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Vendee Noseweight


gray1590
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hi all, ive just started packing up my new 2005 vendee for the 1st time away, before i started to pack it up i thought i would check the nose weight, with the van empty the noseweight was around 70kg with the van level, which is the max tow wieght of the tow bar

 

this seems rather high for an empty van . after i have loaded a few things in it ive checked it again at around 68 kg .

 

has anyone experienced this ?

 

Graham

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It took us a while to get our noseweight correct on ours. 75kg. We did measure it first empty and I think it was around what you quoted.

 

In the front locker we have 2 x 6kg propane cylinders, the electric cable, corner pads, wheel levels and drill.

 

This then gives a noseweight of around 85kg.

 

To compensate we normally fill up the aquaroll and place this on the floor inside the door infornt of the bed, then also put the shopping etc on the bed. This then brings it back down to around 75kg.

 

Don't be tempted to put eveeything at the rear of the van on the bed to try and bring the noseweight down as you could create a seasaw effect when driving.

 

We we originally told to only put one 6kg cylinder in the front and put the other one where we put the aquaroll.

 

Regards

 

Trevor

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Guest mr_sheens

a lot of caravan nose weights are quite high to begin with, but if the caravan is then correctly loaded you will be able to get an ideal nose weight of 75Kg. but as stated above dont be tempted to place more weight at the rear because this makes the unit unstable. put weight slightly behind the axle.

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My Bailey, along with most Baileys it seems, has quite a high noseweight. I have 2 3. 9kg gas bottles in the front locker and limit the amount we put in the front bedlockers and you have to be careful with the rest of the packing not to exceed the noseweight.

 

With a new caravan, it is important to check your noseweight each time. You will then find that, after time, you will know where everything goes and you end up with the correct noseweight.

 

I agree with Mr Sheens about keeping the heavy items low down and close to the axle, but I think the caravan manufacturers could be better in this aspect of the design. On mine the gas bottles are in the front locker and the wardrobe is right at the very back, which increases the inertia (dumbell effect) of the van, although mine tows OK. I note on the series 5, the wardrobe has been moved to the front of the bathroom, which will help.

 

Brian

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My Ranger seems to have the opposite problem. I struggle to get the noseweight any higher than 60KG, even with a cyclinder in the locker & the wheelclamp stored right at the front of the living space.

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My Ranger seems to have the opposite problem. I struggle to get the noseweight any higher than 60KG, even with a cyclinder in the locker & the wheelclamp stored right at the front of the living space.

10902[/snapback]

 

Not tried the nose weight of our Carolina yet - will be interesting to find out empty. I have an old set of bathroom scales to go under the jockey wheel. Am hoping to bring the van home for a wash tomorrow (weather permitting) so will have a look.

 

We're planning to go down to Sandy Balls in the New Forest on March 5th for a week. Maiden voyage in the new van - what's the odds we forget something? Last time I forgot to pack any underwear for myself (was too busy loading TV, Satellite dish, Video, fitting the Play Station2, DC inverter and LCD TV in the car to amuse the little man on the journey and forgot to pick up my undies and socks pile) so had to dash into Ringwood and find a suitable shop open on a Sunday (ended up with boxers 2 sizes too small and kids socks until we went to Bournemouth on the Monday - that'll teach me!).

 

Si.

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Not tried the nose weight of our Carolina yet - will be interesting to find out empty. I have an old set of bathroom scales to go under the jockey wheel.  

 

Si.

10908[/snapback]

 

Weighing using the jockey wheel will give a reading higher than under the hitch. Suggest you get a block of wood of a suitable length to go under the hitch onto your scales. You may need a horizontal pice of wood on the scales to spread the load and avoid possible indentation of a point load. The caravan should be level when weighing. You can easily control the weight going onto the scales using the jockey wheel. Alternatively you can get a noseweight gauge for around £16 from Towsure

 

Brian

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Hi Si, when your out and about try Camping and Genral on Canvey, they had some nose weight gauges for about £12, Hope this helps,

 

Mike

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Weighing using the jockey wheel will give a reading higher than under the hitch. Suggest you get a block of wood of a suitable length to go under the hitch onto your scales. You may need a horizontal pice of wood on the scales to spread the load and avoid possible indentation of a point load. The caravan should be level when weighing. You can easily control the weight going onto the scales using the jockey wheel. Alternatively you can get a noseweight gauge for around £16 from Towsure

 

Brian

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I'm one for using a quick calculation and something I already have rather than to buy another gadget.

 

Was going to use the good old m1x1 = m2x2 moment of interia theory Brian - calculate the nose weight at the hitch (m2) as:

 

[m1(indicated @ jockey) . x1 (distance centre of twin axles to jockey)] / x2 (Distance centre of twin axles to centre of hitch) = m2 (nose weight)

 

or working back, to get 75kg nose weight:

 

m1 (weight @ jockey) = 75kg . (distance of centre of twin axles to hitch/distance centre of twin axles to jockey).

 

That way you can set the nose weight by loading the van to the right jockey weight.

