Now I’ve come to the not so good. I am documenting these things along with the good because our experiences may help others.
The CO detector alarm went off in the middle of the night. We had this issue once before, but thought we’d solved it with keeping the vent open. Not so. With Mimi trying to get a good sleep the night before the mountain bike clinic, and Bob tired from towing all day, and the rest of the campground quiet, the CO detector alarm sounded at about 2 am. Awaking from a sound sleep to this is disturbing, and after leaping from bed with hearts pounding, we opened the vent some more, and also a window. Thinking to hear the alarm again any second and feeling bad that we had disturbed our camping neighbors, it took us another hour or so to fall back to sleep. When….. yep. Again. 4 am. This time we disabled the alarm. And it stayed disconnected for the rest of the trip. This is disturbing and an obvious safety issue.
The campground host was also concerned about this issue, and not only because we woke the campground up twice in the middle if the night. He advised us to report it to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration(NHTSA) and and said that safety issues such as this could be a factor in allowing import into the US. Several camping neighbors also inquired. Not good for PR. We have not reported it yet as we prefer to work with Safari first on this.
Next the fan broke. The fantastic fan. Oh no. The retaining nut for the manual spindle spontaneously came loose and fell into the spindle, where upon the next closing of the fan pushed the nut into the cover and cracked it when it closed. Ouch. We were able to get it working again for the trip with some glue.
We are writing to the manufacturer about both of these issues as the trailer and fan are still under warranty. We expect, based on the reputation of the company, to get these issues resolved satisfactorily.
A few other minor issues that we will deal with ourselves include plans to replace the refrigerator fan. It is too small to ventilate properly, loud, vibrates noisily, and runs almost continuously. We will substitute a squirrel cage fan that our friend, an engineer, is recommending.
There are some sharp edges inside the trailer. Some are hidden under storage compartments where Bob has cut himself reaching into. Another are some of the metal latches that close the doors. Mimi sliced her finger reaching into the cabinet above the fridge by nicking in on that edge. Bob has since gone over the edges with a metal saw to take the sharp edges off.
Also, make sure you have the right tool to change the wheel in case you get a flat. You will need a 13/16ths lug nut wrench, which is not included with the trailer. (We did not get a flat, but realized we need to make sure to have the tool kept with the trailer.) Also, check the wheel bearings – ours have some lateral play after 600 miles or so.
So, a few issues are bound to come with use and figuring out a new trailer. Most are fairly minor, except for the case of the malfunctioning CO detector? I know we are not the only customers to deal with this issue. This is serious and could result in someone’s death. Yes, I know that some will recommend to replace it with with a battery powered unit, which we will for now. But …. enough said.
Hello, I am so glad I found your blog!!! Prius owner here, wanting to get a trailer despite all the “NO don’t do it!!” posts on Prius Chat and “Expert comments”.
Hi! Glad you are here! The fear-mongering about smaller cars towing is crazy – but only in the US. Some of the same cars are rated to tow inEurope, but not here. Not hard to figure out what is behind that in the US.
Hi Mimi, there is nothing like the shot of adrenaline that results from a shrill alarm disturbing deep sleep! Sorry to hear that you are having the CO alarm problems that others have reported. Do you have the 12v or LPG fridge? It seems like the alarm problem might be associated with the LPG fridge. We have the 12v and have not had any issues with the alarm yet. We are very unhappy with the loud noises that come from the fridge though. We are planning to contact Frederic to see what can be done about it. I have been told that the 12v fridge should be very quiet. I am glad to hear that the Prius is working out as your tow vehicle, I still have ours fitted up for towing, so might give it a try. Cheers, Andrew
Thanks, Andrew – we are happy with the Prius so far. We have the fridge that can run either on LP or electric – it was on electric for this trip. Notified Safari about the problem.