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Old 11-11-2010, 09:29 PM   #15
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Thats a really big trailer.. Dont do it..

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Originally Posted by ALANSD View Post
You will find out soon enough if the tranny can take it. As a former manager of a Volvo Dealership, I wish you the best. If it works for you there are loads of nice used Volvos out there ready for a whole new use.
So I am a current service manager of a Volvo dealership and like you, Im sure you have seen and heard it all. Volvo does conduct testing with caravans in Sweden and the cars are pretty capable due to their overall size and ability. Here is the problem. This is a passenger car. The suspension, bushings and components are designed for daily use as a passenger car. I have spent many hours under this car looking around and fixing things. Go ahead and add this heavy trailer to the vehicle even with a special hitch (which would be absolutely required) and your going to have premature wear beyond belief. If you google volvo transmissions prepare yourself for lots of reading. We still dont know enough about the durability of this transmission yet but our shop has replaced a few units including valve bodies. Can the car tow the trailer?.. sure it can but at what cost? Volvo warranty will walk away very quickly in the event of a breakdown. While I was working at Volvo corporate as a rep we had some test cars. We beat the heck out of these cars including towing. The cars were capable and we would nearly always make it to our destination but they were test cars and in the end we didnt care about them as they were disposable. If this is your family car your going to kill it early. Get yourself a framed vehicle that is designed with a bit more torture in mind and enjoy the Volvo for its intended use. Dont mean to be so critical and I really do love the product but just seen enough carnage and upset traveling folks as I can already picture having this conversation with you in person after the tow truck arrives.
And its always on a Friday at 5:00 pm...

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Old 11-12-2010, 08:54 AM   #16
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Ya know, if someone suggested towing such an Airstream with, let's say a Chevy Colorado (simular sized/powered vehicle), everyone on here would scream it would not work, would not be safe, etc.

But let it be a Volvo......
I don't have time to go into the numbers, but the Colorado would probably be significantly inferior to the Volvo, mostly in terms of stability but also in pulling power ("torque to the pavement").
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:13 AM   #17
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I don't have time to go into the numbers, but the Colorado would probably be significantly inferior to the Volvo, mostly in terms of stability but also in pulling power ("torque to the pavement").
Well, I took the Colorado as an example simply because it is a simular sized American built truck, but since you brought it up....

The 70 Volvo has a 3.2 Liter engine (normally asperated engine), the Colorado's mid sized engine (there is now a 5.3 liter V8 option), but the mid sized in line 5 is 3.7 liter. The Volvo is 240 HP, and 236 ft lb torque, the Colorado is 242 HP, and 242 torque.

Any more questions?
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:15 AM   #18
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I would be listening to Vinnie, these guys know their stuff. I learned a lot from the service guys and the product knowledge classes I took.

You know if you had a 22' Airstream..especially an older one (50s or 60s) the concept would make a lot more sense.
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:28 AM   #19
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The manufacturers towing specs on cars and SUVs are arbitrary and can be regarded as absolute limits beyond the vehicles intended purpose and for a very short period of time. Any towing specs from Volvo are invariably based on much lighter and smaller trailers as are popular in Europe.
If you put that much weight on a this sized vehicle that was purposely designed to be robust, reliable, well-balanced, capable and efficient for its size, you can see right off that you'd be at the extreme of capability and you're probably gonna spend more time at the dealership than towing. Don't even think about the carnage in the event of a panic maneuver or blowout on the TV. Those CanAm guys are sharp...I have a diesel Jetta but wouldn't even consider towing my 25'...ever!
My expertise is in the aviation realm and because overspeed/overtemp/overrev/overweight/over your head/etc. translate into loss of life, nominal limits are carefully derived and strictly adhered to. There are maximums but careful operators never go there unless in an emergency. There is always (and always will be) somebody who exceeds the published limits and tells the tale...but not always.
I was recently talking with a good friend about her experience towing an 8k horse trailer behind a 1-ton Chevy dually and in panic stop (attempt) went sailing right through an intersection...luckily without hitting anybody. She now has a Frieghtliner FL60 SportChassis.
If you don't have enough, get more...don't kid yourself...this is not an ego thing. My garage won't fit my Dodge 2500 p/u so it stays outside...that's the cost to me

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Old 11-12-2010, 02:38 PM   #20
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Andy Thompson of CANAM RV says this will work fine. It needs to have some undercarriage work to set it up for a Hensley, but he feels it will be totally adequate, even though it isn't rated for this weight.

