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Confusion about noseweight


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I have a eldis of 1665 Max weight  of outfit and a BPW hitch which has a 150 KG nose weight also the LR has a LR towbar at 150 KG , so I never bothered much about nose-weight until I actually checked it and to my mind I thought I was 90 and in reality it was 110 , I balanced it out to get around 90 -92 kg what difference it makes when towing , even the IDC on the caravan rarely kicks in now where before on bumpy tracks it was working over time 

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Most people establish the nose weight of their van as usually packed for a trip. Unless you wildly change what you are carrying, and you re-pack your caravan in a known way as most of us do, there is

Reading this post which started with a simple question, it's no wonder a newbie can get confused looking at towing weights, train weights etc, but what does shout out is a manufacturer gives a tow bal

When unladen some caravans have a noseweight well in excess of the towbar limit, others have almost zero noseweight. It’s always a matter of adjusting to suit.

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Another comment from me based on experience is that the maximum noseweight specified by the car manufacturer doesn't mean the car will sit nice and level at that.  Ours has a 110kg limit and even at 95-100kgs it sags noticeably at the rear.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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2 hours ago, Buck5555 said:

I have a eldis of 1665 Max weight  of outfit and a BPW hitch which has a 150 KG nose weight also the LR has a LR towbar at 150 KG


Maybe the hitch has a 150kg limit, but does the caravan chassis also have the same?

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16 minutes ago, Lutz said:


Maybe the hitch has a 150kg limit, but does the caravan chassis also have the same?


Winterhoff WS3000D caravan and trailer anti-snake stabiliser hitch. Replaces the existing coupling and effectively reduces the effects of snaking and swaying. This anti-snaking stabilizer can be retrofitted to all types of caravan & trailer from 200kg to 3000kg, a maximum nose load of 150kg and with a maximum shaft diameter of 50mm.

 

so both car and hitch 150 kg  but I run at 90 

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2 hours ago, GaryB1969 said:

Another comment from me based on experience is that the maximum noseweight specified by the car manufacturer doesn't mean the car will sit nice and level at that.  Ours has a 110kg limit and even at 95-100kgs it sags noticeably at the rear.

That may have something to do with the height of the towball on your car?

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16 minutes ago, Buck5555 said:


Winterhoff WS3000D caravan and trailer anti-snake stabiliser hitch. Replaces the existing coupling and effectively reduces the effects of snaking and swaying. This anti-snaking stabilizer can be retrofitted to all types of caravan & trailer from 200kg to 3000kg, a maximum nose load of 150kg and with a maximum shaft diameter of 50mm.

 

so both car and hitch 150 kg  but I run at 90 

 

Yes, but you haven't said what the chassis noseweight limit is. Hitches normally have a 150kg limit, but the chassis to which it is fitted 100kg, so 100kg is what counts.

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16 minutes ago, daveat92 said:

That may have something to do with the height of the towball on your car?


No, it’s the suspension bring extremely soft, common with V90’s apparently and probably why assisted suspension can be ordered on a new car. Unfortunately none of the aftermarket suspension manufacturers do assistance kits for the V90.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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I have used These  to great effect on my Mazda 6 estate to lessen the back dropping when hitched up, they work a treat and they are cheap and easy to fit. 

 

You need to measure the the gap between the spring coils with no weight being carried by the suspension in order to buy the correct size. 

Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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49 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

Yes, but you haven't said what the chassis noseweight limit is. Hitches normally have a 150kg limit, but the chassis to which it is fitted 100kg, so 100kg is what counts.

It says on the chassis plate nose weight 150kg  along with axle weight limits , on the hitch it’s says 150 and in my LR book it says 150 , so I guess it’s 150 , why would BPW fit on a BPW chassis a tow hitch that does not match the chassis capability ? 

34 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

I have used These  to great effect on my Mazda 6 estate to lessen the back dropping when hitched up, they work a treat and they are cheap and easy to fit. 

 

You need to measure the the gap between the spring coils with no weight being carried by the suspension in order to buy the correct size. 

You put these in to bolster the rear of the vehicle ? 

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27 minutes ago, Buck5555 said:

why would BPW fit on a BPW chassis a tow hitch that does not match the chassis capability ? 


