Volvo Steve is my hero - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-13-2015, 07:32 PM   #1
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Volvo Steve is my hero

After several months of agonizing, our Lil'Bigfoot connected successfully to our 2002 V70 Volvo, with all electronics talking to one another and no computers frying!

Volvo Steve initially ordered a European plug for us to install on the trailer. But after some discussion here, we realized this would limit our trailer to only one vehicle, so nixed that idea.

Then Volvo Steve said we could easily build an adapter from the European plug. He thought that Trailer Jason would know just what to do, so handed me the plug and off I went.

Trailer Jason said no... he would have to change out the European plug on the Volvo (gnashing of teeth). I was certain this wasn't necessary. This was on Monday before Labor Day, and we expected to have all installs complete and be ready to go on Friday.

I called Bob Miller, who was up volunteering on the fires in Washington, who graciously called me back and then called Jason to talk to him. Then Bob called ME back and said that I needed to order a new part (which he had recommended but I had missed). He gave me the name of the vendor; I called and ordered the part and asked for overnight shipping.

The part came on Wednesday. Steve looked at it and said, "well... this would work, but I really need to do this differently."

So we asked Trailer Jason to PLEASE finish his end of the job... new water pump, new water lines, 12v sockets, systems checks. He did that, and kindly delivered the trailer to Steve, since DH was at work and Volvo wasn't ready to tow yet. This was Thursday afternoon.

So Steve took the European trailer plug, tested all of its wires against the standard NA plug, so he could be CERTAIN everything worked as expected. (For instance, the PO told us he had added backup lights. What circuit were they on?) This was after 5pm, with other customers in line wanting things done before the big weekend, and with the wife and the new baby waiting in the garage.

He ordered a standard converter from Napa, and on Friday built the plug from scratch.

I had expected to drive over to Big Lagoon on Thursday in order to score a great site... but as it was we weren't even able to pack and prepare the trailer before Thursday night and Friday am.

Along with all of his other pressing commitments, Steve managed to finish the plug and have it ready on Friday by 2pm.

Here he is, installing it while talking on the phone to another customer in need.

[IMG][/

Viola. It ALL WORKED.

Here is Volvo Steve with a well-earned bottle of champagne.

[IMG][/IMG]

Here is Ellpea's Lil'Bea in a lovely site at Big Lagoon:



I know. The campsite looks a little disorderly, but I was handling the setup by myself while the DH was out winning a first with his El Toro:

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

Morning moon at Big Lagoon:
[IMG][/IMG] (Taken Saturday morning from our bed while the DH was up making coffee.

Oh, BTW, Mr Minimalist (my hubby, not the Minimalist member here), who was SO against the idea of buying a FGRV and towing it with the Volvo, now LOVES the idea and also really likes the trailer.

Happy Ending!
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:57 PM   #2
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All's well that ends well… but wait… it's just the beginning!

Enjoy!
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post


All's well that ends well… but wait… it's just the beginning!

Enjoy!
Yes, just beginning, and I can't wait to go again!
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Old 09-14-2015, 04:32 AM   #4
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Wonderful! So glad it all worked out.
-- Anne
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
After several months of agonizing, our Lil'Bigfoot connected successfully to our 2002 V70 Volvo, with all electronics talking to one another and no computers frying!


[IMG][/




Oh, BTW, Mr Minimalist (my hubby, not the Minimalist member here), who was SO against the idea of buying a FGRV and towing it with the Volvo, now LOVES the idea and also really likes the trailer.

Happy Ending!
The rig looks great, a wonderful match, and from one who tows with a car we knows how well your rig will handle and perform. Congratulations on finding the right guy to set up the rig. That is so key in getting a successful, well connected rig.


PS... It's interesting to see the top of your Volvo is level with the truck bed that is parked to the right of you. That truck with the high center of gravity is one reason I shy away from them as TV's.
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Old 09-14-2015, 03:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
The rig looks great, a wonderful match, and from one who tows with a car we knows how well your rig will handle and perform. Congratulations on finding the right guy to set up the rig. That is so key in getting a successful, well connected rig.


