XC90 Tow Bar - options?
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    1. #1
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      XC90 Tow Bar - options?

      Hi There
      We are traveling to Sweden next week to go "pick up" our 2019 XC90. We do want to install a tow hitch so that we can attach a bike rack to the back. I've been looking at different options and they seem to be all over the place.

      My dealer quoted $405 + 10% Tax + $380 in labor = ~$825.50

      The European delivery center is only able to install one specific model for the US market and is quoting 8,400 SEK (about $930) which includes labor to install.

      Do these options seem reasonable? It seems that tow options for the Volvo are more expensive than other car brands. Am I missing anything? Any other suggestions?

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    3. #2
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      Search for posts on this topic. I believe there are five options in the US:

      1. OEM (pokes through bumper cover)
      2. Invisihitch (detachable, but may be out of business)
      3. Stealth Hitches (detachable)
      4. Draw-Tite (mounts below bumper)
      5. Curt (mounts below bumper)
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    4. #3
      Junior Member Dragon*Volvo's Avatar
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      I opted for OEM as it attaches to the car and wanted something that is designed by Volvo and works with their crumple zones/safety tech. I hate the fact that it doesn't sit flush with the bumper. There must be some reason for it as rest of the car is exquisitely designed.
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    6. #4
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      Is this the dealer installed hitch? I've seen a few XC90's in my area with this same type of cut out and hitch. If so, it's pretty bad. I wish they offered a legit integrated hitch option like many of the other luxury brands.
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    7. #5
      Junior Member Dragon*Volvo's Avatar
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      One that is port installed comes with a plastic cover and looks slightly better than one in picture.
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    8. #6
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      I have the factory hitch. Wish the cutout was more elegant. Though the hitch cover does its job. The bigger issue for me is the lack of clearance on the left of the hitch that prevents use of many locking hitch pins.
      2016 Black XC90 R Design with B&W, 4C, tow, climate, convenience, Polestar

    9. #7
      Junior Member Dragon*Volvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by huntpsu1 View Post
      The bigger issue for me is the lack of clearance on the left of the hitch that prevents use of many locking hitch pins.
      Good point. What pin did you go with?
      2019 XC90 T6 Momentum with Polestar

    10. #8
      Junior Member Nickshu's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dragon*Volvo View Post
      Good point. What pin did you go with?
      I modified a standard pin by drilling out the pin hole to a larger diameter which allows a long typical padlock to pass through it on the left side. This is the only way I could figure out how to make a locking hitch pin fit in the limited space on the OEM hitch. This works for my trailer ball but my Thule bike rack has a screw-in pin and I still have not figured out a way to lock it in place, there is definitely not enough room for the Thule lock to fit on the left side. I looked into cutting more bumper material out on the left side (which would be hidden by the cover when the hitch is not in use) but the "kick sensor" for the power rear hatch is mounted right there next to the left edge of the factory hitch cutout.
      Last edited by Nickshu; 11-28-2018 at 06:31 AM.
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    11. #9
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      If you want the euro hitch, you can probably find a dealer to install it for you but it'll have the 13 pin connector so you'll want to pick up a euro bike rack while you're at it.

      Here are the parts that are needed: 31454828, 31454603, 31454165, 31412054, 30644822 + op no: 89208 89204 EU trailer hitch*, it's around 1100 Euro installed.

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    12. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dragon*Volvo View Post
      Good point. What pin did you go with?
      Sort of a compromise. When I travel to the beach I have a luggage rack. I use a locking pin that has a swivel clip on the left end to attach a pad lock. It does not have the stability of a screw in pin however, so the rack can jostle a bit.

      For my Yakima bike rack, I use the screw in pin to provide for a tighter fit between the bike rack and hitch so as to prevent the bikes from moving as much. However this type of pin precludes use of any lock as the pin extends too far into the left side of the bumper. As I don't typically leave this attached overnight, I don't worry about a lock.
      2016 Black XC90 R Design with B&W, 4C, tow, climate, convenience, Polestar

    13. #11
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      Thanks guys. I ended up going with the stealth hitch. They had 20% off Black Friday deal, which coupled with installing it on my own is the most cost efficient solution while also being the best one aesthetically.


