Nose weight gauge any accurate ones ?

Aug 31, 2019
34
0
0
Visit site
Hi nose weight was something that I didn’t really know about or should I say know was as important as it is till recently.
I have seen the nose weight gauges but they come with mixed reviews. I only have a set of glass digital bathroom scales so won’t be using them so will be I. The market for a Guate if there is a decent one or should I opt for some cheap bathroom scales and a bit 2x1?

Cheers
 
Sep 5, 2016
928
119
4,935
Visit site
I use a Milenco nose weight gauge I know what I have in front locker and also I know what I put inside the caravan my nose weight is 77kg like it was last year, a lot of people use bathroom scales it's your choice some people rubbish nosewight gauges but I have never had a problem,
 
Jan 19, 2002
1,571
453
19,935
Visit site
Milenco 2691 gets good reviews, advertised a calibrated, and is easy to read. It is comapratively expensive but you only buy it once, - about £35 full price - and currently there is a used one on the usual auction website!
 
Mar 24, 2014
372
82
18,735
Visit site
I have a Reich one which sits on the towbar and you lower the caravan hitch onto it. Works fine for me. You can get them for about the same price (https://www.thecaravanshop.co.uk/caravan-accessories/nose-weight-gauges/reich-tlc-single-nose-weight-gauge/prod_991.html).
 
Mar 14, 2005
17,934
3,300
50,935
Visit site
The official noseload of a trailer can only be measured when the height of the hitch is exactly the same as when it's hitched to the tow vehicle. If when you measure the noseload it the hitch is at different height, the reading will change because the caravans centre of gravity will have moved horizontally in relation to the caravans wheels.

Any gauge that settles at a different height than the coupled height will give an incorrect measurement. In addition none of the spring loaded gauges offer graduations that cannot be affected by parallax errors when trying to read them. Most spring gauges are notoriously in accurate and unrepeatable.

I recommend the use of bathroom scales sat on top of the caravan step with a few magazines to under scales to make the fine height adjustment.

Even allowing for the noted in accuracies of some bathroom scales they will most likely be an order of magnitude better than any other propritry noseload gauge.

Twin axel caravans are very sensitive to hitch hight so extra care must be taken to get it right.
 
Mar 14, 2005
9,834
722
30,935
lutzschelisch.wix.com
I have glass topped bathroom scales, too, but by placing a thick piece of plywood of about the same size as the scales under the strut that supports the hitch, the load on the scales is distributed fairly evenly and there is no danger of breaking the glass.
 
Nov 11, 2009
21,175
6,701
50,935
Visit site
I used quality bathroom scales that read over 100 kg and have always shown themselves to be accurate for airline luggage check in. I weigh me, then me plus suitcase to get suitcase weight. For nose weight I used the scales then used my Milenco and it came within 2-3 kg. So the Milenco has been calibrated by me and now gets used regularly for noseweight.

On the subject of Milenco calibration I have never been able to determine precisely what the standard is that Milenco quote. I did email them but got a waffle reply. And it doesn’t come with any calibration certificate of compliance.
 
Apr 10, 2014
131
0
0
Visit site
OtherClive,
With regards to your Milenco gauge, do they not quote a BS number?
As they're a British registered company, one would assume they work to British Standards requirements.
I use mechanical bathroom scales to check my noseweight and aim for the 95kg mark.
Regards,
 
Nov 11, 2009
21,175
6,701
50,935
Visit site
Lappy said:
OtherClive,
With regards to your Milenco gauge, do they not quote a BS number?
As they're a British registered company, one would assume they work to British Standards requirements.
I use mechanical bathroom scales to check my noseweight and aim for the 95kg mark.
Regards,

But as I said I’ve not been able to relate the BS number quoted to a noseweight gauge.
 
Jun 20, 2005
17,810
3,858
50,935
Visit site
Sorry to say my old rusty Milenco spring loaded gauge was co-signed to the bin years ago. Using my little finger alone , pressing on the hitch could make a substantial difference.
I have used a Reich TA ball mounted gauge for five years and found it very accurate. However once or twice a year I do use the bathroom scales as a control test. The difference in kilos has always been negligible. I am therefore confident the Reich is still accurate.
Note the Prof’s very important point the measurement must be at the settled height once attached to t(e towing vehicle.
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
11,904
2,399
40,935
Visit site
No matter what nose weight gauge is the most accurate, over the past 20 years I've yet to see anyone checking their nose weight as they pack up ready to leave a caravan site :whistle: .
 
Nov 11, 2009
21,175
6,701
50,935
Visit site
Parksy said:
No matter what nose weight gauge is the most accurate, over the past 20 years I've yet to see anyone checking their nose weight as they pack up ready to leave a caravan site :whistle: .

