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Old 03-31-2014, 02:18 PM   #1
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Volvo XC90

A friend of mine, his girlfriend is lurking to buy a small airstream.

Her current vehicle is a 2007 volvo xc90 V6.

I think the numbers are as follows:

"towing capacity" - 3790 lbs
Max Payload - 1550 lbs

She is looking I think in the 16-19' category....used....seems to be looking for <10k as far as cost.

I have no real clue about the parameters here for her....but she sounds as if she could impulsively buy any ol day now....

I told her to get someone to look at any one she may buy, inspect it..yah da yah dah....

Any guidance that I can pass on will be helpful....
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:21 PM   #2
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I also told her to join the forum...she may do so in the near future.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:28 PM   #3
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Just as an FYI, in the UK that vehicle is rated 5000lbs.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:38 PM   #4
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.......same exact model??
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:52 PM   #5
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I've seen a couple XC90's towing TT's in the 22' to 23' range. Probably close to the 5,000 weight range.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
.......same exact model??
Currently in the UK VolvoCars.com lists only a 200hp diesel XC90, so the engine is not the same (and perhaps the transmission is different as well.) As far as I know, all XC90s are made in the same plant in Sweden so it's not likely that there are large differences in the basic structure from market to market, since every difference costs them some money.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:17 PM   #7
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How much do some "older" 19 or 20 foot airstreams weigh?

New ones look like 4500 GVRW
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:29 PM   #8
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The UK volvo's diesel engine produces 310 lbs-ft of torque @ 1900 rpm.
The 2007 I6 in the US produces 236 lbs-ft @ 3,200 rpm.
This more than justifies the increase in the tow ratings from 3790# lbs for the US vs 5000# for the UK XC90.

Another thing is the UK caravans are narrower and have substantially less tongue weight (in the 4% to 8% range), which is not true for US campers. I personally would not rely on what the ratings are in another country.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:57 PM   #9
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Also have her check on the tongue weight rating of the receiver, if the Volvo already has a receiver. Recently someone else inquired on the forum about towing with a Volvo (different model), and their receiver was rated 165 pounds. Not enough for even a small US Airstream.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:58 PM   #10
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Does this make a difference in tow ratings in different countries? Are you kidding?

Spend your time researching and understanding towing capabilities.
In this particular case the difference in tow ratings seems completely justified, as I just pointed out that the UK Volvo puts out 75 more lbs-ft of torque at a much lower RPM.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:45 PM   #11
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Pharmgeek I'd suggest your friend reads something like the towing guide on Colonial's web site as it makes more sense than most of these tow rating threads. Unless the friend is planning on towing on a continent that has a maximum tow speed limit of 80 Kph, with a European spec trailer, a European spec Volvo, have the European annual vehicle inspections done annually, European driver training and where applicable the appended license that towing may require then comparing UK tow ratings seems very nearly utterly pointless.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:48 PM   #12
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The 2007 XC90 with the same 3.2 six cylinder engine was rated to tow 4960 lbs in the UK.


In the US it is listed at 3970 lbs.


What is interesting is that in the US the 2007 V8 models (which had AWD) were rated to tow 4960 lbs.


Since the engines are the same between the UK and NA, I suspect the towing derate is due to the fact that in North America, the V6 was front wheel drive, not AWD. They may have been worried about the front diff, or reduced weight on the front axle, I don't know.


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Old 03-31-2014, 07:22 PM   #13
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.......same exact model??
If she has the 3.2 six cylinder engine, then yes, same model - or close enough to be virtually identical. The XC90, like most Volvos, is a bit of a tank.

The only alterations I personally would make is additional cooling and a reinforcing the hitch to better deal with the stresses of WD, but that's all. They're solid, sturdy, cars with excellent payload - about as much as many 1/2 ton trucks, but with far superior suspension setup. I would use one to tow my own trailer without worry or hesitation.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:27 PM   #14
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Also - in her budget - what kinda condition unit will she get?
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