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Noseweight Vs Hitch Weight


bob1982
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Hi All,

 

I am a new caravanner and am about to venture out shortly - this will be my first towing experience and I have booked to go on a towing course as well with the Camping and Caravannning Club (C&CC). I joined the C&CC and decided out of interest to use their online car/ caravan matching service. Expected it all to be fine as my caravan dealer matched up the van and car when I made my purchase. However all was fine apart from the following:

 

I am afraid the following is all French to me and I wonder if someone could explain this in laymans terms and also if I have a problem with my van/ car match or not. Any thoughts?

 

Est Towbar Weight: 92. 5% - Although the towcar is capable of the load on it's towbar, the est Noseweight (74kg) is greater than the hitch limit (50kg) of the caravan. This combination is therefore constrained by the hitch limit of the caravan and would potentially require back loading (making the caravan unstable) to bring within the overrun brakes working limit.

 

"The difference between the vehicle manufacturers maximum allowable towbar nose weight (when using the approved towbar) and the estimated 7% of the caravan's gross weight. If this calculation exceeds 100%, you should pay close attention when loading your caravan to ensure its noseweight is below the tow vehicle's limit and thre caravan hitch limit

The towbar result will often express caution because this box is checking if the car noseweight limit meets with a desirable 7% of maximum loaded caravan weight but many cars will not meet this target.

The general consensus amongst caravan manufacturers is that the best stability is acheived with a noseweight of 7% of the actual laden weight of the caravan, however the noseweight must also not exceed the car tow ball limit or the caravan hitch limit.

If the lowest figure is less than 5% of the caravan’s weight this could compromise stability, please reconsider your choice of towcar."

 

 

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You would get more useful replies if you said what car and caravan you have. The nose weight of the caravan depends on how you load it and I am surprised you are being told the limit is 50kg. For most caravan chassis the limit is 100kg

Brian

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Its very poorly worded, like translated Chinese.

 

What I believe its saying is the nose weight limit of your caravan is 50kg, so shouldn't be exceeded, even though your cars limit is 74 kg?

 

The NCC recommends that nose weight is best with in 5 to 7% of the caravans MTPLM for best stability.

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Apologies - I have a Skoda Superb Greenline II 1. 6 5Dr Hatchback and my van is a (Elddis) Crown Regent 1997 model - 850Kg - deliberately chose a light one.

 

Thanks Xtrailman - that seems to make some sense - so would you interpret this into english as I am ok with this setup as long as I don't exceed a nose weight limit of 50kg?

 

Not sure.

 

Any thoughts? I also attach a screenshot which may assist.

 

Car details:

Skoda Superb 1. 6 TDI CR S 5dr Hatchback 5Dr 2011 - 2013

Nose Weight (kg) 80 Kerb Weight (kg) 1517 Unbraked Maximum Tow (kg) 650 Maximum Tow (kg) 1500 Max Tow at GTW (kg) 1500 Gross Weight (kg) 2080 Train Weight (kg) 3580

Caravan details:

Crown 1997

Regent

Unladen Weight (kg) 850 Max Weight (MTPLM) (kg) 1060 User Payload(kg) 210 Hitch Limit (kg) 50 Estimated Nose Weight (kg) 74 Overall Width (mm) 2184 Internal Length (mm) 4550 Shipping Length (mm) 5970 Headroom (mm) 1850 Height(mm) 2453
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Right they have calculated 7% of your 1060kg to arrive at 74kg.

 

But as they say your caravan chassis limit is 50kg then this is the nose weight you should use, back loading if necessary to achieve it.

 

50kg is low normally 100kg is the limit, so its worth checking the accuracy of this limit?

 

Its a good match as far as I can see.

 

Sorry about the delay watching the FA match.

Edited by xtrailman
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Yes, that 50kg hitch limit does surprise me, too. I'd check the owner's handbook and/or the manufacturer's plate to see if it really is that low.

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Some of these caravan matching sites are well known for errors and I would question the 50kg noseweight limit elsewhere.

The 74kg estimated noseweight is simply a calculation made of 7% of the max weight and the real noseweight depends on how you load the caravan.

Brian

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One thing I am surprised not to see on more trailers and caravans is a sliding balance weight. I have one of these on my logging trailer, and it is simply a 100kg block of lead under the trailer that can be moved towards the front or rear of the trailer by means of a couple of cables and a hand wheel. I can adjust the noseweight very finely to suit towing by Land Rover or tractor.

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Hi Bob, just had a look at the current superb brochure and it does as you state say 80 kg noseweight.

 

It may be a good idea to either e mail or phone Elddis customer service and see if they can help. As others have stated 100kg is usually the norm on caravans for the last 15 years or so.

Nissan X-Trail Kia Sorento, Pegasus 2 Rimini

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I've checked the caravan on the CC site but there are no details of the caravan chassis limit.
If you can't find details in the handbook I would contact Elddis as mentioned.

MNC 4-0 Bla = game over.

Edited by xtrailman
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Hi everyone. .. some really helpful input and I thank you all for your help on this.