It saves having to make two versions of the hitch, one for a 100kg chassis and another for the 150kg, AL-KO adopt the same practice.

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On 02/10/2020 at 18:51, cmma01 said:

Does anyone know the noseweight of the Adria Altea 542 UK?

The doors of confusion in my brain are all now open!  Thanks for all the various replies, particularly the ones that brought the thread back on topic!

 

Somebody mentioned that caravans, as such, don't have a noseweight - yet due our 'useless' towcar (!) I have now been looking at other options - the lightweight 900 kg Freedom vans for one.  Their 2020 brochure states that all of their caravans  have a maximum noseweight of 70 kg.   So this manufacturer appears to have assigned a noseweight to their caravans.  Or am I misunderstanding what this means?   Does this number refer to the unladen van's own vertical weight on the towball when it's simply attached to the car?................ OR is it referring to the maximum safe/allowable downward weight at the towbar end when loading the van, meaning that you can reduce it or increase it by repositioning your luggage?......Yes I really am that confused!

 

I can see, by reading through this thread, that the industry needs to make all this much clearer for the less experienced, particularly the 'advised/recommended' versus the 'legal'.  Too many different weight specifications to understand as well.  The pre-calculated MTPLM ratings have made it a bit simpler than it used to be, but it looks like it's still possible to have a rig that SEEMS to be a match - eg:  my example of our Toyota Verso 1.8 V-Matic  towing an Adria Altea 542UK.  It appeared that the car's towing capacity of 1300 matched the 1300 kg MTPLM of the van, yet the noseweight  limit of 55kg for the car seems to move it into an illegal or unsafe rig even though we have a towbar that allows for a higher max vertical load weight of 60kg .  Presumably the car number overrules the towbar number in terms of limits.

 

So if caravans in their unladen state do have a noseweight as such, does anyone know what the Adria Altea 542 UK's number is?  And if I've completely misunderstood noseweights and caravans, please do give me a simple explanation.   I thought I'd started to understand earlier in the thread and then some people had different views and I lost the plot.  Sorry.

 

 

Edited by cmma01
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32 minutes ago, cmma01 said:

The doors of confusion in my brain are all now open!  Thanks for all the various replies, particularly the ones that brought the thread back on topic!

 

Somebody mentioned that caravans, as such, don't have a noseweight - yet due our 'useless' towcar (!) I have now been looking at other options - the lightweight 900 kg Freedom vans for one.  Their 2020 brochure states that all of their caravans  have a maximum noseweight of 70 kg.   So this manufacturer appears to have assigned a noseweight to their caravans.  Or am I misunderstanding what this means?   Does this number refer to the unladen van's own vertical weight on the towball when it's simply attached to the car?................ OR is it referring to the maximum safe/allowable downward weight at the towbar end when loading the van, meaning that you can reduce it or increase it by repositioning your luggage?......Yes I really am that confused!

The coupling on the caravan will usually be marked with the maximum static load for which it is designed.  Most of them are marked 100 Kg but could easily be 70 Kg for a lightweight caravan.

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15 minutes ago, DACS said:

The coupling on the caravan will usually be marked with the maximum static load for which it is designed.  Most of them are marked 100 Kg but could easily be 70 Kg for a lightweight caravan.

Ah - sounds like this weight number for the caravan refers to the maximum weight of stuff I can safely load into the empty caravan.  If that's correct, then if could keep the loaded items (gas, awning, luggage, food, etc) to no more than 55kg, could I legally tow a caravan with an MTPLM of up to 1300 kg with my 1300 kg towing capacity Toyota car?

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56 minutes ago, cmma01 said:

The doors of confusion in my brain are all now open!  Thanks for all the various replies, particularly the ones that brought the thread back on topic!

 

Somebody mentioned that caravans, as such, don't have a noseweight - yet due our 'useless' towcar (!) I have now been looking at other options - the lightweight 900 kg Freedom vans for one.  Their 2020 brochure states that all of their caravans  have a maximum noseweight of 70 kg.   So this manufacturer appears to have assigned a noseweight to their caravans.  Or am I misunderstanding what this means?   Does this number refer to the unladen van's own vertical weight on the towball when it's simply attached to the car?................ OR is it referring to the maximum safe/allowable downward weight at the towbar end when loading the van, meaning that you can reduce it or increase it by repositioning your luggage?......Yes I really am that confused!

