Volvo XC90 + (r-pod/minnie drop/similar)
We're a family of three (20 month toddler) and have been thinking about towing a travel trailer since our daughter was born pre-covid. Mainly because we've been avid tent campers for years, but with a kid in the picture, figured a trailer would provide the comfort necessary.
And it did, we rented a few travel trailers this summer and enjoyed the experience. We're now researching purchasing one for ourselves and I wanted to lay out the plan so we can get some comments and feedback.
Our tow vehicle is a 2017 Volvo XC90, self leveling air suspension, tow rating of 5000lbs (tongue weight at 500lbs). I didn't find too many mentions of the XC90 here so I thought I'd start a thread. The car isn't compatible with WDH, and does come with built in Trailer Stability Assist. As such, we've been towing our rentals as-is, keeping at 55mph using a Tekonsha Prodigy RF brake controller (mounted on our rentals using a temporary platform) and have been comfortable with the setup.
My goal has been to keep the trailer under 3500lbs pounds fully loaded (dry weight under 3000lbs). Our rentals included the r-pod 180, r-pod 178, and Winnebago Minnie Drop that all fell in that ballpark. With a 13% weight on the hitch, it remains below our 500lbs limit.
Since we're traditionally tent campers, we travel very light. Most of our stuff fits in the boot of the tow vehicle (and outdoor camping gear is in a Thule roof box) so we have a low chance of blasting too far past the dry weight. We've also practiced using CAT scales, to confirm we're below all the required ratings for each vehicle and combined.
I realize that most towing, at least in the US, is done with trucks but we really enjoy the ride and comfort of the XC90, and the trips into cities/national parks we do with the trailer parked in the campground. We would be happier downsizing the travel trailer before switching to a different tow vehicle.
After this lengthy background, my questions really are:
- Is my ballpark trailer size/weight for the models I mentioned earlier a good one to target for my tow vehicle? If not, what are other recommendations?
- Does anyone else have experience with towing with unibodies that aren't compatible with most hitch hardware in traditional use, and do you have any tips?