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Tow Hitch Weight Dilema


Bungee
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Hi all

Loads of talk on how to correctly load a van and how important reaching the desired tow hitch weight is. ....... now how's this for fun!

 

I just EMPTIED my van for a trip to the dealers for its service, I left in the Kampa air 400 awning (30kg ish) pushed right at the front, on taking the nose weight with a recognised scale ( sorry can't remember the make) I find that it is about 75kg. This I would say is a little low as I usually like to tow with over 85kg. Both car and van max hitch load is 100kg.

 

So what's wrong. .....

1. Hitch weight to low

2. Van packed incorrectly with all additional loose weight at front NOT over axle.

 

What would it be like completely empty? Myself I'm not sure, but I will weigh it when I collect it. Is it best to tow with incorrectly loaded belongings or not enough hitch weight?

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Posted on another thread but relevant to noseweights when towing:-



'My Lunar is a tad twitchy when emptied for service. The noseweight is then only about 65kg. Not a problem on the 40 mile drive to the garage on the roads that I use. I drive accordingly.



When I travelled empty except for battery and gas bottles to Alde at Wellingborough from near Chester I added additional weight in front locker with two packs of 30 diet cokes and some additional stuff in boxes in front of 'van. A 160 mile journey and probably 75% motorway. Didn't want a 'tad twitchy' for that!'



I normally am happy with 85kg or over on the nose when caravan laden (1500kg MPTLM).


Alan

 

2005 Nissan X-trail 4WD diesel and Swift Charisma 540 2012 Lunar Clubman ES  2018 Lunar Clubman ES

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Vans are rarely towed completely empty. Even when having just been collected they generally have a battery and one or two gas cylinders on board and quite possibly a mover fitted too. All of those items can be of notable weight and might make a difference to the noseweight.

 

In fact probably the only time they're towed completely empty is if they're unlucky enough to be the tail end Charlie on a delivery truck.

 

In general terms, because a fully loaded van gives plenty of opportunity for load position adjustment, the empty noseweight is of little relevance. In cases where the van is lightly loaded then some ballast to gain a decent noseweight will save you from a skittish ride.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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Unless you happen to tow a twin in which case the noseweight is probably around 130KG and the manufacturer says that 'this is normal for an end bathroom twin' and suggest that you put weight in the rear to balance it :(

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Yes ok so when I say empty it did have a battery and gas cylinder in, these are both carried fairly central near axle so make little difference to the nose weight.

When the summer comes I will investigate further with loading but at present it appears they are very front light.

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I had to completely empty my van for warranty work at the factory.

 

I mean empty. Curtains out, toilet out,mattress bunks, table, wheelbrace, steady winder, jack etc. If you turned the van upside down nothing would have fallen.

 

Noseweight measured at 90kg!!

 

Towed beautifully the 182 miles back from the factory.

Freelander 2 chased by a 2011 Unicorn Valencia

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I find all this talk of lightweight / heavyweight nose on our caravans fascinating but unless the contributors tell us which van (make, model and year) they are talking about the comments, to a certain extent, are meaningless to the rest of us.

Edited by Vanning Man
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I find all this talk of lightweight / heavyweight nose on our caravans fascinating but unless the contributors tell us which van (make, model and year) they are talking about the comments, to a certain extent, are meaningless to the rest of us.

All but one contributor to this thread have shown their vans under their user name. How, exactly, are the comments meaningless?

 

Nose weight is nose weight regardless the make, model or year of the caravan / trailer and has to be managed with weight before, upon or after the axle.

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