 

Mind you with a monster like the Carolina, with a large centre of axles to hitch distance, the actual measured difference between hitch and jockey weight is the difference between a cheap set of scales and an accurate set.

 

On a shorter van it would have more of a marked effect.

 

Si.

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Sounds abit complicated to me! will stick to my noseweight gauge!!

Mike

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Sounds abit complicated to me! will stick to my noseweight gauge!!

Mike

10953[/snapback]

 

Studied Maths at GCSE, A level, OND, HNC, and BEng degree level - got to put that to some use occasionally!

 

My MSc degree was more 'business' related - Automotive Engineering, Design, Manufacture and Management. Glad there was no more maths - my brain had expired by then!

 

Si.

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Simon,

 

I agree with your formulae, but what do you lift the hitch with to get the jockey wheel on the scales as I don't see how you can use the jockey wheel for this - unless you put the scales under before unhitching which adds further complications. Still think it is simplest to use a block of wood under the hitch, once uncoupled, which I used to do, until I invested in a noseweight gauge.

 

Brian

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It took us a while to get our noseweight correct on ours.   75kg.   We did measure it first empty and I think it was around what you quoted.

 

In the front locker we have 2 x 6kg propane cylinders, the electric cable, corner pads, wheel levels and drill.

 

This then gives a noseweight of around 85kg.

 

To compensate we normally fill up the aquaroll and place this on the floor inside the door infornt of the bed, then also put the shopping etc on the bed.   This then brings it back down to around 75kg.

 

Don't be tempted to put eveeything at the rear of the van on the bed to try and bring the noseweight down as you could create a seasaw effect when driving.

 

We we originally told to only put one 6kg cylinder in the front and put the other one where we put the aquaroll.

 

Regards

 

Trevor

10866[/snapback]

Thanks for the reply i'm glad its not just me, ive only got 1 6kg gas cylinder wastemaster and aquaroll with a few jackpads and and levelling blocks in the front locker, so ill weight it again when im fully loaded, i'll let you know how it went next week . .....cheers all

 

Graham

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Simon,

 

I agree with your formulae, but what do you lift the hitch with to get the jockey wheel on the scales as I don't see how you can use the jockey wheel for this - unless you put the scales under before unhitching which adds further complications.   Still think it is simplest to use a block of wood under the hitch, once uncoupled, which I used to do, until I invested in a noseweight gauge.

 

Brian

10974[/snapback]

 

Brian,

 

On my dad's old Bessacarr Wentworth SE we used to lift the jockey when the front steadies were down and put the jockey on the scales with the van level. Then raise the steadies and hey presto you can measure the weight at the jockey without having to put your back out lifting the nose.

 

Si.

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My Ranger seems to have the opposite problem. I struggle to get the noseweight any higher than 60KG, even with a cyclinder in the locker & the wheelclamp stored right at the front of the living space.

10902[/snapback]

 

 

This could be because you have something heavy behind the axle, which is not good.

 

Gord :unsure:

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Our 2001 Magenta was 55 kg on delivery, and properly loaded I CANNOT get it near 75 kg which is the limit for our car.

 

I now use 2x 3. 9 propane cylinders and a small car battery instead of the usual 2x 7. 0 butane and large leisure battery, which helps.

 

I learnt many years ago to check the noseweight every time before the caravan is hitched as it varies considerably, even when I think I've loaded everything in the same place.

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Brian,

 

On my dad's old Bessacarr Wentworth SE we used to lift the jockey when the front steadies were down and put the jockey on the scales with the van level. Then raise the steadies and hey presto you can measure the weight at the jockey without having to put your back out lifting the nose.

 

Si.

11047[/snapback]

 

Seems a lot of work. I just lower off onto a noseweight gauge under hitch (or block of wood on scales) using the jockey wheel, read the weight, then reverse the procedure. Backs or steadies don't come into it.

 

Brian

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This old chestnut again.

 

Nose weight has nothing to do with whether the van is empty or loaded, it is the necessary downforce on the towball for SAFE towing.

 

Not only Bailey, - all caravan manufacturers construct their vans with the correct noseweight - after all they have to be stable when empty because nobody knows what individual purchasers are going to load in them.

 

The important thing to remember is in engineering terms the caravan is equivalent to a seesaw.

 

Ideally the entire payload (user's belongings etc.) should be located over the axle. In practical terms that is not feasible. What you have to do is maintain the 'balance' that the manufacturer has built in to the van. If you put 100kg 1 metre infront of the axle theoretically you will also need to put 100Kg 1 metre behind the axle. To state that it is dangerous to put weight at the back of the van without any other qualification is a nonsense. First and foremost, most people carry one, maybe two, gas bottles in the front locker. The weight that has been added at the front has now increased by a minimum of the weight of one empty gas cylinder (whatever your preference in type -butane or propane - and size, large / medium / small, depending on the size of your front locker) and by a maximum of two full gas cylinders, similarly variable.

Whatever the weight added, sufficient weight MUST now to be added behing the axle to balance this weight, in order to bring the noseweight back down.

Whether you achieve this by putting the awning at the back, or any other means, is your personal choice.

