NOSEWEIGHT - Caravan And Motorhome Club

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NOSEWEIGHTThis leaflet is prepared as a Club service. The contents are believed correct at the date of publication but pleaseraise any queries with the Club’s Information office.February 2013Static Vertical Load or noseweight is thedownward force (or weight) of thecaravan’s coupling head on a car’s towball.It is vital to have sufficient noseweightwhen the outfit is stationary, as researchshows that the download decreases withspeed due to aerodynamic effects on thecaravan. If all your noseweight effects arelost at speed, caravan instability is muchmore likely.Car manufacturers quote a maximumpermitted noseweight for each car model.EC Directive 95/48, sometimes referred toas the ‘Masses and Dimensions Directive’,states that this load must be not less than4% of the maximum permissible towablemass (i.e. the towing limit) and not less than25kg. Most car manufacturers are a littlemore generous than this, and they mustspecify the noseweight in the owner’shandbook, along with the vehicle mountingpoints of the coupling device and itsmaximum permissible overhang. Several factors may be taken into account when specifyingthis noseweight figure, including the capabilities of the car's suspension, the effects on thevehicles steering and its traction (particularly if front-wheel drive) and the strength of thetowbar and its mounting. Therefore, it is important not to exceed the car manufacturer’srecommended noseweight. However, from the towing point of view, the higher the noseweight,the better the stability.A recommended noseweight for towingstability is generally in the region of 5% to7% of the caravan's actual laden weight(usually between 70kg and 100kg). Maximumnoseweights of 70kg or less will restrict thechoice of ideally compatible caravan quiteconsiderably. Refer to the tables from page 4onwards for car noseweights, but check againbefore you buy, as these figures are liable tochange. If the car dealer seems unsure, askhim to find out!NoseweightNose WeightStatic Vertical Coupling LoadTowball Down LoadHitch LimitTongue LoadTongue Weight‘S’ ValueAll alternative names for the same thing –your car handbook may use any of these

Some components have noseweight limitstoo, notably the towbar and the caravan’scoupling. Both are likely to be markedwith an ‘S-value’ figure found on theirrespective specification plates. Thetowbar S-value can sometimes be higherthan the car’s noseweight limit – usuallybecause the towing bracket can be fittedto several models of car, which may havevarying noseweight limits. Most moderncaravans have a coupling S-value of100kg, but do check for lower limits. Forany given combination of car, towbar andcaravan, it is the always the lowest of thevarious figures which must be used asyour outfit’s maximum limit.Finding towbar S-values can be a trickyIf your caravan’s noseweight is too low, it is often possible to adjust where payload is placedinside the caravan (or front locker perhaps) to give a more forward weight bias. Make sure thatheavy items like awnings are not able to slide around, as this will alter the balance (rubberisednon-slip mats are a good technique). On the other hand, if your caravan’s noseweight is toohigh, avoid the potentially dangerous practice of loading heavy items at the rear of the caravanto reduce it, as this will significantly increase the likelihood of instability. Instead, look tomove heavy items to just behind the caravan axle, or remove payload from the front of thecaravan entirely.You may need to consider an underslung carrier for the caravan spare wheel instead of frontlocker storage, and you might need to see if a smaller and/or lighter gas bottle is viable.Sometimes, relocating items of payload to the towcar can help, but make sure you don’toverload the car instead!Noseweight is important for twin axlecaravans too. However, it is quite likely withheavier models you would not be able toachieve the same noseweight load percentageas for a similarly sized single axle model,without overloading the caravan’s front axleor its tyres.The additional support from the second axlemeans you would need more forward bias ofthe payload to increase the noseweight. Asignificant load imbalance between the frontand rear caravan axles is probably more of astability concern than a slightly lightnoseweight.It is probably fair to say that noseweightcompatibility is the most common reason forThe Club to consider a member’s proposedoutfit to be ‘not ideal’. This has beenexacerbated by the trend in recent years forcaravans to get heavier, while carnoseweight limits have not increased. Someowners find it difficult, if not impossible, tomeet the target noseweight recommendationas a result. While some compromise of thisissue is possible if other factors arefavourable (e.g. outfit weight ratio), it mustbe recognised that the risk of instability athigher speeds will be increased with anysignificant deviation from the recommendedvalues. To keep your outfit safe andcomfortable to tow, it really is worth payingattention to noseweight both before purchaseand during ownership.2

