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Everything posted by Lutz

  1. That’s a bit far fetched. As if an inch or two up or down is going to make a noticeable difference. There is no laminar airflow under the caravan - far too much uncontrollable turbulence. What goes on in the exposed frontal area of the caravan above the roof of the towcar is much more important. I’m surprised no-one has mentioned lateral compliance of the X-Trail’s rear suspension or the aspect ratio of its tyres. To me that would be the first thing that comes to mind after the obvious. Possible lack of dampers on the caravan are another item.
  2. Yes indeed. If noseweight is too low it can even turn negative at higher speeds.
  3. If you say it makes a difference then you will surely be able to explain why. I have not yet come across an explanation that stands up to reason.
  4. Without any opportunity to carry out a first hand investigation it’s almost impossible to give the OP a categorical answer because there are so many possible variables. One can only suggest measures that have helped others in the past, but they may not necessarily apply in his case. We don’t even know whether his caravan is fitted with dampers, for example.
  5. Water, by virtue of its much higher density than air, has a much greater effect already at lower speeds, so you can’t compare a boat with a caravan. Besides, because of turbulence caused by the towcar ahead and the complex configuration of the caravan chassis, airflow under the caravan is anything but laminar. Because the exposed frontal area of the caravan is above roof level of the towcar the same will happen (decreasing noseweight) if the caravan is nose down.
  6. When I was a boy I once inserted a couple of meat skewers in a very old looking socket on the terrace at my grandparents’ place just to see whether it was still connected to the power supply. I shot from one side of the terrace to the other 🙂
  7. That’s right, David. One shouldn’t jump to conclusions that international standards and agreements are always an EU thing.
  8. A big box like a caravan doesn’t behave like an aerofoil section so one can’t draw any conclusions from that. Besides, caravans are normally towed at speeds well below those of an aircraft where aerodynamics play an important part. Noseweight is reduced at speed not because of airflow underneath, but because of the large exposed frontal area above the roof of the towcar.
  9. Why? How can the attitude of the caravan affect stability? Please explain the reasoning behind your statement. Of course, if you set the noseweight when the caravan is level and then raise the hitch to a nose up position it can affect stability, but then the noseweight wasn’t set correctly in the first place.
  10. So long as the noseweight is set correctly nose up or down is irrelevant.
  11. I can’t quite see why it should be criminal or why anyone should get killed unless they do something silly like removing their own plug and the sticking bare wires in the socket - but I’ve even seen that done. It would seem fairly obvious to me that if the plug doesn’t fit you need an appropriate adapter.
  12. BS1363 is a UK standard just like each and every country has its own standards. To commonise throughout the EU would involve enormous costs for relatively little benefit. It’s a lot cheaper to make do with adapters should the need arise. Having said that, for low power dual insulated equipment that doesn’t need an earth, the flat two pin Euro plug works almost everywhere and the two pin plug with earth, as pictured in Borussia’s photo is becoming increasingly common in Southern Europe, too. It has long been the standard in Northern Europe.
  13. Most appliances on the Continent also have single pole switching only despite the plugs being reversible, but they will all be double insulated.
  14. If you need a 2 pin plug adapter like the one pictured above make sure it is a universal one that can also be used in France as their earth is by means of a female third pin connection rather than the reversible double connections at the side that they have elsewhere. Often two pin plugs will accommodate both styles, but not always.
  15. If you are passing through Switzerland on your way to Italy you may need a Swiss adapter which is different again. We did at the campsite near Lucerne a couple of weeks ago, but they loaned us one against a deposit.
  16. The MTPLM may have changed during year of manufacture. There is no reason why all 2002 caravans should have the same MTPLM.
  17. Presumably only if the towball is removable. I‘d be too scared to try it on a fixed or retractable one in case I might inadvertently burn the paint on the rear bumper.
  18. In most countries other than the UK one can temporarily register the caravan and obtain corresponding temporary plates. Such temporary registration does not have to be in the same country as where the towing vehicle is registered. Temporary registration normally includes automatic third party insurance coverage for a limited time. For example, German yellow temporary plates (as opposed to red export plates) are valid for 5 days. I don't know what the position is in other countries.
  19. Many caravan chassis don’t have parallel sections of frame, but the A-frame continues in a straight line to the rear corners with outriggers to the front steadies.
  20. Maybe it’s different for other trailers, but in most cases the A-frame of a caravan is part of the chassis frame, extending from the hitch to the rear corners.
  21. Are you sure? A 2800kg chassis (the A-frame is part of the chassis) would require twin axles because there is no AlKo single axle rated that high. If the next size down is 1600kg this would mean that a 1700kg caravan would require a 2800kg chassis. Besides, as 1700kg is well within the limits of a single axle it would also mean that the 2800kg chassis must be designed to accommodate both single and twin axles, which I find hard to believe.
  22. My experience is that the German police on the whole take a pragmatic approach to compliance with the rules and will accept minor transgressions without further action. It's the TÜV and consorts which tend to dot the I's and cross the T's.
  23. May I make a slight amendment to your above reply by changing the term 'plated' MTPLM to 'allocated' MTPLM, because the plated value is the statutory one, the allocated value is what is shown on the NCC label? The plated MTPLM is not arrived at by adding the payload to the MIRO.
  24. The hitch may be capable of a higher hitch load than the A-frame. That would explain a lower figure for Axle 0 than what is shown on the hitch itself, so it's unlikely that it could be uprated.
  25. I was referring to the hitch limit which is of course on the caravan itselft's the one on the caravan. The car doesn't have an Axle 0. The definitive noseweight limit for the car will only be found on the type approval plate on the towbar.
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