PS... It's interesting to see the top of your Volvo is level with the truck bed that is parked to the right of you. That truck with the high center of gravity is one reason I shy away from them as TV's.
I think the shape of the Volvo really complements the aerodynamics of the trailer. Hubby drove his van over (with the boat), and mentioned the heavy wind that was hitting him broadside. *I* never felt a THING!

For this trip over four mountain passes, we didn't pack a lot of things in the trailer, so it was very light. When we hitched the trailer the rear end only dropped about 1 1/2 inches, and I didn't feel any weight on the rear end while driving. Just to illustrate, earlier in the day I bought about 6 gallons of water and some bottled water along with quite a few other groceries and supplies. I packed most of this over and in front of the rear axle in the car, but could definitely feel THAT weight as I drove. Amazing that the trailer didn't do the same.

It is also Very Nimble. The only worry I ever had was bringing it over a steep driveway curb. At our house it does scrape, but it has those handy "casters" underneath that protect it.

Now onto some more decor projects and additional upgrades this little B needs!
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:01 PM   #7
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You are discovering the beauty of towing with a Euro station wagon.
It is hard to imagine that any other tow vehicle could be much better.
I understand since my VW TDI Sportwagen is similar and does a great job as well.
Good luck and enjoy your trailer and Volvo.
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
You are discovering the beauty of towing with a Euro station wagon.
It is hard to imagine that any other tow vehicle could be much better.
I understand since my VW TDI Sportwagen is similar and does a great job as well.
Good luck and enjoy your trailer and Volvo.
Red, it's true, it's true!


(or, as Madeline Kahn would say, "it's twoo, it's twoo")
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Old 09-15-2015, 01:47 PM   #9
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....When we hitched the trailer the rear end only dropped about 1 1/2 inches,....
I remember that you had some concerns over the tongue weight before. From the photos, I noticed that you had space for 2 propane tanks. Did you have 2 full tanks? Do you have a battery on the tongue too?
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:03 PM   #10
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Glad you got it all sorted out!!! Still all seems a bit crazy to me the problems you seemed to have had getting a 7 pin put onto the car. I know a number of people who pull with Volvo's and all got their hitch wiring done in just a couple of hours. I know my past tug, a Subaru only came from the factory with a simple 4 pin hidden in the trunk area and the same shop had no problems adding the brake line and charge line etc and setting it up first try to 7 pin in no time. Its still a puzzle to me as to why you were not able to do the same


PS: As suggested if the tongue weight is a concern dropping the extra propane tank would be my first step in lightening it up. I run my fridge on propane a lot but still don't feel the need for a second tank as the one tank I have lasts a long time.
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:03 PM   #11
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I remember that you had some concerns over the tongue weight before. From the photos, I noticed that you had space for 2 propane tanks. Did you have 2 full tanks? Do you have a battery on the tongue too?
Brettl, There is space for two tanks, but we have one tank and a battery in that same compartment. Once we got some weight well distributed in the trailer, the tongue weight was no longer an issue.
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Glad you got it all sorted out!!! Still all seems a bit crazy to me the problems you seemed to have had getting a 7 pin put onto the car. I know a number of people who pull with Volvo's and all got their hitch wiring done in just a couple of hours. I know my past tug, a Subaru only came from the factory with a simple 4 pin hidden in the trunk area and the same shop had no problems adding the brake line and charge line etc and setting it up first try to 7 pin in no time. Its still a puzzle to me as to why you were not able to do the same
Carol, that was my question also. I think the issue is that we went with a Volvo *factory* draw bar, which means it was Swedish-built with the European wiring.

I've SINCE discovered from Elizabeth on this board (who also just got her Volvo and trailer set up) that she was able to plug right in using an "OEM Volvo" draw bar. I haven't investigated further, but think that must be an after market, US item that works on the Volvo just fine, and would probably have saved me a lot of grief. We just went with what the Owner's manual recommended as the "right" thing, and didn't realize there would be such a problem.

I hope all of this *rigmarole* will help someone else who is exploring towing with a Volvo!
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