He tows with a Jaguar, and drove a VW Jetta Diesel towing a 25' to Alumapalooza this spring. He seems to know this engineering space.
You can trust Andy Thomson and his operation; he advised me on my 2001 BMW X5 and 31 foot 2002 ASCL which I drove from Houston, TX, to London, Ontario to take delivery of. I spent 2 weeks at his dealership; they know what they are doing. Search on "withidl" for my posts on this matter.
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:58 PM   #21
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I just have one question about this statement
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You can trust Andy Thomson and his operation
Does this mean that if (which I hope does not happen to anyone ) you are in an accident that totals your car and Airstream, this company will pay for both since the insurance company would no doubt say it was not liable due to the weight limits being grossly wrong? Or what about the liability when you go sliding across an intersection hitting someone due to the overweight? Again, will this company stand behind you and pay ALL the liabilities since no insurance company would? In fact, there really is no reason to get any insurance on this type of set-up, other than theft??
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:01 PM   #22
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I just have one question about this statement Does this mean that if (which I hope does not happen to anyone ) you are in an accident that totals your car and Airstream, this company will pay for both since the insurance company would no doubt say it was not liable due to the weight limits being grossly wrong? Or what about the liability when you go sliding across an intersection hitting someone due to the overweight? Again, will this company stand behind you and pay ALL the liabilities since no insurance company would? In fact, there really is no reason to get any insurance on this type of set-up, other than theft??
I simply fail to follow your logic!

My statement that "You can trust Andy Thomson and his operation” has absolutely nothing to do with YOUR relationship with YOUR insurance company. I insure my BMW X5 and the ASCL through Geico; Geico KNOWS that the X5 pulls the ASCL because, as I just said, they insure it also, and their alright with that. They have the statistics and if there was any undue risk involved they would have declined insuring the assembly.

Andy Thomson is a 2nd generation AS dealer with vast experience in all manner of towing assemblies. I’m a “gearhead” (ex Lube Engineer) , I spent 2 weeks at his operation in June of 2001, had free rein to walk through his shop and observe his operation. He is VERY Customer oriented (I should know as I spent 28 years in sales & marketing with Texaco) and his integrity is above reproach, so again I say that “You can trust Andy Thomson and his operation”, which again has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with YOUR relationship with YOUR insurance company.
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:53 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by withidl View Post
I simply fail to follow your logic!

My statement that "You can trust Andy Thomson and his operation” has absolutely nothing to do with YOUR relationship with YOUR insurance company. I insure my BMW X5 and the ASCL through Geico; Geico KNOWS that the X5 pulls the ASCL because, as I just said, they insure it also, and their alright with that. They have the statistics and if there was any undue risk involved they would have declined insuring the assembly.

Andy Thomson is a 2nd generation AS dealer with vast experience in all manner of towing assemblies. I’m a “gearhead” (ex Lube Engineer) , I spent 2 weeks at his operation in June of 2001, had free rein to walk through his shop and observe his operation. He is VERY Customer oriented (I should know as I spent 28 years in sales & marketing with Texaco) and his integrity is above reproach, so again I say that “You can trust Andy Thomson and his operation”, which again has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with YOUR relationship with YOUR insurance company.
I'm sure your insurance company is more than willing to insure anything you want, and almost any way you want to insure it, as long as you pay them the money.

However, the problem might be, and this is what I'm sure "RLS" is talking about, is what are they going to say when it's time for them to pay a claim when you have an acident towing a 8000 pound trailer with a mid-sized SUV rated to to 5000 pounds. (the weights are just an example) And, what if that accident takes someone's life, and the claims are in the millions?

