Frequency of Nose Load checks

Mar 14, 2005
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Rather than pollute another thread. I am responding here to a comment in the New MOT Rules thread, this comment from Lappy caught my eye.

Lappy said:
..
Thanks for adding the link to the MoT testing of the towbar.
The point I was trying to make, was how often do people need to check the tightness of the bolts.

I don't check my caravan wheels, as they have WSL bolts fitted.
I do not check the road wheels of the car, as once they have been tightened to the correct torque figure and rechecked after a few miles (20) they should not need to be rechecked.
If I have wrongly assumed the need for rechecking is excessive, then I hold my hand up.

The same thing goes for nose weight, once is enough and you just need to remember what you have and don't add to it. The front locker should only be used as intended, which is the storage of Gas bottles and a few bits and bobs. I've seen some people with more stuff in their front locker, than there is in their wife's handbag
Regards,

Lappy

One of this forums jobs is to offer good advice, but ultimately it is always the drivers responsibility to ensue their vehicle (and any trailer in tow) is in a fully road worthy condition.

It is arguably the case that if allow any of the manufacturers load limits to be exceeded, your vehicle or outfit could be deemed to be unsafe, even though it might not be heaver than permitted.

It is a mechanical and scientific fact, if any aspect of the way a vehicle or trailer is loaded is changed, it will affect things like nose and axle loads. Most caravanners will find the way they load a caravan will produce different nose load values on outward and return journeys, simply becasue you will have used some gas, the loo may be heavier, there will most likely be less food. Clothes for washing may stowed differently You may have collected holiday memorabilia, maps, magazines etc etc etc... Whilst I agree its unlikely that any of these as individual items will make a big difference to the nose load, collectively there could be quite a shift, moving from safe to unsafe. I'm not just talking about over loading, some shifts could reduce nose load and increase the risk of instability.

Consequently just checking your nose load once, and then never bothering to do it again is shear bad advice.

It is well establish that having insufficient nose load can lead to early onset instability, so it is common practice to set a nose load towards the top of the available range. For those who aim for 90 to 95% of the available range the changes I have outlined above could very easily take the nose load to 100% or more.

Some caravanners on this and other forums have demonstrated a foolish disregard for the importance of observing nose load limits. The limits are there for an important reason. The manufacture decides if a vehicle is suitable to be used for towing. They have to set limits to make sure that whatever is hitched up is not going to cause the tow vehicle to become inherently unsafe or illegal, nor is likely to be damaged by the loads they tow.

Without going into too much detail if you have stationary mass of 1kg and subjected to gravity (an acceleration) at 1G, it produces a force of 1kg of weight. If you increase the acceleration due to some motion, then the mass will will produce a force of Mass x Acceleration. Newtons second law of motion Force = Mass x Acceleration.

Put simply. if you exceed your static nose load capacity by 10Kg that will translate to a much greater dynamic over load when subjected to the accelerations (mainly vibrations) caused by towing. When you consider that through tetsing at MIRA near Nuneaton that g forces acting on a caravan when being towed were measured and can normally reach 4G and frequently 8G and occasionally higher, overloading a static value can have serious consequences, including increased wear and tear, taking systems outside of normal expected limits, even mechanical failures.

Overloading any manufactures limits is a mugs game, so check your nose load before each trip.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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ProfJohnL said:
Rather than pollute another thread. I am responding here to a comment in the New MOT Rules thread, this comment from Lappy caught my eye.

Lappy said:
..
Thanks for adding the link to the MoT testing of the towbar.
The point I was trying to make, was how often do people need to check the tightness of the bolts.

I don't check my caravan wheels, as they have WSL bolts fitted.
I do not check the road wheels of the car, as once they have been tightened to the correct torque figure and rechecked after a few miles (20) they should not need to be rechecked.
If I have wrongly assumed the need for rechecking is excessive, then I hold my hand up.

The same thing goes for nose weight, once is enough and you just need to remember what you have and don't add to it. The front locker should only be used as intended, which is the storage of Gas bottles and a few bits and bobs. I've seen some people with more stuff in their front locker, than there is in their wife's handbag
Regards,

Lappy

One of this forums jobs is to offer good advice, but ultimately it is always the drivers responsibility to ensue their vehicle (and any trailer in tow) is in a fully road worthy condition.

It is arguably the case that if allow any of the manufacturers load limits to be exceeded, your vehicle or outfit could be deemed to be unsafe, even though it might not be heaver than permitted.

It is a mechanical and scientific fact, if any aspect of the way a vehicle or trailer is loaded is changed, it will affect things like nose and axle loads. Most caravanners will find the way they load a caravan will produce different nose load values on outward and return journeys, simply becasue you will have used some gas, the loo may be heavier, there will most likely be less food. Clothes for washing may stowed differently You may have collected holiday memorabilia, maps, magazines etc etc etc... Whilst I agree its unlikely that any of these as individual items will make a big difference to the nose load, collectively there could be quite a shift, moving from safe to unsafe. I'm not just talking about over loading, some shits cold reduce nose load and increase the risk of instability.

