Nose weight

Jul 9, 2017
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Hi Guys

I think I know where I stand with towing and laws but as I have my third child on the way I will not be taking my B+E test, getting a new caravan and a new car!

I have a Hyundai Ix35 1.7 crdi and the nose load (tow bar capacity) is only 50kg

I have been looking at a bigger caravan as our old one had to go and it was just too small.

All of the caravans we are looking at are around 75kg nose weight! There is no way it could be reduced by 25kg

It's silly that it can tow 1200 MTPLM but not hold much weight on the tow ball. Unfortunately I purchased the car before getting my caravan so it was never really to tow.

We used our caravan loads going all over and staying at safari parks with the kids which they loved, but when I have mentioned it to friends they claim caravan is dying out, they four out of five of them have sold their caravans claiming the 3500 mam is too low, nobody wants to pay and do the test plus fork out for all the equipment. He bought a new car and the cheapest price he had for a new tow bar was 750 GBP, that was his decision to stop.

I am probably going to revert back to camping too, however my wife is heavily pregnant and we wound go within 12-18 months of their birth as we did in our caravan with both of our other two.

My question is is I found a lower nose weight how much could it be reduced by? I imagine something like 10kg max, I do not want the caravan swinging around, plus if I put the heavier items in the car then the car lowers then so will the alko hitch, reverting any changes

Many people believe they achieve a good reduced nose weight, but I don't see how it would be possible

Ideally I would like somebody to say, 'no problem, you can reduce the nose weight by 25kg!' Thanks! But realistically even 10-15 kg would be a good answer so I can look for a nose load of around 60kg in the hope of reducing it.

Thanks guys
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Thanks for the comprehensive description.
Have you checked the nose load figure with Hyundai?
https://www.thetowcarawards.com/tow-car/hyundai-ix35/
The above link , yes this Forum’s magazine, highly rated your vehicle as a tow car.They say the nose load is 75kgs. BUT do check with the manufacturer.,There should be a plate on the tow bar stating it’s manufacturer. Ask them too.
Auxiliary or upgraded suspension parts are also available. There are widely differing views on the types and their suitability. Again talk to Hyundai.
I am sure others will comment more but for now I’d try and establish the correct nose load for the car first. Good luck , three children is exactly what family caravanning is all about :)
 
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Thank you very much Dustydog!

It gives me something to look into, I thought it was going to be the end of the line but there might be hope.

All the best
 
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Sadly you will find the 1200kg max a much greater problem - for example a Sprite Alpine 2 berth has MTPLM of 1208kg, with capacity for 5 necessarily adding to weight and size of a bigger van. An interim could be a trailer tent or folding camper - usually providing 2 double beds off ground and facility for additional inner tents under the doubles or in the awning area.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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It’s worth looking at some older models eg Bailey Ranger, which are 4 berth and light weights , plenty of room with three youngsters. Plus a full size awning will go a long way for extra space.
 
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Thanks for you reply

I believe I can have the caravan plated at 1200kg? I know bailey do it for 60 GBP

The vans I am looking at are around the 1260 laden weight, 1050kg MIRO and I won't be loading much into it, I can weight my additional pieces and I am quite happy to make necessary sacrifices, I can't go over 3500 kg MAM either way

I think they have definitely made it difficult, although I appreciate that towing can be a dangerous game

A car with a load can be 3500kg plus a trailer with max mam of 4.25 tons but when towing ianything bigger it drops to 3.5 tons which is just that bit low, as you say

I was fortunate enough that the ix35 was so light and I was able to tow, but it is looking quite grim. On tow check it says the the caravan I like can't be towed because the towing capacity of the 1.7 is 50kg vertical weight on towing and the caravan is 75kg, however the link above contradicts that, but also says the towing limit is 1300kg when it is actually only 1200kg

Going to contact Hyundai today, I just don't think the 1.7 is great for towing, but my friends estate i40 is 2.5 tonnes!! He said he's done with caravaning too, sad really because when he had use of of mother-in-laws car he was away often, and he has an 8 month old daughter along with a 2 year old boy.

