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Bathroom Scales Or Nose-weight Gauge


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I used a pair of bathroom scales and a length of broom handle in the past to check nose weight. Unfortunately, last year, I made a school boy error. After refitting my bathroom, replacing the bath with a large walk in shower as OH has a minor joint problem, we replaced the old spring loaded metal scales with a set of super duper glass electronic scales. I don't think OH would be happy to use them.

 

Do I get a noseweight gauge (and if so which are some a little too long?) or do I buy a set of cheap bathroom scales. I must admit to veering towards the latter as they are more likely to have other uses. Also I would not normally bother as I have always stuck to a loading pattern and rechecked only when changing. Having bought a new porch awning and also re-ordering the loading regime I now have a need to recheck. I am thinking bathroom scales. Any views.

Alan

 

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

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A cheap set of bathroom scales from a car boot sale or similar (worth checking by standing on them. ...)

 

IME nose weight gauges are wildly inaccurate.

Ian.
2013 Freelander 2 SD4 Auto / 2005 Bailey Pageant Vendée; 1952 Norton ES2, 1955 Francis Barnett Cruiser 75

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A cheap set of bathroom scales from a car boot sale or similar (worth checking by standing on them. ...)

 

IME nose weight gauges are wildly inaccurate.

 

correct except for the milenco one which is calibrated(but costs more . .you get what you pay for :rolleyes: )

 

How accurate are a cheap set of bathroom scales ???

Edited by wilf2468

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It's relatively easy to check the accuracy of bathroom scales at the sort of loading you need for caravan noseweight. Weigh yourself at Boots, then stand on the scales wearing approx the same clothing, plus carry a few 2 litre bottles of water to make up the difference between your Boots weight and the noseweight. The scales should agree with the total. (only problem is if you're my weight, you may need more bottles than you can load onto the scales with you!) If the reading is close, the scales are fairly accurate, if miles out, chuck them away.

If at first you don't succeed, it may be best to give up.

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I use a set of bathroom scales from Argos. Does the job OK. I don't use my nose-weight gauge any more as the scales are much easier to use.

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I got a set of boots value scales which cost about £6

 

With a known 80kg they are +1. 5 so thats pretty good. I just factor that in.

 

 

Education is important but beer is more importanter.

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Sorted. Just bought a set of mechanical Hanson scales. zeroed and then checked against my own (dressed) weight checked on accurate scales. . Should be 83 kilo. They read 82 kilo.

 

At least bathroom scales are easy to check and recalibrate if necessary. I'm looking for about 90 kilo so close to my weight. .

Alan

 

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

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The other point to remember is the the length of wood has to give the same height or slightly lower than the loaded car towball to be really a true measure of the weight.

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Just checked. 1 full gas bottle and 5kg of charcoal in the front plus usual bits and pieces (water pipes/pegs/hammer/toilet fluids/car wash cloths/aquaroll handle/clothes wash stuff and airer - . 95kg. then drained hot water tank and down to 90kg. Will check again when fridge filled and clothes in I suspect these items with their location will balance out.

 

I don't usually drain water tank - hmmm perhaps I should in future. The acid test will be how it tows with the revised loading regime. It towed fine before at around 100 kg nose weight. 1350*.07

Alan

 

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

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Guest 4591tim

Alko Jockey wheel with guage is what ya need . .....accurate and works dynamically. ......as you load you can check. ..if you have a mover all the better as the suspension really helps on the uneven ground. .....then you can forget your bits of wood and dodgy scales and guages. .....Down side not cheap. .....but transferable between van.

 

It just works which is what i like

 

T

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I see two (OK three four) problems with jockey wheel gauge (one two in common with other gauges),

 

1) it is loaded each time you park van (and in my case left compressed) Can't do much good to calibration.

 

2) unlike bathroom and like other nose weight scales I can't easily check the accuracy.

 

3) . unlike bathroom scales if I knew it was 'out' I couldn't recalibrate it.

 

4) as I obviously am concerned about noseweight I don't want a jockey wheel that weighs more than the standard wheel.

Alan

 

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

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Guest 4591tim

I see two (OK three four) problems with jockey wheel gauge (one two in common with other gauges),

 

1) it is loaded each time you park van (and in my case left compressed) Can't do much good to calibration.

 

2) unlike bathroom and like other nose weight scales I can't easily check the accuracy.

 

3) . unlike bathroom scales if I knew it was 'out' I couldn't recalibrate it.

 

4) as I obviously am concerned about noseweight I don't want a jockey wheel that weighs more than the standard wheel.

 

Front steadies deployed when static negates No 1

 

Bathroom scales cant even cope with different floor coverings. ..notoriously inaccurate and fiddly. ......Even Milenco NW guages are a complete faff on. .... van needs level- guage needs to be vertical - you need to be hands on . .....impractical. .....

 

How are you gonna recalibrate bathroom scales??

 

4 Your right they are heavier. ......BUT WORTH IT. ...

Edited by 4591tim
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Front steadies steady, don't totally unload jockey wheel.

