Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Default August: Crossing Colorado in a Prius, Limited Mountain Driving Experience, which rte?

    Hello! Three sisters are driving from NW Colorado to Washington, DC in August.
    There's so much to see & do out there that we have a couple of possible itineraries, but the deciding factor is which route is easiest in a Prius.
    The drive east in May was challenging in the Prius. The Prius had a hard time with the mountains from Denver to Craig, Co on I 70.
    So is there an easier route in southern Colorado? Near Durango? Or is it better to just head up to Wyoming & take I 80.

    We can find interesting things to see on any of the possible itineraries as we haven't really been anywhere out there.

    Thanks!
    Maureen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    Exactly where in NW CO? I-80 doesn't go quite as high as I-70, but it can have its own issues with wind. You will have worse issues trying to get to Durango, US-550 is not for the faint of heart. Do you have a different car available? A Prius wasn't designed to be a cross-country road tripping car, but people do use them for that and take their time in the right lane climbing mountains.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    It's a slow ride no matter which way you go -- the Rocky Mountains are in that state, and they're pretty high. Believe me, we've done I-70, US-50 and US-550 with an older Ford pick up truck towing a pretty heavy 5W trailer. We spent most of the time in the slow lane going as slow as (or slower than) some of the very full tractor-trailers when going uphill. Frustrating, yes. We had a mini-van towing a utility trailer another time, and it was also a bit slow-going.

    GLC said the winds of I-80 can be just as bad, and my hubby (former long-distance trucker) concurs.


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Just enjoy the ride.

    As already mentioned, the prius is a city car, not exactly designed for mountain driving. But surely if you sit in the slow lane and just take your time, there should not be any challenges or drama. Change the gear manually to make the drive easier. Like Donna, I too have had to sit in the slow lane with a very slow going vehicle, on several ocassions. Put on some good music, and enjoy the ride.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Change the gear manually to make the drive easier.
    I don't think you can do that with a Prius, it's a hybrid and the wheels are driven by electric motors.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Oh no!

    Oh really? I didn't know that you can't change manually. Don't think I would like to drive that car in Colorado.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    I don't think you can do that with a Prius, it's a hybrid and the wheels are driven by electric motors.
    I definitely would not like to drive that, either. My hubby's car is automatic, but it has manual gears 1, 2 and 3 - and we use them going up and down the mountains around here.


    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Okay, I just did some reading. Under normal operation (gear selector in "D"), when you are going downhill with your foot off the "gas" and step on the brake the engine shuts down and the electric motors on the wheels are used as generators to recharge the batteries (this is called regenerative braking). This lessens the load on the brakes. Now, if you move the selector to "B" the engine runs with no fuel and almost closed throttle to give you the equivalent of engine braking. This simulates a manual low gear.

    Another section of that site says that if you are climbing steep hills, it's no problem till the batteries are almost dead, when that happens you will be limited to about 40 mph on just the engine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Rubber meets the road

    Rubber hits the road. I frequently see Prius cars on I-15 between LA & Las Vegas -- Driving in extreme heat, up the three steep passes and driving at ~ 80 mph. I really don't think that the passes in Colorado will present any issue at all to your car.

    I'm not a true believer (in the Prius) model -- but I've never heard any Prius owner complain about a lack of torgue when driving on mountain roads.

    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Driving from Craig to Durango just to find an easier route would take longer than just being patient with climbing hills. The feature that you recharge your battery on downhills is kind of cool - much better than burning brakes that you smell when the trucks come down the hills.

    Friend of mine has a Prius and the battery is losing capacity due to age. Make hills even slower because the battery assist gives up sooner. But still, just decide that it's ok to go slow uphill and you'll be fine.

    My Unimog would go up Loveland Pass at 13 mph. That's the best it could do. I wasn't popular when I did that......

Similar Threads

  1. Daytona Beach, FL to Green Mountain Falls, Colorado
    By Armadyl in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-08-2009, 10:23 AM
  2. Colorado mountain road trip
    By Bogart in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-07-2007, 12:08 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES