Prius towing

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Old 30 Nov 2011, 07:43 am   #1 (permalink)
bwilson4web
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Default Prius towing

Hi,

I needed to two a trailer with a two-seater, airplane from Canton IL
to Huntsville AL, ~600 miles. But first I needed a trailer so I
ordered a 24 ft. pontoon trailer and added deck boards between the
carpet covered boards:
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_110.jpg
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_120.jpg

So I picked up the trailer using my wife's 1.8L Prius, 38 MPG @55-60
mph on Alabama secondary roads. A similar test with my 1.5L Prius, 28
MPG @55-60 mph on a test drive verified the improved, higher power
efficiency of the 1.8L Prius was the way to go. The 1.5L engine uses
fuel enrichment at high power settings to avoid burning out the
catalytic converter and valves. In contrast, the 1.8L Prius uses EGR,
cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation, to keep peak combustion temperatures
lower. With the 1.5L Prius, I monitored MG1 and MG2 temperatures and
as expected they remained normal.

On the trip up to Canton, I ran 62-63 mph on the interstates and got
32-34 MPG in 45-50F weather. My past drives typically returned 50-52
MPG in similar conditions and speed. Here is the car and trailer when
I left:
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_200.jpg

We loaded the plane and the trip back began:
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_240.jpg
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_230.jpg
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_250.jpg

Mileage ran about 28 MPG in 43-45F weather at 53-55 mph in light rain,
and significant gusty wind. At home, I needed to put it in the
driveway. Since the tow vehicle also had a 200 lb aircraft engine, two
props, and 50 lbs of builder documentation, I used the higher
clearance, 1.5L Prius:
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_260.jpg

The estimated trailer weight, 1,000 lbs. The aircraft empty weight is
695 lbs and 50 lbs of documentation. Two of us lifted the trailer
tongue to put it on the ball which mean it weighted exactly 200 lbs.

The traction control and ABS worked perfectly. With the heavy rear
weight, the drive wheels were somewhat off-loaded and occasionally I'd
hit a puddle . . . the car tracked true. While slowly passing some
emergency vehicles working an accident on I-24, I was signaled to stop
and the ABS engaged briefly and everything stopped.

This tow was in cold weather, 45F, so there was no issue with heating.
Also, I selected interstates to minimize hill climbs and access to
truck climbing lanes. But by driving sensibly and monitoring the ICE
coolant temperature, I was able to make reasonable speeds, 52-53 mph,
at a maximum gross weight.

The next tow will be to the airport when we are ready to begin flight
testing.

Bob Wilson
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Old 30 Nov 2011, 05:15 pm   #2 (permalink)
Al Falfa
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Default Re: Prius towing

"bwilson4web" wrote in message
news:e0545705-53dd-4d96-9d93-f5feea376467@o13g2000vbo.googlegroups.com...

Hi,

I needed to two a trailer with a two-seater, airplane from Canton IL
to Huntsville AL, ~600 miles. But first I needed a trailer so I
ordered a 24 ft. pontoon trailer and added deck boards between the
carpet covered boards:
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_110.jpg
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_120.jpg

So I picked up the trailer using my wife's 1.8L Prius, 38 MPG @55-60
mph on Alabama secondary roads. A similar test with my 1.5L Prius, 28
MPG @55-60 mph on a test drive verified the improved, higher power
efficiency of the 1.8L Prius was the way to go. The 1.5L engine uses
fuel enrichment at high power settings to avoid burning out the
catalytic converter and valves. In contrast, the 1.8L Prius uses EGR,
cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation, to keep peak combustion temperatures
lower. With the 1.5L Prius, I monitored MG1 and MG2 temperatures and
as expected they remained normal.

On the trip up to Canton, I ran 62-63 mph on the interstates and got
32-34 MPG in 45-50F weather. My past drives typically returned 50-52
MPG in similar conditions and speed. Here is the car and trailer when
I left:
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_200.jpg

We loaded the plane and the trip back began:
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_240.jpg
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_230.jpg
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_250.jpg

Mileage ran about 28 MPG in 43-45F weather at 53-55 mph in light rain,
and significant gusty wind. At home, I needed to put it in the
driveway. Since the tow vehicle also had a 200 lb aircraft engine, two
props, and 50 lbs of builder documentation, I used the higher
clearance, 1.5L Prius:
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/dragonfl...railer_260.jpg

The estimated trailer weight, 1,000 lbs. The aircraft empty weight is
695 lbs and 50 lbs of documentation. Two of us lifted the trailer
tongue to put it on the ball which mean it weighted exactly 200 lbs.

The traction control and ABS worked perfectly. With the heavy rear
weight, the drive wheels were somewhat off-loaded and occasionally I'd
hit a puddle . . . the car tracked true. While slowly passing some
emergency vehicles working an accident on I-24, I was signaled to stop
and the ABS engaged briefly and everything stopped.

This tow was in cold weather, 45F, so there was no issue with heating.
Also, I selected interstates to minimize hill climbs and access to
truck climbing lanes. But by driving sensibly and monitoring the ICE
coolant temperature, I was able to make reasonable speeds, 52-53 mph,
at a maximum gross weight.

The next tow will be to the airport when we are ready to begin flight
testing.

Bob Wilson

Did you fold the winds up so your load matched the ice forming icon at
appears at about 34F?


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Old 02 Dec 2011, 07:05 pm   #3 (permalink)
bwilson4web
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Default Re: Prius towing

On Nov 30, 5:15*pm, "Al Falfa" <c...@eastforty.fld> wrote:
.. . .
> Did you fold the winds up so your load matched the ice forming icon at
> appears at about 34F?


It never got that cold.

Bob Wilson

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