Nose Weight

Aug 30, 2020
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Attached photo shows all my weights etc on towbar and new van, worry is when I picked up the van the back of the car seemed quite low,both were empty, did the necessary tow car checks before purchasing well below the 85% rule, think it was 78%. The attachment says under my car details noseweight 100g, is that a figure that I have to aim to always be under? Please advice,Nick.
 

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Nov 16, 2015
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Hello Nick, yes you should aim to be below the 100 kg nose weight. I tend to keep my SantaFe which has a nose weight limit of 100 kg at about 85 kg, which gives a nice ride. Remember not all caravans will ride level , also check how much weight you have in the back of your car.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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Attached photo shows all my weights etc on towbar and new van, worry is when I picked up the van the back of the car seemed quite low,both were empty, did the necessary tow car checks before purchasing well below the 85% rule, think it was 78%. The attachment says under my car details noseweight 100g, is that a figure that I have to aim to always be under? Please advice,Nick.
I suggest that the "target noseweight" of 63 kg shown for the caravan is totally ignored - use the car's noseweight limit of 100 kg and aim to be just under that.
 
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Aug 30, 2020
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Hello Nick, yes you should aim to be below the 100 kg nose weight. I tend to keep my SantaFe which has a nose weight limit of 100 kg at about 85 kg, which gives a nice ride. Remember not all caravans will ride level , also check how much weight you have in the back of your car.
Hi Hutch many thanks for your response I was just concerned how low the back of my car was without anything in either vehicle,was wondering whether I needed to get fitted some form of stronger rear springs.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The weight plate on the car will give the maximum allowable rear axle load. This is a limit set by the manufacturer and for which he will accept full product liability in service, and that includes the amount of available suspension travel. So long as you stay within that limit you should therefore be OK.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Nick,

A caravan manufacture cannot tell you what the actual nose load of a caravan is, becasue it always depends on how the caravan is loaded at the time. The owner is expected to reposition where items are stowed to trim the the nose load to a suitable value. A brand new caravan straight from the dealer without any of your equipment or luggage may have an excessive nose load. This is not a fault, it just means its designed to rely on your items to address the balance, The caravan may need ballasting to set a suitable nose load when being towed empty.

There is NO single fixed value of nose load you should aim at which is why the industry suggests you trim for about 5 to 7% of the trailers weight.

Very few caravanners know exactly how heavy their caravan actually is, and because the available payload in a caravan is a relatively small percentage of the caravan whole weight, it is easiest to base you target nose load on between 5 to 7% of the caravans MTPLM.

Nose load plays an important role in helping to keep the caravan towing properly. Too little and the caravan can become unstable even at just modest speeds. It is generally better to aim towards the top of the available nose load range, as it increases the handling margins. Your range is the smaller value of either the Cars tow balls load limit (S value) or the caravan chassis nose load limit. In your case Elddis have already worked out the 5 to 7% figures so there is a starting point.

I must point out that caravan stability is not controlled by just one feature such a nose load, it has to be sensible approach to nose loads, and the distribution of weight within the caravan, not forgetting having an adequate car and everything properly maintained and working. Considering road conditions, and not forgetting the driving style.

Don't forget that the actual nose load of a caravan is pushing down on the rear most part of the tow car, and that will apply load on the cars rear suspension. You will need to check your cars specification for details, but some manufacturers do tell you to limit what you carry in the back of a car if you are towing. Your cars data plate tells you the load limits for the rear axle.

Provided you load your car correctly even when towing, you should never need to use spring assisters. The car manufacture will have worked it all out, and if you find your car is too low at the rear it is almost always being overloaded, or something has worn or is broken. Don't forget to check your cars handbook for advice about tyre pressures when towing.

PJL Edit - Opps- Missing important word now added in green .
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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There is single fixed value of nose load you should aim at which is why the industry suggests you trim for about 5 to 7% of the trailers weight.
Another industry recommendation without any scientific testing or proof - those numbers were chosen because they "work" for most British caravans with a 100 kg hitch limit.

IMO, a better recommendation is "as heavy as possible without exceeding any of the limits imposed by the tow vehicle, the tow bar or the trailer hitch"
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Another industry recommendation without any scientific testing or proof - those numbers were chosen because they "work" for most British caravans with a 100 kg hitch limit.

IMO, a better recommendation is "as heavy as possible without exceeding any of the limits imposed by the tow vehicle, the tow bar or the trailer hitch"
Hello Roger, I missed the word NO in my original post (now edited in)

For those bemoaning another thread about noseloads, - clearly the OP wants to know about them, and rightly so. Just becasue you have seen it all before does not mean everyone has.
 
