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Old 11-12-2010, 10:03 PM   #29
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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.

Doug
Amen!
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:05 PM   #30
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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.

Doug
The manufacturer of the vehicle says it can safely tow 3300 pounds, and the Airstream weighs 8000 loaded.

You can do what you want, but that's all the information I need.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:14 PM   #31
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The manufacturer of the vehicle says it can safely tow 3300 pounds, and the Airstream weighs 8000 loaded.

You can do what you want, but that's all the information I need.
Been waiting for this post. I can't even believe this discussion is occurring!

#1) you can't defeat physics relative to tow vehicle weight vs. trailer weight.
#2) Exceed tow rating = FORGET your warranty!
#3) If the worst happens, your insurance company will back out. All they need is an excuse....right, wrong, or indifferent, they will.

Don't get me wrong, Volvo is a fine automobile, but 8000# with ANYTHING rated for 3300# is INSANE!
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:41 PM   #32
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Hi, I think Andy at Cam Am is amazing. I also think he is very knowledgeable and talented. I even would like to see his operation. But I would never do what he is condoning. There are companies that are certified for making modifications to vehicles for the handicapped, trucks, buses, and limousines Etc. and they are able to legally change the ratings. If Andy can modify a vehicle and legally change the ratings to handle the owner's intended purpose, then I would become a believer.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:57 PM   #33
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They will stress the liability issue of Andrew T.'s combos, then go to another thread and boast of 80 mph (on their GYM's rated 65 mph max) "like its not even there".

Doug
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:03 PM   #34
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Hi, I think Andy at Cam Am is amazing. I also think he is very knowledgeable and talented. I even would like to see his operation. But I would never do what he is condoning. There are companies that are certified for making modifications to vehicles for the handicapped, trucks, buses, and limousines Etc. and they are able to legally change the ratings. If Andy can modify a vehicle and legally change the ratings to handle the owner's intended purpose, then I would become a believer.
Well...sorta. If a vehicle is manufactured by the OEM as an "incomplete" vehicle (ie, chassis cab, special build van for handicap upfit, conversion van etc.) then the upfitter has to certify and replace the label on the driver's door jamb with their own certification label, per Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). The OEMs publish an upfitters manual which precisely defines all engineering parameters allowed for the vehicle.

IMHO, and professional opinion, Volvo would never condone 8000# on a car originally spec'ed for 3300#.

This comparison of upfit vehicles by a secondary Manufacturer with "street mods" is apples and oranges. I would like to see the certification label changing the GVWs on these Volvos. Anybody got one?
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:07 PM   #35
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They will stress the liability issue of Andrew T.'s combos, then go to another thread and boast of 80 mph (on their GYM's rated 65 mph max) "like its not even there".

Doug

I am running Continental Vanco2 rated R for speed, look it up!
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:18 PM   #36
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Well...sorta. If a vehicle is manufactured by the OEM as an "incomplete" vehicle (ie, chassis cab, special build van for handicap upfit, conversion van etc.) then the upfitter has to certify and replace the label on the driver's door jamb with their own certification label, per Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). The OEMs publish an upfitters manual which precisely defines all engineering parameters allowed for the vehicle.

IMHO, and professional opinion, Volvo would never condone 8000# on a car originally spec'ed for 3300#.

This comparison of upfit vehicles by a secondary Manufacturer with "street mods" is apples and oranges. I would like to see the certification label changing the GVWs on these Volvos. Anybody got one?
Click image for larger version

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Here's an example. My van was built as an incomplete vehicle by OEM. Conversion company changed wheels and tires added carpet, seats electronics, a lot of woodwork, windows, and stripes. OEM label is gone and upfitter label is attached as certification.
Anybody got one of these Volvos, or any other car certifying more than double trailer weight rating?
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:31 PM   #37
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Remember, I didnt say the Volvo wouldnt tow that beast if outfitted with a fancy setup. We did crazy things with the cars during testing and made it back. Its even possible the Volvo may handle that unit surprisingly well in a controlled banking curve. What I am saying is this vehicle is designed as a passenger car with light to moderate towing in mind. The 3.2 is a transversly mounted inline 6 cylinder with a very busy transmission. This is a front wheel drive car. When equiped as an all wheel drive we grab power from the right front axle and angle it back to the rear wheels. I mentioned this thread to an engineer that works with drivetrain from Sweden currently located in New Jersey and he quickly identified all the components that would be affected in a reasonably short term. Just one more thought on fuel mileage. I used one of our demo's to go back and forth to a class a few months ago. This vehicle was an 09' XC70 with the engine we are talking about here. The fuel mileage while averaging freeway speeds worked out to be around 20 mpg. I wonder if the mileage would drop to around 12 towing this airstream? What then would be the point?

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Old 11-13-2010, 05:48 AM   #38
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Hi Vinnie

I appreciate your insite into the drivetrain, what did the engineer feel was the weak link? It would be unusual for a company like Volvo to equip a vehicle with a drivetrain that is not up to its engine capability espessially when you consider the Turbo can pump a lot more power through this drive train.

For this customer another vehicle is not an option they don't have a driveway to leave a suburban in so they must have a low profile tow vehicle and prefer a wagon. These days that is a pretty short list and it is hard to beat a Volvo wagon. We have other customers with the XC70, some of them tow trailers consdierably harder tow than the Airstream and so far we have not had any issues.

