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Paul90125

Nose weight query

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Is there a way to “predict” a caravan’s nose weight from it’s MRO? My guess is there isn’t. Here’s why i’m asking.  I go to pick up my brand new caravan soon. It’ll be from the manufacturer, so I’ll have put nothing in it. I guess when I get it I’ll put a battery in and two gas bottles. Then i’m off. So, before hitching i’ll check the nose weight. What do I do if this initial nose weight is more than the recommended nose weight for my car (75 kg)? Should I take some “ballast” in my car when I pick up the caravan?

 

 

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You could ask the dealership to check the present noseweight. If you provide make and model details somebody may also be able to advise

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The short answer is "no, there is no way to predict noseweight". Some caravans have a very low ex works noseweight, others well in excess of the towbar's or car's limit. If you are picking your new caravan up from a dealer and you have concerns, why not give him a call and ask whether he can measure the noseweight before you leave home. That way, you would know whether you may need to bring some ballast.

When I picked mine up from the dealer about 200 miles away, it had a very low noseweight, probably around 25kg for a caravan with a MIRO of about 1450kg. I just took it easy on the way back home and kept my speed down because I didn't have any ballast with me.

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One solution would be to take an empty wastemaster and/or aquaroll with you, then if ballast is needed ask the dealer to fill it with water for you.

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Good idea EasyT. Does anyone know what the noseweight is for a Lunar Cosmos 462, 2019.

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1 hour ago, Stevan said:

One solution would be to take an empty wastemaster and/or aquaroll with you, then if ballast is needed ask the dealer to fill it with water for you.

:goodpost: That's what we did when we picked ours up from the dealer. It was nose heavy though so ballast had to go towards the rear, we only had 50 Kg noseweight allowed on the car at the time. :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, Paul90125 said:

Good idea EasyT. Does anyone know what the noseweight is for a Lunar Cosmos 462, 2019.

Try this thread Paul.

 

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Although I suspect most of us have done so at some time, its not good practice to carry gas bottles in the car. I think its not a good idea to lie them down either.

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1 hour ago, Paul90125 said:

Good idea EasyT. Does anyone know what the noseweight is for a Lunar Cosmos 462, 2019.

Most caravan brands stopped publishing empty noseweight some years ago. The trouble is that they vary due to the variances in tolerance inherent in the materials used to build a van and it's fittings. In the same vein, published MRO should be checked as it can only be a rough guide.

The other problem with an empty noseweight is that it's of very limited use because as soon as you fit a battery, a mover, gas cylinders,  anything at all the noseweight is likely to alter.

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Posted (edited)

As said, the empty noseweight isn't really much use as you'll be loading the van anyway and changing it.

 

I have to put about 25kg of ballast towards the rear of my van when it's empty to get the nose weight right even though the gas cylinder is located just in front of the axle and the battery just behind. I put a plastic crate with two water carriers on the floor in front of the bathroom door. 

 

It's fine when it's loaded because I just shift stuff around but it cant be done when it's empty without ballasting it.

Edited by matelodave

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I have just bought a Buccaneer Commodore.  Buccaneers have very high nose weights.  I had a real struggle to get it down on my previous van, a Schooner, to the maximum allowed by my Jeep Commander (140kg).

Now most cars have a nose weight limit well below 140kg, indeed most are under 100kg max.  

When I picked up the Commodore the empty nose weight was 174kg with one full and one empty gas bottle at the front, but otherwise empty.  The Commodore max permitted nose weight is 150kg, so to tow it as it was would have been an offence as the caravan, car and towbar maximums are all well under the 174kg.

The only way I could get the actual nose weight to a safe and legal 135kg was to put the gas bottles over the cars rear wheels and put several heavy items such as the awning well behind the caravan axles.  This is far from ideal.  Putting weight behind the axles can cause instability and who wants gas bottles in their car, but I had no choice.  Beware anyone thinking of buying a Buccaneer.  Their nose weights can be well above the limits both for the van and most cars on the road.

