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With my daughter turning 13 and me realizing that she will only be coming to our lake house maybe five more summers before going off to college (and likely not wanting to spend the summers with us any more) we decided it's time to buy a bowrider/runabout boat to enjoy as a family. Nothing big -- likely 16'-18', either outboard or stern drive, and most certainly used.

The extent of any towing I would likely do would be to take it from the marina (or our garage, if it fits) to the water and back a couple of times a year (we'll leave it moored while we're there). So it would be only a few times per year and probably not more than ten miles in any direction.

I've done some research looking up my car's tow limits but am hoping I can tap into the experience of anyone who has towed boats with their V60.

I've got a 2015.5 V60 with the drive-e engine and a class 3 hitch installed w/ a 2" receiver for my bike rack, but don't currently have any wiring installed.

Based on the owner manual, the maximum load for a trailer without brakes is 1,650 lbs, and with brakes 3,300 lbs. Maximum tongue weight is supposed to be 165 lbs.

It looks like the size of the boats I'm looking at will be at or over the 1,650 lb weight limit, which I expect means I'll need a trailer with brakes.

Has anyone had experience trailing a boat of this approximate size? Do boat trailers for boats like the ones I'm interested come with trailer brakes, or can they be retrofitted? Does the Volvo wiring harness allow for trailer brakes or are they only for lighting? I'm assuming if the tongue weight is too high I could just pile some sand bags or something in the boat behind the rear axle of the trailer to make it lighter up front, or would that create a handling issue with the boat/trailer combination?

Also, how does one figure the total weight of the boat and trailer since I'll be buying used? I know I can take it to a truck scale, but I don't want to drive it there if I don't know if it's too heavy.

Thanks to the collective hive for any knowledge!
 

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I have towed my 19' sailboat (total weight with trailer around 1000 pounds) a number of times and the car handled perfectly. However, it just absolutely destroyed the gas mileage. Driving 60mph, I got a whopping 20mpg with a car that normally gets in the mid 30s driving considerably faster than that.
 

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FWIW, I towed an enclosed U-Haul trailer (over) loaded with stuff when we moved back when I had the V50 with the T5 and it performed like a champ. I'd say I was towing more than 1650 lbs.
 

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I have towed my 19' sailboat (total weight with trailer around 1000 pounds) a number of times and the car handled perfectly. However, it just absolutely destroyed the gas mileage. Driving 60mph, I got a whopping 20mpg with a car that normally gets in the mid 30s driving considerably faster than that.
You should have lowered the sail.
 

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I'm pulling a race car (85 Civic EP auto-x) on an aluminum trailer equipped with electric brakes. The race car and trailer together weigh 2300 lbs. I'm using a class three hitch, a Curt 7 blade RV wiring harness and a Curt Echo Bluetooth controller brake controller. I also have leveling air bags that I am going to install in place of the rear bump stops. My car is lowered on Eibach springs. I also fabbed the bracket for the receptacle on the 7 blade.

When my front pads are gone I plan to upgrade the rotor size for better braking, though it works OK now.

I looked into using the Volvo trailer module, but there is not a specific one for the car (V60) in the US market and the dealer could not verify that if I did buy one that they could get the software to load correctly or work as intended. I've read others have done it, but my car does not have the parking sensors so I can live without it. You do gain trailer sway control if you can get it to work, or so I have read.

I used the Curt Echo brake controller because I could not find a decent place to mount a traditional unit and because I didn't want to lay on my head to get to the brake pedal wires or have any issues with warranty because I cut the wiring harness. I've had the car at the dealer for a warranty issue and have already been asked if the cars harness was cut for the trailer harness. I have a CPO vehicle, so that's something I have to factor in.

Here is the link for the controller:
https://www.curtmfg.com/news/curt-launches-first-ever-mobile-bluetooth-brake-control
The harness I used is a plug-in type with no cutting/splicing. You have to run a power line to the battery and connect to ground on the chassis. I ran the power wire under the car rather than rip up the interior and find a firewall pass thru. There are multiple rubber plugs in the back that you can feed the wire thru.

The Brake controller uses the accessory power on the harness to activate the trailer brakes. I wired it directly to the battery and used a 30amp quick reset circuit breaker in the line.
 

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And to answer your direct questions:
The Volvo trailer module does not control trailer brakes.
E-Trailer.com is probably the best place to ask about your brakes. I know you can buy brake assemblies, but I have no idea if they can be retrofitted to your trailer.
 

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If you’re only going tow the boat 10 miles once or twice a year at beginning and end of the season, another option is just rent a truck at Home Depot or u haul for a few hours.


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We have an unbraked 5x10 utility trailer (~730# empty) and tow it multiple times a year loaded well in excess of 1650# with a variety of garden related things like yard debris, topsoil, cedar chips and, on occasion, gravel. We've never had a "moment" when we felt we were in danger but we only operate locally at reduced speeds and with increased following distances. My guess is if you operate with similar care, you shouldn't have issues, particularly if you install trailer brakes.

Thanks to Stampermann for posting the link to the Curt controller. We will look into this.

Also, FYI, when we installed our Curt plug & play wiring we took our power off the under-trunk fuse box instead of running a wire from the battery.
 
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