 

I can see, by reading through this thread, that the industry needs to make all this much clearer for the less experienced, particularly the 'advised/recommended' versus the 'legal'.  Too many different weight specifications to understand as well.  The pre-calculated MTPLM ratings have made it a bit simpler than it used to be, but it looks like it's still possible to have a rig that SEEMS to be a match - eg:  my example of our Toyota Verso 1.8 V-Matic  towing an Adria Altea 542UK.  It appeared that the car's towing capacity of 1300 matched the 1300 kg MTPLM of the van, yet the noseweight  limit of 55kg for the car seems to move it into an illegal or unsafe rig even though we have a towbar that allows for a higher max vertical load weight of 60kg .  Presumably the car number overrules the towbar number in terms of limits.

 

So if caravans in their unladen state do have a noseweight as such, does anyone know what the Adria Altea 542 UK's number is?  And if I've completely misunderstood noseweights and caravans, please do give me a simple explanation.   I thought I'd started to understand earlier in the thread and then some people had different views and I lost the plot.  Sorry.

 

 

Sorry to keep spinning this same wheel but, would you look in your cars manual and see if it states recommended or max noseweight? Personally I am only limiting my noseweight based on caravan hitch limit as this is the lowest of all “limits” I can find. 

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4 minutes ago, cmma01 said:

Yes halifaxdan.  As stated in my original posting, my car has a recommended max limit of 55kg

😂😂 please don’t do that. I can’t believe there is now a third option of recommended_max limit. 😂😂😭

Edited by halifaxdan
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1 hour ago, cmma01 said:

 

Somebody mentioned that caravans, as such, don't have a noseweight - yet due our 'useless' towcar (!) I have now been looking at other options - the lightweight 900 kg Freedom vans for one.  Their 2020 brochure states that all of their caravans  have a maximum noseweight of 70 kg.   So this manufacturer appears to have assigned a noseweight to their caravans.  Or am I misunderstanding what this means?   Does this number refer to the unladen van's own vertical weight on the towball when it's simply attached to the car?................ OR is it referring to the maximum safe/allowable downward weight at the towbar end when loading the van, meaning that you can reduce it or increase it by repositioning your luggage?......Yes I really am that confused!

 

This 70 kg is most likely the maximum that the nose weight should be when towing, not the actual weight as it will come out of the factory. The actual weight will depend on what is put in the caravan by the owner and any extras by the maker. As an example, our caravan has in the hand book maximum hitch weight 150 kg, when I collected it new from the dealer the actual nose weight was 63 kg with the battery installed. Our car has a maximum tow hitch download weight 75 kg, the tow bar is above this so I adjust things in the caravan to get about 75 kg - this was easily achieved by removing the spare wheel from under the caravan and putting it inside on the floor at the front.

 

What I would do in your case is to get the caravan that suits you, put up with the less than ideal car max nose weight of 55 kg and then when you next change cars go for one that allows a higher nose weight. Every time we change cars I always go for one that improves on the towing ability of the previous ones which has always meant getting one heavier and the last 2 with self levelling suspension.

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40 minutes ago, Paul1957 said:

This 70 kg is most likely the maximum that the nose weight should be when towing, not the actual weight as it will come out of the factory. The actual weight will depend on what is put in the caravan by the owner and any extras by the maker. As an example, our caravan has in the hand book maximum hitch weight 150 kg, when I collected it new from the dealer the actual nose weight was 63 kg with the battery installed. Our car has a maximum tow hitch download weight 75 kg, the tow bar is above this so I adjust things in the caravan to get about 75 kg - this was easily achieved by removing the spare wheel from under the caravan and putting it inside on the floor at the front.

That's really helpful Paul1957.  Thank you.  Amazing what simple language can achieve, bearing in mind my ageing brain cells!  

 

So would our best plan be  to match the max caravan and car nose weights - ie: to load the caravan so that the downward weight is 55 kg to match the car's 55 kg?  It sounded like you moved your spare wheel to make the front end heavier - yes? 

