Towing with XC90 - Volvo Forums - Volvo Enthusiasts Forum


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  #1  
Old 12-05-2010, 12:01 AM
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Default Towing with XC90

I have a 2004 XC90 T6 and would like to know if anyone has any towing experience with xc90 ?
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2010, 09:47 PM
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I have towed extensively with my '05 2.5T AWD...thousands of miles. What would you like to know?
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2010, 11:54 AM
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What is the weight of the trailer you tow?
How well did the XC90 handle and operate with the weight ?
Do you have an additional Transmission cooler?
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2010, 01:00 PM
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I tow three trailers:
1) Aluminum Eagle Sport 5x8 Utility - 3,000 full (when moving gravel)
2) 2005 Starcraft 18SB - about 3,000 wet
3) 2000 Nash 20N - about 4,200 wet
...plus family of 5, Golden Retriever and four bikes on top

To my chagrin, the Volvo is usually the center piece of conversation when I pull into a campground - hasn't been unusual to have three visitors per day stop in and ask how the Volvo tows. I've thought about producing a handout that people can just take that will answer all their questions. Gas stations are especially painful because I just want to hit the road, but people just want to stop, talk and stare.

So here goes the response: I have towed with dedicated trucks before (dually crew cab Chevrolet 454, C/K 2500 6.0) so it's the only thing I have to compare against.
Cooling and Stability:
The Volvo is extremely stable at all speeds while towing my specific loads using Curt weight distribution (first) and Nivomat to make up for the last inch of level. I do not have a second cooler - Volvo's OEM cooler is more than adequate (capacity and exposure/location) for my loads; however, I do change the fluid regularly including bevel and diff fluids for the simple reason of paranoia. Fluid has never been overheated when inspected. I have taken both trailers all over the PNW, Alberta, BC, Wyoming, ID, MT, etc...including a couple passes as steep as 10% grade. Never had a stability problem, but I'm cautious and slow. I've encountered 30-40 mph cross winds (est.) with no issues, but nothing stronger than that.
Power, drag and economy:
I have the 2.5T which has significantly less horsepower and torque than the T6; however, it does have the extra cog which is nice for towing. I go pretty slow to stay out of the turbo as much as possible. The single biggest issue is just remembering to leave the engine at idle for at least one minute before shutting down after towing. I really have to concentrate. I suspect that I did coke one turbo which was covered under warranty. Lot's of heat, even from a light charge unit as found in this model. I'll say this: it's not the weight of the trailer that hurts my towing capability, it's the drag of that trailer. I've literally gone down a 7% grade in MT fully loaded and off the brakes and never exceeded 55 off the pedal. The drag at highway speeds from my travel trailer is such that 205 HP/235 torque simply can't overcome speeds in excess of 62 mph without really digging into the turbo) - so I cruise at about 58 and usually keep it in 4th gear. I average 11-12 MPG in a broad mix of mountains and flats. I average 19.8 in mixed use driving unloaded. When I tow a fully loaded utility trailer (about 3k pounds), the Volvo does a solid job of towing - I pulled a 4k utility trailer (once) and felt the penalty was too strong on the Nivomat to go any great distance . This was a function of the short trailer tongue - I can only suppose that a boat with a well balanced trailer would tow quite nicely.
Misc:
1) I use fully synthetic lubes
2) I use overload Conti tires for towing
3) I don't tow in the winter because the snow tires are not intended for tow use
4) In installed the brake controller (Prodigy) per Volvo specs - took me several weeks of digging around for information and a couple calls to the only dealer tech in our state who knew how to install the controller. I have a three ring binder about 1" full of specs and information. Wasn't very fun, but works great (e.g. - back up sensor is turned off when plugged in, tranny/throttle maps change, etc...).
5) It's a passsenger vehicle, not a 2500. I expect unseen above average wear has occurred on bearings, running gear, etc...but it has held up well thus far at 97k miles. It's been towing since new.

Let me know if I missed anything.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2010, 06:32 PM
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Wow you didn't miss a thing.... your extensive feedback to my questions will be very beneficial to me....Thank You
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2010, 10:49 PM
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Great information. Is yours AWD or FWD. I just got my 07 3.2 FWD this week and ordered a hitch for it tonight. Valley makes one that stays out of sight so I'm pleased about that. I mainly tow a light utility trailer with some dirt bikes so good to hear yours does so well for you.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2010, 07:57 AM
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AWD - have fun with those bikes!
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2010, 12:21 PM
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Default Volvo XC90 Towing Capacity

New Volvo XC90 has default towing following capacities, but you can add another 400-500lbs with the help of trailer hitch.

Front Wheel Drive
4,000 LBS



All Wheel Drive
5,000 LBS
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2010, 12:30 PM
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Smile Re: 2004 Volvo XC90 Towing Capacity

Sorry, i didn't observe that you were talking about the 2004 model specifically.