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    14. #12
      Junior Member GatorVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by abdulj View Post
      Thanks guys. I ended up going with the stealth hitch. They had 20% off Black Friday deal, which coupled with installing it on my own is the most cost efficient solution while also being the best one aesthetically.
      I took the same deal. Shipping was fast and I haven't installed it yet. However, I was disappointed that the Stealth Hitch design is not the Invisihitch 2.0 design with the extended rail. I had followed the other threads here regarding the Invisihitch redesign and the legal issue between Invisi and Stealth. I was expecting the Stealth hitch to be the modified design - I didn't find any detailed pictures on the Stealth Hitch website.

      -->> Correction to above <<--
      The Stealth Hitch design does leave the extended rail. In fact, it installs a narrower rail behind the OEM rail. The mounting of the Stealth Hitch rail bumps out the OEM rail by about 3/8". This wasn't obvious to me when I initially opened the box.
      Last edited by GatorVolvo; 12-06-2018 at 06:33 PM.

    15. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by huntpsu1 View Post
      I have the factory hitch. Wish the cutout was more elegant. Though the hitch cover does its job. The bigger issue for me is the lack of clearance on the left of the hitch that prevents use of many locking hitch pins.

      Can you post any pictures of yours? I looked up the kit on the volvo accessory site and it shows the cover, but only in the instructions. There are no decent pictures of it that I can see on the actual vehicle.
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    16. #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Dragon*Volvo View Post
      Good point. What pin did you go with?
      We have the Thule T2 Pro with +2 extension for 4 bikes. It uses an expander piece that helps to tighten it up in the receiver and a “stingray” pin that secures it. We also have a Yakima for our trailer that will work (but not meant for vehicles with tailgates as its fixed/doesn’t fold and intended for use on RVs) that can lock from either side. There are lots of options that will work with the Volvo tow bar. Thule should all work (it’s also Volvo’s OEM for their bike/ski accessories and at least on our 2010 XC90 for the tow bar as well - I’ve not noticed if 2017’s tow bar is Thule).

      SoftRide bike carriers will also work, if I recall correctly can be screwed in from either side depending on how you set it up. The default is from the right so it isn’t a problem out of the box.

      This is what the hitch looks like with T2 Pro installed.



      We had ours installed by the FDC. It will include the tow module for the price they quoted you (not sure if your dealer included that in their quote). If you will tow, it’s great to have as it adds Trailer Stability Assist which controls for trailer sway and modifies DSTC to aid with the trailer. It provides for other features including the wiring harness and ability to run light checks, disable BLIS and backup sensors, etc. The kit includes the cover to use when you don’t have an accessory or trailer attached.
      Last edited by VolvoUhu; 11-29-2018 at 08:50 AM.
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    17. #15
      Member drmanny3's Avatar
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      I looked at the Curt Hitch, Draw Tight Hitch, as well as the OEM. I ended up going with the Draw Tight hitch. I did the install myself and it was relatively painless. The hitch comes out at the bottom of the bumper and does require a small cut out, but one you cannot see. It is approximately 13 inches from the ground. I use a bike carrier that comes from Performance Bike in the US. It has the smaller 1 1/4 connector but also comes with a shell that allows it to fit the standard hitch. It also comes with a lock and a device that securely locks it in the hitch as well as prevents movement. Works very nicely. The Draw Tight also has an option that is a lock plus a movement preventing pin. The Draw Tight required the least amount of bumper removal to attach and goes under the OEM bumper structure. The cost for the hitch was about $130 and the model number is 76194 It works with both the XC90 and the XC 60. It does not require drilling into the frame. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luawRmVROLU I did not remove the entire bumper but only the lower half. That made it a bit easier. While I initially purchased a aftermarket 4 pin trailer connector, I eventually purchased the OEM 7 pin connector plus the trailer module. I installed those myself and then had the software installed by an independent shop. Not counting my time I spent about $130 for the hitch, $45 for the aftermarket 4 pin connector (for sale now) I got the OEM wire harness and module for around $180 on eBay. Software was around $150. I also purchased the lock pin for the hitch at around $35. Add my time and it cost a fortune. I'm happy though. How fun to be picking your car up at the Factory. Best of luck

      https://pix.sfly.com/M2jyXJ

      Last edited by drmanny3; 11-28-2018 at 10:09 AM.
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    18. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by ND40oz View Post
      If you want the euro hitch, you can probably find a dealer to install ...
      I think the issue with the Euro hitch in the US is that it does not provide connection points for the required safety chains.
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    19. #17
      Member drmanny3's Avatar
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      Here are a couple more pictures with a bike rack that I acquired via Performance Bike. I also added a hitch device that lifts the unit as well as extends the distance a bit. It allowed me to add the bikes and not set off the bumper sensors.
      https://pix.sfly.com/gW5XvW







