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Noseweight Query


alan1406
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We took delivery of our new caravan yesterday and took it to our storage site this afternoon. We are first time caravanners and run a Volvo V70 D5 2. 4 estate and our caravan is a Bailey Senator Virginia (Dec 2008 build)

 

Without any payload, the noseweight on the van was over 100kg and with some strategic placings of heavier items we managed to get it down to 85kg. The noseweight limit for our Volvo is supposed to be 75kg. The weight match between car and caravan is good - around 75% when the caravan is empty, 85% with a full payload.

 

The few heavy items we used to try to reduce noseweight we had to place further back than "over the axle" - in fact they had to be about halfway from the centre of the van to the back (i. e 3/4 of the way back from the front of the van). We used a toolbag, a wheelclamp, a hitchlock, two old towballs and even a full box of printer paper! Everyone has told us to put heavier stuff just over the axle

 

We placed the items carefully over a non slip bootliner mat, and they were all in the same place at the end of our journey to the storage depot. We would have needed double the weight "over the axle" (or behind it) to get the noseweight down instead of using the method we did

 

We knew the Bailey Senator Virginia had a big noseweight, but towing it without reducing it would be more dangerous than storing items halfway back.

 

Any tips, advice or opinions? I guess we will get used to things once we start going off for weekends but we want to set off on the right foot!

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Hi alan and welcome :D

 

We have all faced this problem at some time and usually the answer is to put the heavier items in the boot of your car ie: awning and poles/windbreak etc.

Also try and get into the habit of not taking as many clothes as you would perhaps on holiday in an hotel/guesthouse B)

 

Other members will probably be along in a while to offer their suggestions as well.

 

Enjoy your 'van.

 

Regards.

Col

Proud to be a Patriot and CT Ninja
I get the feeling that beneath your sesquipedalian loquaciousness you're the same kind of fundamentalist intent on winning arguments through Argumentum Verbosium.

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Hi alan and welcome :D

 

We have all faced this problem at some time and usually the answer is to put the heavier items in the boot of your car ie: awning and poles/windbreak etc.

Also try and get into the habit of not taking as many clothes as you would perhaps on holiday in an hotel/guesthouse B)

 

Other members will probably be along in a while to offer their suggestions as well.

 

Enjoy your 'van.

 

Regards.

Col

 

I have some doubts about this method. One of the reasons for limitng the noseweight is that if it is too high then the rear end of the car will sag because of the force that is placed on the rear suspension. Transferring heavy items to the boot of the car would seem to have the same effect but because of the direct nature of the force it will be greater. Putting them in the middle of the car would be an alternative though I ca see that this is not always convenient. I have been fortunate in that none of the caravans that I have owned had this problem, though I did have to remove my awning from the car boot and put it into the caravan as in the boot it lowered the rear end of the car far too much. However I have always loaded my caravan with the items I want to take and put them in the places where they are going to be when I am on site, so my clothes go into the wardrobe and the food in the kitchen cupboards, gas and spare wheel in the front locker awning carried over the axle etc, then I have checked the nose weight and moved things as necessary, it is surprising how much effect the normal things that go into the caravan have uponthe nose weight. My first query would be what has the OP got in the front locker, if there are two gas bottles and a spare wheel then the spare wheel should be removed and placed in an underfloor carrier of the sort that Alko sell, if that does not solve the problem then swap the gas bottles for lighter ones the new calorlite 6kg propane bottles are significantly lighter then the older comparable Butane and propane ones. If doing this does not do the job then moving the awning slightly further back in the caravan should help, The OP suggested that when he placed them about 3/4 of the length of the van from the front that he got an acceptable noseweight. If that is the case then this is what he should continue to do the extra weight is still in the mid section of the van and should have no appreciable effect upon the stability of the unit.

Bill

 

Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.

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I also got a Virginia to achieve the 75kg nose weight for my car, I balance the caravn by using the bed space. have not had any problem yet although I tow at 96% of my Kerbweight.

