Confused over nose weights!

Sep 19, 2020
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Hello all,

Got myself all confused over nose weights. I have a 2014 S-Max (163 engine).
Downloaded the noseweight guide from the Carvan and motorhome site, this said 75kg.
On the Towcar.info website it says 80kg.
Looking in my handbook that says 90kg.
Got under my car looked at the s value on my towbar this said 90kg.

Am I correct in saying the s value is the weight I need to remember?

Thanks.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Hello all,

Got myself all confused over nose weights. I have a 2014 S-Max (163 engine).
Downloaded the noseweight guide from the Carvan and motorhome site, this said 75kg.
On the Towcar.info website it says 80kg.
Looking in my handbook that says 90kg.
Got under my car looked at the s value on my towbar this said 90kg.

Am I correct in saying the s value is the weight I need to remember?

Thanks.
Your car handbook for your specific model of car is the correct figure.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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90Kg is within your available car capacity so it should be OK. But nose weight or noseload is not a fixed value, its created by the way you load the caravan.
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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This nose load , debate is always confusing. Your handbook states 90 kg , this is the maximum thatyour car can handle, even if the towbar/towball states higher. It is the car limit.
You do not have to load it to that maximum limit though.
Caravan builders normaly state 5 to 7% of the weight o f the caravan. For the nose weight. .
On my Coachman, 1645 kg max weight. I tow with between 75 kg and 85 kg nose weight as it tows nicely at that weight.
Don't exceed, but tow what feel nice. Distribute your load inside the van to change weight,
Try to not go heavy at the back of the caravan.
I hope this helps.
 
May 7, 2012
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Frankly trying to load to 9- kg would be too much of a faff for me. provided it is fairly near this I would not worry. The other thing you should be aware of is that it should be at least 4% of the caravans weight although 5% is better.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
Just to add a note:
The 4% figure is not a legal minimum that must be achieved in use. However, the manufacturer must certify that the towbar is capable of handling a noseweight at least 4% of the specified towload limit.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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This nose load , debate is always confusing. Your handbook states 90 kg , this is the maximum thatyour car can handle, even if the towbar/towball states higher. It is the car limit.
You do not have to load it to that maximum limit though.
Caravan builders normaly state 5 to 7% of the weight o f the caravan. For the nose weight. .
On my Coachman, 1645 kg max weight. I tow with between 75 kg and 85 kg nose weight as it tows nicely at that weight.
Don't exceed, but tow what feel nice. Distribute your load inside the van to change weight,
Try to not go heavy at the back of the caravan.
I hope this helps.
That’s exceedingly eloquent for you Hutch👏👏 You off the sherbet😜. Next question! How do you measure nose load? Google in the search engine. Gaga Kev made an excellent piece of kit used with the bathroom scales. He should have patented it😍😍
 
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That’s exceedingly eloquent for you Hutch👏👏 You off the sherbet😜. Next question! How do you measure nose load? Google in the search engine. Gaga Kev made an excellent piece of kit used with the bathroom scales. He should have patented it😍😍
This one, still got and still use.
Nose weight Guage.jpg

Dusty, the original idea was from our Sprocket back in the day.
Didnt have the heart to nick and patent his idea :LOL:
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The main reason for the nose load is to promote stability of the towing outfit. There is a common consensus that more nose load is better, but that does not give a driver carte blanche to keep on adding more nose load. There are mechanical upper limits independently set by both the tow vehicle and trailer manufacturers. The driver needs to be aware that in most cases the limits of the car and trailer are not the same, but as they are limits, the lower of the two must be observed as an absolute maximum.

Even though the consensus suggests going to the lower of the two maximums would be a good solution, exceeding the nose load that confers good stability offers no real advantage.

As with so many aspects of towing, focusing on just one point in isolation rather than the whole gambit of interactions can lead the unsuspecting up the garden path.

Good towing is getting a sensible grip on things like:-
  • Correct loading of both car and caravan, and measuring to ensure compliance with the specification's , the law, and good sense advice.
  • Proper maintenance of all running gear. (e.g. Tyre condition and pressures, suspension, couplings brakes and general vehicle maintenance)
  • Driving with due regard for the road conditions.
  • Understanding the limits of vehicle performance when towing.
  • Realising that speed (Edit..and weight) limits are limits and not targets.
 
Last edited:
Jun 20, 2005
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How life changes😥
Soon non tuggers will be let loose.
Few will understand the weight loading factors we discuss to death.
Used caravan prices are heading for a crash sooner than most want.
What a shame HMG hasn’t offered some helpful guidelInes.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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But you really don't need to go into all this detail. I hope that new starters as we all were once will read the legalities and sort it out themselves. I can't see a huge increase in van accidents myself.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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How life changes😥
Soon non tuggers will be let loose.
Few will understand the weight loading factors we discuss to death.
Used caravan prices are heading for a crash sooner than most want.
What a shame HMG hasn’t offered some helpful guidelInes.
I only got some advice from a newly widowed lady who told me my car wasn’t heavy enough to tow the caravan she was selling. I recall buying a Haynes Manual at some stage. Went to a dealer near Swindon to buy a pre owned Eldiss. Turned up in a rear engined. Skoda Estelle 105. They didn’t even question the suitability of my car for towing. Not all newbies are idiots, like not all long term caravanners are sensible about speed and loading.
 
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Back in 1978 caravans were small, mine 12‘ about 850 kgs. I joined the then CC and learnt a lot from them . Otherwise agree . I was self taught. My point today is that caravans are larger, heavier. Cars more powerful but maybe lighter?
I suggest HMG really should issue some helpful guidelines for the new tugger to make them aware of the dynamics. Self teaching today rings the alarm bells for me.
 
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I suggest HMG really should issue some helpful guidelines for the new tugger to make them aware of the dynamics. Self teaching today rings the alarm bells for me.
I don't think it's practical or right to expect HMG to tell every one how to tow a caravan. If thy have to do it for caravanners they would have to do the same for all other niche vehicle activities, and that isn't going to happen.

All HMG have to do is to set the standards to which all driver are expected to drive, it is up to the driver to make the effort to ensure they and their vehicles are capable of doing so where no test is actually performed.

This is where the vehicle, caravan and trade or hobby organisations should be fulfilling the extracurricular training and advice to drivers (provided the advice is sensible and evidence based)
 
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The big advantage todays newbies have is that there is masses of information available on the internet and magazines. The Clubs and Forums have so much embodied knowledge and experience that is freely available to newbies. Let’s hope that a goodly number are sufficiently motivated to seek out that knowledge.
 
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I merely refer to HMG as it is they who have changed the Law and maybe purely for belts and braces there is some mileage in giving people a steer , say towards the Clubs etc.
I haven’t seen many novices on here yet??
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I don't think it's practical or right to expect HMG to tell every one how to tow a caravan. If thy have to do it for caravanners they would have to do the same for all other niche vehicle activities, and that isn't going to happen.

All HMG have to do is to set the standards to which all driver are expected to drive, it is up to the driver to make the effort to ensure they and their vehicles are capable of doing so where no test is actually performed.

This is where the vehicle, caravan and trade or hobby organisations should be fulfilling the extracurricular training and advice to drivers (provided the advice is sensible and evidence based)
I don't se why not, HMG decides that a motorcycle rider has to take a proficency test before going on the road, why not the same for basic car drivers and then people to tow trailers. It should all be included. Even if it is farmed out to other organisations.
My sons were put through the "extra" driving bits after their driving test, which stated it would help their insurance, It didn't. A waste of money. Insurance companys didnt recognise it.
 

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