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One factor that should not be ignored (although you could call me a cynic) is that manufacturers do not want to acquire a reputation for selling vans that are dangerously unstable straight off the forecourt, so they deliberately err on the high side with noseweight when empty to help ensure stability on the trip home. 

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1 hour ago, Dexterdobe said:

I have just bought a Buccaneer Commodore.  Buccaneers have very high nose weights.  I had a real struggle to get it down on my previous van, a Schooner, to the maximum allowed by my Jeep Commander (140kg).

Now most cars have a nose weight limit well below 140kg, indeed most are under 100kg max.  

When I picked up the Commodore the empty nose weight was 174kg with one full and one empty gas bottle at the front, but otherwise empty.  The Commodore max permitted nose weight is 150kg, so to tow it as it was would have been an offence as the caravan, car and towbar maximums are all well under the 174kg.

The only way I could get the actual nose weight to a safe and legal 135kg was to put the gas bottles over the cars rear wheels and put several heavy items such as the awning well behind the caravan axles.  This is far from ideal.  Putting weight behind the axles can cause instability and who wants gas bottles in their car, but I had no choice.  Beware anyone thinking of buying a Buccaneer.  Their nose weights can be well above the limits both for the van and most cars on the road.

We have the 2018 Cruiser, tow with a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and no issue with nose weight at 140kg.  We do not have the awning in the caravan preferring to carry it in a roof box.

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4 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

We have the 2018 Cruiser, tow with a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and no issue with nose weight at 140kg.  We do not have the awning in the caravan preferring to carry it in a roof box.

That is interesting.  I'm sure the nose weight will vary from model to model.   Our Schooner had an empty nose weight of 150kg.  I got that down to 135kg quite easily and kept the bottles in the front locker.

Many others have said that Buccaneer nose weights are very high and difficult to reduce.

As it happens the Commodore tows well even with the extra weight in the back so it isn't really an issue for me, but how many owners bother to check the nose weight on a new van.  I didn't when we got the Schooner and I towed it home illegally as a result.  I would have thought that having a heavy bed right at the back in the Commodore would lighten the nose weight, but apparently not.

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2 hours ago, Stevan said:

One factor that should not be ignored (although you could call me a cynic) is that manufacturers do not want to acquire a reputation for selling vans that are dangerously unstable straight off the forecourt, so they deliberately err on the high side with noseweight when empty to help ensure stability on the trip home. 

Maybe true today but it is much easier to add weight to the nose than remove it.

When we bought our first new caravan the noseweight with the caravan totally empty was exactly two (yes two) kilograms. When empty, by removing the jockey wheel the caravan would sit back on the rear steadies with its nose in the air! This setup was ideal as the caravan had a massive front external locker that easily swallowed a couple of 6kg gas cylinders, a spare wheel, the Aquaroll and waste container, levelling ramps and wheel clamps, and when the rest of the caravan was loaded normally the noseweight was still under 100kgs - perfik! :)

It was the prototype model of the 1988 Avondale Perle Olympus DD6 that had been displayed on the Earls Court stand that year prior to me buying it and as you can imagine, it towed like a dream.

Gordon.

 

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while i cant remember offhand what my vans noseweight is supposed to be (i think 70kg?) with it either loaded to mtplm or relatively lightly loaded, if i put it as 70 measured with a good hitch gauge it tows like a bag of spanners,  around 60kg seems to be the sweet spot for mine, although it obviously differs from outfit to outfit, although with a van rated at 1250kg, and a car with a kerb weight of 1280kg, i know mine is never going to be a particularly nice tow, and it pretty much never is, its stable, to a point, 55mph is the max though, if i get to 60 its a wobble box.

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51 minutes ago, clarkey1984 said:

while i cant remember offhand what my vans noseweight is supposed to be (i think 70kg?) with it either loaded to mtplm or relatively lightly loaded, if i put it as 70 measured with a good hitch gauge it tows like a bag of spanners,  around 60kg seems to be the sweet spot for mine, although it obviously differs from outfit to outfit, although with a van rated at 1250kg, and a car with a kerb weight of 1280kg, i know mine is never going to be a particularly nice tow, and it pretty much never is, its stable, to a point, 55mph is the max though, if i get to 60 its a wobble box.

