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Volvo S60: Towing a Trailer

 
fsmith1947@yahoo.com
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      24-08-2005
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

 
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Randy G.
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      24-08-2005
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....



(E-Mail Removed) 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"
 
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Bonnet Lock
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      24-08-2005
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
(E-Mail Removed) <(E-Mail Removed)> 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.


 
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Mike F
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      24-08-2005
(E-Mail Removed) 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.)
 
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