Tongue weight problem - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-01-2015, 09:35 PM   #15
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I went to talk to a service manager at an RV place who told me the same thing the Volvo service manager told me.
PLUS!! He looked up the VOlvo and thinks that the hitch is bolted to the plate UNDER THE BUMPER...not to the car frame.

They both also said that a WDH would solve a good deal of the problem....
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:41 PM   #16
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Sorry I added an "X", I'll try to catch that in the future.


Norm mentioned, but skipped over, a point. Often we weigh using the bottom of the jack, the ball is a bit further out and the weight on the ball itself will be a little less.


In looking at the 740 spec. it has a very similar issue, maximum tongue weight is only 200 lbs with a 3000+ towing limit. Must be something in the corporate philosophy, or something we haven't guessed about yet.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORshepherd View Post
I went to talk to a service manager at an RV place who told me the same thing the Volvo service manager told me.
PLUS!! He looked up the VOlvo and thinks that the hitch is bolted to the plate UNDER THE BUMPER...not to the car frame.

They both also said that a WDH would solve a good deal of the problem....
Liz,
I would trust the Volvo resources over an RV place.

For one thing, these Volvos DO NOT HAVE A FRAME.

They have a UNIT BODY CONSTRUCTION (explains hubby Ron, the former Volvo dealer). Therefore, there is no way the receiver can be hitched to a frame (evidence your RV guy does not know what he's talking about).

Secondly (as people here have instructed us), the Volvo takes a Class II hitch. There is no WDH for a Class II.

Thirdly, Volvo strictly recommends against a WDH. Ron says this is because of the unit body construction. A WDH *would* distribute the weight, some of it forward to the front axle, but it would do so by putting undue distress on the rear construction of the vehicle.

The upshot is that it is all very confusing, and you really can't listen to just one source. Doing what you (we) are doing and researching among many informed resources before coming to a sensible decision is IMHO the right way to go.

Best,
LP
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
Liz,
I would trust the Volvo resources over an RV place.

For one thing, these Volvos DO NOT HAVE A FRAME.

They have a UNIT BODY CONSTRUCTION (explains hubby Ron, the former Volvo dealer). Therefore, there is no way the receiver can be hitched to a frame (evidence your RV guy does not know what he's talking about).

Secondly (as people here have instructed us), the Volvo takes a Class II hitch. There is no WDH for a Class II.

Thirdly, Volvo strictly recommends against a WDH. Ron says this is because of the unit body construction. A WDH *would* distribute the weight, some of it forward to the front axle, but it would do so by putting undue distress on the rear construction of the vehicle.

The upshot is that it is all very confusing, and you really can't listen to just one source. Doing what you (we) are doing and researching among many informed resources before coming to a sensible decision is IMHO the right way to go.

Best,
LP
The RV guy said the same thing as the Volvo service manager. ONly he told me the hitch could not be bolted to a frame, but ito a plate under the bumper. So they were in a agreement. (Am I misreading your post?)

They both also mentioned a WDH.... But clearly I will have to look more deeply into that!

I do take comfort in knowing that the exact same vehicle is rated for a tongue weight of like 185 in the UK. The same vehicle.

What I really want to know is how much wiggle room we have here...

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Old 08-02-2015, 07:57 AM   #19
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I don't think it's quite accurate to say that unibody construction vehicles don't have frames. They do have stress-distributing and weight-carrying members. They usually appear as tubular structures that are welded together with the passenger compartment into one solid unit.

Whatever the "plate under the bumper" is, if it is meant to be an attachment point for a hitch, it is surely connected to structural frame members in some fashion. My (unibody) Pilot has a cross member spanning the rear frame rails just behind the bumper, and the receiver tube is welded to that.

Whether any hitch is rated for use of WDH is a separate question. The factory-integrated hitch on my Pilot is designated Class III, so WDH may be an option, though for somewhat vague reasons, Honda does not recommend it.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:15 AM   #20
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The more I am learning and thinking about weight distribution hitches, the less I like the whole concept. Think of it this way: put 200 lbs on the back bumper (ball), then take a long lever (a 2x4), bolt it where the hitch mount goes. Then grab the end of it and keep lifting until the bumper is at the same height as without those 200 lbs. Now you get an idea of the forces bending the frame, or the unibody, as well as that long lever. The trailer frame becomes that long lever when hitched up. Are the attachment points strong enough for this? Then think about pulling in your driveway, with a dip at the road side. Now you are not lifting only those 200 pounds, but the whole back end of the tow vehicle.