There a is no doubt that a bit of extra nose weight aids towing stability, but they do seem to have gone bonkers with the Buccaneer range.  There really is no excuse for manufacturing a caravan where the empty nose weight can exceed the stated caravan A bar maximum and is heavier than most cars can legally cope with.

Remember that the Buccaneer is twin axle with every stability aid known to man, fitted.  Towing stability is very good even with a lot of weight well behind the wheels, but you need a lot of weight at the back to lower the nose weight to sensible levels.  Elddis really should design their caravans better.

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9 hours ago, Dexterdobe said:

There a is no doubt that a bit of extra nose weight aids towing stability, but they do seem to have gone bonkers with the Buccaneer range.  There really is no excuse for manufacturing a caravan where the empty nose weight can exceed the stated caravan A bar maximum and is heavier than most cars can legally cope with.

Remember that the Buccaneer is twin axle with every stability aid known to man, fitted.  Towing stability is very good even with a lot of weight well behind the wheels, but you need a lot of weight at the back to lower the nose weight to sensible levels.  Elddis really should design their caravans better.

:goodpost:

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9 hours ago, Dexterdobe said:

.........Elddis really should design their caravans better.

 

Tell me about it!! :angry:

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15 hours ago, Dexterdobe said:

That is interesting.  I'm sure the nose weight will vary from model to model.   Our Schooner had an empty nose weight of 150kg.  I got that down to 135kg quite easily and kept the bottles in the front locker.

Many others have said that Buccaneer nose weights are very high and difficult to reduce.

As it happens the Commodore tows well even with the extra weight in the back so it isn't really an issue for me, but how many owners bother to check the nose weight on a new van.  I didn't when we got the Schooner and I towed it home illegally as a result.  I would have thought that having a heavy bed right at the back in the Commodore would lighten the nose weight, but apparently not.

I am sure that the maximum tongue weight or towball load on the Jeep GC CRD 175kg so you would have been well within that figure unless the towbar fitted had lower specifications.  See page 281 of the owner's manual as below.

 

Trailer Towing Weights (Maximum Trailer Weight Ratings)
The following chart provides the maximum trailer weight ratings towable for your given drivetrain.
Engine/Transmission Max. GTW (Gross Trailer Wt.) —
with Trailer Brake
Max. GTW (Gross Trailer Wt.) — without Trailer Brake Tongue Wt. (See Note)
3.6L Gasoline 5,000 lbs (2 268 kg) 1,653 lbs (750 kg) 249 lbs (113 kg)
5.7L Gasoline 7,716 lbs (3 500 kg) 1,653 lbs (750 kg) 386 lbs (175 kg)
3.0L Diesel 7,716 lbs (3 500 kg) 1,653 lbs (750 kg) 386 lbs (175 kg)
Maximum trailer towing speed is limited to 62 mph (100 km/h) unless local laws require a lower speed.
NOTE:
The trailer tongue weight must be considered as part of the combined weight of occupants and cargo, and should never exceed the weight referenced on the Tire and Loading Information placard. Refer to “Tires – General Information” in “Starting and Operating” for further information.  Trailer And Tongue Weight
Always load a trailer with 60% of the weight in the front of the trailer. Loads balanced over the wheels, or heavier in the rear, can cause the trailer to sway severely side-to-side which will cause loss of control of vehicle and trailer.  Failure to load trailers heavier in front is the cause of many trailer accidents. Never exceed the maximum tongue weight stamped on your trailer hitch.  Consider the following items when computing the weight on the front/rear axles of the vehicle:
• The trailer tongue weight of the trailer.
• The weight of any other type of cargo or equipment put in or on your vehicle.
• The weight of the driver and all passengers.

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Posted (edited)

The information in Jeep's owner's manual seems to be in conflict with itself. On the one hand, they say that 60% of the weight of the trailer should be in the front of the trailer. This means that 10% (the difference to the trailer being in perfect equilibrium) should account for the 175kg maximum allowable noseweight. If 175kg is 10% then the trailer should never be heavier than 1750kg, not the 2268kg or 3500kg respectively that they quote as maximum towload.

