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Towing and Caravan Topics A forum for all towing/caravanning related topics

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With or without a towbar

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Old Feb 14th, 2018, 13:01   #1
Bristoldoug
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Default With or without a towbar

Hi all - I need some advice please.
Im looking at buying a V70 or more likely a XC70 D5 and wanted peoples thoughts. I need it to tow a small 2/3 berth caravan not sure of exact weight as yet.

Would you buy a used car with the tow bar already fitted (my fear is that for the price im prepared to pay (3-5K) im looking a a high mileage vehicle - and if it has tow bar already fitted it may have been used for extensive towing. So was thinking about buying a car without and having a towbar fitted independantly. Now ive seen cars advertised as having Towbar preparation - and read articles about it meaning the car has a bigger radiator and had ECU already adjusted. So what are the pitfalls of fitting a towbar without the preparation bits? I don't envisage extensive towing myself - maybe 4 or 5 trips a year and no more than 1K milage per year towing.

Thoughts appreciated.
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Old Feb 14th, 2018, 14:10   #2
Baxlin
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Can't really see a definite answer, for instance I've put towbars on several cars in the past, but did little towing, it was mainly for cycle racks, so having no effect on the car.

But, and it's a big but, I always took the tow bar off before I sold the car, as selling it separately part funded the next one, and I reused the electrics.

So there's no guarantee that a car without a towbar hasn't had one on, particularly if it's, as you described, "towbar ready".
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Old Feb 14th, 2018, 22:39   #3
Tannaton
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Id buy with tow bar if there is a suitable one, will save the cost of fitting. Other than trailer electrics there is no other towing preparation on the D5. (For 5 cylinder petrol engines a auto gearbox oil cooler kit is available for hot climates). I would spend the money you save on a gearbox oil change.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2018, 18:48   #4
dped
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I had a 03 plate v70 176k on the clock manual 163bhp remap 193bhp pulling 1400kg van. Pulled the caravan a treat a little moor twitchy then the big Isuzu Trooper we used, but the engine on the Volvo was far better. Flew up hills and good fuel economy too. The only problem I started to have was the DMF started to show signs of been on the way out. I would not worry to much about having a towbar fitted already mine did plus could be simply pulling a trailer esp if the ball paint has not been scrubbed by the alko hitch. Just go for the lowest mileage you can afford and you should be fine for loads of trouble free Holidays. I would stick with manual on the P2's despite the DMF problems after many miles driven with caravan. It was more likely down to the high miles the car had done and the P2 auto's gave more trouble. Now got the newer shape XC just hope it's half as good, still went with manual but understand the newer auto's are better if serviced properly.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2018, 22:53   #5
HDAV
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Make sure towbar is correctly fitted and electrics all work before buying. Depending on age of car depends on what software may be needed for towing functionality to work properly. If it has genuine tow bar great if it has aftermarket be wary. May not have had the software or proper electrics fitted

Not an issue for pulling. 4 trailer to the tip but for a caravan even a small one could have an impact. Make sure it has dual or 13pin if using it for a caravan (also means was likely hauling a van before hand)
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