Towing with an S60

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2001 - 2007 V70
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Yycvolvo
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:10 pm
Year and Model: 2002 S60 2.4T
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Re: Towing with an S60

Post by Yycvolvo »

Just made it back last night, and what an adventure it was. I was not counting on encountering such severe weather conditions, but unfortunately, it happened.
The boat is longer, wider, and taller than the S60, which significantly increased drag. The Volvo sure felt the load, both with its heavy weight, and the rig's poor aerodynamic properties going down the road.

Before the trip I changed the engine air filter, calculated to make sure that I would not need an oil change before I got back, topped up the tires to max sidewall PSI, torqued the wheels, topped up all fluids, checked the transmission oil colour and smell.
Before hooking up the trailer, I greased the trailer's bearings, topped up the trailer tires to max sidewall pressure, and checked all of the trailer hitch mounting bolts on the car.
After hooking up the trailer, I tested the electrical connections to it and measured the rear tire gap to guesstimate the tongue weight, which seems to have been approximately 100kgs or approximately 225lbs, then took it a few km down the rural highway to make sure that it was road worthy.

The braking abilities were tested, with a couple full force brake applications to engage the ABS and to test the stopping distance. The car stopped well, stayed straight, and within a very reasonable distance. After testing the brakes this way, I again checked all of the trailer hitch mounting points.

Every morning on the way back, I greased the trailer wheel bearings, checked the engine oil level and checked all of the hitch mounting points.
Every fuel stop on the way back, I checked all tire pressures, all straps, and all lights, which proved to be wise as the old trailer's wires were in pretty rough shape, with sections of it cracking and breaking. I had to stop at a Canadian Tire store to purchase some electrical tape and a household wire twist connector to make a makeshift repair to a turn signal and brake light wire. And the wiring for the taillights became shorted and ceased to function on the last night, and I had to dismantle the trailer lights and insert small battery powered adhesive LED's inside so that they could remain illuminated and allow me to continue driving into the night.

I stopped at two mandatory watercraft inspection stations on the way back, one in Manitoba, and one in Alberta. Both inspections were passed without issues, and I asked the Alberta inspectors if I could make use of the truck weight scale before I took off onto the road again, and they had no issues with that.
The front axle weight was 860kg, the rear axle weight was 890kg, and the trailer axle weight was 1,270kg, and this is when I confirmed my suspicions that this was in fact quite a heavy load, pretty much at the max of the vehicle's capabilities.

This was a brutal drive, but I'm proud of how the Volvo handled it. It deserves a medal. Later this week, I will be changing the transmission fluid, engine oil, spark plugs, and inspecting all of the engine/transmission mounts, and all of the suspension components to see what condition they are in and I will report back with my findings.

Here is the fuel log:
Oct 20 - Regina, SK - 9.1 L/100km - Clear roads, 125km/h cruise control
Oct 21 - Prawda, MB - 9.2 L/100km - Icy and snowy conditions, severe winter storm conditions at times, slow speeds
Oct 21 - White River, ON - 8.2 L/100km - Clear roads, ~105km/h average
Oct 22 - Sault Ste Marie, ON - 10.6 L/100km - Clear roads, ~105km/h average - lots of hills
Oct 22 - Lindsay, ON - 8.2L/100km - Clear roads, ~95km/h average - nice weather
- Hooked up the boat and headed back
Oct 23 - Britt, ON - 14L/100km - Clear roads - 105km/h average - nice weather and pretty flat - mostly 5th gear
Oct 23 - Sault Ste Marie, ON - 16.2L/100km - ~95 km/h average - rain and pretty flat - mostly 4th and 5th gear
Oct 23 - White River, ON - 15.6L/100km - super slow speeds - severe winter storm conditions - lots of hills - mostly 3rd and 4th gears
Oct 23 - Nipigon, ON - 15.7L/100km - super slow speeds - severe winter storm conditions - lots of hills - mostly 3rd and 4th gears
Oct 24 - Dryden, ON - 14L/100km - ~90km/h - cold, clear roads at times snow covered - lots of hills - mostly 4th gear
Oct 24 - Headingley, MB - 17.4L/100km - speeds up to 110km/h, strong cross winds - half hilly half flat - mostly 4th gear
Oct 24 - Brandon, MB - 16.4L/100km - ~110km/h average - mostly flat - mostly 5th gear
Oct 24 - Regina, SK - 17.6L/100km - ~110km/h average - mostly flat - mostly 4th gear with 5th a bit of the time
Oct 25 - Gull Lake, SK - 18.3L/100km - ~110km/h average - gaining elevation slowly - only 4th gear
Oct 25 - Gleichen, AB - 17.2L/100km - ~110km/h average - more slow elevation gain - only 4th gear

Total fuel cost for the trip = 970$
Last edited by Yycvolvo on Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
1999 Volvo V70 T5 ASR. Sold
2002 Volvo S60 2.4t ASR. Sold
2008 Volvo S40 2.4i ASR. Current daily driver

Yycvolvo
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:10 pm
Year and Model: 2002 S60 2.4T
Location: Calgary, AB
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Post by Yycvolvo »

Here's a couple pictures of the rig. One is near Sudbury, ON, one near Morse, SK (where you can see the addition of a strap on the boat cover, as some of the snaps holding it had broken off), and the other one is pulling in my driveway in Calgary, AB. First stop when I got back was the car wash where the car, boat and trailer got a hot pressure wash to get all of the road salt off.

I'm glad I was prepared for the trip with plenty of tools, fluids, straps, spare gas, a hydraulic jack, etc.
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1999 Volvo V70 T5 ASR. Sold
2002 Volvo S60 2.4t ASR. Sold
2008 Volvo S40 2.4i ASR. Current daily driver

Yycvolvo
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:10 pm
Year and Model: 2002 S60 2.4T
Location: Calgary, AB
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Post by Yycvolvo »

Blacklab467 wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:06 pm Should be an interesting trip, just make sure of a couple things: tongue weight should be 9 to 15 percent of trailer weight so about 300lbs. This will be extremely important with a trailer that heavy. Also trailer brakes will be required for any trailer over 2000lbs or greater than half the tow vehicle weight, you're not putting the boat on that U-haul trailer are you?
I'll try to measure the tongue weight and report back. Unfortunately, this trailer had no brakes, but I tested the rig's braking abilities well before heading back. That Uhaul trailer was just for a trip to the landfill with a bunch of garbage, and to test everything out. If I was towing a boat small enough to fit in there, I wouldn't have even made a post about it! :lol: :D
1999 Volvo V70 T5 ASR. Sold
2002 Volvo S60 2.4t ASR. Sold
2008 Volvo S40 2.4i ASR. Current daily driver

Yycvolvo
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:10 pm
Year and Model: 2002 S60 2.4T
Location: Calgary, AB
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Post by Yycvolvo »

- Pete - wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:58 pm I was wondering the same thing - those galvanized 5x9 uhaul trailers are heavy unloaded. I once towed that exact trailer with a 1,500lb 6x6 Polaris ATV in it, a plow, & a few other odds and ends. It definitely felt like the car (04 XC70) was maxed out, but I was within the limitations (barely).

I have towed some pretty hilarious/embarassing stuff with our high mile 04 XC70. You definitely don’t want to overlook your braking ability and also the gusto with which you go after uphill ascension.

That’s a lot of elevation change you’ll encounter over the course of your 3,350 km drive home. I’d pray for driving prudence and extra turbo cooling from the divine Creator. Might want to start the trip off with fresh ATF also.
I agree, those Uhaul trailers are pretty heavy duty and heavy period! Great rental trailers IMO. The Lake Superior north shore was definitely the most terrifying part of the trip with all the steep hills and sharp turns! Especially with the weather conditions that I encountered in that stretch.
1999 Volvo V70 T5 ASR. Sold
2002 Volvo S60 2.4t ASR. Sold
2008 Volvo S40 2.4i ASR. Current daily driver

Yycvolvo
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:10 pm
Year and Model: 2002 S60 2.4T
Location: Calgary, AB
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Post by Yycvolvo »

volvolugnut wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:11 am Trailer towing should always follow the 3 S's. Sane, sober and slow. Extra distance behind others. Accelerate, brake and turn slowly.
volvolugnut
100% agree, no need to exceed the speed limit with a load like that. Gave tons of distance from others, and the one beer at the end of each day was definitely appreciated and well deserved. I had a timeline to meet, but it was not a race by any stretch of the imagination!
1999 Volvo V70 T5 ASR. Sold
2002 Volvo S60 2.4t ASR. Sold
2008 Volvo S40 2.4i ASR. Current daily driver

Yycvolvo
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:10 pm
Year and Model: 2002 S60 2.4T
Location: Calgary, AB
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Post by Yycvolvo »