 

Edited by Lutz

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Lutz said:

The information in Jeep's owner's manual seems to be in conflict with itself. On the one hand, they say that 60% of the weight of the trailer should be in the front of the trailer. This means that 10% (the difference to the trailer being in perfect equilibrium) should account for the 175kg maximum allowable noseweight. If 175kg is 10% then the trailer should never be heavier than 1750kg, not the 2268kg or 3500kg respectively that they quote as maximum towload.

 

As per the manual;

 

Trailer Tongue Weight (TW)
The TW is the downward force exerted on the hitch ball by the trailer. In most cases it should not be more than 5% of the trailer load. You must consider this as part of the load on your vehicle.

 

However as above I am wondering if they are referring to American trailers where the wheels are further back? 

 

Caravan manufacturers recommend as a guideline that the nose weight should not exceed 7% of the MTPLM.   In the case of the Buccaneer this is 140kg as the maximum MTPLM on any Buccaneer is 2000kg.

Edited by Durbanite

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12 hours ago, clarkey1984 said:

while i cant remember offhand what my vans noseweight is supposed to be (i think 70kg?) with it either loaded to mtplm or relatively lightly loaded, if i put it as 70 measured with a good hitch gauge it tows like a bag of spanners,  around 60kg seems to be the sweet spot for mine, although it obviously differs from outfit to outfit, although with a van rated at 1250kg, and a car with a kerb weight of 1280kg, i know mine is never going to be a particularly nice tow, and it pretty much never is, its stable, to a point, 55mph is the max though, if i get to 60 its a wobble box.

In what way is it "like a bag of spanners"?

With a "sweet spot" as light as 60Kg and stability only up to 55mph I have to wonder whether the car's suspension is the limiting factor.

What is the towbar limit for the car supposed to be and how many miles has the car done?

I would suggest getting the suspension checked out.

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27 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

As per the manual;

 

Trailer Tongue Weight (TW)
The TW is the downward force exerted on the hitch ball by the trailer. In most cases it should not be more than 5% of the trailer load. You must consider this as part of the load on your vehicle.

 

However as above I am wondering if they are referring to American trailers where the wheels are further back? 

 

Caravan manufacturers recommend as a guideline that the nose weight should not exceed 7% of the MTPLM.   In the case of the Buccaneer this is 140kg as the maximum MTPLM on any Buccaneer is 2000kg.

 

Now they are talking about 5% instead of 10%.

No doubt their advice is based on experience in North America and has limited relevance here on the other side of the Atlantic.

The 7% guideline is something out of the dim and distant past before maximum allowable noseweights were published and owners had nothing better to go by. Actually, it would be even better to exceed 7%, if it were technically possible to do so. Australian sources recommend 10%, but that is rarely achievable with the average towcar that we are most familiar with. A 4% noseweight limit (not actual) is the minimum that the manufacturers must provide. This means that 2000kg caravans can be, and actually are quite often being towed by vehicles with an 80kg noseweight limit.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

Now they are talking about 5% instead of 10%.

No doubt their advice is based on experience in North America and has limited relevance here on the other side of the Atlantic.

The 7% guideline is something out of the dim and distant past before maximum allowable noseweights were published and owners had nothing better to go by. Actually, it would be even better to exceed 7%, if it were technically possible to do so. Australian sources recommend 10%, but that is rarely achievable with the average towcar that we are most familiar with. A 4% noseweight limit (not actual) is the minimum that the manufacturers must provide. This means that 2000kg caravans can be, and actually are quite often being towed by vehicles with an 80kg noseweight limit.

Would there be any difference if the vehicle had air suspension as they make the Jeeps with and without air suspension.  We have a very comfortable tow with nose weight at about 145kg taking into consideration the state of many British roads.

Just in case I have again checked the owner's manual and it states "Always load a trailer with 60% of the weight in the front of the trailer."  They are referring to the load in the trailer and as we all know that can be adjusted.

Not sure about where you get that 10% etc?

Edited by Durbanite

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