Caravan Snaking

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Mar 14, 2005
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An open skylight can certainly reduce the noseweight further at speed. Being high up any additional aerodynamic drag caused by the open rooflight will translate almost one to one in reduced noseweight.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I am sorry Buckman, I did get the wrong end of your stick.

However my point does remain valid even for the insurance industry, becasue; when you insure a car, the policy has to cover the car for all its lawful uses, which if the vehicle is rated to tow, includes towing. If the insurer wishes to limited towing for what ever reason, they MUST specify it within the T&C's before the policy is agreed. They cannot retrospectively apply a change to the T&C's to avoid a claim.
 
Sep 24, 2008
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I agree with comments supplied however regarding the roof light open. Was on the motorway in Germany doing about 70mph when passer byes waved at us , we thought being friendly , at same time wife said its getting colder which made me become more aware . Then noticed it was lighter in the back part so pulled over to investigate . To our surprise the Heckie was completely open like a sail . No damage ( German MH)).
 
Nov 16, 2015
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If your forward window opens longatudaly with your van and opens the aerodynamics will give you a massive decrease to your nose weight, giving a severe unbalance to your caravan towing,
I also found putting a wet awning , under the rear bed area was not good, another 20 kg 2 meters behind the axle.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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If your forward window opens longatudaly with your van and opens the aerodynamics will give you a massive decrease to your nose weight, giving a severe unbalance to your caravan towing,
I also found putting a wet awning , under the rear bed area was not good, another 20 kg 2 meters behind the axle.
I think he was driving his motorhome. At least I hope he was!!
 
Jun 20, 2005
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There’s a lot of malapropism on this thread . Maybe time to close it down😉😉😉
 
May 9, 2021
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Rookie question, as I haven't towed for 16 years until recently, how do you find out what the noseload is and how do you check it? I assume to put more weight on the nose just load more weight at the front of the van?
Our alko tow hitch snaked first time until I upgraded to an alko towball, feels better now but not 100% .
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Rookie question, as I haven't towed for 16 years until recently, how do you find out what the noseload is and how do you check it? I assume to put more weight on the nose just load more weight at the front of the van?
Our alko tow hitch snaked first time until I upgraded to an alko towball, feels better now but not 100% .
As you have suggested the actual nose load depends on how you load the caravan. For reasons to complicated to go into detail about here, when measuring the nose load the height of the hitch should match the coupled height on the tow vehicle. otherwise the wrong measurement will be made.

To measure it you need to have the caravan loaded with all the items you will be taking with you, hitched to the car with all people and luggage, just as if you are about to set off.

Tow the caravan on to some level ground. Measure the vertical height of the underside of the caravan hitch from the ground.

Chock the caravan wheels (do not apply the hand brake) and uncouple the caravan and move the car to give access to the caravan hitch.

Using something strong like the caravan step and some magazines under a set of bathroom scales lift the scales so the top is the same height as the underside of the coupled hitch .

Put some card or a piece of plastic to protect the scales, and lower the caravan hitch onto them. Lift the jockey wheel and all the steadies off the ground, and read the applied load.
 
May 24, 2014
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Reading Profs post, I wonder who on here honestly does that each and every journey. He is quite right of course, but its not something I do. I have a rough idea of the noseweight as i usually travel and the caravan is always loaded in the same way, so there will be a possible variation of +/- 5kg. Granted, I can take 135kg on the nose, but with previous vehicles it was the same routine.

I do pay far more attention to how I load the caravan, and ALL heavy items go in the back of the car.

Our alko tow hitch snaked first time until I upgraded to an alko towball, feels better now but not 100% .
Dont get confused between a natural yaw motion, caused by undulations in the road, and trucks causing a bow wave. If it was really snaking, you would still be shaking ;)
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
Our alko tow hitch snaked first time until I upgraded to an alko towball, feels better now but not 100% .
The fact that the towball was changed should not have any effect on stability. If it did, it was pure coincidence. An AlKo towball only avoids a possible foul condition between the towball and an AlKo hitch under adverse angular movement.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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As you have suggested the actual nose load depends on how you load the caravan. For reasons to complicated to go into detail about here, when measuring the nose load the height of the hitch should match the coupled height on the tow vehicle. otherwise the wrong measurement will be made.
If you have air suspension would that make a difference? Depending on my speed the suspension automatically adjusts the height profile of the vehicle.

Rookie question, as I haven't towed for 16 years until recently, how do you find out what the noseload is and how do you check it? I assume to put more weight on the nose just load more weight at the front of the van?
Our alko tow hitch snaked first time until I upgraded to an alko towball, feels better now but not 100% .
The best option is to purchase a Milenco calibrated nose weight gauge and use it to determine the nose weight. Very accurate and easy to use.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Contrary to posts that suggest a particular model of of "calibrated" nose load gauge, any gauge that changes its length when a load is applied will only give an "accurate" nose value if by coincidence it the load happens to compress it to the correct vertical height. Otherwise it will give a differnt reading. The difference may not be too significant, but it is different. The problem is even worse for twin axle caravans where the nose can change quite significantly over a small difference in vertical height.