I live on an estate in the country and when I moved there everybody had a caravan, then it dropped down to 4, mine is gone, neighbour has swapped for a camper, mention above has thrown the tow in and the final one up the road has opted for static and sold his last month! Sad times, most people don't know they are illegally towing as we accept advise of our predessessors who could tow anything and drive 7.5 ton trucks

Thanks for your time and advice guys, it's much appreciated
 
May 7, 2012
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With five of you aboard I find it difficult to see how you could down plate to 1200 and have the capacity to carry what the family would need to. I cannot find details of any five berth caravans that are under 1200 MPTLM although you might find an older Bailey Ranger or similar but I am not sure.
I am not sure what caravan you have, but I do wonder if it might be possible to squeeze the baby in somewhere for the time being as it does not need a bed and reconsider your position a bit later when hopefully you will be able to look at replacing the car.
I do understand the problem as we started with two children and a lightweight four berth and another came along. We were able to get a Trophy Medallion then, which would have worked for you, but they are long gone and I doubt you will find even a second hand one as it would be 30 years or so old.
 

Mel

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Have you considered a folding camper like a Pennine. Some models are really big, and you effectively get two really large fixed beds as well as a nice lounge and kitchen. The weights vary but you can get a large model at 1000kg or less. I have been trying to find noseweight data, but I am struggling, however, I am sure a dealer could tell you.
Mel
 
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Good afternoon Mel

We have looked at a trailer tent, briefly, however my wife was against it.
She has friends who visited us on site in Weymouth and they loved our van and how much easier it was. I know everybody are different but I consider them similar to ourselves in many ways. They believed theirs looked very tired and the kids damaged it. Much like my awning it did take a little abuse.

It would definitely be camping other than caravaning, but it's going to be a couple of years before I get it back out!

We have a holiday with her entire family booked on the south coast this year and now I don't think that is going to happen.

I was contemplating getting a collapsible camper to begin with, other than my wife being against it I could store it at home. I also have a pug and a beagle, and they are much more contained in a caravan. If my beagle smelt the air infused with fat from a greasy bbq she would cut herself through any woven fibres to get to it. I had a retractable gate at home and she tore her way through it at bonfire night, £110 in the bin.

I haven't looked into anything at all today, I have a busy day at work, of course I can make time for all of you who have been so kind, I expected to have some aggressive replies and have to change my name whilst simultaneously going into hiding
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Towing Driving and safety area

MDemaine said:
Hi Guys

I think I know where I stand with towing and laws but as I have my third child on the way I will not be taking my B+E test, getting a new caravan and a new car!

I have a Hyundai Ix35 1.7 crdi and the nose load (tow bar capacity) is only 50kg

I have been looking at a bigger caravan as our old one had to go and it was just too small.

All of the caravans we are looking at are around 75kg nose weight! There is no way it could be reduced by 25kg

It's silly that it can tow 1200 MTPLM but not hold much weight on the tow ball. Unfortunately I purchased the car before getting my caravan so it was never really to tow.

We used our caravan loads going all over and staying at safari parks with the kids which they loved, but when I have mentioned it to friends they claim caravan is dying out, they four out of five of them have sold their caravans claiming the 3500 mam is too low, nobody wants to pay and do the test plus fork out for all the equipment. He bought a new car and the cheapest price he had for a new tow bar was 750 GBP, that was his decision to stop.

I am probably going to revert back to camping too, however my wife is heavily pregnant and we wound go within 12-18 months of their birth as we did in our caravan with both of our other two.

My question is is I found a lower nose weight how much could it be reduced by? I imagine something like 10kg max, I do not want the caravan swinging around, plus if I put the heavier items in the car then the car lowers then so will the alko hitch, reverting any changes

Many people believe they achieve a good reduced nose weight, but I don't see how it would be possible

Ideally I would like somebody to say, 'no problem, you can reduce the nose weight by 25kg!' Thanks! But realistically even 10-15 kg would be a good answer so I can look for a nose load of around 60kg in the hope of reducing it.