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I have some doubts about this method. One of the reasons for limitng the noseweight is that if it is too high then the rear end of the car will sag because of the force that is placed on the rear suspension. Transferring heavy items to the boot of the car would seem to have the same effect but because of the direct nature of the force it will be greater. Putting them in the middle of the car would be an alternative though I ca see that this is not always convenient. I have been fortunate in that none of the caravans that I have owned had this problem, though I did have to remove my awning from the car boot and put it into the caravan as in the boot it lowered the rear end of the car far too much. However I have always loaded my caravan with the items I want to take and put them in the places where they are going to be when I am on site, so my clothes go into the wardrobe and the food in the kitchen cupboards, gas and spare wheel in the front locker awning carried over the axle etc, then I have checked the nose weight and moved things as necessary, it is surprising how much effect the normal things that go into the caravan have uponthe nose weight. My first query would be what has the OP got in the front locker, if there are two gas bottles and a spare wheel then the spare wheel should be removed and placed in an underfloor carrier of the sort that Alko sell, if that does not solve the problem then swap the gas bottles for lighter ones the new calorlite 6kg propane bottles are significantly lighter then the older comparable Butane and propane ones. If doing this does not do the job then moving the awning slightly further back in the caravan should help, The OP suggested that when he placed them about 3/4 of the length of the van from the front that he got an acceptable noseweight. If that is the case then this is what he should continue to do the extra weight is still in the mid section of the van and should have no appreciable effect upon the stability of the unit.

 

Hi Bill

 

I think that if you overdo the boot loading then your premise is correct. However I find that stowing the awning and windbreak on the rear passenger seat helps-in my case- with better weight distribution. Apologies for not stating that.

This one of the subjects that raises as many questions as it answers. A good point about knowing what is stored in the OP's front locker.

 

Let's wait and see what suggestios/solutions are posted eh? :D

Proud to be a Patriot and CT Ninja
I get the feeling that beneath your sesquipedalian loquaciousness you're the same kind of fundamentalist intent on winning arguments through Argumentum Verbosium.

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Surely if "without any payload" gives too high a nose weight putting heavy items in the car won't help at all. Putting things in the car will not correct the nose weight, correctly loading the van will - if the nose weight is too high, put the weight behind the axle - if it is too low, put the weight in front of the axle - if it is just right, put the weight over the axle. The only reason to put items in the car is to prevent exceeding the MTPLM or because it is most convenient. I usually travel with the awning on the back seat because it is not in the way there if I want to stop mid journey for a cup of tea, but the Sat dish, the water and waste containers and the hookup cable go under the fixed bed to get the nose weight correct

'I know' is just 'I Believe' with delusions of grandeur

Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 PHEV 4H

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. ...

if the nose weight is too high, put the weight behind the axle - if it is too low, put the weight in front of the axle - if it is just right, put the weight over the axle. . .....

 

Mmm? Pendulum springs to mind!

I have emptied the front locker of my 'van of all but the gas bottles & spare wheel, and have been over the specified 75kgs, but I'd prefer excessive nose weight than load up the rear of the 'van to try to achieve 75kgs nose weight.

Lunar Delta 520/2 towed by Omega 3. 0 Elite

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Yeah this is a difficult one. I agree that there will be a pendulum effect if the van haas stuff at the far end. However if you stow heavy items just behind the axle then this will be negated. Try putting very heavy items such as the awning, just behind the axle to reduce the noseweight and see if it tows well. If it does then all well and godd. If it does not then experiment to acheive the best possible arrangement.

 

With my current outfit, it is much more important that the rear suspension is not sagging than the exact arrangement of items in the van. Therefore my outfit handles poorly when i have everything in the boot. It handles best when i am towing on my own.

 

 

regards

Lee

Please note that my opinions stated are those of an enthusiast not an expert and humble at that

 

2006 Hyundai Sante Fe towing a Coachman Vision 580/5

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. ...it is much more important that the rear suspension is not sagging than the . ....

