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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
XC70 Utility/Micro-RV Build Thread

2006 XC70 Utility/Micro RV Build

How It Started

I purchased this 2006 XC70 shortly after my S80 was totaled. I looked all over New England for 2006-2007 XC70s with black interiors, and ended up finding this one in Falmouth, MA with 169K on it. The initial inspections looked good, but not perfect. The car seemed to need a PCV service and a couple small interior repairs. I ended up buying the car and getting to work on getting everything running smooth. My plans for this car from day one have been a micro RV with off-road capability.

Current State

Now the car has 236K on it, and I've done quite a bit of work in that time.

Done so far:
  • All Maintenance Items
  • Replaced Gas Door Hinge (Would flap around while cornering, did not latch)
  • Replaced Haldex AOC Pump (AWD not working)
  • GROM Bluetooth Audio Adapter
  • IPD Skid Plate
  • IPD Strut Bar Poly Bushing Kit
  • IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts
  • IPD Silicone Intercooler Tubing (regretted that)
  • Steel Mesh Behind Upper Grill
  • Full Front Suspension Refresh
  • Full Cooling System Refresh
  • Auxiliary Battery System with Isolator
  • Communications Equipment (Ham Radio, CB, etc.)
  • Volvo OEM 2" Receiver
  • Custom Wood Cabinet in Rear Cargo Area (Micro RV)
  • Custom Wood Bed Frame (Micro RV)


What's Next?
  • Steel Mesh Covering Lower Radiator Opening
  • Lower Control Arms - Done
  • IPD Sway Bar End Links
  • IPD DEM Cover
  • IPD Rear Toe Rods
  • Volvo Auxiliary Lighting Kit w/ Hella 500FF - Done
  • Upgrade Front Bulbs w/ Hella High Performance Bulbs - Done
  • Upgrade to Air Horn
  • High Performance Brakes (Largest rotors I can fit in 16" wheels)
  • Auxillary Transmission Cooler
  • Clean or Replace Front Headlight Assemblies - Done
  • Repair or Replace Headlight Washer High Pressure Pump - Done
  • Front-Mount Receiver (Researching)
  • LED Interior Lighting
  • High Current Alternator
  • Custom Front Bumper Skid Plate (1/4" Aluminum)
  • Custom Rear Bumper Skid Plate (1/4" Aluminum)
  • Custom Aluminum Receiver-Mounted Cargo Box (For full-size spare and recovery gear, also holds portable toilet)
  • Larger Size On/Off-Road Tires
  • Micro-RV Build (More information below)



Future Plans
I will slowly be working on this project, there is a lot of design that goes into this. I plan to have a cargo box for the emergency essentials and extra storage, I'm also going to be adding more skid plates / protection for off-road adventures. While working on this I will also be working on the Micro RV portion of the project, which includes running water, completely isolated electrical system (Until car starts, then it will begin charging off alternator), off-grid power capability (solar/wind), comfortable bed for one, a TV, and an electric cooler (Goes down to 30*F)

Below I have some 3D models / renders of the cargo box design and the Micro RV design. I originally designed this around a 240/740/940 however it is easily adapted to a P2 wagon. There will be seating for 3 people including the driver (left-most rear seat stays in). The major differences will be the lack of a wood seperator between the driving compartment and living area, and the bed will be on the floor with thicker padding.


Cargo box design, approx. 48 inches wide - Designed to hold a full size spare, portable toilet, and recovery gear.







Micro RV design


I will be adding more design information and pictures as time goes on, stay tuned.
 

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Interesting. I have a few friends from my backpacking travels that have done this with minivans and SUVs. One was a Marine carpenter and upholster.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Interesting. I have a few friends from my backpacking travels that have done this with minivans and SUVs. One was a Marine carpenter and upholster.
A minivan would be nice for this, just not my cup of tea. I'm sure the carpentry skills helped with that.

I'm going to be making the main cabinet this weekend most likely. I still need to figure out a material for the floor and where to put house batteries...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Auxiliary transmission cooler and big brakes are missing from your list.

Very interesting idea. How much do you expect this all to weigh?
Yes big brakes definitely need to go on there. And is the stock transmission cooler not good enough for this kind of thing? It would be good transmission insurance anyway.

I did a weight calculation a while back I'll need to dig that up. But it was around a 180-250 lbs increase, depending on materials.


By the way, is anyone aware of any shift kits or reputable companies that can rebuild the AW55 beefier?
 

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You already know I'm locked in.


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Toss the proparts struts and LCA bushings. Go OEM. Yeah get a trans cooler and bigger brakes. Also the oil catch can is redundant... Do the springs when you do the struts. Lesjofors is OEM. Maybe add nivomats to the rear?
 

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I did a weight calculation a while back I'll need to dig that up. But it was around a 180-250 lbs increase, depending on materials.
I fail to see how such a minimal weight increase is possible. Are you building everything out of aluminum and carbon fiber?

Maybe I'm vastly overestimating the scope of the project but between the skid plates, cargo box, hitch mounts, and the most basic "RV" elements you're already up against that limit and then some without even introducing gear.
 

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Have you seen the TopGear Africa Special? :p
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Are you going to modify the roof line?
No, this is a Micro RV - it needs to remain stealthy and efficient.


I fail to see how such a minimal weight increase is possible. Are you building everything out of aluminum and carbon fiber?

Maybe I'm vastly overestimating the scope of the project but between the skid plates, cargo box, hitch mounts, and the most basic "RV" elements you're already up against that limit and then some without even introducing gear.
Materials are still not 100% decided but aluminum will be used quite a bit. The weight estimate is strictly the interior RV elements, taking into consideration water, electronics, batteries, fridge, etc.

The skid plates may add around 50 lbs, the cargo box I'm not sure on the thickness yet but that will effect weight. The cargo box is expected to be very light, around 65-85 lbs. I'm sure the weight will go a little higher than originally planned, but I have a lot of overhead.

Additionally, the wood separator shown in the renders will not be in the XC70, and the counter tops are not actually going to be made from granite.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Have you seen the TopGear Africa Special? :p
Yes I have, I'll admit it was an inspiration to do this, although I had the designs around.

Hopefully I'll be making something a little more professional lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Having spent last weekend swapping out the interior in my XC, I don't understand how you would have space workout modifying the roof.

The realm of micro-RV is one I know nothing about, but space feels like it would be an issue.
I know it seems like nothing will fit, and the batteries are being moved from their original position. But if I have the rear cargo box with a full size spare I can remove the donut and have the batteries, tanks, etc. in there. The fridge is very small, and the counter is only 11-12 inches off the floor I believe.

So yes, it will be tight, but not awful. Definitely not the RV for more than one person or people who like lots of space.
 

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Materials are still not 100% decided but aluminum will be used quite a bit. The weight estimate is strictly the interior RV elements, taking into consideration water, electronics, batteries, fridge, etc.

The skid plates may add around 50 lbs, the cargo box I'm not sure on the thickness yet but that will effect weight. The cargo box is expected to be very light, around 65-85 lbs. I'm sure the weight will go a little higher than originally planned, but I have a lot of overhead.

Additionally, the wood separator shown in the renders will not be in the XC70, and the counter tops are not actually going to be made from granite.
Well, skepticism aside, you certainly have my interest. I'll stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Holy sh*t this is going to be awesome! Will you also have a library?
Unfortunately no library. But you reminded me, I plan on using the front passenger seat folded down with a top on it to make a table. More space is always good.

Also, does anyone know how large I can go with my tires without making it turn like a boat or rub?
 
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