That’s because we are all so incredibly disciplined. Dirty washing is redistributed to the holdalls it came in, wine bottles all have screw caps and are refilled with water. The fridge empties are all replaced for the journey home etc etc. :)
 
Mar 14, 2005
17,934
3,300
50,935
Visit site
otherclive said:
Lappy said:
OtherClive,
With regards to your Milenco gauge, do they not quote a BS number?
As they're a British registered company, one would assume they work to British Standards requirements.
I use mechanical bathroom scales to check my noseweight and aim for the 95kg mark.
Regards,

But as I said I’ve not been able to relate the BS number quoted to a noseweight gauge.

Quote from advertising

"Milenco's Precision Calibrated Noseweight Gauge (main picture) is the only piece of apparatus to be approved and calibrated to British Standard BS7691, and has proven accuracy within 2 kilos, even after 1,000 uses. The scale goes up to 130 kiloshere is a BS standard that was created for noseload gauges"

ironically the advertising quotes the wrong number, and two digits in the BS number have been transposed. See

BS 7961:2004
Specification for a device for measuring the static vertical mass (noseweight)at the coupling point of the towed vehicle.

I have not seen a copy of the standard because, it costs £106 and if as Milenco claim their product conforms, then it the standard fails at the first hurdle to address the correct way to measure noseload, as it does not allow for the adjustment of the height of the hitch coupling when measuring.

British Standards (and most other standards systems) are rightly well regarded, but often misunderstood. They are often perceived as representing the state of perfection, but in fact they are base line and represent lowest performance a product should meet. I'm not belittling them, as there are many imported goods and some home grown ones that don't meet these minimum standards.
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
11,904
2,399
40,935
Visit site
ProfJohnL said:
BS 7961:2004
Specification for a device for measuring the static vertical mass (noseweight)at the coupling point of the towed vehicle.

I have not seen a copy of the standard because, it costs £106 and if as Milenco claim their product conforms, then it the standard fails at the first hurdle to address the correct way to measure noseload, as it does not allow for the adjustment of the height of the hitch coupling when measuring.

British Standards (and most other standards systems) are rightly well regarded, but often misunderstood. They are often perceived as representing the state of perfection, but in fact they are base line and represent lowest performance a product should meet. I'm not belittling them, as there are many imported goods and some home grown ones that don't meet these minimum standards.
On the admittedly rare occasions that I use my bog standard Milenco noseweight gauge I use blocks of wood under the gauge and a couple of magazines to bring the hitch head to the coupled towball height which I've written on a post it note clear taped to the gauge. It's a pity that no manufacturer produces a gauge that can be adjusted for various heights, but in the highly unlikely event of me buying a new noseweight gauge I'd buy the Reich ball mounted gauge t/a model.
 
Apr 10, 2014
131
0
0
Visit site
I've had a look at BS 7961 the standard Milenco quote for their Noseweight Gauge.
Nothing interesting stands out, apart from the accuracy of the gauge must be +/- 5kg or 10% of the specified mass.
The gauge must also be capable of measuring loads between 50kg and at least 100kg, it is only to be used for vehicles with a maximum towing limit of 3500kg.
If anyone has any specific questions, feel free to let me know and I will read through the standard, to see if I can answer the question asked.
Regards,
 
Mar 14, 2005
17,934
3,300
50,935
Visit site
Thank you for looking it up.

Edit, I'm staggered that they're allowed a +/- 5kg error. That's as bad as many bathroom scales!

The modern manufacturing processes for a range of up to 150kg there are spring based weighing systems that are accurate to better than 1 kg and load cell systems to better than 0.1kg.

Milenco's advertising team are playing fast and loose with descriptions of accuracy, hidden behind claims of compliance with what appears to be an ineffective British Standard.

Does the Standard specify how the gauge should be used, specifically does it describe how the height at which the coupling is measured must be the same as the loaded coupling ball?
 
Apr 10, 2014
131
0
0
Visit site
Hi ProfJohnL,
This is taken directly from their website

3.2.3 Accuracy
Having undergone the tests described in Clause 4 and Clause 5, the noseweight gauge shall be accurate to
within ±5 kg or ±10 % of the specified mass, whichever is least.
3.3 Operating height range
The operating height range of the noseweight gauge shall be as specified in the manufacturer’s user
instructions.
3.6 User instructions
Each noseweight gauge shall be supplied with user instructions that shall contain at least the following
information:
a) detailed instructions for use;
b) recommendations for safe operation of the device;
c) recommendations for maintenance, storage and re-calibration.
The instructions shall include the following statement:
“When assessing/adjusting the noseweight of the towed vehicle, the limiting noseweights that individual
components are able to sustain should be taken into account as well as those that the towed vehicle can
sustain. The following components should all have limits of noseweight specified by the manufacturer, and
any other limiting factors should also be considered in the assessment/adjustment of the noseweight of the
towed vehicle:
a) towing vehicle;
b) vehicle mounted towing device (tow bar);
c) towed vehicle mounted towing device (coupling assembly);
d) towed vehicle drawbar assembly;
e) towed vehicle.”

