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Old 01-05-2014, 07:38 PM   #11
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I'm planning on a 15B, so a little less weight than the 17. I live in the flatlands on the east coast, and the Escape will replace my Prius and will be my main car, though I have a fun little Miata for non-tow days.

Hate to give up the Prius, which has served as my car camper, and which took me to California and back a couple of years ago. But it wouldn't tow a skateboard.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:55 PM   #12
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My 06 Ford Escape has towed my 17B Escape since 09---from Vancouver to Yosemite, Yellowstone and other mountain passes--
Would be no trouble with the 15...
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:04 AM   #13
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My tow car is a 2011 4X2 Murano that is rated at 3500 lbs. towing. It seems fine with the load levelers; have towed about 1500 miles so far however am somewhat concerned about the CVT transmission. Changed fluid recently by dealer at 30K. Am I ok with this vehicle?
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:04 AM   #14
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Finally found (and got) my Scamp! - Fiberglass RV

A bit bigger than a skateboard...check out the picture in the first post.

Yes I know it isn't rated to tow even a skateboard.
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
My tow car is a 2011 4X2 Murano that is rated at 3500 lbs. towing. It seems fine with the load levelers; have towed about 1500 miles so far however am somewhat concerned about the CVT transmission. Changed fluid recently by dealer at 30K. Am I ok with this vehicle?
If the vehicle is operated within the limits and procedures specified by Nissan (especially the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, and the type and replacement interval for transmission fluid), I don't know of any reason to be concerned about the transmission.

These CVTs transmit power by traction - parts rolling on other parts under lots of force so they grip by friction - rather than gears or hydraulics. That leads to a legitimate concern that they will slip and as a result overheat or wear if overloaded. Nissan knows that, and will have set both the loading limits and the transmission controls appropriately.

I note that the car's tires pressing on the ground and driving the vehicle forward is also a traction drive, which seems to work. The parts in the transmission are working in a much better controlled environment. Transmissions of this design have been used for decades, so it's not an unproven technology.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:09 AM   #16
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Wow, Leonard! Maybe I could keep the Prius. Was there any special equipment you added? What kind of tow rig did you use?

And thanks, Anna-Marie. When the Prius gives out, I'll get the Escape.

Funny how you get attached to cars.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:13 AM   #17
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That wasn't me with the Prius!! Some guy named Ken over on the FGRV site. Those folks tend to be very "creative".
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:47 AM   #18
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blond1 View Post
Maybe I could keep the Prius. Was there any special equipment you added? What kind of tow rig did you use?
There's a reason Toyota advises not towing (assuming that's what the say). If you think you know what the limiting feature of the Prius might be, that would indicate what equipment might be appropriate. I would start by examining each operating rating; each which might be limiting would indicate a potential weak point to be addressed:
  • Gross Axle weight Rating (possibly limited tires or suspension - weight-distributing hitch could reduce load on rear axle)
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (possible structural limitations - no fix other than to limit tongue weight)
  • Gross Combined Weight Rating (typically limited ability of drivetrain to withstand sustained load - added cooling of engine or transmission may be required)

Jumping to a possible conclusion... the similar Corolla is allowed to tow 1500 pounds, so the Prius is likely limited by cooling for the motor-generators and their drive electronics. I doubt that's easy to improve; careful temperature monitoring would likely be appropriate if working the drivetrain hard. These components are part of the Synergy Hybrid Drive transmission, and the other components are simple and robust.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:36 PM   #20
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Thanks Brian - I was thrilled to see that someone was using a Prius to tow a 19' Escape. If I could rig my existing car to tow the 15' Escape, I'd be closer to owning one. Probably not a good idea. I'd decided on either a Nissan Xterra or a Ford Escape - both with dealer-installed tow packages. The Xterra is rated for 5000 lbs, and the Escape for 3500 with the packages. All I have to do now is get the dang house sold!
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