, and yes the crew actually took it on the road, the Prius was able to reach reasonable speeds without too much of an issue, even if you could hear the engine straining to handle the added weight. Its fuel consumption also dropped to under 5 mpg at one point, as the little 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor aren't exactly designed for towing duty. Plus, it started to spew quite a bit of smoke from its exhaust, so it clearly wasn't happy.
It must be said, for all hybrid and EV doubters, electrified or electric vehicles are actually great for towing and hauling big loads. Due to their instant, immense torque, electric trucks are often more capable, but they do suffer in terms of range. The Prius isn't good for towing big loads like the massive trailer in this video because it's a commuter car designed for fuel economy, of course.
At the end of the day, though, the little Prius handled it well, all things considered. The crew also said they want to reinforce the mounting plate and make it a bit stronger, so they can really push its towing limits. As absurd as this is, I'm actually invested in whether they can get this Prius to actually tow a car on this rig.
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