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Old 03-10-2009, 10:45 AM   #1
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1973 25' Tradewind
Pickering , Ontario
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Airstream Tradewind Land Yacht 25' w/ 1999 Volvo V70xc Tow Vehicle

I just aquired an Airstream Trade Wind Land Yacht 25' which I'm hoping to be able to tow with a 1999 Volvo V70xc.

Does anyone else have a comparable situation?

Any advise on what I should do is welcome.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:12 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by sysgenss View Post
I just aquired an Airstream Trade Wind Land Yacht 25' which I'm hoping to be able to tow with a 1999 Volvo V70xc.

Does anyone else have a comparable situation?

Any advise on what I should do is welcome.
I'm not all that familiar with the Volvo, but I went to the current website and found a 70xc, that has a tow rating a bit over 3300lbs. You didn't mention what year Airstream you were looking for, but most are going to weigh more than that, especially recent models. A six cylinder model? Seems too small for anything but a 16 or 19 bambi. Also looks to be uni-body. I want a truck built on a FRAME!

Paula

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Old 03-10-2009, 11:26 AM   #3
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. , AZ to Maine
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It All Depends

Like Paula says, I like some metal and a little weight too.
But....my 25' is very light and maybe could be towed by something like what you have.
Maybe.....do you have a weight distribution hitch? A must in my book.
Are you experienced and able to handle a situation where chewing gum, walking and keeping an eye on the mirror are required?
Do you have a brake controler installed? Another must have. Are you proficient with it?
Is the load properly distributed? Improper loading is dangerous.
Tire condition? Blow outs are not fun but can happen to even the best of families.
Cooling system?
Transmission cooler? How long since a tranny oil change?
Can you afford all this?
And so on, but good.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:54 AM   #4
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1973 25' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sysgenss View Post
I just aquired a 1973 Airstream Trade Wind Land Yacht 25' which I'm hoping to be able to tow with a 1999 Volvo V70xc.

Does anyone else have a comparable situation?

Any advise on what I should do is welcome.
Just to clarify it is a 1973 Airstream Trade Wind Land Yacht 25'.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:54 AM   #5
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In the late '90s I had an interest in pairing a Volvo V70 and an undetermined Airstream. Conventional load calculations led me away from that. Edmunds gives the same 3300# towing capacity for 1999. We like to talk an 80% rule around here because tow capacity numbers have more to do with marketing than engineering. For instance, tow capacity is determined with a 100# driver and nothing else on board except that driver.

I don't know that a Cross Country comes with a Class III/IV hitch -- options and aftermarket additions like this must be subtracted from the vehicle's payload capacity. Please look in your owner's manual for payload capacity numbers (also determined by subtracting Curb Weight from tow vehicle GVWR). All people and pets/gear inside the car plus tongue weight should add up to something less than that number.

One of the best resources for re-engineering tow equations is in London, Ontario. Talk to Andy Thomson at Can-Am RV > Home. He's never posted about Volvos here at AIR which might not be a good sign. He's a unique source of experience.

Our search function takes a bit of learning -- go to the search menu, select Advanced Search. Use a single search word. Place Andrew T in the "Search by User Name" field. Scroll down a little and select "Show Results as Posts." Do individual searches - one with Mercedes as the keyword; another with Chrysler. This will give you some ideas about his approach. Definitely talk to him at some point. Let us know what you decide.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:06 PM   #6
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Also check all the info at Airstream, Inc :: FAQ. Their link to the trailerweights pdf says the '74 Tradewind has a tongue weight of 610# (twin bed) or 630# (double bed). Bet that the tongue weight would be at minimum 150# more with propane in the tanks, a Hensley Arrow on the front, and a modest amount of personal gear aboard. Raise that number 50# if the Tradewind you're looking at has an optional spare tire. I'm merciless on a few of these weights because the Hensley, propane and spare tire are all mounted up at the tongue area.

I only mention Hensley because Andy Thompson will have you set up with one if you go with less than a full size SUV or truck. It's one of the solid contributors to better safety and controllability.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:19 PM   #7
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I Don't Think So

I don't know much about the Volvo either, but... I do know about the trailer and I have an opinion. I have a 72 25' Tradewind that I tow with a 99 Tahoe, 5.7L. I would not go any smaller, lighter or less powerful than that. I am comfortable with it and confident it can do what is needed, but if given the option would go for more rather than less. I assume the Volvo is lighter and if it is a 6 cylinder, less powerful. So, based on those assumptions I would be cautious.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post

One of the best resources for re-engineering tow equations is in London, Ontario. Talk to Andy Thomson at Can-Am RV > Home. He's never posted about Volvos here at AIR which might not be a good sign. He's a unique source of experience.
I think Bob has the good advice here. I have seen Volvo sedans towing SOB TT's here in the area and do know Can Am has set up at least one for towing an Airstream. Volvo's are rock solid vehicles with many safety and handling features which IMHO is the right foundation for a TV.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:54 PM   #9
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The XC70 Volvo will have the power to tow it. The "light-pressure" turbo five cylinder in that car has plenty of torque. You would want an auxiliary ATF cooler to avoid transmission failure. A boost gauge (if it doesn't have one) and maybe an exhaust gas temperature gauge would be helpful so that you don't "overuse" the turbo while climbing long grades.

A Volvo OE receiver would require reinforcement to handle the stresses of a weight distributing hitch.

The shortcomings of the '99 XC70:
  • higher centre of gravity with the AWD layout (compared to a FWD V70);
  • the early AWD system (pre-Haldex) is trouble-prone, and I would be concerned about its longevity while towing;
  • solid rear axle with a considerably narrower track compared to 2001+ Volvos with independent rear suspension may compromise stability.
The benefits of Volvo for towing in general:
  • strong body structure (easy for CanAm to build a receiver for it);
  • the company actively tests its products for towing capability;
  • handling is very stable, with good steering - ideal for towing;
  • payload capacities are generally higher than most passenger cars, providing plenty of "headroom" to carry trailer tongue weight;
  • five cylinder engines are very robust, failures are virtually unheard of.
I would recommend a newer model, but the XC70 may perform well. I believe the 2008+ V70 with the new 3.2 inline six would be an ideal tow car, but of course it's a lot more money than a 10 year old XC.

FWIW, I tow my Overlander with a base model 2001 S60 - no turbo, 5 speed manual transmission. The *only* thing I don't like about the experience is the amount of clutch slip needed to get moving on an upgrade. Otherwise, stability is first rate, speed is adequate (I cruise at 65 mph in fourth gear), fuel economy is excellent, and winding roads are actually fun.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:10 PM   #10
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Check your towing capacities for the vehicle, buy a good hitch with weight distribution get it set up correctly and you will be able to use the vehicle you have. My 73 is a 25'
which weighs in at around 4000lbs and I tow with a Toyota Tacoma 6cyl....
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