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Tow Bar Nose Weights


Grev
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Hi all,

 

This may be a stupid question/statement but: I am new to all this and I had my tow bar fitted on Friday at a local well known trailer specialist.

 

I opted for following my car manufacturers preferred choice (local dealer doesn't fit) a Witter removable bar. I went for the swan neck as I was advised that a flange ball would interfere with my parking sensors and I also paid the extra for the dedicated electrics and for the towing pack to be enabled on the car (software download).

 

The bar was ordered in especially for the car (2011 Ford S-Max) and I now have a brand new lump of steel behind my bumper replacing the standard non tow bar piece. I was informed by the fitter that the rear end of the car as a result was now stronger due to the more substantial piece of steel that he had installed.

 

The tow bar however has a nose weight of 80 kgs yet the car is rated at 90 kgs. I have seen a lot of talk on the forums stating that the car dictates the nose weight not the bar yet I am told by the the fitters that the tow bar dictates the weight, now I am confused (it doesn't take a lot) who is right?

 

But more importantly why is a piece of kit that is the manufacturer endorsed equipment and as such fitted as OEM rated at 10kgs less than the vehicle it is going on?

 

Is this standard practice?

 

Does everyone operate at around 75kgs nose weight when they load?

 

So many questions I fear my head is about to explode!! I think I need a holiday. ..

We only went in to have a look!!!

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You are limited now by the towbar rather than the car. The recommendation for noseweight is based on the MPTLM of the caravan and is suggested between 5% and 7%.

 

When my caravan is empty it is light on the nose with a noseweight of around 60kg (about 4. 5% of actual weight) and feels skittish and so travelling empty for a service I keep speed down.

 

When the van is laden for a holiday it has a MPTLM of 1495kg and I tow with a noseweight of around 85kg. (about5 . 5% of mptlm)

 

Many tow at around 75kg+ I believe. What is your vans MPTLM

Alan

 

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

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Either the fitter has fitted the incorrect towbar, or your model is 80kg and not the 90kg the latest versions are.

I would contact another fitter and ask him, or witter.

Sometimes the main cross beam is rated higher and will have a sticker on it to say so, and the detachable can be lower.

 

According to this website it is 80kg for the witter, models 2006 onwards.

 

http://www. pfjones. co. uk/s-max-2006-detachable-tow-bar. html

 

This one has a 100kg limit.

 

http://www. pfjones. co. uk/ford-s-max-5-door-mpv-06-2006-on-bosal-swan-neck-towbar. html

 

And this one is only 75kg!

 

http://www. pfjones. co. uk/ford-s-max-2006-on-pfjones-detachable-towbar. html

Edited by xtrailman
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The confusion maybe because Ford increased the noseweight on the Mondeo and Smax from 80 to 90kg around 2009. Maybe Witter have not increased likewise.

However the Witter website gives 90kg for the fixed flange towbar and the fixed swan neck towbar but only 80kg for the detachable swan neck.

http://www. witter-towbars. co. uk/towbars/towbar. php?id=4209&year=45

Maybe you should call Witter.

Brian

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Many tow at around 75kg+ I believe. What is your vans MPTLM

 

Vans MPTLM is 1448kg so at 75kg I would be running a little over 5%

 

Xtrailman and super jock, thanks guys. My smax is a late model where the nose weight is at 90kg according to my hand book, fords website and several others that I have looked at so it may appear that Witter have the wrong info on their site and for some reason they haven't updated their bars to reflect the upgrades that ford have made

We only went in to have a look!!!

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You are limited now by the towbar rather than the car. The recommendation for noseweight is based on the MPTLM of the caravan and is suggested between 5% and 7%.

That "recommendation" is a fudge, with even less science that the 85% recommendation.

 

In the EU, 4% is a MINIMUM but a minimum would be 10% in some parts of the world, even higher with a "load distribution hitch" in America and Australia - bear in mind that articulated trucks are around 30% which is why their trailer can be much heavier than the tractor unit.

 

Noseweight should be as heavy as possible but never exceeding any of the limits of car or trailer

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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Many tow at around 75kg+ I believe. What is your vans MPTLM

 

Vans MPTLM is 1448kg so at 75kg I would be running a little over 5%

 

Xtrailman and super jock, thanks guys. My smax is a late model where the nose weight is at 90kg according to my hand book, fords website and several others that I have looked at so it may appear that Witter have the wrong info on their site and for some reason they haven't updated their bars to reflect the upgrades that ford have made

Quite possible that the load for the detachable is less than for a fixed towball. I have come across that.

Alan

 

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

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The S-Max & Galaxy had a nose weight of 80kg with build dates up to and including February 2008, any built in March 2008 onwards have a nose weight limit of 90kg. However the towbar may only be rated at 80kg so that would be your limit.

My 2009 S-Max has a Westfalia detachable towbar which came with stickers for 80 or 90kg and the correct one had to be fitted when the bar was installed based on the date of manufacture.

