Volvo S60: Towing a Trailer

Discussion in 'Volvo S60' started by fsmith1947@yahoo.com, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Guest

    I am considering purchasing a Volvo S60. I want to use it to tow a
    boat occasionally (3-4 times a year). The boat, motor & trailer will
    weigh between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds. (The S60 is rated for towing up
    to 3,300 pounds.) The trailer will have brakes (as required by the
    Volvo manual for this much weight). If anyone out there has experience
    towing this much weight with the S60, I would appreciate your comments
    about the car's towing performance.

    Will Front Wheel Drive (FWD) be adequate, or should I consider All
    Wheel Drive (AWD)? My main concern would be with pulling the boat out
    of the water up a ramp that may be wet. I assume AWD would perform
    better on the ramp. I live in Texas; so, I don't really need AWD for
    snow.

    Thanks,
    FS
     
    , Aug 24, 2005
    #1
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  2. Randy G. Guest

    How often and how far do you intend to tow? Depending on the answer,
    it may be worth it to rent a truck to tow the boat once in a while or
    get a beater truck for part-time use rather than drill the holes
    necessary for the hitch. Unless the S60 is a beater or a throwaway
    that you don't care about I wouldn't if it was my car.

    I am not a fan of front wheel drive, and this case is an excellent
    example of why (IMO)- my stance is: When do you need the most
    traction? When going uphill on low-traction surfaces (and in that
    situation when towing exacerbates the situation). With the boat on the
    hitch, going up a steep ramp, the weight transfers fairly dramatically
    to the rear wheels, and you are towing a load that weighs nearly the
    same as the car.

    As I said, that's just my opinion....



    wrote:

    >I am considering purchasing a Volvo S60. I want to use it to tow a
    >boat occasionally (3-4 times a year). The boat, motor & trailer will
    >weigh between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds. (The S60 is rated for towing up
    >to 3,300 pounds.) The trailer will have brakes (as required by the
    >Volvo manual for this much weight). If anyone out there has experience
    >towing this much weight with the S60, I would appreciate your comments
    >about the car's towing performance.
    >
    >Will Front Wheel Drive (FWD) be adequate, or should I consider All
    >Wheel Drive (AWD)? My main concern would be with pulling the boat out
    >of the water up a ramp that may be wet. I assume AWD would perform
    >better on the ramp. I live in Texas; so, I don't really need AWD for
    >snow.
    >
    >Thanks,
    >FS


    __ __
    Randy & \ \/ /alerie's
    \__/olvos
    '90 245 Estate - '93 965 Estate
    "Shelby" & "Kate"
     
    Randy G., Aug 24, 2005
    #2
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  3. Bonnet Lock Guest

    In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
    <> wrote:

    > I am considering purchasing a Volvo S60. I want to use it to tow a
    > boat occasionally (3-4 times a year). The boat, motor & trailer will
    > weigh between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds. (The S60 is rated for towing up
    > to 3,300 pounds.) The trailer will have brakes (as required by the
    > Volvo manual for this much weight). If anyone out there has
    > experience towing this much weight with the S60, I would appreciate
    > your comments about the car's towing performance.
    >
    > Will Front Wheel Drive (FWD) be adequate, or should I consider All
    > Wheel Drive (AWD)? My main concern would be with pulling the boat out
    > of the water up a ramp that may be wet. I assume AWD would perform
    > better on the ramp. I live in Texas; so, I don't really need AWD for
    > snow.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > FS


    There are several considerations. One is towing stability. Here in UK we
    have a rule of thumb which says that, for good stability, the total weight
    of the trailer shouldn't exceed 85% of the kerb (unladen) weight of the
    towcar. So for a trailer weighing 3000 lbs, the unladen weight of the car
    would need to be over 3500 lbs (1600 Kg). I don't know what the unladen
    weight of an S60 is, but I doubt whether it's that much.

    Car manufacturers often publish rather optimistic figures about what their
    cars can tow - which ignore stability consideration and are based on the
    ability to re-start on a specified gradient under ideal conditions.
    Depending on how steep your launch ramps are, you could be really struggling
    to pull your boat out of the water - exacerbated by adhesion problems with a
    front-wheel-drive car on a wet ramp. You may find it marginally easier to
    fit a towball to the *front* of the car for boat recovery purposes, and then
    reverse the car up the ramp. At least the hitch download would then *assist*
    adhesion, but it depends to some extent on the relative gearing of reverse
    vs first gear. You'd also run more risk of getting the engine wet (and salty
    if it's seawater).

    I tend to agree with the poster who suggests maybe finding another way of
    towing the boat on the odd occasions when you need to, rather than using the
    S60.
    --
    Cheers,
    Bonnet Lock
    ______
    Please reply to newsgroup. Reply address is invalid.
     
    Bonnet Lock, Aug 24, 2005
    #3
  4. Mike F Guest

    wrote:
    >
    > I am considering purchasing a Volvo S60. I want to use it to tow a
    > boat occasionally (3-4 times a year). The boat, motor & trailer will
    > weigh between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds. (The S60 is rated for towing up
    > to 3,300 pounds.) The trailer will have brakes (as required by the
    > Volvo manual for this much weight). If anyone out there has experience
    > towing this much weight with the S60, I would appreciate your comments
    > about the car's towing performance.
    >
    > Will Front Wheel Drive (FWD) be adequate, or should I consider All
    > Wheel Drive (AWD)? My main concern would be with pulling the boat out
    > of the water up a ramp that may be wet. I assume AWD would perform
    > better on the ramp. I live in Texas; so, I don't really need AWD for
    > snow.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > FS


    No experience with a S60, but I've towed my neighbour's 2600+ lb. boat
    and trailer with my '98 V70, and had no troubles. Volvo's AWD may not
    help you in the situation you envision - the AWD is switched off at
    parking speeds (to eliminate driveline windup that occurs when doing the
    tight turning typical of parking), which is of course just when you need
    it most. One of my father's friends actually had this happen when
    trying to pull a boat out of the water on a sandy beach - he had front
    wheelspin, then all of a sudden the rears switched in as he crossed some
    threshold, and off he went, much faster than he wanted to go.

    --
    Mike F.
    Thornhill (near Toronto), Ont.

    Replace tt with t (twice!) and remove parentheses to email me directly.
    (But I check the newsgroup more often than this email address.)
     
    Mike F, Aug 24, 2005
    #4
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