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    20. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by skibo View Post
      I think the issue with the Euro hitch in the US is that it does not provide connection points for the required safety chains.
      Right, but it doesn't matter if you're just using it for a bike rack.
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    21. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by abdulj View Post
      Hi There
      We are traveling to Sweden next week to go "pick up" our 2019 XC90. We do want to install a tow hitch so that we can attach a bike rack to the back. I've been looking at different options and they seem to be all over the place.

      My dealer quoted $405 + 10% Tax + $380 in labor = ~$825.50

      The European delivery center is only able to install one specific model for the US market and is quoting 8,400 SEK (about $930) which includes labor to install.

      Do these options seem reasonable? It seems that tow options for the Volvo are more expensive than other car brands. Am I missing anything? Any other suggestions?
      I paid ~$1200 for dealer installed OEM hitch without wire.. So I think that's a reasonable price.

    22. #20
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      I installed the same hitch last Sunday that I got from Amazon Warehouse Deals for 60 bucks. The price made the lower bumper removal a non issue for me.

    23. #21
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      Quote Originally Posted by drmanny3 View Post
      I looked at the Curt Hitch, Draw Tight Hitch, as well as the OEM. I ended up going with the Draw Tight hitch. I did the install myself and it was relatively painless. The hitch comes out at the bottom of the bumper and does require a small cut out, but one you cannot see. It is approximately 13 inches from the ground. I use a bike carrier that comes from Performance Bike in the US. It has the smaller 1 1/4 connector but also comes with a shell that allows it to fit the standard hitch. It also comes with a lock and a device that securely locks it in the hitch as well as prevents movement. Works very nicely. The Draw Tight also has an option that is a lock plus a movement preventing pin. The Draw Tight required the least amount of bumper removal to attach and goes under the OEM bumper structure. The cost for the hitch was about $130 and the model number is 76194 It works with both the XC90 and the XC 60. It does not require drilling into the frame. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luawRmVROLU I did not remove the entire bumper but only the lower half. That made it a bit easier. While I initially purchased a aftermarket 4 pin trailer connector, I eventually purchased the OEM 7 pin connector plus the trailer module. I installed those myself and then had the software installed by an independent shop. Not counting my time I spent about $130 for the hitch, $45 for the aftermarket 4 pin connector (for sale now) I got the OEM wire harness and module for around $180 on eBay. Software was around $150. I also purchased the lock pin for the hitch at around $35. Add my time and it cost a fortune. I'm happy though. How fun to be picking your car up at the Factory. Best of luck

      https://pix.sfly.com/M2jyXJ

      How did you manage to install only removing the lower half of the bumper? Is there a video for that?

    24. #22
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      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyOgGMaB7ZU

      Do NOT use electrical tape !

    25. #23
      Member drmanny3's Avatar
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      3M Electrical tape won't remove the paint. I used electrical tape the first time I popped the lower bumper. I have also used blue paint tape that definitely will not remove the paint. I did not have to remove the foil heat shield. All I had to do was bend it a bit in place once I had the hitch connected. What was tricky was separating the bumper pieces. The small tabs are not easy to see. However, once I found the first one then all you have to do is measure a similar distance along the seam and find the next button to depress. What was not easy was in the center of the bumper there is a key that fits through the two tabs. You need to reach inside and pull it out. So ideally you have a helper to hold things while you are separating the bumper pieces. That is the worst of it. I strongly recommend two people do the dismantling.
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    26. #24
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      Quote Originally Posted by drmanny3 View Post
      3M Electrical tape won't remove the paint. I used electrical tape the first time I popped the lower bumper. I have also used blue paint tape that definitely will not remove the paint. I did not have to remove the foil heat shield. All I had to do was bend it a bit in place once I had the hitch connected. What was tricky was separating the bumper pieces. The small tabs are not easy to see. However, once I found the first one then all you have to do is measure a similar distance along the seam and find the next button to depress. What was not easy was in the center of the bumper there is a key that fits through the two tabs. You need to reach inside and pull it out. So ideally you have a helper to hold things while you are separating the bumper pieces. That is the worst of it. I strongly recommend two people do the dismantling.
      LOL I guess my electrical tape was "old" or something. Had a roll of blue masking tape right next to it ! You are dead on about having a helper and I didn't need to modify my heat shield either. Since the inside of the cover is pre-scored it made cutting it much less intimidating. A forked trim removal tool made the two wire holder grommets a breeze.

