XC70 Utility/Micro-RV Build
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    1. #1
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      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 177K on it, and I've done quite a bit of work in that time.

      Done so far:
      • Oil Change (Immediately after purchase)
      • Drain/Refill Transmission Fluid
      • Drain/Refill Coolant
      • Air Filter
      • Cabin Air Filter
      • Spark Plugs
      • New Windshield Washer Nozzles
      • Replaced Gas Door Hinge (Would flap around while cornering, did not latch)
      • Engine Upper Torque Mount
      • Transmission Torque Mount
      • Timing Belt / Water Pump / Serpentine Belt
      • Replaced Haldex AOC Pump (AWD not working)
      • Cleaned and Lubricated Keylock Shifter Cable
      • Interior Cleanup
      • Plasti-Dip Rear Badges
      • PCV Service/Replacement
      • GROM Bluetooth Audio Adapter
      • IPD Skid Plate
      • IPD Strut Bar Poly Bushing Kit
      • IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts
      • IPD Silicone Intercooler Tubing
      • Steel Mesh Behind Upper Grill



      What's Next?
      • Steel Mesh Covering Lower Radiator Opening
      • Performance Parts Sweden Quick Struts Assembly
      • Lower Control Arms
      • IPD Sway Bar End Links
      • IPD DEM Cover
      • IPD Rear Toe Rods
      • Volvo Auxiliary Lighting Kit w/ Hella 500FF
      • Upgrade Front Bulbs w/ Hella High Performance Bulbs
      • Upgrade to Air Horn
      • High Performance Brakes (Largest rotors I can fit in 16" wheels)
      • Auxillary Transmission Cooler
      • Clean or Replace Front Headlight Assemblies
      • Repair or Replace Headlight Washer High Pressure Pump
      • Paint Wheel Lugs Black
      • Oil Catch Can
      • 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.
      Last edited by josephku; 04-27-2016 at 12:33 AM.
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

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    3. #2
      Junior Member Tatanka's Avatar
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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.
      Volvoless for the time being. Current '08 ACURA MDX 210k miles, a mountain goat but not a Volvo

    4. #3
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tatanka View Post
      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...
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

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    6. #4
      Member Antherzoll's Avatar
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      Auxiliary transmission cooler and big brakes are missing from your list.

      Very interesting idea. How much do you expect this all to weigh?
      2005 XC70 Crystal Green | Hilton | 16T | 110k mi

    7. #5
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Antherzoll View Post
      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?
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    8. #6
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      You already know I'm locked in.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      2004 XC70 2.5T AWD | 149K | Bad Swede 52mm Lift Kit | Sparco Terras BFG KO2s in 225/70r16 | IPD Strut Brace Conversion | IPD Skid Plate | IPD DEM Cover | AEM Dryflow Air Intake 2015 V60 R-Design | Sapphire Black Metallic | 44K | KPAX GT Performance Exhaust | IPD Rear Sway Bar | Powerflex Race Torque Mount Inserts

    9. #7
      Member Hounddogger's Avatar
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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?
      Exponents kill
      Elsa my 2004 V70R Silver Metallic&Nordkap >π Miles
      Link to thread: wafflesv70r on Instagram Unofficial R part catalog and maintenance interval spreadsheet.

    10. #8
      Are you going to modify the roof line?

    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by ProlixArgon View Post
      Are you going to modify the roof line?
      I hope so! Wouldn't be much of an RV with the current one.
      2004 XC70 2.5T AWD | 149K | Bad Swede 52mm Lift Kit | Sparco Terras BFG KO2s in 225/70r16 | IPD Strut Brace Conversion | IPD Skid Plate | IPD DEM Cover | AEM Dryflow Air Intake 2015 V60 R-Design | Sapphire Black Metallic | 44K | KPAX GT Performance Exhaust | IPD Rear Sway Bar | Powerflex Race Torque Mount Inserts