MEASURING NOSEWEIGHTNoseweight can be measured with a proprietary noseweight gauge, obtainable at caravandealers. Follow the maker’s instructions and make sure the gauge is kept in good condition.Our experience is that noseweight gauges vary widely in quality, in terms of their accuracy,their reliability over time and their ability to resist overloading. To address this, the Club wasinstrumental in the development of a British Standard for noseweight gauges (BS7961).Gauges marked as compliant with this standard should be accurate, reliable and durable.This gauge from Towsure sits ontop of the car’s towball and mustbe removed before towing.This gauge from Milenco hasBS7961 approval and the makerwill check and recalibrate itafter a specified period of use.You can also use bathroom scales under the coupling head with asuitable length of wood between the head and the scales, suchthat the caravan floor is horizontal. To spread the load insert apiece of wood at least 15 cm (6 inches) square between thelength of wood and the scales. It is essential that the surface isfirm and level, the jockey wheel and corner steadies areslightly raised and the handbrake is fully applied for safety.An alternative is to integrate thegauge with the jockey wheel,like this one from Al-Ko. Thisgives a good indicativenoseweight figure every timethe caravan is used, but tends tobe less accurate than a goodconventional gaugeA selection of conventionalnoseweight gaugesPhoto: Andy Parkington, RadiusRealistically, it should not be necessary to check noseweight every journey if the caravan issimilarly loaded for each trip. However, it is advisable to check it at the start of each holiday,and essential whenever the car or caravan is changed, or if the caravan is going to be loadedsignificantly differently to normal (such as for an especially long trip).3

ALFA ROMEO00800 2532 147/156/16660155 1.8 Twin Spark90155 2.0 TS/2.5 V695155 Turbo 4x4105164 2.0 Twin Spark60164 3.0 V665MiTO – all models60AUDI0800 (2WD)50A8 (post 2010)95100/200 (4WD)75Allroad95Quattro/ Cabriolet50Avant75A1/A375Q3/Q5 5 seat80A4/ A5/ A5 Cabriolet80Q5 2012100A6 Avant & Saloon (pre ‘97)A6 Avant/Quattro & Saloon (post’97)A6 Quattro (pre ‘96)50Q7 5 Seat14085Q7 6/7 Seat13075S475A7/S7/Q7 Quattro85S5 Coupé80A8 (pre 2010)75RS490BMW0800 325 Series75M5 all models ‘10903 Series75X1 all models805 Series post ‘9990X3 2.0d/3.0d/2.0i pre 201280X3 2.5i/3.0 pre 2012755 Series GT530M Sport Tourer10080MODELX3 all models from 2012KG1004

7 SeriesMini100X5/612075CHEVROLET DAEWOO0800 666 - CHEVROLETKGMODEL - HRYSLER01908 301 3.0 V6 CRD (pre 2010)300C 3.0 V6 CRD Estate & Saloon(post 2010)300C 3.5 V6/ 5.7 V6/ 6.1 SRT-8100MODELKGNeon5096Neon Auto2585PT Cruiser50All other models except Matiz75Sebring50Grand Voyager80Voyager80CITROËN0800 262 MODELKGC4Berlingo70Berlingo Multispace 1.6i 90bhp50 1.4i 16v63Berlingo Multispace 1.6i110bhp55 1.6 HDi 16v 92/110bhp66Berlingo Multispace 1.6Hdi 75bhp50 1.6 Hdi 16v 110bhp EGS65Berlingo Multispace 1.6Hdi 90/110bhp55 1.6i 16v61C3 1.1i38 1.6i 16v Auto62C3 1.4i/1.4Hdi 16v47 2.0 Hdi 16v 138bhp73C3 1.4 auto/man / 1.6 16v48 2.0 Hdi 138bhp Auto70C3 Pluriel34 1.6 16v Vti 120bhp/Auto65C3 Picasso1.6 90bhp54 1.6 Hdi 16v Vti 90bhp665

