What do you do if you have both a second-generation Toyota Prius and a huge flatbed trailer? Naturally, you weld a mounting plate onto the roof of the Prius and turn it into a towing platform. This is exactly what the crew of JH Diesel 4×4 did so in their most recent video.
Nor am I talking about a small trailer to haul the sheets to your local recycling yard. the J.H. Diesel the crew mounted a massive double-axle trailer big enough to accommodate two full-size SUVs, on top of the Prius, and somehow it actually worked.
To install the gooseneck trailer mount on the Prius, they first had to weld a mounting plate onto the roof. On the mounting plate was a ball hitch to which the gooseneck trailer mount was attached. Once mounted, the weight of the gooseneck and heavy steel mounting plate caved into the Prius’ roof a bit and essentially slammed its suspension, but the spunky little hybrid handled it surprisingly well. Sure, he probably can’t tow large objects on this trailer, but it’s impressive to see him tow the empty trailer.
With the stand in place, the Prius is also able to roll over completely, with the trailer stationary, as the whole car can fit under the gooseneck, much like that vintage Beetle/trailer setup. Hilariously, this allowed the Prius to drive with the trailer in front of it, completely obscuring its forward view.
On the road, and yes the crew did take it on the road, the Prius was able to reach reasonable speeds without too much trouble, although you could hear the engine tender to support the extra weight. Its fuel economy also dropped to less than 5 mpg at one point, as the small 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor aren’t exactly designed for towing. Also, he started spitting out a bit of smoke from his exhaust, so he clearly wasn’t happy.
It must be said that for all the hybrid and electric skeptics, electrified or electric vehicles are in fact perfect for towing and transporting large loads. Due to their instantaneous and immense torque, electric trucks are often more efficient, but they suffer in terms of range. The Prius isn’t good at towing big loads like the huge trailer in this video because it’s a commuter car designed for fuel economy, of course.
At the end of the day, however, the little Prius did well, all things considered. The crew also said they wanted to beef up the mounting plate and make it a little stronger, so they could really push their towing limits. As absurd as it sounds, I’m actually invested in whether they can get this Prius to tow a car on this platform.
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