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Okay, so I'm getting ready to buy a motor home and now I discover the Prius manual says to "never tow the Prius?" Is this really true? Has anyone towed it? I don't know how you would get it into neutral becuase when you turn off the engine it automatically puts it into Park. But, how does a tow truck pull it if the engine didn't start?
Or, do I need to buy yet another little vehicle?
Any help is appreciated.
>>Dennis
 

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The Prius cannot be dinghy towed (all 4 wheels on the ground) behind
a motorhome.

http://tinyurl.com/3q7xr or
here

Like many automatic FWD cars, the front wheels must be off of the ground when
towing. You will need to invest in (or rent) a tow dolly.

To keep wear on the tires lower, it may be preferrable to get a 4
wheels off the ground towing dolly, but as long as the front 2 wheels
are up they should be fine.

I've seen this question a few times on the rec.outdoors.rv-travel
USENET newsgroup.

(BTW: the owner's manual has a whole section on how to properly tow a Prius in an emergency...)
 

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I'm no expert, but from what I've learned as I study and research the power train in the current model Prius, towing with the front wheels on the ground is just not okay. The transaxle behaves like a CVT with two power sources and the potential (sorry, pun) for energy to flow in and out of the electrical system. Excessive over-run (towing) with the management system off could well damage the transmission.

I would be curious to try towing the Prius in Neutral somehow, but I just don't know enough to be sure how to keep the transaxle disengaged in Neutral without cycling the ICE or otherwise confusing the electronics. Still, I suspect it can be done.

Of course, there are those amongst us who would say -- Eureka! The Prius can be towed behind the behemoth motorhome or RV to generate (or regenerate power) as a piggy-back device! Why not tow two or three Prii behind your Winnebago and let them collectively push the 'bago like a team of sled dogs until their batteries are exhausted and replenish themselves by assisting the braking and downhill coasting ... it could be done ... :)

And seriously, given the flat-line sales of RVs since gas prices hiked, I have to imagine the big donk makers are working with the land yacht companies to incorporate bus technology and hybrid drive systems so that we will see RVs capable of SUV mpg. I'd like to see an RV running a bunch of "side wheel" (a term from Jeep referring to not four-wheel or all-wheel vehicles, but vehicles where each wheel has its own power source by its side) motors, with regenerative braking, loads of batteries and hybrid diesel-electric drive. I'd seriously enjoy my retirement touring around in one of those giant RVs and happily cruising at 45mpg ... with electric reserves that would allow me to run a kitchen, lights, hot water etc. for days without starting a generator ... :) ... imagine how many PV cells it would take to cover the roof of an RV ...
 

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You would sure have to stick to the back roads. Quite a few states have a minimum acceptable speed limit on their interstates. I believe it is above 45. Seriously, for the industry to survive they will probably all go "diesal" One of the largest sellers of motor homes in the northeast is now offering his highly discounted "gas burners" with a thousand dollar pre-paid gas credit card. That should get you out of his driveway.
That's a good point about trailering with just a dolly. I guess you would have to leave the "power" on for circuit protection. I hadn't even thought about that. The solution of course is find a Corolla!
 

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Putting the car in neutral simply deactivates the inverter from controlling the MGs, so that they free-run. Oh yes, it also disengages the parking pawl. Other than that, all mechanical gearing is still engaged, unlike a conventional car, where putting it in neutral would disengage the engine coupling to the wheels at some point.
 
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