Just be sure the scales are operating accurately if placed on a "not solid" surface. Our scales at home weigh accurately only if on a solid floor and not, for example, a carpet. Magazines are far less "soft" than a carpet but worth checking.Don't bother with a dedicated nose load gauge. If you have a caravan step, aset of bathroom scales, and a few magazines to lift the scales up to the height of the hitch when its coupled to the car,
Agreed and lot more accurate than faffing around with bathroom scales. Besides it is highly unlikely that you will get nicked if 0.5kg or 1kg over the limit.
It's not a legally enforceable limit anyway, well so long as one doesn't exceed it by so much that it could be construed as a dangerous loading condition, but then one would probably also be exceeding the rear axle load limit of the towcar, and that is a legally enforceable limit.Agreed and lot more accurate than faffing around with bathroom scales. Besides it is highly unlikely that you will get nicked if 0.5kg or 1kg over the limit.
I was waiting for this old argument against buying a calibrated noseweight gauge to crop up again.The purpose of a nose load gauge is to measure the static nose load the trailer applies to the cars tow ball. For reasons of geometry and the apparent location of the caravans centre of Mass (center of gravity) the height at which the trailers hitch settles when coupled to the tow vehicle will affect the amount of nose load the trailer produces. For that reason the measurement of nose load should be taken with the hitch settled at the same height as when coupled.
To achieve the height requirement your measurement instrument must be able support the trailers hitch at the same height.
All the presently available compression spring devices I have seen have a 150mm(6") or more scale and compression height, and for some caravans especially twin axle vans, that range of movement can result in some quite dramatic changes in the load generated by the towing hitch. It would be luck rather than design for any compression spring design to settle at the same height as the coupled hitch. If the hitch height when measured is not the same as when it's coupled, any reading you get will be different to the actual nose load.
There have been surveys carried out by notable organisations in the past that have shown some quite large variances in the accuracy of compression spring nose load gauges. Not only were the readings significantly wrong, even the same load repeated could give a different reading. There was was one model that did seem to give consistent readings for the same applied load, but even this frequently named model does not have an adjustment to set the hitch at it ride height, so even it's readings will not technically correct.
There is a British Standard which some products claim they meet. But all the standard actually sets out is the products ability to measure an applied load, it does not address the measurement height requirements of the construction and use towing regulations.
I can only offer this advice about the inadequacies of the commercial nose load gauges, I can't stop you from purchasing one of you desire, but I consider it is a waste of money when you can do just as well if not better with a set of bathroom scales.
RayPersonally I would go for the nose weight gauge but provided you do the bathroom scaled idea correctly and the scales are near accurate that should work. There is some latitude allowed in the tow ball height when hitched so you are likely to get some small margin of error but it should be good enough for you to satisfy any check.
The advantage of having a gauge to show at a check is that it shows you have tried and that is a very useful point if you are prosecuted.
I am not sure, but if the vehicle is loaded up to its maximum gross weight and then one connects up a caravan with a nose weight of i.e. 100kg or less, would one be exceeding the maximum weight allowed on the rear axle?Ray
does your same hypothesis hold good if I am caught speeding and there is a gauge inside my car right in my line of sight? 😂
I am not sure that the on road height of a hitched unit is a legal requirement that could be prosecuted. Certainly overloading the towball such that the cars rear axle load exceeds its specification could lead to a prosecution, but more likely a request to move some load around.
You could possibly exceed the cars rear axle load even if the car was not at GVW. But for every negative there is a positive. There would be 100 kg less on the caravans axle load. 😂I am not sure, but if the vehicle is loaded up to its maximum gross weight and then one connects up a caravan with a nose weight of i.e. 100kg or less, would one be exceeding the maximum weight allowed on the rear axle?
I wonder.....is that with the guage compressed or not?I was waiting for this old argument against buying a calibrated noseweight gauge to crop up again.
I have no connection with any noseweight gauge supplier, but the information on the Milenco gauge that I linked reads:
'Further improvements include the fact we made the Noseweight Gauge the same height as your caravan,so you do not need to block it up to use it.'
As I wrote earlier, it's for each to make up their own mind, I don't care either way, but I know which method I prefer.
I've no idea Sam, but I doubt if the small amount of compression would make a critical difference to noseweight measurement.I wonder.....is that with the guage compressed or not?
Ours is about 4 years old, but is the heavy duty version for nose weight up to 450kg. I only use it 2 -3 times a year and each time hardly any difference as always load the same way. Never knew there was a due by date.Has anyone had their gauge calibrated when it reaches its due date?