 

Mine's self levelling . ... so it just does what it knows best & comes up level. ;)

Lunar Delta 520/2 towed by Omega 3. 0 Elite

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B)-->

QUOTE(Andy B @ Mar 15 2009, 11:53 PM) 239028[/snapback]
Mine's self levelling . ... so it just does what it knows best & comes up level. ;)

 

Hi,

 

Are you weighing the nose-weight with the van level? It makes a difference.

 

Are you weighing under the coupling socket, not under the jokey wheel?

 

Have you lifted your rear steadies?

 

Are you measuring in kg, not lbs? (Did you know that some people are paying the cubic metre price for cu. ft of domestic gas. ...so it does happen).

 

Are your scales accurate? Can you lift the coupling by hand?

 

I'll get my coat.

 

602

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Surely if "without any payload" gives too high a nose weight putting heavy items in the car won't help at all. Putting things in the car will not correct the nose weight, correctly loading the van will - if the nose weight is too high, put the weight behind the axle - if it is too low, put the weight in front of the axle - if it is just right, put the weight over the axle. The only reason to put items in the car is to prevent exceeding the MTPLM or because it is most convenient. I usually travel with the awning on the back seat because it is not in the way there if I want to stop mid journey for a cup of tea, but the Sat dish, the water and waste containers and the hookup cable go under the fixed bed to get the nose weight correct

Hi,

We too use the underbed space to get the noseweight correct and our outfit is very stable. If this was going to cause a problem why are ditches not full of end kitchen caravans with their heavy cookers carried right at the back?

Regards,

Ian.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo and a 2017 Ford S Max and a Mercedes SLK AMG Sport 9 speed, my mid life crisis solver.

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Hi,

 

Are you weighing the nose-weight with the van level? It makes a difference.

A slight slope towards the back of the 'van

 

Are you weighing under the coupling socket, not under the jokey wheel?
Yes!

 

Have you lifted your rear steadies?
Of course!

 

Are you measuring in kg, not lbs? (Did you know that some people are paying the cubic metre price for cu. ft of domestic gas. ...so it does happen).
From memory the proper nose weight gauge is only graduated in metric wotsits.

 

Are your scales accurate?
Pass :unsure but the nose weight gauge wasn't expensive.

 

Can you lift the coupling by hand?
: Just about. And as I can, that's good enough for me. That also depends on whether you're built like Arnie Schwarzenegger or the bloke off the Mr Muscle advert. :D

 

I'll get my coat.
I'll hold it for you . .... :D

Lunar Delta 520/2 towed by Omega 3. 0 Elite

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A slight slope towards the back of the 'van

 

Hi Andy,

 

It looks like you ain't done nothing silly. And most of us do at some time. ...myself included.

 

If you are holding the nose higher than it should be (ie level), then the CofG moves towards thye rear of the van, thus reducing weight on coupling.

 

I will don my coat, with your assistance, lurk and watch. Water logged insulation? Naw!

 

602

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Hi.

 

I found out the other day while my van was having a service, that new caravans are being designed with the axle set further back, which in turn is increasing the nose weight. The chap said that it was a simple case of storing heavy items low and further back than you would with an older van.

 

Sorry if this helps like a cocktail stick in the eye. :blush:

Home is where you park it.

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Guest John KS

Just to complicate the issue. Kia say my car's nose weight is 75Kg. I would imagine that this also includes the tow bar which weighs god knows what. How do they come up with the nose weight anyway? I have just bought a noseweight gauge but haven't used it yet. Friday is the day!

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The way I understand it, the legal requirement for the nose weight should be 4% of the weight of the trailer/caravan being towed or at least 25%. You should aim for, but not exceed the lower of the two figures.

Home is where you park it.

