Noseweight

Jun 4, 2011
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We are in the process of buying our first caravan, an Elddis Firestorm 475 2001 model. I'll be using a 2004 model VW Passat 1.9 TDI 130 bhp car to pull the van. However when I used Towsafe to check the appropriate weights and puling power, the report says that the Towbar weight is 112%. I was led to believe that the Passat was an excellent towing car but am a bit cocerned that there may be too much weight imposed on the towbar. Do I need to be concerned over this?? Any help and advice would be very much appreciated.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'm a bit puzzled by the title of your post when your questions seems to be referring to towing weights. All Passat 1.9TDI 130bhp except the 4Motion version may tow up to 1600kg. That's your absolute legal maximum regardless of the weight ratio. You don't say what the kerbweight of your car is. Depending on its level of equipment and whether it's a saloon or an estate the kerbweight could be anywhere between about 1400 and 1650kg. So, you would be cutting it a bit fine if you make full use of the maximum permitted towload.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Steve,

My sources suggest that the VW passat has a tow hitch down force maximum of 75Kg. This is a figure set by Volkeswagon and would be used by the police or other authorities to assess the legality of towing set up. Do not exceed this figure.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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We too had a noseweight conflict when checking the match of our BMW 5 series to our caravan. Ours was 116%. The percentage figure is arrived at by the fact that the caravan's ideal noseweight for towing is 75kg and the BMW maximum noseweight for the tow hitch is only 50kg. This has nothing at all to do with the 85% rule and the weight your car will tow, but is based solely on the weight limit (down force)that the tow bracket is capable of taking. The advice on the towsafe site was to use the lower of the two maximums (ie the car's 50kg in our case) and to redistribute weight within the caravan to lift the noseweight to 50kg. We found that by moving the spare wheel from under the front end, to the mid-point over the axles lifted the noseweight sufficiently.

hope this helps.
 

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Mar 14, 2005
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I believe that the ideal nose weight ( for stability) is 7% of the caravan weight. Therefore whilst many vehicles have sufficient power and kerb weight to tow large vans , the nose weight of the van may exceed the car manufacturers maximum and could invalidate the cars warranty.
 
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I note Dlet1c's comment about the nose weights idealy being 7% of the caravans mass. It may apear that I am about to contrdict my self, but both these %ages are only guidelines not rules or laws.

For any given outfit diffent figures may well give better towing characteriscs, but in the absence of other well defined criteria 7% & 85% are likely to give reasonable results and certainly wold be a good starting point.
 
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We have just purchased a new van that is heavier than our old van. We tow with a 1.9TDi VW Passat 130bhp. The nosewieght on it is 75kg & the van we just bought gives a caution on towsafe at 121%. We queried this with the dealer of the new van who said that we had to load the van differently to reduce the noseweight on the towbar. It worried me greatly as I did not want to tow unsafely but after several chats with the dealer he reassured us that it was down to loading. I hope it is !
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I am in the same position with concerns over nose weights of caravans. We bought a new Sterling Caravan last year which we were told by the dealer was fine to tow with our Renault Laguna 1.9dci. I now see in the service book which came with the van that it has a "static nose weight of 100kg" limit on tow bar is 75kg. I have spoken with Swift group - they say their figure is the MAXIMUM you can load the nose to. Spoke with National Caravan Council and they say balance to no more than 75kg (which we do). Spoke with Car Insurers and they say be cautious, we would have to prove it was only at 75kg if we had a claim.

No body seems able to be diffinitive about it. There are limited cars etc around that have this higher tow bar limit.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The maximum you should permit is dependant on two figures. The caravan Manufacture will specify a maximum for the caravan, and the Car manufacture will specify a Maximum for the car. ALWAYS CHOOSE THE LOWER OF THESE TWO FIGURES.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Steve, as far as I am aware all Passat's have a 75kg noseweight limit. With sensible loading you should easily be able to meet this limit. Buy a noseweight gauge (approx
 

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