Consequently just checking your nose load once, and then never bothering to do it again is shear bad advice.

It is well establish that having insufficient nose load can lead to early onset instability, so it is common practice to set a nose load towards the top of the available range. For those who aim for 90 to 95% of the available range the changes I have outlined above could very easily take the nose load to 100% or more.

Some caravanners on this and other forums have demonstrated a foolish disregard for the importance of observing nose load limits. The limits are there for an important reason. The manufacture decides if a vehicle is suitable to be used for towing. They have to set limits to make sure that whatever is hitched up is not going to cause the tow vehicle to become inherently unsafe or illegal, nor is likely to be damaged by the loads they tow.

Without going into too much detail if you have stationary mass of 1kg and subjected to gravity (an acceleration) at 1G, it produces a force of 1kg of weight. If you increase the acceleration due to some motion, then the mass will will produce a force of Mass x Acceleration. Newtons second law of motion Force = Mass x Acceleration.

Put simply. if you exceed your static nose load capacity by 10Kg that will translate to a much greater dynamic over load when subjected to the accelerations (mainly vibrations) caused by towing. When you consider that through tetsing at MIRA near Nuneaton that g forces acting on a caravan when being towed were measured and can normally reach 4G and frequently 8G and occasionally higher, overloading a static value can have serious consequences, including increased wear and tear, taking systems outside of normal expected limits, even mechanical failures.

Overloading any manufactures limits is a mugs game, so check your nose load before each trip.

Really Prof your para 3 referring to the toilet being heavier, but honestly describing why tops it all!

“***** cold”. I’ll have you know mine are all emptied prior to leaving the site irrespective of temperature :)
 
Jun 20, 2005
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***** cold will reduce nose load :blush:
As my toilet is in the rear the Prof raises a very valid point. If you are a real Woosie then this aspect will be irelevant as a number two is a no no for some :whistle:
Jokes aside departing for home , the gas bottles will no doubt be lighter too.

I promise not to mention Reich...... :woohoo:
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Dustydog said:
***** cold will reduce nose load :blush:
As my toilet is in the rear the Prof raises a very valid point. If you are a real Woosie then this aspect will be irelevant as a number two is a no no for some :whistle:
Jokes aside departing for home , the gas bottles will no doubt be lighter too.

I promise not to mention Reich...... :woohoo:

Big job getting noseweight correct with a rear loo!
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Personally,we travel both ways with very similar weight.I check the nose weight with bathroom scales every now and again,but go off feel after that.I know some on here are horrified that I go off feel by lifting the hitch to check general weight (once I've bathroom scale checked).So ,think about this.We/most of us check the nose weight before a journey,but I have never ever seen anyone getting there measurement gauge (whatever you use)out before leaving site,and trust me I'm a nosey git :( :cheer:
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Brasso530 said:
Personally,we travel both ways with very similar weight.I check the nose weight with bathroom scales every now and again,but go off feel after that.I know some on here are horrified that I go off feel by lifting the hitch to check general weight (once I've bathroom scale checked).So ,think about this.We/most of us check the nose weight before a journey,but I have never ever seen anyone getting there measurement gauge (whatever you use)out before leaving site,and trust me I'm a nosey git :( :cheer:

Brasso, I am the same maybe after every third or forth trip, depending on where SWMBO decideds to change stuff around, Pressure cooker , etc, and the time of year, winter clothes in the wardrobe and lockers. A bit heavier towards aft of the axle.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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EH52ARH said:
Brasso530 said:
Personally,we travel both ways with very similar weight.I check the nose weight with bathroom scales every now and again,but go off feel after that.I know some on here are horrified that I go off feel by lifting the hitch to check general weight (once I've bathroom scale checked).So ,think about this.We/most of us check the nose weight before a journey,but I have never ever seen anyone getting there measurement gauge (whatever you use)out before leaving site,and trust me I'm a nosey git :( :cheer:

Brasso, I am the same maybe after every third or forth trip, depending on where SWMBO decideds to change stuff around, Pressure cooker , etc, and the time of year, winter clothes in the wardrobe and lockers. A bit heavier towards aft of the axle.

I have just calculated that with a fully laden Carvan , in my case, 1645 kg, my nose loads could be (5 to 7 %) 82.3 kg to 112 kg. So really I have a massive range and I know that with my internal weight distribution not changing greatly, And any changes are very near the axle , therefore not a great " moment " change. At the Miro weight its 74 kg to 103 kg. So I really dont have to check my nose weight every time out. As long as Do not have a full Aqua roll in the shower at the back of the van, in case I don't like the drinking water in Wales.
 

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