Tongue weight problem - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-02-2015, 12:16 PM   #29
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I have a very interesting link from the UK to share. You'll need t do a litttle converting kg to lbs and find a FGRV alternative....I used the T@B .... You plug in your vehicle and your trailer and it will tell you if it's a good match.

TowCar.info - test your car and caravan outfit
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:19 PM   #30
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Pickup trucks and big engines were taxed* out of existence in Europe long time ago, and their choices in campers are very different. That's what makes it so difficult to compare, and market their cars/SUVs as tow vehicles in this country.
--
*That is by means of vehicle taxes and gasoline taxes.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:30 PM   #31
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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
Unibody or not unibody is not determinative of towing capability. My unibody Highlander is rated for 5000 lbs with 500 hitch weight. Different unibodies have different hitch receiver attachment strength, different suspensions, different brake sizes and different drive trains and cooling systems; these are more determinative.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:30 PM   #32
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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....
I tend to agree and in the end the trailer will tow much better and be a safer rig overall.

A RV/good welding shop can reinforce the Volvo 2" receiver so it can properly support and deal with the stresses of the WDH. In other word, bring it up to North American standards so it can tow an North American trailer correctly.

We went through the same exact same issue with our mid sized, unibody car, and the pros at our hitch shop solved the problem. Worked out great.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:32 PM   #33
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What I really want to know is how much wiggle room we have here...
For matters of safety I like the wiggle room to go in the other direction. Personally, I want at least a minimum 10-20% margin of safety. So If I had a 165# max tongue weight I would not put more than 150# MAX on it. That would limit you to a 1500# trailer.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:33 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by ORshepherd View Post
I have a very interesting link from the UK to share. You'll need t do a litttle converting kg to lbs and find a FGRV alternative....I used the T@B .... You plug in your vehicle and your trailer and it will tell you if it's a good match.

TowCar.info - test your car and caravan outfit
Predictably, no pickup trucks and 5th wheel caravans as far as I can tell. Otherwise still quite interesting!
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:56 PM   #35
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Fill the tank full first and check the Weight. One gallon weighs 8 pounds so just maybe, you will not need to move the battery.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:57 PM   #36
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These folks sell "fifthwheelers" in the UK:
Fifth Wheel at Calder Leisure - Britain's Leading 5th Wheel Company
I bet not very many.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:13 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Fill the tank full first and check the Weight. One gallon weighs 8 pounds so just maybe, you will not need to move the battery.
Darwin, as we were weighing, I got into the trailer myself and went as far to the back as I could (didn't move the table or crawl onto the bunk), and it changed the tongue weight by about 10 pounds. BUT I was just behind the axle, I think, not as far back as the water tank probably is.

However, if we filled the water tank and solved the tongue weight problem, wouldn't we then be too heavy on one side, creating a new and different problem?
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:20 PM   #38
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I don't think that anyone is saying anything more than to stick by the manufacturers specifications for towing as per the Owners Manual delivered with the vehicle . You don't have to be any kind of an expert for that.


But, as far as adopting European specifications to North American versions of those vehicles, I still subscribe to "What Happens in Europe, Stays in Europe".


Overall I have made more than 20 trips to Europe, and have driven extensively on European roads, including in the old USSR & Eastern Europe, all of Western Europe, Scandinavia and Great Britain. As such I think that I at least have a small idea about how drivers behave in Europe and what the rules of the road are in those countries. It's very different there and the bulk of American drivers would not do well without making major changes in driving habits and attitudes. From adhering to road rules, to NOT modifying and/or reengineering their vehicles.


And, I have towed with European vehicles, two different Volvos, two air-cooled VW Type 181's and a Mercedes diesel, guessing about 10,000 miles of towing or more. But I still don't get the 1/2 Ton Pick-Up reference.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:22 PM   #39
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Weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
Darwin, as we were weighing, I got into the trailer myself and went as far to the back as I could (didn't move the table or crawl onto the bunk), and it changed the tongue weight by about 10 pounds. BUT I was just behind the axle, I think, not as far back as the water tank probably is.

However, if we filled the water tank and solved the tongue weight problem, wouldn't we then be too heavy on one side, creating a new and different problem?
Not when you put the battery on the side opposite the water tank. Again, my suggestions are based on what we did with our Lil BigFoot, others experiences may vary.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:42 PM   #40
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British weight limits

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Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
There is a good discussion on Volvo tongue weight here. Max Tongue Weight for Hitch
John, thanks for posting this link. The more I read and explore, the more it seems there is NO agreement on this issue anywhere.

I did copy these paragraphs from one of the posts (this was posted ELEVEN years ago, so weights and limits could definitely have changed):
"First, for the XC90, I found this article (Boats For Sale - Buy & Sell, New & Used Boats, Owners & Dealers) where they put 360 lbs on the tongue, which is almost 2x what Volvo recommends. *Interesting read...

As for the XC70, I started looking at all the international sites that Volvo has (language-selector | Volvo Cars) and I surfed the different countries to see what I can find. *I was able to find on the UK website (United Kingdom | Volvo Car UK Ltd) that they listed the following specifications on their towbars (hitches):

Max Towing Capacity • 1800kg
Tow Ball Diameter • 50mm
Recommended Ball Load • 85kg

So this means that the max towing capacity is about 3960 lbs and the recommended ball load is about 187 lbs. *I guess the cars in UK are built stronger
"


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Old 08-02-2015, 01:50 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by ORshepherd View Post
I have a very interesting link from the UK to share. You'll need t do a litttle converting kg to lbs and find a FGRV alternative....I used the T@B .... You plug in your vehicle and your trailer and it will tell you if it's a good match.

TowCar.info - test your car and caravan outfit
Elizabeth,

That's the web site I used for reference when towing with our Honda CRV. It's interesting how big the trailers are that they tow (look on User Reviews of the web site) and the fact that there are people who tow at 70 mph. Interestingly they are often towing trailers weighing twice your trailer.

They certainly are fortunate that many of them tow with diesels.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:51 PM   #42
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I'm with you LP....I have been reading all morning and for every point a person makes, another makes the opposite. YOu want to get really dizzy...check this out. It is for the XC90...but still...scroll down to the Towing table:

2005 VOLVO XC90




Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
John, thanks for posting this link. The more I read and explore, the more it seems there is NO agreement on this issue anywhere.

I did copy these paragraphs from one of the posts (this was posted ELEVEN years ago, so weights and limits could definitely have changed):
"First, for the XC90, I found this article (Boats For Sale - Buy & Sell, New & Used Boats, Owners & Dealers) where they put 360 lbs on the tongue, which is almost 2x what Volvo recommends. *Interesting read...

As for the XC70, I started looking at all the international sites that Volvo has (language-selector | Volvo Cars) and I surfed the different countries to see what I can find. *I was able to find on the UK website (United Kingdom | Volvo Car UK Ltd) that they listed the following specifications on their towbars (hitches):

Max Towing Capacity • 1800kg
Tow Ball Diameter • 50mm
Recommended Ball Load • 85kg

So this means that the max towing capacity is about 3960 lbs and the recommended ball load is about 187 lbs. *I guess the cars in UK are built stronger
"


LP
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