Towing a trailer

Towing a trailer  - Starting and driving - Volvo XC90 Owners Manual - Volvo XC90

The maximum weights recommended by Volvo for trailers with brakes are shown in the table below.

Recommended hitch tongue load: not more than 10% of the trailer's weight. The trailer load should be positioned so that it does not shift and the tongue load should be 10% of the trailer's weight. However, the tongue load should not exceed the maximum permi

Points to keep in mind when towing a

Points to keep in mind when towing a trailer

Х When towing trailers without brakes, the maximum permissible trailer weight is 1,700 lbs (750 kg).
Х If necessary, redistribute the weight of any cargo in the trailer to avoid excessive weight on the trailer hitch.
Х The maximum trailer weight listed in the table for All Wheel Drive models, 5,000 lbs (2250 kg) is only applicable when there are not more than two occupants in the vehicle, in the front seats, with a combined weight of 300 lbs (135 kg), with no other cargo in the vehicle.
Х The maximum weight listed for Front Wheel Drive models, 4,000 lbs (1800 kg) is only applicable when there are not more than four occupants in the vehicle, in the front seats and second row of seats, with a combined weight of 600 lbs (270 kg), with no other cargo in the vehicle.
Х Vehicles used for towing a trailer on a regular basis, or for long-distance highway towing should be equipped with an automatic transmission oil cooler and Volvo's automatic self-leveling system for the rear suspension. Consult your Volvo retailer.
Х Volvo recommends the use of Volvo trailer hitches that are specially designed for the vehicle.
Х All Volvo models are equipped with energy-absorbing shock-mounted bumpers.

Trailer hitch installation should not interfere with the proper operation of this bumper system.
Х Increase tire pressure to recommended full inflation pressure. See chapter "Wheels and tires."
Х When your vehicle is new, avoid towing heavy trailers during the first 620 miles (1,000 km).
Х Engine and transmission are subject to increased loads. Therefore, engine coolant temperature should be closely watched when driving in hot climates or hilly terrain.

Use a lower gear and turn off the air conditioner if the temperature gauge needle enters the red range.
Х If the automatic transmission begins to overheat, a message will be displayed in the text window.
Х Hauling a trailer affects handling, durability, and economy.
Х It is necessary to balance trailer brakes with the towing vehicle brakes to provide a safe stop (check and observe state/local regulations).
Х Do not connect the trailer's brake system directly to the vehicle's brake system.

Х Remove the ball and drawbar assembly when the hitch is not being used.
Х Volvo recommends the use of synthetic engine oil when towing a trailer over long distances or in mountainous areas.

Х When parking the vehicle with a trailer on a hill, apply the parking brake before putting the gear selector in P. When starting on a hill, put the gear selector in D before releasing the parking brake.
Always follow the trailer manufacturer's recommendations for wheel chocking.
Х If you use the manual (Geartronic) shift positions while towing a trailer, make sure the gear you select does not put too much strain on the engine (using too high a gear).

Х Bumper-attached trailer hitches must not be used on Volvos, nor should safety chains be attached to the bumper.
Х Trailer hitches attaching to the vehicle rear axle must not be used.
Х Never connect a trailer's hydraulic brake system directly to the vehicle brake system, nor a trailer's lighting system directly to the vehicle lighting system. Consult a trained and qualified Volvo service technician for correct installation.
Х When towing a trailer, the trailer's safety wire must be correctly fastened to the hole or hook provided in the trailer hitch on the vehicle. The safety wire should never be fastened to or wound around the drawbar ball.


If your vehicle is equipped with automatic leveling, the rear suspension always retains the correct ride height regardless of the load.

Х The system adjusts the rear suspension to the correct level after the vehicle has been driven a short distance.
Х When the vehicle is stationary, the rear suspension lowers, which is normal.

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