Tie Down your roof items- canoe, kayak, ladders etc- for safety and comfort.
The racks from Thule, Yakima, and Toyota are fine, but long items up top need to be tied down at the front and back for safe and comfortable driving.
Due ot the small roof on your Prius, your roof racks are only about 30 inches apart. This dictates that your canoe, kayak, ladder, or other long roof-top carry item be secured front and back. What’s the leverage when your canoe or kayak or other long roof item gets hit by a wind gust, or turbulence from a semi trailer in a rain storm. We know- we’ve had a canoe that WAS tied down in front pulled loose from a truck gust. The roof rack held tight, so the gust broke the gunwales and punctured fiberglass when the truck blew by us.\\
The original Prius (all models from 1998-2017, beyond?) has a narrow stiff hood, and we installed French loops. (Short loops of seat belt webbing bolted inside the engine compartment.)
The Prime Prime hood is aerodynamically advanced, and thin, and overlaps the engine compartment enclosure. and does not have suitable structure to bolt down the loops.
The Prius Prime comes with one eyebolt that can be screwed into the frame for towing, which would be great- In fact we used one to drive 2500 miles with a 16 foot canoe, and make-shift copy for the second ti-down, triangulating the front of the canoe. We thought about just buying three extra eyebolts. But at $50 each that was expensive, and not designed for tie-downs anyway. Why three? Because the eyebolts stick out the front, unless your canoe, kayak, windsurfer mast, etc is very long, the ropes run down and forward to the eyebolts. If your load slides forward when you hit your brakes, it slackens the ropes go slack, then if the load slides far enough forward the ropes keep it from sliding off the car. Good but not ideal. We feel two tiedowns in the rear are important to keep your load from sliding forward. OK, we are safety freaks.
The main function of the front and rear tiedown ropes is keep the boat from wobbling for side to side. This makes driving more enjoyable and predictable, and keeps the roof rack snug instead of loosening from shifting side to side. If the roof rack stays snug, the chance of the load sliding forward is reduced.
Our Tie-Downs are tough and tested tie-downs for your Prius. The 3/4 inch diameter steel tie-down bolts screw by hand right into the Prius frame. Each tie-down bolt has a steel ring to hold your rope or webbing to tie down your canoe, kayak, etc. The steel ring is threaded into the steel bolt. The bolt is encased in white plastic for a clean look. A neoprene O-ring allows you to hand tighten the bolt so the steel ring is vertical. The \Tie-down comes with black 1/4 inch braided rope which we find less visually distracting when driving, and easy to handle when dry or wet. You can added your choice of adjustment and attachment- carabiners, etc. We prefer an old-fashioned taut-line hitch. It ties easy, unties easy, and allows adjusting the tension on the rope.
The Prius Towing Eyebolt screws into the frame behind the removable panels shown below. To keep the aerodynamics as good as possible, we provide facsimile of these panels with our tie-downs. They are held in place on the tiedown bolt with O-Rings.
The Prius’ aerodynamic body does not have solid places to hook on. The frame does. Two small panels in front allow insertion of a tow hook that screws into the frame. This is how a tow truck pulls a Prius out of a ditch. Two small panels in the rear also have these tow screw-in holes. All four were used to tie down the car during transport from the factory give access to four threaded holes in the collision panels of the body frame.