nose weight for an Avondale Dart 556

Nov 6, 2005
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Steve - noseweight isn't a constant, it depends how you load the caravan.

For stability the noseweight should be as heavy as possible BUT must never exceed any of the limits set for the car, the towbar or the caravan.

The Caravan Club adds a recommendation of 7% of caravan's MTPLM but still subject to the above limits, although it's not clear where this figure came from.

If your Passat looks "overloaded" check out the three limits above and test your noseweight, in touring trim, to ensure that you're not exceeding any of those limits.
 
Jan 2, 2006
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Steve - noseweight isn't a constant, it depends how you load the caravan.

For stability the noseweight should be as heavy as possible BUT must never exceed any of the limits set for the car, the towbar or the caravan.

The Caravan Club adds a recommendation of 7% of caravan's MTPLM but still subject to the above limits, although it's not clear where this figure came from.

If your Passat looks "overloaded" check out the three limits above and test your noseweight, in touring trim, to ensure that you're not exceeding any of those limits.
to alter the nose weight, I just move things about in the van is that correct?

Steve
 
Jan 6, 2006
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to alter the nose weight, I just move things about in the van is that correct?

Steve
Hi steve

We have the same model Dart and tow with a laguna and don't have any probelms with the cars back end being to low, the very design of the van with the position of the gas locker should avoid this problem.Try keeping the heavy items loaded over the caravns wheels and as low as possible, don't ram too much in your boot or the caravans front locker and you should be fine.
 
Jan 6, 2006
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to alter the nose weight, I just move things about in the van is that correct?

Steve
Hi Steve

We have the same van and have never had a noseweight issue.Try loading heavy items over the wheels in the van keeping the centre of gravity as low as possible, don't keep too much stuff in the car's boot or the caravan front locker and you should be fine.
 
Jan 6, 2006
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Hi Steve

We have a 556/6 and don't have any issues with noseweights.Try loading all the heavy gear over the caravans wheels keeping the centre of gravity as low as poss.Also don't cram too much in to your car's boot or caravan's front locker and you should be fine.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If the back end of the car sags a lot when the caravan is attached then it will also sag a lot if you put a lot of luggage in the back of the car when travelling solo.

The car must not be overladen whether towing or not and the noseweight counts as part of the payload of the car. So you'd better watch that you don't exceed the GVW of the car as well.
 
Feb 15, 2006
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hi steve, we bought a new avondale dart 556/6 in october.we had a 307 sw 2.0 hdi and we went to collect the new van from the dealer put it on the back of the 307 sw and it sagged really bad it had nothing in it and we did try to get the nose weight down but couldnt enough to feel safe and totally in control .they dont tell you when they sell you an avondale that they are nose heavy.we had to get rid of the brand new 307 sw and we now have a vauxhall monterey (same as a trooper)m reg a bit of a cum down from a new car but peace of mind and we feel safe.
 
Jan 2, 2006
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hi steve, we bought a new avondale dart 556/6 in october.we had a 307 sw 2.0 hdi and we went to collect the new van from the dealer put it on the back of the 307 sw and it sagged really bad it had nothing in it and we did try to get the nose weight down but couldnt enough to feel safe and totally in control .they dont tell you when they sell you an avondale that they are nose heavy.we had to get rid of the brand new 307 sw and we now have a vauxhall monterey (same as a trooper)m reg a bit of a cum down from a new car but peace of mind and we feel safe.
Hi jo-anne,

I traded my passat in for a nissan terrano (N reg), I used it to pull the van with and could feel the difference. But I had to take it back after 2 days as it suddenly developed rear axle and power steering faults. I was lucky enough to get my passat back and cancel the deal. The passat is a great car, but I am not confident in its ability to tow. I am new to caravaning and have only towed twice. Everybody who I asked about the suitability of the Passat assured me it is a good match for the van ( this includes tow safe, avondale dealer, expeienced caravaners and the guy who took me on a towing course)butI still have doubts.

Cheers Steve
 
Feb 15, 2006
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Hi jo-anne,

I traded my passat in for a nissan terrano (N reg), I used it to pull the van with and could feel the difference. But I had to take it back after 2 days as it suddenly developed rear axle and power steering faults. I was lucky enough to get my passat back and cancel the deal. The passat is a great car, but I am not confident in its ability to tow. I am new to caravaning and have only towed twice. Everybody who I asked about the suitability of the Passat assured me it is a good match for the van ( this includes tow safe, avondale dealer, expeienced caravaners and the guy who took me on a towing course)butI still have doubts.

