I just brought home my new 2007 Prius. I like the car and feel pretty comfortable with my decision to give up minivans (my dream vehicles)in favor of the Prius, although it has been adjustment. Here’s the problem: we’d like to occasionally haul bicyles with this car. What is our best alternative? The dealership says a hitch rack “as long as the bikes aren’t too heavy,” and says that sometimes over time a trunk rack will damage the seals on the hatch and cause leaking. The bike shop recommends a Saris trunk rack, and says that they’ve never heard of seals getting damaged. I have a Thule hitch rack that I used on my old minivan. What’s the best alternative? Should I just give up the idea of hauling bikes?
I tried using a trunk rack years ago, it was a big hassle having to fiddle with all the straps each time I used it. The weight of two bikes actually put a indentation on the trunk lid of my wife’s 86 Colt. I bought a hitch rack last year and I’m much happier with it. I don’t have to worry about dents or scratches to the paint. It attaches to the hitch with one bolt and I take add/remove it in a few minutes. I usually leave it on the truck since it folds out of the way if I need access to the hatch. Since you already have a hitch rack, you just need a hitch installed. I would check around for alternatives to the dealer installation since it’s probably going to be expensive.
Thanks, Ed. I’m leaning toward the hitch rack; they sure are convenient! One would like to think that the guys at the Toyota dealersip would know what’s best, but I’m trying to get as much input as I can.
I’m still hoping to hear from someone who uses a hitch rack on a little car like my new Prius. This car needs to last me a long time and I sure don’t want to put undue stresses on anything. (And it’s sounding like a trunk rack – even one more modern design – could do that.)