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Noseweight Please Explain


robbo7720
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Hi,

i have heard the term noseweight so many times during this learning curve that i'm on being a new comer on the caravan scene.

i understand loading correctly is most paramount .

 

Now noseweight when this term is being mentioned is this for the car or caravan please explain noseweight .

 

example being my picasso 2. 0 hdi. I know the ball label is 80kg. the caravan would be around 1150kgs fully loaded i will have 5 persons in the car c/w with luggage which estimating figure 1800 kgs.

 

car kerbweight 1300

1850 max laden weight

train weight 3150

caravan 1050 micro

1250 fully laden.

 

now please explain the nose weight and where it is based on these figures .

 

Thanks again

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According t the CC, the ideal noseweight (the downward load on the caravan hitch) should be between 5% and 7% of the caravan's fully laden weight. In your case this will be between 62. 5kg and 87. 5kg. However, the car manufacturer will specify the maximum load on the hitch, which in your case seems to be 80kg. So provided that you don't overload at the front you are likely to be within the margin. You can roughly check your nose weight by placing bathroom scales underneath the jockey wheel, but ideally buy a noseweight gauge.

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Hi Robbo. Nose weight is a reference to the weight applied to the tow-ball by the caravan Hitch-head. The Hitch-head will have a maximum weight applied to it as will the tow-ball. The car will also have a maximum tow-ball weight applied to it. Therefore there could in theory be three individual figures the lowest is generally that of the tow-ball/towing gear and will often be the same as the car manufacturers imposed maximum. The limit for the tow-vehicle is the one that is used for law enforcement if it came down to those degrees of verification.

Irrespective of what your correct & more importantly CORRECT & LEGAL nose-weight is,it is counted as weight inside the tow-vehicle and because it is behind the rear axle/suspension system it is weight on the rear axle more than evenly distributed.

It is not as some have thought,an excuse to increase the payload within the caravan by the equivalent amount.

Life in general can be a journey of chance with some winners and sadly some losers. Your outfit can never be left to chance. A short-while carrying out essential checks can ensure a long-time of happy & safe caravanning for all concerned.
Ignorance can often be bliss but is certainly not an excuse and when continually disregarded they can be totally disastrous for oneself and the innocent parties.

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Just thought getting to grips with the basic idea would be of help

 

 

Your car has four wheels and is nice and stable. Your caravan only has two wheels and so can tip forward or backwards like a see saw.

 

The "nose" it the front of the caravan, the hitch that hooks onto the car.

 

Ideally you need the van with a bit of weight at the front it tipping forwards towards the car. So aim roughly for 80kg weight on the tow hitch.

 

That makes it always be pushing down on the towball as it gets unstable if it is pulling up like a see saw.

 

In the van you can put stuff in the best place to balance the van so it has the right weight on the nose.

 

Put someting in the back of the van and the nose weight becomes less. Move it to the front and the nose weight goes up. In this way you can adjust the weight on the nose by moving some stuff around. Ideally you need the weight in the middle of the van low down to make it stable but you also need to ensure the nose weight is right.

 

I checked mine once and now just pack roughly the same stuff in roughly the same place and is should be fine.

 

Lots of new stuff to pick up with vanning.

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If your car towball is rated at 80Kg - do NOT exceed this, but I aim to be just under. .. 70-80Kg!

 

Check by putting a set of bathroom scales under the jockey wheel once van packed and ready - noseweight gauges are expensive, inaccurate and very awkward to use IMHO.

Remember to add 5Kg to value on scales as they are reading a foot or so behind hitch and will under read slightly.

 

Adjust noseweight by moving contents forwards to increase or backwards to lower.

 

Do check each time before hitching - I know it's anal, but it's nice to be legal and SAFE, and no matter how you try to repack the van the same, the noseweight always varies (well mine does anyway).

Edited by LodgeFarmLeisure
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It is not as some have thought,an excuse to increase the payload within the caravan by the equivalent amount.

 

Why not? The hitch load is part of the tow vehicle weight so the caravan axle can be loaded to its plated weight.