It appears that the actual manufacture of the gauge, is to provide the relevant instructions on how the gauge should be set up and to also determine the required height, in relationship to the coupling ball.
Regards,
 
Jun 20, 2005
17,810
3,858
50,935
Visit site
This is all very academically interesting but it says nothing about efficacy or accuracy. Nothing about calibration and testing against another QA product , test piece of kit, to guarantee accuracy.
I have said before I do compare my Reich with the bathroom scales . So far over four years the differential has never been greater than +or - 1kg.
 
Sep 5, 2016
928
119
4,935
Visit site
I can't imagine milenco manufacturing a nose weight gauge that did not give you a reading within a couple of kgs, but you can always calibrate it by balancing a weight on the top of it and see what reading is
 
Nov 11, 2009
21,175
6,701
50,935
Visit site
I calibrated mine up to nearly 100kg by comparing with the bathroom scales. I know the bathroom scales are okay as I use them for airline luggage weight checks. Firstly weigh myself, then weigh me plus suitcase. Always within less than 1 kg variation at check in.
 
Mar 14, 2005
17,934
3,300
50,935
Visit site
camel said:
I can't imagine milenco manufacturing a nose weight gauge that did not give you a reading within a couple of kgs, but you can always calibrate it by balancing a weight on the top of it and see what reading is

I'm not sure why you have greater trust in this company than others. If all they have to do to retain compliance withe the Standard is to keep their devices within +/-5%, then what is their incentive to have a higher accuracy. To sort springs to a tighter accuracy costs money.

In addition, I believe their graduations on the gauges are only 5kg,, and coupled to the parallax issue of the design of the scale, it's unlikely you could resolve a reading to better than 2 try o 3 kg.

I would like to see anyone balancing 130kg mass on top of a spring gauge to prove its calibration.

But fundamentally the Milenco gauge changes its length by several cm depending on the applied load, so is very unlikely to support a caravan coupling at the same height as when it's coupled to the tow vehicle, rendering even less accurate at measuring real nose loads.
 
Mar 14, 2005
9,834
722
30,935
lutzschelisch.wix.com
Besides, if 5kg is going to make a difference between the way an outfit handles well or badly, there's something seriously wrong in the whole setup in the first place. I certainly can't tell the difference when towing my caravan with variations of up to 10kg.
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
11,904
2,399
40,935
Visit site
Nose loading is variable, it will alter every time that the caravan passes over a bump or dip in the road surface.
The best that anybody can hope for is a mean starting figure but I should imagine that the variation will be more than the tolerance for any measuring device.
+ or - 5% isn't going to affect caravan stability to any great extent , we're towing a large awkward wobble box over variable surfaces in changing weather conditions, not flying a fighter jet or performing delicate surgery with life or death consequences for the patient.
It would be very nice to have gauges that are calibrated to the exacting standards suggested in this and other similar forum topics, but to be guaranteed 100% accurate any weight measurement device would need to be re-calibrated at regular intervals, whether they happen to be spring loaded devices or bathroom scales.
Overall caravan weight, correct loading, correct maintenance procedures including tyres are of a much higher priority than worrying about one or two kilos over or under on the already variable nose load for me personally, so I use an affordable Milenco and I leave the bathroom scales in the bathroom where they belong.
 
Jul 18, 2017
13,159
3,755
40,935
Visit site
Initially we had the Reich one which was very accurate to within 2kg however one day I forgot to apply the hand brake and the caravan moved snapping off the head of the scale.
We now have a Milenco gauge which reads up to 400kg and is well within +/- range of 5kg. Why would anyone want to be pedantic about a nose weight that gives the exact nose weight? After all when travelling the nose weight can probably vary between minus zero and 200kg depending on the road surface. Manyl weigh bridges are only accurate to within 20kg?
 
Nov 11, 2009
21,175
6,701
50,935
Visit site
ProfJohnL said:
camel said:
I can't imagine milenco manufacturing a nose weight gauge that did not give you a reading within a couple of kgs, but you can always calibrate it by balancing a weight on the top of it and see what reading is

I'm not sure why you have greater trust in this company than others. If all they have to do to retain compliance withe the Standard is to keep their devices within +/-5%, then what is their incentive to have a higher accuracy. To sort springs to a tighter accuracy costs money.

In addition, I believe their graduations on the gauges are only 5kg,, and coupled to the parallax issue of the design of the scale, it's unlikely you could resolve a reading to better than 2 try o 3 kg.

I would like to see anyone balancing 130kg mass on top of a spring gauge to prove its calibration.

But fundamentally the Milenco gauge changes its length by several cm depending on the applied load, so is very unlikely to support a caravan coupling at the same height as when it's coupled to the tow vehicle, rendering even less accurate at measuring real nose loads.

Thought mine were 10 kg graduations.
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts