F.A.O. Lynda (Nose Weights)

Mar 14, 2005
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Lynda,

You say the more you read the more there is to worry about. Don't forget this is all new technology compared with living in a house where you will have picked up knowledge over the years. Imagine living in a caravan all your life then being moved into a house - you would get the same sort of information overload. I had the same worry at first but now feel I am getting the hang of things. For instance I recently had water pressure problems in our 'van - don't panic - just sit down and think the problem through - try this, try that . . . getting there slow but sure. Then a tap at the door by helpful man from next door 'van pointing out that unless I replace the drain plug to the water system one Aquaroll will not last very long !

" Doh " as they say on The Simpsons and I bet I'm not the first or the last either.

Hope this cheers you up,

Mike E
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Lynda the reason you do not see people measuring the noseweight of their vans is two fold. There are some who never will and assume as long as the rear of the car is not dragging along the road that all is well. The sensible ones load the van, measure the noseweight, ensure they have a car that has a limit that will cope with the minimum they can get it down to, or wish to have. They will then load the van in the same way more or less every time ensuring any heavy items are over the axle.

I have a van with a MPTLM of 1350kg and the nose weight as normally loaded is approx 80kg. I am lucky in having a car which has a noseweight limit of 100kg so a bit too spare. My previous car though had a limit of 60kg so I had to load very carefully.

Noseweight is a nightmare and as vans have got heavier so have their noseweights. I believe all van manufacturers should have to specify the ex works noseweight with gas bottles, battery and spare wheel fitted. I think in that case there would be many vans leaving the factory with noseweights of 100kg or more.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I don't quite see the point of manufacturers having to specify ex-works noseweights. All it will tell is whether and by how much the owner of the caravan will have to readjust to suit the needs of the towcar but one would have to do that anyway after loading the caravan up and prior to towing. The manufacturer has no control of how the owner distributes payload within the caravan so the ex-works figure would only serve a purpose when picking a new unladen caravan up from the dealer.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Lutz, I beleive ex works nose weights are far heavier than 10 years ago and that gas, battery and spare wheel are must haves. If the nosewight with these fitted is 80-100kg then there will be very little that the weekend caravanner can do about it. Loading a few clothes, pots & pans and putting a few items in the fridge will not help much.

Noseweight is a reoccuring topic in the forum, I have got over the problem by getting a car with a 100kg limit, but its obvious that many people cannot get it down to their car limit of 60-75kg without awnings etc behind the axle line.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I agree that an excessive ex-works noseweight is a sign of poor caravan design but considering many people have difficulty with staying within the MTPLM once the caravan is loaded, it shouldn't be a big problem to adjust the noseweight to suit once everything is on board. Several times I have weighed everything that we put in ours and we easily get over 100kg even with the awning in the car.

You will probably find that caravans with particularly short drawbars suffer from high noseweights. It's a sign that the caravan manufacturer has tried to maximise interior space while at the same time keeping the overall length down but it does have the disadvantage of moving the centre of gravity forward.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Lynda,

I to have a Vectra estate with a max towing nose weight of 75 kg, Tow a Bailey Pageant Imperial 2 berth manage to keep the nose weight within the cars tolerance.

Within the front external locker there is Qty 1 13.5 Kg gas bottle Qty 2 empty water containers, along with a load of other light weight items. The spare wheel is slung underneath fitted by supplier.All the heavy items which is normally the food boxes are secured on the floor over the wheel arches.

In answer to your question with regards to how you measure your vans nose weight, I would recommend buying the Haynes Caravan Manual bought ours from Halfords but you can buy direct from Haynes on the web www.haynes.co.uk. Ours cost
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I would always like to know the ex-works nose weight of a van before I bought it so that I would at least know the scale of the problem before parting with the money! From my own experience, Explorer Group and Bailey will give you the ew/nw by email.

Graham
 
Mar 14, 2005
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As a high noseweight in the unladen condition is a sign of poor design I can easily understand why manufacturers don't supply the data unless specifically requested.
 
Nov 7, 2005
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I think, Graham, that you put your finger on it when you say it would be useful to know the "scale" of the noseweight problem. If you did, you could form a much better judgment as to whether your car will be up to the towing job without drastic counterbalancing behind the axle. And if heavy noseweights are down to poor design, as they undoubtedly are, then manufacturers should at least be obliged to make the situation clear from the outset.

The caravan I have just bought has a MIRO of 1,280, and according to the handbook has a maximum towing limit of 100kgs, yet with the front locker completely emptied out the noseweight is nearly 120kgs!

Apart from the obvious anomaly, it also means that the front locker is next to useless, as a gas bottle and spare wheel would together weigh another 30-40kgs.