My Westfalia has Ford part numbers and came in Ford packaging and has Ford instructions) I'd suggest that you have words with your fitter if you want to use the full 90kg (who specified the bar, him or you and what make have you got)

 

I tow my Unicorn Madrid (1600kg) at a nose weight of about 85kg so I ballast it to that when it's empty otherwise it's only about 65kg.

Edited by matelodave

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

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As said you are restricted to the 80 kg declared on the plate.

 

 

Dont forget to inform your vehicles insurance you have the towbar fitted now which usually is no extra cost .

 

 

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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Thanks Matelodave, I spec'd the bar as a Witter as my local ford dealer said that is what they supply as OEM kit so is what I've been looking at. I was under the impression that as they were removing the rear section behind the bumper and replacing it with the tow bar section then the nose weight of the tow bar would take on the nose weight of the car as this is becoming part of the structure of the car and not being just a bolt on addition. But it would seem that my assumption is incorrect

We only went in to have a look!!!

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I have the witter fixed flange fitted to our 61 plate Smax and it's rated at 90kgs.

 

Also have the dedicated electrics and programming (it only disables the sensors when the vans attached and disables the blind spot warning as well) and the parking sensors don't operate when in reverse unless I have not put the cover on properly.

 

Great tow car.

VW Touareg 3. 0L V6 262 R Line with a Unicorn IV Segovia trying to keep up!

 

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I opted for following my car manufacturers preferred choice (local dealer doesn't fit) a Witter removable bar. I went for the swan neck as I was advised that a flange ball would interfere with my parking sensors and I also paid the extra for the dedicated electrics and for the towing pack to be enabled on the car (software download).

When I got my 2009 Galaxy (exactly same towbars as S-Max) I called around a range of towbar fitters and discussed the options, pricing etc. ,. for a removable. ...

 

The NTTA one I eventually used did all the major brands. ... and all more or less the same price but were the only one who could 'code' the car - others wanted me to go back and pay dealer.

 

Witter had a 80kg noseweight limit despite car limit being 90kg. So I discounted that brand.

Westfalia / Thule / Brink were 90kg (if I remember right - but they may also have been 80???) and then there was

Bosal (that I have fitted) and has a limit of 100kg. .. as shown on a label in the door pillar. BUT I know I can't load to 100kg and am limited to Ford's 90kg.

 

I, too, now have the old rear bumper metalwork - in my garage - in case I ever want to remove the towbar on selling the Galaxy.

 

http://www. ford. co. uk/OwnerServices/FordAccessories/AccessoriesPromotions/ThuleTowBarPack suggests Ford currently recommend Thule not Witter?

Edited by Rodders53

2012 Bailey Pegasus 2 Rimini towed by 2019 Ford Galaxy Titanium X, 2.0 EcoBlue, 8 speed auto.

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Thanks Rodders53, interesting looking at the link it says that Thule bar is only £469 fitted! That's a great price. The specialist I used is a Thule dealer and the best they could do on the Thule bar was £650 and my local dealer said £600 for the Witter bar, in hindsight I think that was more because they didn't want to do it! However the Witter bar came in at £500 and I guess I'm reasonably happy with that and I know the bar is man enough for the job so roll on next Tuesday when we pick up the van

We only went in to have a look!!!

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Hi folks,

 

A little update for you. I have just had a good look at my new tow bar and taken a photo of its specification plate. And after some extensive looking on the inter web I have come to the opinion that the bar's S value is 135kg so with my vans coupling rated at 100kg and the cars nose weight at 90kg my maximum is 90kg nose weight.

post-69395-0-31188900-1409136684_thumb.jpg

We only went in to have a look!!!

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Nope that's not true.

 

The detachable is rated at 135kg, but the sticker on the cross beam will show 80kg.

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Thanks I have just had a look at the sticker on the cross beam, see pic, and it is rated at 90kg!!

 

so it would appear that both Witter and their authorised fitters have no idea what the are supplying and fitting.

 

Thank you all for your help on this, you've all made a newbie feel very welcome 😀post-69395-0-60428200-1409140298_thumb.jpg

We only went in to have a look!!!

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You couldn't make it up!!

Alan

 

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

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Thanks I have just had a look at the sticker on the cross beam, see pic, and it is rated at 90kg!!

 

so it would appear that both Witter and their authorised fitters have no idea what the are supplying and fitting.

I would quite happily

Thank you all for your help on this, you've all made a newbie feel very welcome attachicon.gifimage. jpg

No problem even I get confused by all the different ratings.

I would say with confidence that your limit is indeed 90kg.

 

Also don't be mislead by a similar static load rating you may see on a Alko hitch, its the chassis limit that matters which is usually 100kg for the Alko. I mention it because of the similarity to your tow bar saga

 

Thought I would check the codes with the link I provided.

Link says f125aq, your plate says f125u.

 

Yet even the witter web site says from 2006 on, and is no help not showing codes.

Edited by xtrailman
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Nope that's not true. The detachable is rated at 135kg, but the sticker on the cross beam will show 80kg.

Well done xtrailman, good post. ..think I will check mine now just be be safe, we put a lot of trust in "the professionals" giving us the right info.

Compass Corona (Magnum) 524 (2003) -----------VW Passat Alltrack 170 BHP DSG

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