I understand the XC70 uses the Ford / GM joint venture 6 speed that is used in the Flex and Enclave. We have about 40 customers now using this tranny many with larger trailers with larger engines with no issues at all. Volvo's were actually the very first smaller cars we ever set up, I guess because their owners were so dedicated to them. I remember putting hitches on them in the early 70's. Since that time we have set up a lot of different Volvo's for customers and we have just never had any durability issues with any of them.

The European towing spec has been the same for every Volvo model since the 70's even thought the cars have dramatically improved over that time. The big issue with European specs is that they use no weight distribution let alone a Hensley, primative mechanical brakes and their trailers have more aerodynamic drag than an Airstream. Their trailers are light but not necessarily easy to tow. You also see solo Volvo's in Europe cruising at speeds well over 100 MPH, I always figured this was much harder on the car than towing a 60 MPH. I think is one reason why European cars seem to have so much overbuild in them. On the other hand you rarely see one in Europe that is not impecably maintained.

For those who are worried about insurance, tow ratings are not legal number they are a recomendation only. Again some vehicles with very high tow ratings are very unstable vehicles putting a trailer on them does not make them better. Should I recomend a vehicle to a customer that I know is less stable and less safe just because a marketing department pulled a bigger number out of the hat? Once an insurance company makes the decision to cover you they have to do so, they can elect not to cover you again after and incident, for example even impared drivers have insurance coverage. Again in 33 years of doing this we have never had a customer have an insurance issue.

Thanks

Andy
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:55 AM   #39
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Attachment 115102

Here's an example. My van was built as an incomplete vehicle by OEM. Conversion company changed wheels and tires added carpet, seats electronics, a lot of woodwork, windows, and stripes. OEM label is gone and upfitter label is attached as certification.
Anybody got one of these Volvos, or any other car certifying more than double trailer weight rating?
You'll notice there is no towing recomendation on this label or the label on any other vehicle that I have seen.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:40 AM   #40
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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?
Sorry, I didn't have time to finish my thought yesterday morning. I was indeed thinking of the inline 5 in the Colorado. Engine output is very similar, but the Colorado is likely to have have taller tires and overall gearing, as well as more friction in the driveline (rear drive vs transverse engine front drive) and poorer aerodynamics. Match the two vehicles up with the same trailer, and I am very confident that the V70 would outperform the truck. Even the 5.3 V8 wouldn't provide a dramatic advantage.

Of course, the car engine will spin faster to do the same work, but I don't consider that a problem.

I think Andy's being conservative when he says the V70 3.2 would tow an Airstream at 65 mph. I think it would be happy at 75; that's certainly what I'm looking for to speed up our annual trips across Montana and Wyoming and South Dakota and Iowa . . .

I suppose I'm a bit ecccentric , but I've analyzed the implications of power, torque, gearing, tire size, weight and aerodynamics as best as I can. (You can find aero drag calculators online if that provide the hp needed based on frontal area and an assumption about drag coefficient.) Through trial and error and observing the performance of my own combination I think I'm been able to fairly accurately predict the performance of a tow vehicle based on its specifications. FWIW, there is a European website that predicts performance of EU spec cars and and caravans (including the two EU Airstream models), but I don't have the skills or the time to replicate this for North American models.

Based on this, I would consider the 3.2 inline 6 (yes, it's a very short transverse inline 6) in the V70 to be very capable. Also, based on this I've run numbers on half ton pickups, e.g. GM 5.3s and I can fully understand why people say you need a diesel to pull a 7000 or 8000 lb trailer. The pickups give up a lot of towing power to tall tires and poor aerodynamics.

Quite simply, when towing an Airstream (I say this because aerodynamics are important) a car with a 3 to 4 litre engine will easily run with a pickup with a 5 to 6 litre V8.

My car has only a 2.4 litre; that's what I need to be more patient. I still outrun loaded tractor-trailers on 6% grades, however.

Thanks for reading. I hope this makes sense.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:51 AM   #41
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Its even possible the Volvo may handle that unit surprisingly well in a controlled banking curve.

I used one of our demo's to go back and forth to a class a few months ago. This vehicle was an 09' XC70 with the engine we are talking about here. The fuel mileage while averaging freeway speeds worked out to be around 20 mpg. I wonder if the mileage would drop to around 12 towing this airstream? What then would be the point?

Regards.. Vinnie
Indeed, if the WDH is set up correctly the handling is surprisingly neutral, and it's a pleasure to tow on a winding road. (At lower speeds, e.g. up to about 50 mph, I will back off the handles on the friction sway control so that the steering unwinds more naturally.)

On a level highway, with no wind, at 65 mph I easily get 16 mpg (US gallons, not Imperial). In hills, or in windy conditions it drops to around 14. Of course, my car gets over 30 mpg at 75 mph solo.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:50 AM   #42
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You'll notice there is no towing recomendation on this label or the label on any other vehicle that I have seen.
You're missing the point completely. GVWR, GAWRs, and cargo capacity changed (in this specific case) which has an effect on trailer weight limits to reach GCWR. I have never seen a MFR. approve of a change in GCWR by an upfitter.

Again, my point is any modification by an OEM approved final vehicle manufacturer must meet FMVSS (I realize you're in Canada, but I think you will find regs. very similar up yonder) and be recertified. This is about the CERTIFICATION process and not my individual label. I was just showing a final vehicle manufacturer certification and the absence of the OEM label for understanding and clarification

Individuals can do what they want, but if a MFR. doesn't approve of a mod for an approved upfitter, it is not suitable from an engineering or safety standpoint.
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