 

An outfit would normally be weighed coupled up and the axle weights added together to obtain the Gross Train Weight. Providing all weights are within the plated limits there is no problem. Even if the caravan is weighed uncoupled the jockey wheel will still be carrying the same load that is imposed on the car towbar when the outfit is coupled up. .

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Why not? The hitch load is part of the tow vehicle weight so the caravan axle can be loaded to its plated weight.

 

An outfit would normally be weighed coupled up and the axle weights added together to obtain the Gross Train Weight. Providing all weights are within the plated limits there is no problem. Even if the caravan is weighed uncoupled the jockey wheel will still be carrying the same load that is imposed on the car towbar when the outfit is coupled up. .

 

Hi Beejay. Indeed,why not?. I am quoting the outcome from a raging discussion on another forum that tossed this one around until Noah docked. I cannot remember for certain but I believe it might well have been Practical Caravan on-line forum approx' 3months ago.

The conclusion was that despite the obvious 'Why not' that the correct practice was to not substitute/replace the transferred weight.

Life in general can be a journey of chance with some winners and sadly some losers. Your outfit can never be left to chance. A short-while carrying out essential checks can ensure a long-time of happy & safe caravanning for all concerned.
Ignorance can often be bliss but is certainly not an excuse and when continually disregarded they can be totally disastrous for oneself and the innocent parties.

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If your car towball is rated at 80Kg - do NOT exceed this, but I aim to be just under. .. 70-80Kg!

 

Check by putting a set of bathroom scales under the jockey wheel once van packed and ready - noseweight gauges are expensive, inaccurate and very awkward to use IMHO.

Remember to add 5Kg to value on scales as they are reading a foot or so behind hitch and will under read slightly.

 

Adjust noseweight by moving contents forwards to increase or backwards to lower.

 

Do check each time before hitching - I know it's anal, but it's nice to be legal and SAFE, and no matter how you try to repack the van the same, the noseweight always varies (well mine does anyway).

 

Perhaps opening a can of worms here but I would think that measuring at the jockey would mean the scales will be over reading! So you would take a bit off.

 

The further away from the fulcrum the less effort (so less weight) as the greater the leverage. Jockey is nearer the fulcurm so will read more.

 

(Also if you are going to the bother of weighing it is easier with a bit of stick in the hitch. as you put it in and then raise the jockey to weigh. If you weigh under the jockey you have to lift up the van somehow to get the scales under it which is more of a problem than doing it right)

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The caravan weighs heavier at the hitch than at the jockey wheel, so if weighing at the jockey wheel you need to add to the weight to get to the actual noseweight. Think of it as a see-saw. If you have a light child on one end and a heavier child on the other then the see-saw will go down at the heavier child end. To make the see-saw level you need to move the heavier child towards the middle: hence the weight towards the middle must be lighter.

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The caravan weighs heavier at the hitch than at the jockey wheel, so if weighing at the jockey wheel you need to add to the weight to get to the actual noseweight. Think of it as a see-saw. If you have a light child on one end and a heavier child on the other then the see-saw will go down at the heavier child end. To make the see-saw level you need to move the heavier child towards the middle: hence the weight towards the middle must be lighter.

 

 

Er. .no. Imagine your two mismatched children, with the thin child up in the air. .. slide the heavier child along the seesaw towards the balance point, and at some stage things will level off. The actual weights of the two children have not changed!! What you then have is a light weight far from the fulcrum (axle) balancing a heavier weight nearer to it. On a caravan chassis,if it were correct to say that the "jockey wheel position" gave a lighter reading than the "hitch position", then the front support legs (even further back) would only have to cope with a few kilos, and when working underneath the caravan, you would be able to tilt the van up or down by gently pressing with your hand on the chassis next to the axle. Actually, of course, it is almost impossible to raise the front of a normally weighted caravan by lifting even at the front grab handle position, but if you extended your "A" frame with a light but strong 6 foot tube, a child could raise the hitchhead.

Edited by philspot
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You're right. I'm wrong. Luckily I always measure at the hitch.

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Yep. . always measure at the hitch. One thing nobody's mentioned is make sure your 'van is on reasonably level ground. If it's pointing up or down hill your load will produce component forces that will falsely decrease or increase your noseweight.

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