Cheers Steve
hi steve, its our 1st van craig has been caravanning with his parents most of his childhood though.we had to get rid of the 307sw even though the weights were fine.we didnt feel safe and the van was empty.we cant fault the vauxhall monterey its would pull a house.even i would feel safe towing the van with that.we looked at the nissans and jeeps but they dont pull as much as the troopers or montereys.where we keep ours at storage hes got a trooper and he tows jcb's on a trailer with it.are you still thinking about changing your car?.

if so what are you thinking of getting?.

thanks

jo
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Steve,

I have a 2004 dart 556 and I would agree with Jo-Annes comments regarding the nose heavy state when they leave the factory. Using a nosewight gauge I had great difficulty in getting it down to 75Kg (the lower of the limits allowed by the towbar/car manufacturer). You could try the following-

Put all your bulky but LIGHT stuff under the rear bunk.

Put your heavy tinned foods , liquids etc under the side dinette next to the doorway. This is slightly behind the axle and has the effect of slightly lessening the noseweight whilst not being far enough back to give you the see-saw effect.

Avoid if you can putting anything under the 2 front seats as this only adds to the noseweight.

Avoid putting anything in the front locker ( useless anyway) as this will add to the noseweight.

Only carry one gas bottle as the gas locker is forward of the axle and will add to the noseweight.

Hang clothes in the wardrobe if you need to but try and put the heavier items of clothes in the locker under the wardrobe.

Run with the toilet flush tank containg only a small amount of water.

Put your awning, poles, chairs etc over the axle on the floor slightly towards the rear- this will have the effect of lightening the noseweight but shouldn't give you the see -saw effect.

I know this sounds a right rigmarole but I find that by doing the above gives me a stable outfit.I have towed all around France and as France allows you to tow to the same limit as the car speed limit I have towed at 80mph with no problems when late for the ferry.

You don't say how old your Passat is but you may have worn or weak springs causing the back to sag under load.

Incidently in the manual for the 556, Avondale give the maximum vertical static load for the coupling head as 100KG. This is the staic load and when you hit a bump on the road the dynamic load may well exceed this.

To sum up your nose weight limit will probably be no more than 75KG - your car manual should have this info.

Regards Cliff
 
Feb 15, 2006
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Hi Steve,

I have a 2004 dart 556 and I would agree with Jo-Annes comments regarding the nose heavy state when they leave the factory. Using a nosewight gauge I had great difficulty in getting it down to 75Kg (the lower of the limits allowed by the towbar/car manufacturer). You could try the following-

Put all your bulky but LIGHT stuff under the rear bunk.

Put your heavy tinned foods , liquids etc under the side dinette next to the doorway. This is slightly behind the axle and has the effect of slightly lessening the noseweight whilst not being far enough back to give you the see-saw effect.

Avoid if you can putting anything under the 2 front seats as this only adds to the noseweight.

Avoid putting anything in the front locker ( useless anyway) as this will add to the noseweight.

Only carry one gas bottle as the gas locker is forward of the axle and will add to the noseweight.

Hang clothes in the wardrobe if you need to but try and put the heavier items of clothes in the locker under the wardrobe.

Run with the toilet flush tank containg only a small amount of water.

Put your awning, poles, chairs etc over the axle on the floor slightly towards the rear- this will have the effect of lightening the noseweight but shouldn't give you the see -saw effect.

I know this sounds a right rigmarole but I find that by doing the above gives me a stable outfit.I have towed all around France and as France allows you to tow to the same limit as the car speed limit I have towed at 80mph with no problems when late for the ferry.

You don't say how old your Passat is but you may have worn or weak springs causing the back to sag under load.

Incidently in the manual for the 556, Avondale give the maximum vertical static load for the coupling head as 100KG. This is the staic load and when you hit a bump on the road the dynamic load may well exceed this.

To sum up your nose weight limit will probably be no more than 75KG - your car manual should have this info.

Regards Cliff
cliff, im so glad you agreed with me, i felt wrong what i was saying, what do you tow your dart with?.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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cliff, im so glad you agreed with me, i felt wrong what i was saying, what do you tow your dart with?.
Hi jo- anne

I tow with a Citroen C8 2.2hdi MPV which tows it very well but I wouldn't recommend one as the reliability is a bit iffy.

Cliff
 

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