Thanks guys

It’s not as bleak as you may think!

Why do other peoples opinions about the popularity caravanning have to do with your needs or choices of how to holiday? Are you taking them along with you? If so, I think you may need an even bigger caravan!! Caravanning is still a popular valid choice and its none of their business how you do it.

It seems you may be working under a few misconceptions, so lets try and sort those out for you first.

Your biggest concern is the nose load allowances of your car which is limited to 50kg, and you have been looking at caravans with nose loads with 75kg. In both cases the figures you have been looking at are maximum limits, Nose loads are variable and they depend on how you load your trailer.

Caravans (and all domestic trailers) are rather like see-saw’s. Depending on where you put the load the caravan will try to tip in that direction. The more load at the front the greater the nose load will be. In fact it is this ability to change the nose load by repositioning the load within the trailer that is required to trim the nose load to the desired value.

Whilst the caravan manufacturer may offer a nose load “S”value, it will be the upper limit for the trailer. It is not a target value just a limit. SImilarly the car manufacturer also sets a maximum limit to preserve the integrity of the vehicle in neither case are you required to load up to the limits.

The EU construction and use regulations for vehicles requires the car manufacturer to establish a maximum towed weight limit and a maximum nose load limit for the tow bar. The regulations set out the nose load limit for a tow bar must accept an absolute minimum of 25kg, or a minimum of 4% of the trailers MTPLM. GIven your cars towed weight limit of 1200kg, 4% is 48kg, so the tow bars limit is well within the legal requirements.

Choosing a working nose load value. It is well established that towing stability is significantly impaired if insufficient nose load is used. Generally caravanners tend to find that they need to set a nose load towards the top of their available capacity. However once enough nose load has been created, there is little benefit in adding more. So I suggest starting at 75% of capacity (in your case 75% of 50 = 37.5) carefully trying it and if necessary increase it a little until handling cause no undue concern.

Don’t give up yet, just take care.
 
Jul 9, 2017
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Hi, thanks for the information above

The reason I mention my friends is because none of them come away with us anymore due to them giving up caravaning and they won't came, we are all busy these days and now we see each other less, but such is life.

We have been to on local caravan dealer — and certified epair specialists — and they didnt have a single caravan that we could tow.

They showed me a site (that apparently the police would use if pulled) and it said a 1260 MTPLM could not be pulled as it is 60kg too heavy, as expected, however it said, ' tow bar weight 50kg, trailer nose weight 75kg, 25kg too heavy.

I mention adjusting it and they said much like the MTPLM, it is classed as the weight. They said they wouldn't be abme to sell me a caravan unless it was within the limits. A light car that can pull more is the only option as going over 85% trailer weight isn't breaking the law, but If I am pulled or have an accident then I am not insured for the caravan or car, a fine may have been mentioned but according to them they would take my licence off me.

So it does seem pretty bleak in some respects, the lady there came to tell me she has the same issue, 3500kg isn't enough, she does with a light car and recommended such or a 2 berth!

I have considered changing the car for a 2ltr which might just happen as a low emission zone is coming into place near my work Even so, there are 200kg heavier, a loaded car isn't going to leave us much to tow from our restricted MAM.

Our pushchair alone takes up our boot space and it is tight to get 3 child seats into our car, it is only possible to achieve by not having to connected to the ISO fix points, we definitely cannot go for a smaller vehicle.

We came away not too happy and we are taking a break from caravaning, even though we recently renewed our caravan club membership lol

Maybe when the kids are older I will reconsider but we also need to extend for a third bedroom at some point so they will probably be going to uni by then, myself and my wife could get a two-berth then and tow! Something to look forward to when I'm old!

Thanks for all your help people, all the best
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The MTPLM is the maximum for the caravan. You don’t have to load it to the maximum so if you can live with a reduced payload 1200 kg would be legal if that is your cars maximum towed load. The only time MTPLM really can cause problems is if your licence is only a B. In that case the cars Gross Vehicle Weight plus MTPLM must not exceed 3500 kg. These are plated figures and are absolute so even if Car and caravan were unloaded the GVW plus MTPLM must not exceed 3500 kg.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello again MDemaine,

Your posting suggests you have been given a lot of misinformation, or perhaps you have misunderstood what you have been told.

Otherclive has correctly pointed out that the caravan MTPLM is not a weight it is just a weight limit.
MTPLM is only used when determining if you have overloaded the trailer or to check if your licence covers the outfit you are driving.

If the authorities want to check if a vehicle is overweight they must actually weigh it, and compare that result to the limits for the vehicle.

Exactly the same applies to the nose load, the load has to be actually measured to determine if an overload has occurred.

If you have not exceeded any of the limits for the vehicles then the outfit is legal then your licence and insurance will continue to cover you.

The 85% figure is just a suggestion. It has no legal authority, and simply exceeding 85% is not going to make anyone take your licence away.

There is no law that I am aware of that prevents a dealer from selling a caravan on the basis of the customers car. However a dealer may have a company policy to choose not to sell if they suspect the caravan may not be suitable for whatever reason.

Choosing the best combination to suit your licence will be a matter of personal choice, but there is a similar thread running in the tow car section which might give you some pointers.

I suggest you try a different dealer.
 
Jul 9, 2017
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Good morning

Thanks for the info, it is all easy to understand but contradicting

According to the tow car checker and two dealers that I have visited claim there is no grey area, it is solely the MTPLM and not the MIRO, there is no way of checking the weight in the even of an accident and therefore the insurance will not payout.

I took my car to the biggest dealer in stoke on trent and two gentlemen didn't even advise a caravan, they just said, 'if it's 1201kg it's too heavy, you won't be insured with your family in the car.'

I'm not worried about that as I'm sure I can get it depleted for just 60kg, it is just the weight of an awning.

The issue is the tow bar, apparently this is pretty serious, (detachable tow bar is fine, car vertical weight 50kg) after multiple checks it says the 75kg is 75kg, not 75kg but safe to drive if reduced to 50kg. I don't know whether it could be reduced to 50kg, I can't seem to find that information anywhere that why I started a new thread as I couldn't find the information in any other thread. The closest I got was somebody saying you can hardly reduce it, put weight in the back for a pendulum effect, just behind the axle but it still adds weight to the caravan so not reducing much nose weight. Most advised was in the car, but then the back of the car is lower so the ALKO has to be lowered in comparison.

I am happy with what I have learnt from the thread, it also gave me the idea to visit a dealer, although I had been hoping for better news and end up leaving with one!

I can't risk anything unsafe or illegal, I have children and also a long commute. We can still get a good price for our ix35 with low mileage, so we wouldn't have to pay much more for a 2.0ltr, I would like a Kuga. This is still an option, although the caravan dealers were just as concerned about the MAM weight, 3 children two adults heavy SUV and a caravan is probably going to be a no, of course there are lighter caravans, Lunars or really old vans I suppose. I did want something newer to look after a little more.

Thanks again, all the best
 
Nov 11, 2009
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MDemaine said:
Good morning

Thanks for the info, it is all easy to understand but contradicting

According to the tow car checker and two dealers that I have visited claim there is no grey area, it is solely the MTPLM and not the MIRO, there is no way of checking the weight in the even of an accident and therefore the insurance will not payout.

I took my car to the biggest dealer in stoke on trent and two gentlemen didn't even advise a caravan, they just said, 'if it's 1201kg it's too heavy, you won't be insured with your family in the car.'

I'm not worried about that as I'm sure I can get it depleted for just 60kg, it is just the weight of an awning.

The issue is the tow bar, apparently this is pretty serious, (detachable tow bar is fine, car vertical weight 50kg) after multiple checks it says the 75kg is 75kg, not 75kg but safe to drive if reduced to 50kg. I don't know whether it could be reduced to 50kg, I can't seem to find that information anywhere that why I started a new thread as I couldn't find the information in any other thread. The closest I got was somebody saying you can hardly reduce it, put weight in the back for a pendulum effect, just behind the axle but it still adds weight to the caravan so not reducing much nose weight. Most advised was in the car, but then the back of the car is lower so the ALKO has to be lowered in comparison.

I am happy with what I have learnt from the thread, it also gave me the idea to visit a dealer, although I had been hoping for better news and end up leaving with one!

I can't risk anything unsafe or illegal, I have children and also a long commute. We can still get a good price for our ix35 with low mileage, so we wouldn't have to pay much more for a 2.0ltr, I would like a Kuga. This is still an option, although the caravan dealers were just as concerned about the MAM weight, 3 children two adults heavy SUV and a caravan is probably going to be a no, of course there are lighter caravans, Lunars or really old vans I suppose. I did want something newer to look after a little more.

Thanks again, all the best

My Musketeer TD is 1300 kg MTPLM with weight upgrade. It sleeps five. Double in front for adults. Small double at rear plus one bunk. Cosy but feasible. 6.5 m long. Well within Kuga limits.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello again MDemaine,

I can understand how confusing this seems to be.

You are getting what you consider to be conflicting information from various sources, and you don’t know who to believe. But learly you don’t believe what we have told you.

If you want to know how your insurance will respond to a set of circumstances, then ask them, then at least you will have it from the horse’s mouth.

Similarly if you want to know how the authorities will respond to weight issues, ask them.

I honestly believe the information I have given you is correct, and that is based on researching the subject based on the fundamental regulations that the authorities would have to follow if they wanted to try to prosecute. The information is out there but you need to do a lot of searching to find it and sort it from the miss information that is also out there.

I really don’t know how we can convince you when you have already made up your mind to believe the “information” you have received from caravan and car dealers which in my opinion is seriously flawed or as I suggested previously perhaps you have not fully understood what they were telling you.

The only way you are going to resolve your questions and weight concerns is to get the information from the people who might try to use it against you. Just a pointer, the police rarely undertake roadside vehicle inspections, they normally support the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency - DVSA who are the experts at measuring vehicles.
 
May 7, 2012
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I think you have been given a lot of false information. The GVW and MTPLM of the caravan are the criteria for your licence. Do be aware though that a few cars have a GTW figure of less than the total of these two, usually French cars so you have to check that the total is correct.
For the purpose of overloading the police cannot rely on figures other than the makers figures and have to weigh the two using a certified weighbridge and show that it was actually overweight not just in theory.
There is no legal figure for a minimum nose weight and trying to show it was dangerous would need a lot of expert proof. I have never heard of a prosecution for this as I suspect it is too difficult.y
There seems to be considerable doubt over your permitted nose weight and I am not clear where you get this from. 50 kg is very low for a vehicle of this type.
Not sure where it leaves you though.
 
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Thanks guys

Not made my mind up as yet, just want to be safe and legal

50kg apparently is low, a recommended towing vehicle is 60kg-120kg
2.0 litres are often only 60kg so the nose weight must be adjustable

I think my only option it to purchased a nose weight scale and try in on the in-laws caravan, see whether there is much adjustment by moving items sitting 60cm rear of the axle, this might help

Also it would indicate the car isn't really recommended for towing, although it does tow nicely and without much effort

So now I have a new question for all you great people

Automatic or manual?

I really want an automatic to tow due to wear-and-tear on the clutch, I must admit it isn't too pleasant towing in traffic with a manual

I looked at one car and the automatic version towed around 120kg less, however an automatic apparently does more due to the hill-start

120kg isn't much but it could only tow around 1300kg
Obviously I would check that before purchasing

Is an automatic gearbox as pleasant as I imagine it? I have only ever driven manuals

Thanks!
 
