In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
> I am considering purchasing a Volvo S60. I want to use it to tow a
> boat occasionally (3-4 times a year). The boat, motor & trailer will
> weigh between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds. (The S60 is rated for towing up
> to 3,300 pounds.) The trailer will have brakes (as required by the
> Volvo manual for this much weight). If anyone out there has
> experience towing this much weight with the S60, I would appreciate
> your comments about the car's towing performance.
> Will Front Wheel Drive (FWD) be adequate, or should I consider All
> Wheel Drive (AWD)? My main concern would be with pulling the boat out
> of the water up a ramp that may be wet. I assume AWD would perform
> better on the ramp. I live in Texas; so, I don't really need AWD for
There are several considerations. One is towing stability. Here in UK we
have a rule of thumb which says that, for good stability, the total weight
of the trailer shouldn't exceed 85% of the kerb (unladen) weight of the
towcar. So for a trailer weighing 3000 lbs, the unladen weight of the car
would need to be over 3500 lbs (1600 Kg). I don't know what the unladen
weight of an S60 is, but I doubt whether it's that much.
Car manufacturers often publish rather optimistic figures about what their
cars can tow - which ignore stability consideration and are based on the
ability to re-start on a specified gradient under ideal conditions.
Depending on how steep your launch ramps are, you could be really struggling
to pull your boat out of the water - exacerbated by adhesion problems with a
front-wheel-drive car on a wet ramp. You may find it marginally easier to
fit a towball to the *front* of the car for boat recovery purposes, and then
reverse the car up the ramp. At least the hitch download would then *assist*
adhesion, but it depends to some extent on the relative gearing of reverse
vs first gear. You'd also run more risk of getting the engine wet (and salty
if it's seawater).
I tend to agree with the poster who suggests maybe finding another way of
towing the boat on the odd occasions when you need to, rather than using the
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