new hybrid cars & tds

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new hybrid cars & tds

Postby westexan » Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:55 pm

I've notice that the automobile industry is starting aggressively advertise their hybrids. I wonder how they would do pulling a td? I know most of us would have a jeep, SUV, pickup or motorcycle to pull our trailers, but wouldn't be a nice "selling" point if we knew how those hybrids and tds got along? Just a thought.... and has anyone considered making a houseboat out of a td? I was researching rvs and houseboats before I discovered the tds and found a manufacture that produced a fifth wheel that carried a set of pontoons on its roof while traveling down the road. When the owner was ready to put the trailer in the water, an electric motor lowered the pontoons and locked their braces into place. Wa - La instant houseboat! :thinking:

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Postby Ron Dickey » Fri Jul 29, 2005 9:53 pm

I was wondering when I would hear that question. I think I will wait untill my warrentee has expired to try that.

I am a Proud Prius owner 2002 and know a lot about them.

The Ford Escape Hybrid and Lexus RX 400h have towing capacities of 1,000 pounds and 3,500 pounds respectively. this came from
http://www.hybridcars.com/faq.html

If you can afford them gem them Lexus 400 and Toyota Highlander Hybrids are now out and can pull some weight. the extra batteries reduce the pull but the all wheel drive ones with an electric motor on each axel will pull a lot. and when it is un hitched you will get around 30 mpg as apposed to say 16 or less. v6 eng my salesman said when he first climbed into one and floored it he sank into the seat.
If you were thinking of putting one on my car I would suggest a 3 wheel trailer, I have seen 2 setups with a wheel in center front. No weight on the bumper.
Like the popular four-cylinder Prius gas-electric hybrid, the 3.3-liter V6-equipped Highlander Hybrid will be powered by a new version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain. The system was specifically developed to meet the load-carrying requirements of a mid-size SUV. The system features a larger-capacity battery that will deliver nearly double the power of the battery in the Prius. An all-new high-speed electric motor will operate at twice the speed and deliver more than twice the power as the motor in the Prius. With combined peak-system power projected at approximately 270 horsepower, the new system will improve upon the V6 Highlander's already impressive less-than-eight-second zero-to-60 acceleration. In addition to providing the fuel economy of a four-cylinder compact sedan, the Highlander Hybrid will offer the versatility, refinement, and comfort demanded in a mid-size SUV. Highlander Hybrid will come standard-equipped with front-wheel-drive and offer electric four-wheel-drive with intelligence (4WD-i). Models with 4WD-i are equipped with front and rear electric motors that will deliver balanced power to all four wheels, providing instantaneous acceleration.

http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/minisite ... index.html

Ford has a SUV as well but I dont know how far it will go I know of a Prius with 300,000 miles

also try
4wheeldrive.about.com/od/hybridcarselectricvehicles/

Thanks for asking :applause: :thumbsup: :applause: :D
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new hybrid cars & tds

Postby westexan » Sun Jul 31, 2005 1:39 am

Thanks for answering my question, Ron. I first saw a Prius in Glenwood Springs, CO about 3 years ago. They really caught my attention and I've been watching the hybrids as the gas prices go up. I appreciate your input.
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Jump in...the water is fine

Postby gcarroll » Mon Oct 24, 2005 2:31 pm

Prius pulls the TD just fine although you suffer a bit on gas mileage...reduced to about 38 mpg. Long story on how I put it all together but it works! :thumbsup:[/img]
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Postby TRAIL-OF-TEARS » Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:26 pm

Ok not to start anything but I have always wondered about one thing. Hybrids get around 35-68 mpg (gas and electric), but doesn't a tdi jetta get about 50 mpg. So this leads me to ask why not electric diesel hybrid let see 100 mpg. Or does the weight of the batteries make that much difference?
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Re: Jump in...the water is fine

Postby madjack » Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:38 pm

gcarroll wrote:Prius pulls the TD just fine although you suffer a bit on gas mileage...reduced to about 38 mpg. Long story on how I put it all together but it works! :thumbsup:[/img]


Greg, have ya got any pictures of that rig for us to peruse...if you need help in posting/embedding pics, then click on "help with photo's" button on the top of this page...I'm sure that we would all be interested in the pics and the story...
madjack 8)

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battery powered teardrop

Postby gcarroll » Mon Oct 24, 2005 5:44 pm

This is the only photo I have so far. I have had the rig street legal for only a few weeks. I built the chassis and modified it off a harborfreight kit. The lightkit was a modified Toyota Highlander light kit with some help from RadioShack and their connectors. Restless Wheels in Manassas helped me work out the kinks on the lighting. And I made some interior mods to the shell which was made by Happitrails in El Paso, TX. I have only heard of one other guy, PlusAF (formerly CA, now in NC), using a Prius to pull a trailer. He was my inspiration. I am having a blast with it and causing a lot of heads to turn around northern VA.