 

It seems that the towbar maximum weight is overruled by the car if the car's is a lower figure, and only becomes relevant if the car can take more weight but the towbar can't.  Having said that, most towbar manufacturers match their product to the specific car don't they so that's only  likely if someone had some cheap universal fit towbar fitted.

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7 minutes ago, cmma01 said:

It seems that the towbar maximum weight is overruled by the car if the car's is a lower figure,

There are three figures relating to car / tow hitch :-

Cars weight limit 

Tow bars weight limit

Tow ball weight limit. 
 

whichever one is the lowest value is the one you should not exceed 

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On 02/10/2020 at 19:39, PaulR said:

The only advice I could suggest is maybe check with Toyota if the 55kg limit is due to the car fixing or the towbar limit or if your in luck maybe the suspension which can be fitted with assistance. 

If nothing can be improved I think you would need to look for a much lighter caravan.

 

Toyota were useless on this tbh.  I rang them and spoke to Sales and to Service.  No-one knew anything and they suggested I went online to look!!!  I already had!!!  They hadn't even heard of a nose weight but read out the car handbook info re MTPLM - which I had already said I had in front of me :rolleyes:.

 

Your mention of suspension adjustment has reminded me that back in the day when we were towing our Swift Corniche with a Volvo 720 diesel,  Volvo put some blocks of wood into the suspension springs to make the rear suspension less 'soft'.   So that sort of approach is perhaps something to investigate further.

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6 hours ago, cmma01 said:

 

 Volvo put some blocks of wood into the suspension springs to make the rear suspension less 'soft'.  

 

The same principle as Grayston rubber coil spring assisters - http://www.grayston.biz/

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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8 hours ago, DACS said:

The coupling on the caravan will usually be marked with the maximum static load for which it is designed.  Most of them are marked 100 Kg but could easily be 70 Kg for a lightweight caravan.

 

Not only the coupling is marked with a maximum noseweight but also the caravan chassis itself. Couplings normally have a 150kg limit but the chassis is very often limited to 100kg, so it's the lower of these two values which counts for the caravan, quite apart from any further restriction applied to the towing vehicle and its towbar.

 

Because the towing vehicle also has a maximum allowable rear axle load, the back end of the car cannot be loaded any more when the caravan is hitched than when solo with the boot fully loaded.

Edited by Lutz
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17 minutes ago, Lutz said:

Because the towing vehicle also has a maximum allowable rear axle load, the back end of the car cannot be loaded any more when the caravan is hitched than when solo with the boot fully loaded.

So moving stuff out of the caravan into the car isn't the answer then it would appear.

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8 hours ago, cmma01 said:

 

So would our best plan be  to match the max caravan and car nose weights - ie: to load the caravan so that the downward weight is 55 kg to match the car's 55 kg?  It sounded like you moved your spare wheel to make the front end heavier - yes? 

 

Yes, just load the caravan so its nose weight is 55 kg. To check the weight use bathroom scales with something between them and the tow hitch such as a car axle stand and with the caravan level, the corner steadies raised off the ground and then raise the jockey wheel off the ground so the scales take the weight. You can get weighing devices that go under the tow hitch but they may not be accurate. Once you have it at the weight you want just load the caravan the same each time you go away and no need to check it that often.

 

The main reason for moving the spare wheel from under the caravan was that to remove it takes a lot of effort sat on the floor and with a puncture at the side of the road would be difficult. Many others have done the same. I found that by putting it in the caravan on the floor at the front it solved the problem of getting the nose weight right for the car. Once on a site the spare then goes in the car boot.

 

I hope you are not getting too confused by all the things being mentioned. The thing about axle loads in simple terms means do not overload the car. Somewhere you will have the car max load, should be in its handbook (likely to be 400 to 500 kg) so this is the most you can put in the car including the weight of people. I would think it very unlikely you will overload the car unless you put in 4 large adults with a lot of heavy stuff. Our caravan is kept in storage so everything we take has to go in the car and there is no way we will be anywhere near reaching the max car load.

 

Edited by Paul1957
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