There are contributors who have been lucky and find the figures do match, but that is coincidence, not a foregone conclusion.

But any consistent method of measurement is better than none.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Contrary to posts that suggest a particular model of of "calibrated" nose load gauge, any gauge that changes its length when a load is applied will only give an "accurate" nose value if by coincidence it the load happens to compress it to the correct vertical height. Otherwise it will give a different reading. The difference may not be too significant, but it is different. The problem is even worse for twin axle caravans where the nose can change quite significantly over a small difference in vertical height.

There are contributors who have been lucky and find the figures do match, but that is coincidence, not a foregone conclusion.

But any consistent method of measurement is better than none.
When did you buy your Milenco calibrated nose weight gauge and how often did you use it that gauge that made you decide it was not accurate.
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Considering that the guideline by manufacturer is that the noseweight should be between 5-7% of the MTPLM I do not see the need for any nose weight gauge to be accurate to within 500gms. On a 1600kg this means that the nose weight could be anything between 80 & 112kg. On our caravan the guideline means that our nose weight could be between 100 and 140kg.
Interested to see your data after your extensive tests showing how inaccurate the Milenco calibrated nose weight gauge is as we have one and are satisfied it gives a fairly accurate reading.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
In the case of a relatively long caravan, towball height variances have less of an effect in changes to noseweight.
I have a short trailer that, if empty, will stay nose in the air when the rear end is touching the ground, so effectively it has a negative noseweight in that condition, but my 8m caravan shows negligible change in noseweight when raised or lowered by no more than an inch or two.
The 5-7% of the MTPLM formula can safely be disregarded nowadays as it is quite often not achievable with heavier caravans. My previous Lexus had a 2000kg max. towload but a max. permissible noseweight of only 80kg, making 4% the limit, yet it was quite stable like that.
 
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May 9, 2021
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Reading Profs post, I wonder who on here honestly does that each and every journey. He is quite right of course, but its not something I do. I have a rough idea of the noseweight as i usually travel and the caravan is always loaded in the same way, so there will be a possible variation of +/- 5kg. Granted, I can take 135kg on the nose, but with previous vehicles it was the same routine.

I do pay far more attention to how I load the caravan, and ALL heavy items go in the back of the car.



Dont get confused between a natural yaw motion, caused by undulations in the road, and trucks causing a bow wave. If it was really snaking, you would still be shaking ;)
Cheers maybe I was just a bit out of practice! My last mobile home had an outboard so didn't have any towing issues just locks to navigate!
 
May 9, 2021
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1
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The fact that the towball was changed should not have any effect on stability. If it did, it was pure coincidence. An AlKo towball only avoids a possible foul condition between the towball and an AlKo hitch under adverse angular movement.
Ok thought it might make a difference, it certainly feels better, maybe placebo affect! 😄
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Cheers maybe I was just a bit out of practice! My last mobile home had an outboard so didn't have any towing issues just locks to navigate!
I found most motorways an d some heavy used Dual carriageways have ruts that make caravan "Weave". Once yo have one caravan wheel out of a rut everything goes smooth. A relearning curve.
Enjoy your caravan.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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When did you buy your Milenco calibrated nose weight gauge and how often did you use it that gauge that made you decide it was not accurate.
Personal comment removed
Considering that the guideline by manufacturer is that the noseweight should be between 5-7% of the MTPLM I do not see the need for any nose weight gauge to be accurate to within 500gms. On a 1600kg this means that the nose weight could be anything between 80 & 112kg. On our caravan the guideline means that our nose weight could be between 100 and 140kg.
Interested to see your data after your extensive tests showing how inaccurate the Milenco calibrated nose weight gauge is as we have one and are satisfied it gives a fairly accurate reading.
I am not going to explain yet again why the nose load of a caravan varies with hitch height, and why therefore any gauge that changes its length depending on the load applied to it will not give an accurate nose load reading for every caravan. Its a matter of proven scientific principles which the constructions and use directives do understand because they specify how the measurement should be made.

I do not need to purchased a device or extensively test it, to see the fundamental flaw in its operation. Its principle of operation is clearly understood. Every compressed spring nose load gauge shortens by a significant amount when a greater load is applied. Quite simply it means it cannot accurately report the true nose loads of every car and caravan combination becasue it changes its length.

There is no definitive answer as to how precisely nose load needs to be measured, but why compromise when there is a safe and low cost alternative that will measure the true nose load with better precision and at least as the same or better accuracy.
 
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