 

I too see this 50kg limit as odd. Why would elddis manufacture a van with a nose weight of 74kg and a hitch limit of 50kg. ... can anyone answer this for me. If no one can explain this I suspect the 50kg figure is wrong.

 

I cant see anything in the handbook or on the net or on yhe hitch itself or the van plate. I may ring elddis as suggested. ... but still dont know why it would have been made. like this so it seems some of the info is wrong. ... any thoughts?

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Hi everyone. .. some really helpful input and I thank you all for your help on this.

 

I too see this 50kg limit as odd. Why would elddis manufacture a van with a nose weight of 74kg and a hitch limit of 50kg. ... can anyone answer this for me. If no one can explain this I suspect the 50kg figure is wrong.

 

I cant see anything in the handbook or on the net or on yhe hitch itself or the van plate. I may ring elddis as suggested. ... but still dont know why it would have been made. like this so it seems some of the info is wrong. ... any thoughts?

The 74kg is a calculated nose weight that is recommended for towing your caravan. Calculated from 7% of your MTPLM.

 

The ex works nose weight is the NW that the caravan has before being loaded.

 

While the caravan chassis/hitch nose weight is the maximum weight that the caravan designer recommends.

 

Then you have the max NW limit of your tow car or tow bar which ever is the lowest, which for your car is a decent 80kg.

 

Unfortunatly it is recommened that you must tow to the lowest value of towbar limit or caravan chassis, which appears to be 50kg?

 

http://www. elddis. co. uk/help-support/help-advice/faqs/towing

 

Says on the link that all vans are 100kg since year 2000, so I would contact them to find your limit.

Edited by xtrailman
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The object is to use as high a noseweight as you possibly can within the limits of what you have. Nothing must be overloaded.

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Hi All,

 

What a wonderful forum - thank you so much for all this helpful advice!

 

I think I get this now. Basically the recommeded nose weight of 74Kg should be ignored and I must not exceed the hitch weight of 50Kg (assuming this number is right of course). Based on the handbook numbers as I described above I think the pre-loaded nose weight is 27Kg so when I am loading I need to check this does not go beyond 50Kg??

 

I have contacted Elddis and they are emailing me the Hitch Limit as suggested.

 

On a separate note I will be chaning to an Alko type hitch shortly for the stabiliser so assume I need to watch the new hitch limit when I do this?

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You will also need the Alko towball and you will have to clean the ball back to bare metal :)

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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You should also be aware that the nose weight limit does include what the chassis will stand as well, so bunging an ALKO hitch on which might have a limit of 100kg or even 150kg won't necessarily allow you to go much higher - you could end up bending the chassis.

 

The noseweight limit is for the caravan not just the hitch

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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You will also need the Alko towball and you will have to clean the ball back to bare metal :)

 

If the vehicle has a so called "swan neck" as used in most of the detachable type then the special Al-Ko towball will not be needed. The concern is if the towball is the type with the two bolt flange mounting.

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Thankyou. ... bending the chassis sounds like a bad idea so ill be avoiding that. I am aware about the alko ball issue but its ok as I went for a swan neck tow bar so I understand this will be ok.

 

I will stick to the 50kg limit as I have nothing else to work on. Best to be safe. Elddis dont seem to be very helpful as yet. ... bit annoying but ill keep on them.

 

Something still puzzles me though. If the recommended noseweight is 7% of the van laden weight then its strange that even 7% of the unladen weight (850kg) is still 60kg. .. which is more than the suggested noseweight limit of 50kg. I cant believe the van was made by Elddis where the noseweight is exceeded before you put anything in. It must be more than 50kg. .... fingers crossed I will get the answer.

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Can't believe 50kg: never heard of such a low limit. Towing with too little nose weight will not make for a happy stable experience.

Isuzu D Max pulling Bailey Unicorn 2 Valencia

Bailey Autograph 740 MH: Isuzu for sale LOL

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When the caravan is loaded the nose weight is adjusted by loading in front of the axle or behind . A length of broom handle or piece of wood and the bathroom scales is one quick method.

 

I would of thought the max NW would be 75. Have you checked for any chassis plates on the front draw bars.

 

Dave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

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Hi All,

 

Finally got to the bottom of this. As most suspected the max nose weight is not 50kg, it is 100Kg. So I am ok and should have ignored that match-up website. It is listed on the hitch but I did not see it as the hitch lock was covering it. I know, silly but all is well that ends well. I will just aim for the 74Kg recommeded.

 

Thanks All.

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Good news.

 

The 74kg is only a suggestion, but for a car with a 80 kg NW limit is about the target I would aim for, or slightly less if the back end of the car drops too much, unless the car has self levelling suspension.

Edited by xtrailman
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One thing I am surprised not to see on more trailers and caravans is a sliding balance weight. I have one of these on my logging trailer, and it is simply a 100kg block of lead under the trailer that can be moved towards the front or rear of the trailer by means of a couple of cables and a hand wheel. I can adjust the noseweight very finely to suit towing by Land Rover or tractor.

 

 

And lose 100 kg payload? :( Adjusting the load distribution is far simpler . ....... ;)

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