 

The important thing is to remember to check the noseweight before towing. Easiest method, bathroom scales under the jockey wheel before hitching up. (the difference between checking the noseweight at the hitch or at the jockey wheel is so slight as to be ignored - try it for yourself).

 

Never, ever, exceed the Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass stated for your particular make/model of van.

 

A slight increase in noseweight will increase stability but the downside is, it does tend to wear out the rear wheel bearings of the towing vehicle.

 

Unlike speed limits which we can choose to obey or ignore as our fancy takes us, with the penalties incurred should we get caught; the specifications as laid down by the manufacturer, excepting printing errors in the manual, are not negotiable.

Despite many postings here about build quality, finish etc. caravans are built to exact criteria, not only established in law, but arrived at over many thousands of hours of testing, and many years of SAFE use by vanners.

 

Be SAFE, not sorry.

 

ATB

You can not reason with an unreasonable person.

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Do caravan manufacturers carry out THOUSANDS of hours testing? I doubt it.

 

If each compartment is loaded sensibly, with the appropriate items, the nose weight SHOULD be reasonable but often isn't.

 

We put clothes in the wardrobe, food in the fridge, bedding in bed boxes and gas bottles in the gas locker. The resultant high noseweight can only be adjusted, in our case, by lightening or removing items from the front locker. We can't move the awning, we don't take one. In fact, nothing travel on the floor of the van so we can't move anything of significant weight.

 

A Swift director recently stated, to a CC audience, that more weight should be carried in the wardrobe, at the extreme rear, to counterbalance excessive noseweight. Given the pendulum effect of such advice, I don't share Old Man Phil's view that caravan manufacturers know it all.

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Do caravan manufacturers carry out THOUSANDS of hours testing? I doubt it.

 

A Swift director recently stated, to a CC audience, that more weight should be carried in the wardrobe, at the extreme rear, to counterbalance excessive noseweight. Given the pendulum effect of such advice, I don't share Old Man Phil's view that caravan manufacturers know it all.

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Not DO, rather HAVE. I was thinking in terms of the hours spent it total since caravans were first made. Sorry I did not make that clear.

 

Why do some members keep on about the "pendulum" effect.

 

You HAVE to counter-balance the weight at the front of the van in the 'gas' locker.

 

Whether you do that with an equal weight at the same distance from the back of the axle as the locker is from the front, or whether you use a greater weight positioned closer to the axle the effect is the same - a correct noseweight. .

All the while caravans have only one axle - and the majority still do - then the "pendulum" effect that seems to obsess some members is inherent in the design.

 

Having said that, the whole concept of a "pendulum" effect is totally inaccurate. The effect is a "seesaw" one. A pendulum is a weight suspended from height that has the ability to swing, without restriction. The caravan sits on an axle with one end connected to a towing vehicle. If correctly balanced - ie. noseweight correct - the towing vehicle should be strong enough to minimise 'fore and aft' pitching, which will innevitably occur because our roads are never flat, other vehicles passing cause turbulence. Need I go on.

 

If the nose weight is correct it is correct. How that is achieved - other than placing loads on the roof - is not important. All weight should be kept as low as possible - ie. on the floor. If the van is balanced that is requirement.

 

ATB

 

BE HAPPY

 

KEEP SAFE

You can not reason with an unreasonable person.

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Dumbell may be a more appropriate analogy than pendulum. Moment of inertia is the correct term. A caravan with weight at the extreme ends will tend to swing more than a caravan with the same weight located nearer the axle and in both case can have the correct nose weight. Having said all that, if your heavy gas bottles are in the front locker, there is not a lot of options open to you other than by placing weight behind the axle. Only Avondale locate the gas bottles in a sensible place near the axle, which is good from a stability point of view, but intrudes on user space within the caravan, which a front locker does not.

 

Everything is a compromise.

 

Brian

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just stumbled across this one (slow day. ...) I understand the CC recommendation for noseweight is 7% of the MTPLM which for most of the 5 series Pageants would come out at getting on for 100kg (based on 1400kg weight). So I'm a bit surprised at some of the lighter weights quoted.

 

Mind you I haven't picked up our new Vendee yet (early April) so can't weight (sorry) to find out how it goes. .......

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Whilst 7% might be ideal, you cannot exceed the towball weight limit of the towing vehicle, which is often the limiting factor.

 

Brian

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Just stumbled across this one (slow day. ...) I understand the CC recommendation for noseweight is 7% of the MTPLM which for most of the 5 series Pageants would come out at getting on for 100kg (based on 1400kg weight). So I'm a bit surprised at some of the lighter weights quoted.

 

Mind you I haven't picked up our new Vendee yet (early April) so can't weight (sorry) to find out how it goes. .......

15325[/snapback]

 

If it helps, we tow with a 70-75kg noseweight and it gives a stable outfit.

 

Yossa

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Whilst 7% might be ideal, you cannot exceed the towball weight limit of the towing vehicle, which is often the limiting factor.

 

Brian

15328[/snapback]

Hence the Disco. .... much better than my previous Triumph Stag although not so much fun (at least on-road)

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