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2017 Prius. I have made 6 trips of 1,200 miles each, usually non-stop (20 hours, co-driver). I carry 2 recumbent trikes on a hitch with a special rack, and these trikes extend beyond the width and top of the car, adding a ton of drag. The mileage drops from mid 50’s to the low 30’s at highway speeds. I am concerned about the additional wear and tear on the engine and have ask a couple of Toyota service departments about this. They didn’t have much advice, other than more frequent oil changes. I can’t find a way of contacting anyone at Toyota engineering that may be able to give me guidance on this. Having sufficient drag to drop the mileage by 20 mpg sounds to me that this could lead to unusual wear somewhere in the power train.
 

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'17 C 4
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SO......if anybody says "Yes, your car is wearing out at 3X it's normal rate when you do that".......then what would you DO ??
IF.....you intend to keep doing that, you might be better off overall if you put the bikes on their own small trailer, maybe an enclosed one. But there would STILL be a significant increase in drag.

My advice: Find something else to worry about.
Your fuel mileage is still better than what it would be in a pickup truck.
 
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