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Oct 12, 2016
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Hello Roger, I missed the word NO in my original post (now edited in)

For those bemoaning another thread about noseloads, - clearly the OP wants to know about them, and rightly so. Just becasue you have seen it all before does not mean everyone has.
Then just suggest to the OP to use the search facility. Personally I think Roger has it spot on.
 
May 7, 2012
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The CAMH suggests between 5 and 7% of the caravans weight for the nose weight providing you do not exceed the limit for the hitch or tow car. With a 100 kg limit on the car there should not be a problem given the lightweight caravan as 5 to 7% is well within that figure. Personally I would not load up the front end to get the nose weight even heavier, although again if it exceeds that there should be no need to load the back end to get it down, unless it exceeds 100kg.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Generally our nose weight is about 140kg which makes for a comfortable tow. Our last time out we added a a 7kg topper to the island bed which is immediately behind the rear axle on a twin axle. For some reason stupidly I never checked the nose weight before setting off. On towing it felt a bit twitchy every time we were passed. On arrival at site I measured the nose weight and it had dropped to 125kg due to adding a 7kg topper. I did not think that the fulcrum affect would be so bad. Befroe returning we removed the mattress and nose weight increased to about 140kg. Just a little weight to the rear can make all the difference.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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140kg! I don't know what caravan you've got but only the very biggest over 2000kg have a noseweight limit greater than 100kg.
The nose weight of the Buccaneer caravan is rated at 150kg and MTPLM is 2000kg.
 
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Oct 1, 2020
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Attached photo shows all my weights etc on towbar and new van, worry is when I picked up the van the back of the car seemed quite low,both were empty, did the necessary tow car checks before purchasing well below the 85% rule, think it was 78%. The attachment says under my car details noseweight 100g, is that a figure that I have to aim to always be under? Please advice,Nick.
Sorry Guys to go over old ground but ive just joined!
I just got a new Bailey Grande sintra and tow with a hyundai santa fe which ive had 2011 i have a alko jockey wheel with nose weight i load it to 80kg ( which i worked out to ) but it snakes all over the road i cant travel much more than 45mph I have been towing a caravan for years but never had this problem do you think the nose indicator is set wrong? i have a removable tow hitch again its been fine should i load the caravan ias i used to by eye which means put the heavy things over the axle and some weight in th the front,
Can anyone help sorry to go on but caravaning/towing is not fun anymore
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Its easy enough to check the general accuracy of your jockeywheel gauge, using a set of bathroom scales raised on the step and some magazines to bring it up to towed height. That should be your fist check.

But secondly I'm not clear as to how you might be loading the caravan. It is almost essential to load all heavy items close the axle, and trim with smaller items to get the desired nose load.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Increase the noseweight up to 100 kg - I know that the 2011 Santa Fe automatic is limited to 80 kg but the manual is 100kg and there are NO differences other than the transmission.

That's how I ran my 2011 Santa Fe automatic, with no issues.

Check the Alko jockey calibration with bathroom scales.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I cannot condone Rogers suggestion. Manufacturers set the maximum nose load limit based on a number of tests and criteria, not just the strength or common parts used on other models.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Sorry Guys to go over old ground but I've just joined!
I have just got a new Bailey Grande sintra and tow with a hyundai santa fe which ive had since 2011 i brought a alko jockey wheel with nose weight i load it to 80kg ( which i worked out ) but it snakes all over the road i cant travel much more than 45mph I have been towing a caravan for years but never had this problem, do you think the nose indicator is set wrong? i have a removable tow hitch again its been fine, should i load the caravan i as i used, to by eye which means put the heavy things over the axle and some weight in the front,
Can anyone help sorry to go on but caravanning/towing is not fun anymore
With 80kg on the towball the caravan shouldn't be twitchy so there must be another reason for the phenomenon.. Often it's inappropriate tyre pressures, either on the towcar or on the caravan, or maybe worn dampers on one or the other.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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I cannot condone Rogers suggestion. Manufacturers set the maximum nose load limit based on a number of tests and criteria, not just the strength or common parts used on other models.
In the case of the 2010-2012 Hyundai Santa Fe, the noseweight is calculated as 4% of the maximum towing weight giving a discrepancy between the manual and automatic versions - Hyundai rectified this on the 2013-on model with both transmissions having the same noseweight limit.

I gave that advice based on my own practical experience with a 2011 Santa Fe automatic - rather than generalised comment about manufacturers' tests.
 
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May 2, 2020
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Hi our senator used to be a bit twitchy I put it down to uneven weight between nearside and offside most of the weight was on offside 2x gas bottles, fridge, cooker and bed so now I put about 10 litres of water in aqua roll in shower room this made a good improvement but check your nose weight when in position also check hitch friction pads for wear and contamination
 

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