Insurance adjusters and lawyers have totally different attitudes than insurance salesmen.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:33 PM   #24
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Steve, that is exactly what I am saying.

withidl, I am so happy for you that you have so much confidence in the insurance salesman. Why not, just to Make sure about what you say, you have that insurance company send you a letter saying that they are fully aware of the weight limits being exceeded and they will not hold you responsible for this in case of an accident. That they are fully aware of your tow vehicle's towing capacity being ignored and will hold you harmless from any negligence that said weight limits being exceeded may cause. My wording may not be the best for this. This way, you are not just relying on what someone says over the phone?? I'm not trying to start anything other than to have you understand the risks you take. A lawyer would have a field day with this type of accident.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:33 PM   #25
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Geico KNOWS that the X5 pulls the ASCL because, as I just said, they insure it also, and their alright with that.
Just because Geico insures both the X5 and the ASCL doesn't mean they necessarily approve of an X5 towing an ASCL or are aware of what you are doing for a TV/RV combination. For all they know you could own a different properly-rated tow vehicle that's insured elsewhere for the ASCL and use the X5 as a daily driver.

Most insurance policies cover the items in question for various perils, but have a multitude of disclaimers for abuse, negligence or unintended useage. Unless Geico has given you a letter that states "we are willing to insure your under-rated X5 and ASCL when used in combination", I think you may be making dangerous asumption that Geico is "alright with that"...

I bet Geico would tell you that you would NOT be covered if you exceed the vehicle manufacturer's towing capacity. If i'm wrong, so be it. If you're wrong, it could cost you everything - So I would confirm it and make sure I have their answer in writing!
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:01 PM   #26
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I know towing with a Volvo has to be very hard to get your head around if you have never had the oportunity to actually tow with one or a similar advanced vehicle. Automatically you would think of the Volvo as a small economy car and what could you tow with that? However the Volvo is a very substantial vehicle. This car weighs 3900 pounds with a light aluminum engine and transmission that means that most of the weight goes into its structure. The body structure on this car is very solid without all the chassis flex that is present in most body on frame vehicles, espessially pick up trucks.

The suspension is a very precise indepent suspension on all 4 wheels with virtually no side sway in the tires or suspension system. The performance tires have far more traction that hard truck tires. Stopping distance with the Airstream will be considerably shorter than it would be with a heavy duty truck. In an emergency maneuver the Volvo & 28' Airstream can likely execute it at higher speed than a 3/4 ton truck will solo and considerably quicker than it will towing. The bottom line is you are far more likely to be able to avoid an accident with this combination. After all if a 3/4 ton truck is supposed to solve all problems why do people with 3/4 ton trucks loose control of their Airstreams?

Yes the 3.2 Litre V/6 does not have the power of a large deisel so you do have to be more patient but not that patient, it will cruise nicely at 65 MPH and climb interstate grades at 50 MPH in third gear with plenty of reserve. So you loose a little time on the odd hill, on the other hand you spend a lot less time in gas stations. In 1985 a Suburban with a 350 V8 was all of 170 HP and it had to push a big boxy Suburban through the air before it could begin to tow the Airstream. Still thousands of Airstream owners towed 31 & 34' Airstreams all over the continent with these without a problem. Yet somehow today 230 HP is not supposed to be enough?

I am not saying you should all go trade your great big trucks in on Volvo's but try to understand that not everyone wants a big gas guzzeling lumbering truck to drive. We have set up hundreds of modern vehicles with Airstreams over the last 33 years with millions of miles of useage so for us this is not an unusual exotic set up it is just business as usual.

I know everyone here means well we are just doing things at a different level and if I had not been doing it for 40 years I would not likely beleive it either. Anyway we always back up what we say with the oportunity to experience it for yourself. If you are ever anywhere near London just stop in and ask to test drive something interesting. We will be glad to let you try it and if you want the E ticket ride I can provide that too.

Thanks for bearing with me.

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Old 11-12-2010, 09:24 PM   #27
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Andrew T, I am in no way discrediting your ability to make the Volvo a very capable tow vehicle. What I am asking, is when the insurance company denies a claim because of the vehicle not within limits of what the tow rating is, are you able to stand behind these vehicles and pay any claims that the insurance company denies? When an attorney sues an owner for negligence of using a vehicle that is not rated for towing those weights, are you able to stand behind your work and take full responsibility? These are my questions about using such vehicles, not about your ability or the type of vehicle itself.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:50 PM   #28
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Same old thing, when the big truck argument loses steam, they play the lawyer card. Let's keep the discussion about capability, not liability.

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