As per Volvo's recommendations, for all models - trailers without brakes: 1,650 lbs (750 kg)

For models with all wheel drive - trailers with brakes: 4,960 lbs (2250 kg)

For models with front wheel drive - trailers with brakes: 3,970 lbs (1800 kg)

Practically I've never towed over 4,000 lbs even with AWD! Anybody here who has gone up to the 5000lbs mark (or even beyond)?
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  #10  
Old 12-22-2010, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herrvolvo View Post
AWD - have fun with those bikes!
Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 02-23-2017, 01:17 PM
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Default Tongue weight issue

Quick question hopefully. I am looking at buying an 07 XC90 V8 with tow package to tow a 3700 pound trailer. Am I going to have an issue with the tongue weight? I don't want the car ripping in half, as you may guess. 😳
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  #12  
Old 02-23-2017, 01:26 PM
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I hope you still monitor this thread or at least get a ping when there is a reply. I am looking to tow a 1965 streamline which weighs about 3700 pounds. The person I am buying it from is worried that an XC 90 V8 with tow package will be ripped apart because of the tongue weight.
what do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by herrvolvo View Post
I tow three trailers:
1) Aluminum Eagle Sport 5x8 Utility - 3,000 full (when moving gravel)
2) 2005 Starcraft 18SB - about 3,000 wet
3) 2000 Nash 20N - about 4,200 wet
...plus family of 5, Golden Retriever and four bikes on top

To my chagrin, the Volvo is usually the center piece of conversation when I pull into a campground - hasn't been unusual to have three visitors per day stop in and ask how the Volvo tows. I've thought about producing a handout that people can just take that will answer all their questions. Gas stations are especially painful because I just want to hit the road, but people just want to stop, talk and stare.

So here goes the response: I have towed with dedicated trucks before (dually crew cab Chevrolet 454, C/K 2500 6.0) so it's the only thing I have to compare against.
Cooling and Stability:
The Volvo is extremely stable at all speeds while towing my specific loads using Curt weight distribution (first) and Nivomat to make up for the last inch of level. I do not have a second cooler - Volvo's OEM cooler is more than adequate (capacity and exposure/location) for my loads; however, I do change the fluid regularly including bevel and diff fluids for the simple reason of paranoia. Fluid has never been overheated when inspected. I have taken both trailers all over the PNW, Alberta, BC, Wyoming, ID, MT, etc...including a couple passes as steep as 10% grade. Never had a stability problem, but I'm cautious and slow. I've encountered 30-40 mph cross winds (est.) with no issues, but nothing stronger than that.
Power, drag and economy:
I have the 2.5T which has significantly less horsepower and torque than the T6; however, it does have the extra cog which is nice for towing. I go pretty slow to stay out of the turbo as much as possible. The single biggest issue is just remembering to leave the engine at idle for at least one minute before shutting down after towing. I really have to concentrate. I suspect that I did coke one turbo which was covered under warranty. Lot's of heat, even from a light charge unit as found in this model. I'll say this: it's not the weight of the trailer that hurts my towing capability, it's the drag of that trailer. I've literally gone down a 7% grade in MT fully loaded and off the brakes and never exceeded 55 off the pedal. The drag at highway speeds from my travel trailer is such that 205 HP/235 torque simply can't overcome speeds in excess of 62 mph without really digging into the turbo) - so I cruise at about 58 and usually keep it in 4th gear. I average 11-12 MPG in a broad mix of mountains and flats. I average 19.8 in mixed use driving unloaded. When I tow a fully loaded utility trailer (about 3k pounds), the Volvo does a solid job of towing - I pulled a 4k utility trailer (once) and felt the penalty was too strong on the Nivomat to go any great distance . This was a function of the short trailer tongue - I can only suppose that a boat with a well balanced trailer would tow quite nicely.
Misc:
1) I use fully synthetic lubes
2) I use overload Conti tires for towing
3) I don't tow in the winter because the snow tires are not intended for tow use
4) In installed the brake controller (Prodigy) per Volvo specs - took me several weeks of digging around for information and a couple calls to the only dealer tech in our state who knew how to install the controller. I have a three ring binder about 1" full of specs and information. Wasn't very fun, but works great (e.g. - back up sensor is turned off when plugged in, tranny/throttle maps change, etc...).
5) It's a passsenger vehicle, not a 2500. I expect unseen above average wear has occurred on bearings, running gear, etc...but it has held up well thus far at 97k miles. It's been towing since new.

Let me know if I missed anything.
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  #13  
Old 03-12-2017, 10:55 AM
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Posts: 34
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I tow a 23' Airstream that has a dry weight of approx 3500lbs with my 2010 XC90 3.2 AWD. You will need a weight distribution hitch to tow a trailer of that size. It will lift the back end and equalize the tongue weight on all four tires. Do a YouTube search on these hitches. There are some great instructional info to be found.
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  #14  
Old 04-06-2017, 07:12 PM
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Tracy - Did you get a brake controller for your towing set-up? Curious on what you ended up doing.
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2004, add, brake, capability, capacity, controller, hitch, install, rating, t6, tow, towing, trailer, v6, volvo, xc90

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