Lots of questions, and I would say that the Volvo engineers should have the last word on what the frame (unibody) can bear.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:18 AM   #21
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I think that a discussion on Volvo or any European car for towing is an investigation into the specifications for towing in Europe. There are a lot of experts on towing in Europe on the board here and usually on how you need to dot do it and you need at least a 1/2 ton pickup instead.
For quite some time the Euro specs have required that the hitch be mounted in the location specified by the manufacturer's engineers which is usually into the side box frames beside the trunk on either side.
here is a link to one hitch for the Volvo: https://www.rexbo.eu/westfalia/trail...00607&at=19068
Here is a link to the installation manual for the Bosal hitch which may give some information:
http://www.transportsysteme24.de/dok...ung/svo030.pdf

Here are the instructions for the Erich Jaeger electricla kit that also turns on the required trailer stabilazation system for trailers.:

http://www.transportsysteme24.de/dok...ng/13vo050.pdf

This kit is for the 13 pin Euro plug which will have to be modified for the 7 pin US plug.

Since 2007 all cars used for towing must have certificated hitches installed per car manufacturer's instructions with the addition of the T-ESP module to stabilize the combination under tow.

Use the translate function on the browser to read the Transport Systeme 24 website.

The stabilization system is an integral part of the towing requirements in the Euro Zone and to leave it off could be a mistake.

I have ordered from the above distributor with success for my VW.
At the very least the instruction manual should be informative.
In reading It may be that the V70 does not support stabilization, but you should check. I know that the VW does.
The Westfalia (and others have removable towbars. The euro sustem does not usually have the square receiver hitch as an option, but you could add one to the Bosal type.
The Euro standard is a 50 MM ball or about 0.003" smaller than the 2" US.
Since the Westfalia was first my thought is that the 2" standard is copied from that.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:20 AM   #22
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Not to mention that the spring bars are attached to the trailers frame, putting additional stress there as well. In summary you are using the frame of the trailer to push down on the front of the TV some 15-20 feet away.


Useful on much bigger, heavier trailers, not so much so on smaller FGRV's, especially the part about stressing the trailers frame.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:24 AM   #23
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(Clip from Post #20) "There are a lot of experts on towing in Europe on the board here and usually on how you need to dot do it and you need at least a 1/2 ton pickup instead."


I'm not quite sure what this means, please explain.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:32 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Paul O. View Post
...I would say that the Volvo engineers should have the last word on what the frame (unibody) can bear.
And that seems to be the crux of the matter in this whole extended conversation regarding WDH covering many threads and different vehicles and manufacturers. The manufacturers won't say. Information from owner's manuals, dealer sources, and manufacturer representatives seems deliberately non-committal.

The Honda-designated rating on my manufacturer-designed and factory-installed hitch is Class III, which generally implies suitability for use with WDH. But the owner's manual says, "Use of a weight distributing hitch is not recommended with this vehicle because an improperly adjusted hitch can affect braking and handling characteristics." They don't recommend it, but they don't forbid it, either. What about a properly adjusted WDH?

In any case, I don't need one for my little Scamp.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:34 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
Deets on the V70:
GVW 4690 lbs
Curb weight 3380-3595 lbs
Permissible axle weight, front 2330 lbs
Permissible axle weight, rear 2470 lbs
Max trailer weight w/o brakes 1100 lbs
Max trailer weight w/brakes 3300 lbs
Max tongue weight 165 lbs
That looks very much like the European towing rating for the V70 with a low hitch weight (5% of trailer) which is safe for the low towing speeds allowed in Europe. If those are Volvo's official North American numbers, then you are trapped by the tongue weight limit.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:50 AM   #26
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following your plight with great interest: I recently down-sized my tow vehicle to minimize my carbon footprint. Paying careful attention to towing capacity vs un-loaded fuel efficiency, I settled on a Subaru Outback 3.6, rated at 2700lbs capacity. It never occurred to me that the tongue weight might not be engineered to be in line with the towing capacity. Yet it isn't: at a puny 200#, it permits only a 1500# trailer give or take, if one wishes to maintain a healthy tongue weight ratio. Arrgghh!!
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:58 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
(Clip from Post #20) "There are a lot of experts on towing in Europe on the board here and usually on how you need to dot do it and you need at least a 1/2 ton pickup instead."


I'm not quite sure what this means, please explain.
Sorry the n and the d got swapped.
Most of the experts on towing with a European car have never towed with one and using their extensive experience with everything else can easily explain why it is unsafe and incorrect.


Sent from my SCH-I605 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:13 PM   #28
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(Clip from Post #20) "There are a lot of experts on towing in Europe on the board here and usually on how you need to dot do it and you need at least a 1/2 ton pickup instead."


I'm not quite sure what this means, please explain.

Did you mean you DON'T NEED a 1/2 ton pickup.....right? (or is my irony turned off...:-) )
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