    12. #10
      Member Antherzoll's Avatar
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      No experience with but Level10 claims to build a bulletproof AW55 for a whopping $3300

      http://www.levelten.com/Level_10_PTS...1800-3000s.htm
      2005 XC70 Crystal Green | Hilton | 16T | 110k mi

    13. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by josephku View Post
      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.
      2004 XC70 2.5T AWD | 149K | Bad Swede 52mm Lift Kit | Sparco Terras BFG KO2s in 225/70r16 | IPD Strut Brace Conversion | IPD Skid Plate | IPD DEM Cover | AEM Dryflow Air Intake 2015 V60 R-Design | Sapphire Black Metallic | 44K | KPAX GT Performance Exhaust | IPD Rear Sway Bar | Powerflex Race Torque Mount Inserts

    14. #12
      Have you seen the TopGear Africa Special? :P
      2002 S60 2.4T AWD Silver/Charcoal [145K-179K] Totalled
      2003 XC70 2.5T AWD Silver/Charcoal [180K] Ceramic Pads, XeMODeX DIM, Dipped Cladding - The Wagon
      2004 S80 2.5T AWD Crystal Green Pearl/Light Sand [230K] Factory Bi-Xenon, Depo Fog Lamps, CrossDrilled+Slotted, Ceramic Pads, 50K on newer 14T

    15. #13
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      XC70 Utility/Micro-RV Build

      Quote Originally Posted by ProlixArgon View Post
      Are you going to modify the roof line?
      No, this is a Micro RV - it needs to remain stealthy and efficient.


      Quote Originally Posted by Young Satchel View Post
      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.
      Last edited by josephku; 04-26-2016 at 09:27 AM.
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    16. #14
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    17. #15
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Racer_S View Post
      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.
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    18. #16
      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.

    19. #17
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by ProlixArgon View Post
      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.
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    20. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by josephku View Post
      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!
      2004 XC70 2.5T AWD | 149K | Bad Swede 52mm Lift Kit | Sparco Terras BFG KO2s in 225/70r16 | IPD Strut Brace Conversion | IPD Skid Plate | IPD DEM Cover | AEM Dryflow Air Intake 2015 V60 R-Design | Sapphire Black Metallic | 44K | KPAX GT Performance Exhaust | IPD Rear Sway Bar | Powerflex Race Torque Mount Inserts

    21. #19
      Holy sh*t this is going to be awesome! Will you also have a library?


    22. #20
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by freedomfries View Post
      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?
      Last edited by josephku; 04-26-2016 at 04:24 PM.
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    23. #21
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      For all of you who are curious about the weight of this project, I've added everything I can think of to my list, which is available here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

      This spreadsheet induces full water tanks, full toilet waste tanks, rear cargo box, full size spare, etc. The added weight to the vehicle will be 449.6 lbs according to these calculations. This leaves 640.4 lbs for cargo and passengers.

      I will also be adding weight reductions to this list, as the larger rear seat section will be removed.
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    24. #22
      Quote Originally Posted by josephku View Post
      Also, does anyone know how large I can go with my tires without making it turn like a boat or rub?
      Check out Young Satchel's thread. I think he's running 215/70 without any problems

    25. #23
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      Quote Originally Posted by freedomfries View Post
      Check out Young Satchel's thread. I think he's running 215/70 without any problems
      Correct. My wheels have a wider offset so I can occasionally induce rub on big bumps with a full load but other than that I've had no problems with this size. I'll be going up a size (or more) on my next set. You can run 225/70r16s on this car with a little finagling
      2004 XC70 2.5T AWD | 149K | Bad Swede 52mm Lift Kit | Sparco Terras BFG KO2s in 225/70r16 | IPD Strut Brace Conversion | IPD Skid Plate | IPD DEM Cover | AEM Dryflow Air Intake 2015 V60 R-Design | Sapphire Black Metallic | 44K | KPAX GT Performance Exhaust | IPD Rear Sway Bar | Powerflex Race Torque Mount Inserts

    26. #24
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Young Satchel View Post
      Correct. My wheels have a wider offset so I can occasionally induce rub on big bumps with a full load but other than that I've had no problems with this size. I'll be going up a size (or more) on my next set. You can run 225/70r16s on this car with a little finagling
      Wouldn't having a wider offset help prevent rubbing? Or does the wider offset cause more travel in the wheel/tire?

