Andy Thompson,owner of CanAm RV is extraordinarily knowledgeable about towing Euro style…using lighter vehicles with custom hitches and weight distribution hardware.Check out his articles in some of the national Caravaning magazines.
…still the 2011 Prius was an unknown,as it is a small hybrid,with all the full on torque of electric motor assist,and the possible downside of battery depletion in certain situations,ie,nasty all day headwinds,long mountain passes,and other unimaginable and improbable scenarios posted by online naysayers,who all seem to think a Ford F 150 is the smallest possible towing vehicle..
so we towed it ,on the freeway!at 120k/hr,to a 16% grade,in a small town nearby.We stopped,with the charging anagram visible,and the Prius in Power Mode..it launched up the hill and was charging as it climbed..” Interesting” remarked Andy as we crested the hill at 50k,and went back to the highway,where a long sustained uphill entrance ramp challenged the car’s sustained acceleration,and proved equal to most of the the other small tow vehicles Andy had tested previously…Jetta/Golf TDI’s,etc…
this was using the stock after market 1 1/4 ” hitch,with no other hardware..the Prius will get a new custom,hand made 2″ receiver that extends forward about a meter and uses a welded weight distribution assembly.Andy says this will add about 55 lbs to each wheel,and the the Prius will track,corner,brake and maneuver in markedly improved fashion..which would be hard for me to detect,because on the test pull,it was easy to forget I was pulling the Alto..the overall power and throttle response was very similar to having the car solo in ECO mode.
I was very relieved to find the Prius so competent and unaffected by pulling the 1743.I have been pulling various trailers with small cars for 42 years,and have lots of stories,but this was a very positive experience,and I no longer have any anxiety re: pulling the Alto with a Gen3 Prius!
fear is a huge thing in american culture,and it does much more harm than we can imagine..better to believe”Anything is Possible” and work from there!
Thanks to Andy for restoring my faith in the retail trade;he is an amazing individual who just gets it done!