One more pic from the morning I left Ontario, because it is my favourite picture of the trip.
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1999 Volvo V70 T5 ASR. Sold
2002 Volvo S60 2.4t ASR. Sold
2008 Volvo S40 2.4i ASR. Current daily driver

Yycvolvo
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:10 pm
Year and Model: 2002 S60 2.4T
Location: Calgary, AB
Has thanked: 2 times
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Post by Yycvolvo »

Have now checked the engine and transmission mounts, as well as the control arm bushings, lower ball joints, and tie rods for any play. Nothing to report there, although I had replaced the lower transmission mount and upper engine mounts about a year ago, the left lower control arm and outer tie rod about 9 months ago as well. Everything seems to be okay there. I did not yet replace the transmission fluid, but the engine oil level was down by about 0.5 litres since the start of the trip. I'll replace the transmission fluid and spark plugs this weekend as a preventative measure (and because they are due soon anyways), but the car seems to be running very well, and I certainly appreciate driving it without a trailer in the back after that trip!

If I had to do another long journey to pick up a trailer, I would not hesitate to use the S60 again. With that being said, there are better tow vehicles out there in the marketplace. That doesn't mean that the S60 can't do it though, so my advice is to tow with what you have, within the acceptable 85% of the kurbweight of the tow vehicle's weight, take it slow and easy on the vehicle, use an abundance of caution and inspect everything at very regular intervals.

Happy towing everyone!
1999 Volvo V70 T5 ASR. Sold
2002 Volvo S60 2.4t ASR. Sold
2008 Volvo S40 2.4i ASR. Current daily driver

Blacklab467
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Post by Blacklab467 »

That says a lot about the car and it’s abilities, that boat must have meant a lot to you to pull it out of Ontario in severe winter conditions on a trailer with no brakes. I can’t help but ask; why wouldn’t you go the safe and legal route and get a trailer with brakes? Or rent a 3/4 ton truck and pull it legally without brakes, or put the boat and trailer assemblage on a rail car instead?
I hate to be a buzzkill on your achievement but I’ve seen too many wrecks on highways with inadequate or ill equipped tow setups.
2003 XC 70, 2007 Duramax LBZ.

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Post by abscate »

In ny it doesn’t matter what tow vehicle you use, above 1500# gross trailer weight you have to have trailer brakes.

I detest the electric ones , surge brakes are so much better
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Yycvolvo
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Post by Yycvolvo »

Blacklab467 wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:32 pm That says a lot about the car and it’s abilities, that boat must have meant a lot to you to pull it out of Ontario in severe winter conditions on a trailer with no brakes. I can’t help but ask; why wouldn’t you go the safe and legal route and get a trailer with brakes? Or rent a 3/4 ton truck and pull it legally without brakes, or put the boat and trailer assemblage on a rail car instead?
I hate to be a buzzkill on your achievement but I’ve seen too many wrecks on highways with inadequate or ill equipped tow setups.
The boat was my dads, but he’s in pretty poor health and hasn’t used it in 3 years. He also got rid of his tow vehicle, and it was just sitting there, unused. It has been dragged around southern Ontario in my family for about 10 years now, and by his friend whom he got the boat from for the previous 10 years. Because of this, I didn’t think twice about towing it. A number of years ago, even a Toyota Matrix towed it for about 50km.

I appreciate the information about the trailer brake requirements. I’ve towed many trailers over the years, and the only one that had brakes was the 6x12 Uhaul (surge brakes). So it seems that Uhaul can rent unbraked trailers, with payload capacities exceeding the max unbraked weight in several jurisdictions. I don’t know how they get away with that...

I just did a bit more research this morning, and it seems that every province in Canada has different trailering regulations, ranging from an unbraked weight max of 2000lb in Alberta all the way over 9000lb unbraked in Newfoundland. I’m most familiar with the BC regulations though, which is 3000lbs unbraked max. Regardless, the regulations for every jurisdiction here differ greatly from the ones in the US it seems, although there are cross border agreements in place to facilitate the movement of vehicles.

Now that the trailer is back here, I plan on refurbishing it over the winter, strip it down completely, repaint it, rewire it, and to add some brakes on it as well.
1999 Volvo V70 T5 ASR. Sold
2002 Volvo S60 2.4t ASR. Sold
2008 Volvo S40 2.4i ASR. Current daily driver

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