    27. #25
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      XC90 Thule Bike Rack Pin Issue

      Quote Originally Posted by Nickshu View Post
      I modified a standard pin by drilling out the pin hole to a larger diameter which allows a long typical padlock to pass through it on the left side. This is the only way I could figure out how to make a locking hitch pin fit in the limited space on the OEM hitch. This works for my trailer ball but my Thule bike rack has a screw-in pin and I still have not figured out a way to lock it in place, there is definitely not enough room for the Thule lock to fit on the left side. I looked into cutting more bumper material out on the left side (which would be hidden by the cover when the hitch is not in use) but the "kick sensor" for the power rear hatch is mounted right there next to the left edge of the factory hitch cutout.
      Any luck on a solution for screw-in pin to be locked? I have the same issue and need to address it soon. Thanks

    28. #26

      Found a great Locking Hitch Pin Solution

      So I had the local dealer install their "OEM" hitch and it proved a nightmare as many have posted about being able to attach a Locking Hitch Pin. Like many I revisited my dealer and discussed options, and of course the only option was "none". However, I did convince them to open the space a bit more near the left side of the hitch; the lift-gate sensor side.

      I was able to find a locking hitch pin that fits perfectly and I feel completely safe using while towing. The only modification to the locking hitch pin I made was to in effect shorten the overall length using Grade-8 washers placed on the right side of the hitch pin, so that the left side hitch pin was a bit further away from the lift-gate gate sensor.

      Its a tight fit with the washers, however one could use only 1 washer; I chose 2 washers to be extra safe. Oh by the way, this forum also discussed why or how to prevent the lift-gate from opening while attaching or removing a hitch pin. I contacted Volvo USA and their recommendation was to leave your key fob inside the car and this prevents accidental lift-gate opening...it works!

      Back to locking hitch pin. I use Trimax TRA3 with 2 Grade-8 washers.

      Attachment 62447

      Hitch 3.jpg
      Last edited by Whodathunkit; 06-23-2020 at 10:57 AM. Reason: need add photo

    29. #27
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      Hey how much did the dealer charge for the whole thing?

      I got these quotes: $2650, $2600, $2100 from three separate dealers in the bay area. My only need is to carry my 50 lbs+ e-bike to trail parking lots in the 50 miles range around my home. The price seems a bit ridiculous. The parts itself is quoted online as $1320 for the whole kit. The rest is all labour quote. Its seriously high for a job that should take a net of less 30mins to 1 hour for an experienced professional.

    30. #28
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      Things have changed since this thread was started. The Volvo hitch are all the drop down type that fold up under the body and have a release button in the truck similar to the old Euro version. Those prices are high for labor in my area, but I gladly don't live in an area that everyone knows exactly what you mean when you say "bay area" =-D

      You can get 3rd party systems that simply bolt up under the car... for just a rack the local shop I point people to generally would be around $300 with no wiring, perhaps double that for the bay area?
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    31. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by SDspeed View Post
      Search for posts on this topic. I believe there are five options in the US:

      1. OEM (pokes through bumper cover)
      2. Invisihitch (detachable, but may be out of business)
      3. Stealth Hitches (detachable)
      4. Draw-Tite (mounts below bumper)
      5. Curt (mounts below bumper)
      Any reason the new volvo tow hitch that drops down can't be installed on a 90?

    32. #30
      Member Gary-16-Xc90's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Custos View Post
      Any reason the new volvo tow hitch that drops down can't be installed on a 90?
      Volvo now offers the OEM foldable hitch on MY16-21 XC90s




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