      I'll probably end up getting 215/70R16 to start, I still have lots of miles to put on the Michelin tires that came on the car, so I have time to decide anyway. How are the Cooper Discoverer AT3 with fuel economy? That's my main concern of going to AT tires.


      Also, does anyone have any recommendations on fluid for the Rear Differential and the Angle Gear?
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    27. #25


      This was my car stripped down last weekend. The rear is extremely easy to pull apart. Not a lot of space is gained pulling it apart.

      Haha, I'm a skeptic, but only a benign one.

    28. #26
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by ProlixArgon View Post

      This was my car stripped down last weekend. The rear is extremely easy to pull apart. Not a lot of space is gained pulling it apart.

      Haha, I'm a skeptic, but only a benign one.
      Definitely not much gained at all, most of the under floor space will be gained by not having seating for the 2 right-most rear passengers. Instead I will have a 1/2" floor over that area level with the rear deck, which gives me space for electronics and batteries. The water tank will also be located in that area or replacing the spare tire, that has not been decided yet.

      I know this project sounds crazy haha, it is a little crazy. But I'm sure if I remove the spare tire I can fit the water tank, it's not that big.
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    29. #27
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      I finished the mesh for the upper grill, looks nice and most importantly will prevent rocks and branches from coming in to contact with my radiator.
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    30. #28
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      Trying to remove rear seat backrest, are these wires for the seat belts / SRS system?

      Is there any harm in unplugging them? And, can I run the car with it unplugged without throwing codes?

      Thanks guys, the help is appreciated.
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    31. #29
      Member Hounddogger's Avatar
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      Car will throw a code.
      Exponents kill
      Elsa my 2004 V70R Silver Metallic&Nordkap >π Miles
      Link to thread: wafflesv70r on Instagram Unofficial R part catalog and maintenance interval spreadsheet.

    32. #30
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Hounddogger View Post
      Car will throw a code.
      I was afraid of that, is there anyway to run the car without the rear seats in with no codes?

      What exactly is this for, it doesn't look like the seat belts have anything going to them...
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    33. #31
      Member Antherzoll's Avatar
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      Remove all the electronics from the seat and hide them somewhere.
      2005 XC70 Crystal Green | Hilton | 16T | 110k mi

    34. #32
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Antherzoll View Post
      Remove all the electronics from the seat and hide them somewhere.
      Yeah I was thinking that, I just want the ability to put the seats back in if I ever need to carry more people.

      I'm guessing you need to disconnect battery before unplugging?
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    35. #33
      Member Antherzoll's Avatar
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      I'd say remove all the electronics from a junkyard seat, but I think the OWS is codes to the vehicle, not exactly sure. I know VIDA mentions something about it.
      2005 XC70 Crystal Green | Hilton | 16T | 110k mi

    36. #34
      Junior Member josephku's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Antherzoll View Post
      I'd say remove all the electronics from a junkyard seat, but I think the OWS is codes to the vehicle, not exactly sure. I know VIDA mentions something about it.
      Alright I'll try taking a look at VIDA.
      2006 XC70 (195K) - Silver/Black | IPD Skid Plate | IPD Subframe Bushing Inserts | Micro-RV Build
      2004 S80 T6 (126K-148K) - Black/Black - RIP

    37. #35
      Quote Originally Posted by josephku View Post
      What exactly is this for, it doesn't look like the seat belts have anything going to them...
      Hello and welcome to #justvolvothings

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