My next mod is round fenders and replacing the leaf springs with torsion axles.

I will post some more pics later.

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Postby madjack » Mon Oct 24, 2005 6:11 pm

Thanks Greg for the pic and the post. As I said, I know there is real intrest in this subject...here on the board and elsewhere
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Postby vantexan » Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:50 pm

A lady I know just got a Prius. She's thinking of getting a teardrop but found some comments about sleeping in the Prius itself on a forum. Push the front seats all the way forward, fold the rear seat down, stuff area between front and rear seats with duffel,cushions,etc., cover with mattress topper and sleeping bag. Makes a 6' long bed. And you can leave air conditioning on. The gas engine will start up every 10 mins or so and charge the batteries for about 90 seconds. 6'3" guy says it's comfortable with his feet hanging off a little.
Last edited by vantexan on Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gcarroll » Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:12 pm

Never had the pleasure in the Prius but I guess it would work. I have slept in other larger cars, even a Lincoln Aviator but could never get a full dose of Zs...much better in a TD.
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Re: Jump in...the water is fine

Postby angib » Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:32 am

gcarroll wrote:Prius pulls the TD just fine although you suffer a bit on gas mileage...reduced to about 38 mpg.

You'll have two sources of extra fuel consumption - not only the extra drag of the trailer, but also I would expect that the regenerative braking system in the Prius won't be able to recover the energy in the trailer when you slow/brake.

And, Steve, you're right - diesel hybrids, when they finally get made, will be much more economical than petrol hybrids*. But as I far as I can see, they won't have the same economy benefit over a regular diesel as a petrol hybrid does. The diesel engine works at its greatest efficiency at part 'throttle', so that part of the benefit on a petrol hybrid won't be achieved.

*In the UK, small diesel cars have the same 'official' mpg as a Prius and, from what I've heard, better real world mpg. The Prius' benefit is that it's bigger, though also nearly twice the price!

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Postby rianael » Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:32 pm

Plusaf also gave me the courage to flout the warranty on the Prius... Well, truthfully I already had the courage, I just didn't have the cash to blow on a TD if my car wasn't going to be capable of towing it. Plusaf was SO nice in giving me exact specs regarding how heavy a vehicle he towed.

Here's the basic TD I bought (I lack the woodworking skills to build one from scratch and although I could gain the skills by giving it a try and I have all the necessary tools, I lack the garage space necessary to store and in-progress TD. I figure I can customize the interior cabinets and wiring and just have a 'small' build project on my hands.)

okay, apparently I can't just paste the pic so, nevermind. I'll try to figure it out but I'm already beind on the work I'm supposed to be doing (the kind that pays me moula <g>)
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Postby rianael » Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:00 pm

Okay, I managed to upload pics to my personal album so that'll have to be good enough for now.
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Towing with a Prius - Specifics?

Postby rianael » Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:11 pm

Gcarroll,

Would you mind telling me the specifics as to what type of hitch you purchased, whether it uses bolt holes already in the Prius undercarriage, how heavy your TD is overall, how heavy its tongue weight is, and what your experience has been like driving it?

I have plusaf's experience to go on, and the fact that I was able to drive to AZ loaded down with me, my two parents (none of us are small people), the dog, the parrot, and all our luggage with no problem, but any specifics you have would be really helpful and reassuring.... especially regarding the hitch type.

I looked at the one plusaf used, but it doesn't have the necessary accoutrements for towing (like the loop to hook the chains to) and I read a few reviews that people have been waiting inordinate amounts of time for their hitches from Coastal Tech.

As alternatives, I found http://www.hitchesonline.com/toyota_cl1_prius_04-05.htm
and
this one


I am thinking of going with the first one because it is cheaper and because it says "Direct attachments allows hitch to be affixed well under vehicle for minimum visibility when ball mount is removed" but I'd appreciate any firsthand experience.
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Postby rianael » Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:04 pm

with gracious help from Chris C, here's the pic of my basic TD:

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THanks Chris C!
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