If I had known this was the case, I would not have bought the van as my 4x4 (although largish at 1800 kgs) has a hitch limit of only 75kgs and I am left with the problem of piling far more gear than is desirable behind the axle. I am anxiously waiting to see how stable the outfit will be as I have yet to start regular touring.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Getting manufacturers to quote ex-works noseweight would be a pointless exercise.

What's important is the noseweight of the laden caravan - loaded with items in their designated storage areas - eg gas bottles in their holder, battery in it's compartment, food in the fridge, clothes in the wardrobe, bedding in bed boxes, etc.

Because these designated storage areas vary considerable with the layout of caravans, knowing the ex-works noseweight will tell you nothing.

What is needed is proper "road tests" carried out by PC and other magazines, not the promotional reviews we get now. It wouldn't be difficult to load each caravan tested with an appropriate dummy load in each compartment based on the number of berths and then measure the resulting noseweight as well as individual wheel loads and include these figures in published tests.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I agree with you fully, Roger. Road tests published in caravanning magazines would be an ideal platform for making people aware of any potential problem with noseweight, just like any other criticism of the design.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Roger makes a valid point regarding the testing carried out by virtually all the magazines, its about time manufacturers recognise that many people use large hatchbacks or estate cars to tow with. To keep within the 75kg limit that most cars of this nature have you are usually left with the only option of running with an empty front locker with the majority of payload over the vans axle. RichardS
 
Nov 2, 2005
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When we had our caravan we weighed everything we take with us loaded the van and then did the nose weight no worries.

We also weighed a box of wine to work out how many we could bring back safely.

Sad I know but needs must....
 
Mar 14, 2005
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takeing up grahams point manufactures

quoting ex works nose weights.

looking at my The golden Anniversary ocupiers hand book for my 1998 Bailey pagent, It gives the ex works nose weights for all the models supplied that year 100kg.

As my car limits me to 75 Kg I can still achieve this as mentioned previously mentioned.

The only major expense occured is buying a new fridge, loath to buy a new model as Lutz has mentioned the poor design is giving the unsuspecting buyers untold problems.These designs are more suitable to the motor van brigade.Roy
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I would check whether the noseweight quoted in the handbook is the maximum permissible and not the actual. Just like a max. limit for the car, there is also a max. limit for the caravan. It would surprise me very much if a manufacturer quotes actual data in the owner's handbook.
 
Mar 1, 2006
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I seem to have opened a can of worms here! Glad to hear Royston that you've got the same combination as I have and hope you're happy with your Pageant Imperial - don't tell me if you have any problems - it'll start me worrying about something else, hopefully you'll say it's a brilliant car/van combination.

My son tells me I'm worrying about it all too much - but then you never worry about anything when you're young! I like the comment about how it would be moving into a house for the first time - put's it all in perspective. First trip away is on the 7th April - can't wait to get one trip behind me.

Lynda
 
Nov 6, 2005
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takeing up grahams point manufactures

quoting ex works nose weights.

looking at my The golden Anniversary ocupiers hand book for my 1998 Bailey pagent, It gives the ex works nose weights for all the models supplied that year 100kg.

As my car limits me to 75 Kg I can still achieve this as mentioned previously mentioned.

The only major expense occured is buying a new fridge, loath to buy a new model as Lutz has mentioned the poor design is giving the unsuspecting buyers untold problems.These designs are more suitable to the motor van brigade.Roy
That's the MAXIMUM noseweight limit applicable to the hitch and the chassis, not the actual or ex-works noseweight.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Lynda

Well done booked your first trip let us know how you get on.

In answer To have I had any problems, Bought our 1998 van Second Hand on the 20th July 2002, since then we have covered actual towing miles 6942. The outfit has towed like a dream ,The only time the van visits the dealer is for the yearly servicing.

Roy
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Lynda,

I started this as a slightly frivolous add-on to your original request and,oh boy, has it taken off. But it all shows that help is so freely available as it will be on your first - and subsequent - trips. I'm sure there will be any amount of help to hand, if you want it, at whichever site you visit. Just stop beating yourself up with worry - just because your son is younger than you (generally the way it happens) does not mean his advice should be discounted.

Mike E
 
Mar 1, 2006
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Lynda

Well done booked your first trip let us know how you get on.

In answer To have I had any problems, Bought our 1998 van Second Hand on the 20th July 2002, since then we have covered actual towing miles 6942. The outfit has towed like a dream ,The only time the van visits the dealer is for the yearly servicing.

Roy
Glad to hear that Roy. So no problem with wheel spin - I've seen references to problems with Vectras looking back in the forum.
 

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