 

I have a level drive and a carpet square. It gets my weight right and caravan nose weight is in similar area. No problem. Don't have that confirmation with a gauge.

 

Re calibrate is easy with mechanical scales, Zero scales on adjusting wheel and check my weight.

 

Don't know how much heavier they are (probably 1kg or so) but I do no that the weight is close to towball.

 

I think they are a great idea in theory though and have the advantage that they are there every time you hitch.

Edited by Easy T

Alan

 

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

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This has been done to death on a regular basis and there has never been a consensus on what is best. If it were not for the cost I would likely get an Alko jocky wheel guage, but they are to expensive for what they are in my opinion.

 

I have a Milenco NWG and think it is a super bit of kit for the cost and it meets the CE standards for the purpose.

 

 

Has the revolution finally begun?

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This has been done to death on a regular basis and there has never been a consensus on what is best. If it were not for the cost I would likely get an Alko jocky wheel guage, but they are to expensive for what they are in my opinion.

 

I have a Milenco NWG and think it is a super bit of kit for the cost and it meets the CE standards for the purpose.

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I have a Pyramid nose weight guage. The scale is hopelessly inaccurate, unless I weigh 55Kg (balancing on the post was a trick though!). I recalibrated with the bathroon scales to find the 75Kg mark I need for my tow car and use it like that as it's a lot smaller to take with me. Food for thought if you use one of these and haven't checked by another means!

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Just thought i would add my own experiences.

 

I use to use bathroom scales, on top of which i put my old cheap towsure nose gauge, both gave the same reading, more or less.

 

So IMO one is no better than the other.

 

But what i did have to do was use wood packers to get my correct hitch height, so not really convenient, but it did the job.

 

The problem with bathroom scales is they require a solid base to work on, as i had a 2x2 flagstone it was no problem.

 

Last year i bought a expensive but well made Milenco gauge, it compresses near enough to my tow height, i just put a 8mm packer under it for use on grass pitches.

 

I would recommend one.

 

The only "problem" i have found with the gauge is due to its uncompressed long length the jockey wheel has to go a fair way up to get it under.

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Just checked. 1 full gas bottle and 5kg of charcoal in the front plus usual bits and pieces (water pipes/pegs/hammer/toilet fluids/car wash cloths/aquaroll handle/clothes wash stuff and airer - . 95kg. then drained hot water tank and down to 90kg. Will check again when fridge filled and clothes in I suspect these items with their location will balance out.

 

I don't usually drain water tank - hmmm perhaps I should in future. The acid test will be how it tows with the revised loading regime. It towed fine before at around 100 kg nose weight.

Well Caravan loaded for the off on Monday. Checked the nose weight - same as my weight (with jacket etc) 82kg.

 

 

Alan

 

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

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  • 3 months later...

Bit of a belated reply here, but worth a mention?

 

I checked my noseweight gauge calibration by. ...... standing it on the bathroom scales when checking the noseweight !

 

Tricky bit was that they are modern electronic scales that need a tap to get them working, and switch off if they don't sense a load within around 10 seconds! Swift but careful jockey wheel work needed, with the corner steadies nearly down just in case.

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If I can pick the van up by the hitch that'll do. :)

Enjoy every minute of every day. It doesn't last nearly as long as you'd like, and there's no guarantee of coming this way again.

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I have the jockey wheel guage and it is not good enough to be more than a rough guide i. e. its a bit light, about right or rather heavy. To use it as an actual value is nigh on impossible.

 

The figures referred to are static, suitable as a starting point for balance and towing stability but nothing like the forces experienced on the towball when actually towing. For example we know that the Alko and Bradley hitches are rated at a maximum of 100Kg downforce but the rotational forces if braking enough to operate the overrun brakes on the caravan will be a number of times more than that. At a decelleration of 0. 5g (which is very heavy braking) you have up to half the mass of 1000-1800Kg of caravan trying to rotate about the contact surface of the tyre on the ground and being prevented in doing so by the towball.

 

I wonder if any of the caravan makers have ever fitted a strain guage to a towball in use. I remember seeing a video of a loony ragging a sports car while videoing with a accelerometer in the car and getting at best 0. 3-0. 4G accelerating and 0. 8G standing on the brakes.

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I use a nose weight gauge. I calibrated it to 90 Kgs, and the beauty about it is that I can can read off the weight before towing and there is no messing about with bits of wood and scales.

 

I am happy with the 90 Kgs, and if it is inaccurate to 10 K's either side I am not worried.

 

I also wonder just how many of us weigh when packing up on a site too. I do - does anyone else?

 

Please don't tell me there is no requirement to weigh when packing up on site either.

 

Weight can change drastically with every pack-up.

 

BO

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  • 8 years later...

How do you know if gauge is accurate if not how can you calibrate it lastly my towball is 100kg but what is the safe weight i should be aiming for 

How do you know if gauge is accurate if not how can you calibrate it lastly my towball is 100kg but what is the safe weight i should be aiming for 

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