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Guest John KS
The way I understand it, the legal requirement for the nose weight should be 4% of the weight of the trailer/caravan being towed or at least 25%. You should aim for, but not exceed the lower of the two figures.

Thanks for that but

4% yes but 25% of what?

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Guest tyke65
Just to complicate the issue. Kia say my car's nose weight is 75Kg. I would imagine that this also includes the tow bar which weighs god knows what. How do they come up with the nose weight anyway? I have just bought a noseweight gauge but haven't used it yet. Friday is the day!

 

I would think this means that the Kia can take 75 kg on the tow ball. The weight of the tow bar is not a factor in this but would be a factor in the axle loading of the car.

 

My previous van, a 2003 Lunar Delta, was impossible to get down to a 100 kg nose weight but my present, an Odyssey 482, is fine. My Disco 3 has a nose weight limit of 150 kg but most hitches - and I think this applies totally to Alkp hitches - have a limit of 100 kg.

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The way I understand it, the legal requirement for the nose weight should be 4% of the weight of the trailer/caravan being towed or at least 25%. You should aim for, but not exceed the lower of the two figures.

That's not correct. I think you're referring to a minimum limit of 4% of the trailer's actual weight, or 25kg whichever is lower - it's a minimum, not a maximum.

 

For caravans, it should be as high as possible but not exceeding any of the limits set for the car noseweight, towbar noseweight (it may be lower than car), towball noseweight limit and caravan hitch noseweight limit.

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Guest John KS
That's not correct. I think you're referring to a minimum limit of 4% of the trailer's actual weight, or 25kg whichever is lower - it's a minimum, not a maximum.

 

For caravans, it should be as high as possible but not exceeding any of the limits set for the car noseweight, towbar noseweight (it may be lower than car), towball noseweight limit and caravan hitch noseweight limit.

 

Oh dear! Wish I had never asked????????

So if the van weighs 1500kg then the nose weight should not be less than 60kg and in my case no more than 75kg?

Think I might have a problem in that case. I can't lift the van by hand even if there is nothing in it and I should be able to lift 75kg. Nose guage to the ready at the end of the week!

Edited by John KS
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That's not correct. I think you're referring to a minimum limit of 4% of the trailer's actual weight, or 25kg whichever is lower - it's a minimum, not a maximum.

 

For caravans, it should be as high as possible but not exceeding any of the limits set for the car noseweight, towbar noseweight (it may be lower than car), towball noseweight limit and caravan hitch noseweight limit.

 

I hold my hands up. I typed 25% instead of 25kg.

 

Sorry. :blush:

 

Now where did I put my coat?

Home is where you park it.

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noseweight gauges are not to accurate mine reads 85kg instead of 75kg I suggest you make sure the van is level & the hitch is at the same height as the car tow ball, use the bathroom scales with a length of broomstick cut to the correct length, get the noseweight correct & then check it with the noseweight gauge.

In fact I use the noseweight gauge sitting on the scales & then mark the gauge off when the scales read 75KG

 

The min noseweight is 4%of mtplm ALKO hitch is max 100KG

Edited by TD 42
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I hold my hands up. I typed 25% instead of 25kg.

 

Sorry. :blush:

 

Now where did I put my coat?

 

Hi Fleetwood,

I think we've all mistyped at some time or another :D, some of us regularly,

Regards,

Ian.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo and a 2017 Ford S Max and a Mercedes SLK AMG Sport 9 speed, my mid life crisis solver.

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I should be able to lift 75kg.

1 cwt (about 50kg) was reckoned to be as much as a fit man could lift - HSE nowadays specify that anything over 25kg needs more than one person - so you must be on about 4 weetabix then John.

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2 cwt (about 50kg)

 

Hi Roger,

Are you just illustrating what I said in my last post or do I have to go back to school to brush up on my maths :D ?

Regards,

Ian.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo and a 2017 Ford S Max and a Mercedes SLK AMG Sport 9 speed, my mid life crisis solver.

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