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Beware! A lot of modern cars no longer use torque converter (i.e. clutch less) gearboxes. Many are electronically controlled dual clutch transmissions. Depending on the car, they can be dry or wet (oil bath) clutches. Brands use different terms; Ford call them Powershift, VW DCT just for two examples
 
May 7, 2012
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I think the choice of auto or manual is mostly down to personal preference. I have only driven one auto but I could not get on with it but others swear by them. If the auto suits your needs I would try a test drive and see what you think. For some they do make life easier but they usually use more fuel.
1300 kg though is not a lot if you need five berths and your choice would be very limited. There are currently no new caravans under that weight for you although there are a few older models but they will be few and far between. Personally I would try and find something that can tow 1,400kg where there are three models currently being built and there would be a modest choice used..
 
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I really don’t know where you get your information. Who on earth told you that 2.0 litre only have 60 kg noseweight. That’s baloney. Different cars have different noseweight.
You could try reading the technical help data sheets on the CMHC and CCC websites as they give accurate information on a range of topics.
Prof John has stated what the criteria for noseweight is. It must be a minimum of 25kg and ideally within the range of 4-7% of MTPLM.
 
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MDemaine said:
Thanks guys

Not made my mind up as yet, just want to be safe and legal

50kg apparently is low, a recommended towing vehicle is 60kg-120kg
2.0 litres are often only 60kg so the nose weight must be adjustable

I think my only option it to purchased a nose weight scale and try in on the in-laws caravan, see whether there is much adjustment by moving items sitting 60cm rear of the axle, this might help

Also it would indicate the car isn't really recommended for towing, although it does tow nicely and without much effort

So now I have a new question for all you great people

Automatic or manual?

I really want an automatic to tow due to wear-and-tear on the clutch, I must admit it isn't too pleasant towing in traffic with a manual

I looked at one car and the automatic version towed around 120kg less, however an automatic apparently does more due to the hill-start

120kg isn't much but it could only tow around 1300kg
Obviously I would check that before purchasing

Is an automatic gearbox as pleasant as I imagine it? I have only ever driven manuals

Thanks!
Let me assure you I and I would assume every other contributor to your thread also wants you to be safe and legal.

Getting a nose load gauge is not your only answer, it will only show you what will happen if you move items around, and that is not in question move items forward and the nose load will increase. move then back and the nose load will decrease (assuming you have a single axle caravan). That is a basic scientific and engineering fact.

The limit figures you have been quoting to us are far from clear, you seem to have a very pessimistic perception of what is available, and you report some very strange claims about what you personally are allowed to do based on what caravan and car dealers have told you, which I must add does not agree with the law.

Do you not find it strange that you seem to be the only one who is having such a hard time resolving your concerns? Others have been in similar situations and have managed with our help to find a suitable solution that is both safe and legal.

What you must do is to find out from a source you can trust (becasue you do not seem to trust us) what your limits are for the car and caravan you are considering and what your licence will allow you to do.

(Added edit) I'm sorry but I don't think there is an point in me trying to add any more to this thread unless you start to heed the advice you have been given.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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MdDemaine, I have found this item for you stating tow limits for a 2011 ix35,
https://www.thetowcarawards.com/tow-car/hyundai-ix35/
As a thought, as you have just renewed your club membership, why not go along to one of the local mettings in your area and ask the people there for help to resolve your problem, I am sure they will be happy to help. You could also write to the clubs website and ask them for information.
Good luck
Hutch.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Just to add two further short notes on the subject matter:
Noseweight limits are only maxima. There is no legal requirement to make full use of them although it is often recommended to do so in the interests of stability.
Secondly, structural constraints alone determine noseweight limits and nothing else. They are independent of MTPLM, engine size of the towing vehicle or its performance. They only document what the vehicle / towbar / hitch / chassis are technically capable of, nothing more.