C5 Tourer post 2010C41.6 Hdi 16v 110bhp (non dpfs)66C4 PICASSO1.6 Hdi 16V 110bhp522.0 Hdi 16V 160bhp67All models pre 2010602.0 Hdi 16V 160bhp Auto531.6i 16v Vti 120bhp603.0 Hdi V6 240bhp Auto631.6i THP EGS601.6 Hdi 16v 110bhp Exclusive50C6 – all models701.6Hdi 16v 110bhp VTR 60C81.6 Hdi 16v 110bhp EGS Exclusive50C8 (pre 2010)761.6 Hdi 16v 110bhp EGS VTR 602.0 Hdi 16V 120bhp (post 2010)722.0 Hdi 16V 136bhp (post 2010)722.2 Hdi 16V 173bhp Auto (post 2010)75C4 GRAND PICASSO1.6 16v 120bhp601.6i THP 150bhp EGS601.6 THP 140bhp Auto60CX/ C-Crosser1.6 Hdi 110bhp50DS31.6 Hdi 110bhp EGS50DS3 Racer – not suitable to tow2.0 Hdi 16v 138bhp EGS70Xantia Saloon 1.6i/1.8i/2.0i/1.9D/1.9TDXantia 1.8i 16V/2.0i 16V/ Turbo CT/2.1TD/2.0i Turbo/3.0i V6/HdiXantia Estate – all modelsC5Estate/Hatchback pre 201075C5 Saloon Post 2010XM10046N/A7585851101.6 Hdi 16V 110bhp Saloon55XM Estate802.0 Hdi 16V 160bhp Saloon70Xsara702.0 Hdi 16V 160bhp Auto Saloon57Xsara Picasso803.0 Hdi v6 240bhp Auto Saloon1.6 16V 155UP Saloon6770DS4/DS575DACIA0844 335 4x250Duster 4x475Sandero756

DIAHATSU0870 240 urtrak S73 from chassis no.502755100Fourtrak S78 from chassis no.504940100Terios (pre 2010)60Terios (post 2010)55YVR50DODGE01908 301 2.0 CRD RT manual68Journey 2.4 SE manual55Journey 2.0 CRD RT auto68Journey 2.0 CRD SE manual68Nitro 3.7 petrol140Journey 2.0 CRD SXT manual68Nitro 2.8 diesel auto126Journey 2.0 CRD SXT auto68Nitro 2.8 diesel manual100FIAT00800 3428 oupe80Panda inc 4X460Croma (pre ‘95)84Qubo60Croma (post ‘05)70Sedici50Doblo60Stilo/Stilo Multiwagon60Idea60Ulysse (pre Feb ‘03)60Grande Punto Sound60Ulysse (post Feb ‘03)76Marea707

FORD0845 841 ckEscort50Mondeo ( pre ’07)Explorer100KG10075Mondeo (‘07)80Fiesta pre 201250Mondeo (post June ’08)90Fiesta post 201275Probe75Focus (pre Jan ’01)50Ranger 4x275Focus (post Jan ’01)75Ranger 4x4125Focus C-Max / C-Max / Grand C-Max75Ranger Wildtrack225Fusion50Scorpio75Galaxy (pre ’06)85Sierra50Galaxy (’06 – June ’08)80S-Max (pre ’07)75Galaxy (post June ’08)90S-Max (’07)80Granada75S-Max (post June ’08)90Titanium75Kuga105HONDA0845 200 Manual (pre ’02)KG70Aerodeck (86-’88)50 CR-V Auto (pre ’02)50Aerodeck (’91-’93)70 CR-V all models (’02-’04)60Aerodeck (’94-’97)50 CR-V all models (from ’05)Coupe 2.0i (’92- May ’03)50 FR-V90Coupe 2.2i (’90-’97)70 HR-V60Coupe 3.0 (’98- May ’03)70 Insight, CR-Z not suitable as hybrid enginesSaloon 2.0 4dr (’90-’98)50 Integra50Saloon 2.2 4dr (’90-’93)70 Jazz (pre ’09)60Saloon 2.2 4dr (’94-’98)50 Jazz (post ’09)95Saloon 1.8/2.0/2.2 (’99- May ’03)60 Legend (pre ’91)50All models from May ‘0375 Legend (post ’91)70Prelude10050Civic (pre ’06)50 Shuttle50Civic (post ’06)75 Stream608

HYUNDAI0800 981 MODELKGAccent50 I800Coupe 1.665 Lantra Saloon50Coupe 2.0/XG75 Lantra Estate65Trajet75 Matrix52i1032 Terracani2050 TucsonTrajet 2.0 GSI (pre ’06)i3010011575751.4 petrol manual Est/Hatch55 Trajet 2.0 GSI (post ’06)721.6 petrol manual Est/Hatch55 Trajet 2.0 CRDT GSI/ 2.7 V6 (pre ’06)801.6 petrol auto Est/Hatch1.6 CRDi 90bhpEstateN/Amanual Hatch1.6 CRDi 110bhp manual Est/Hatch1.6 CRDi 115bhp autoEstateN/AHatch2.0 CRDi Hatch (’07 only)70 Trajet 2.0 GSI CRTD manual6275 Trajet 2.0 GSI CRTD auto5875 Santa Fe 2.0TD/2.48080 Santa Fe V6 2.79275 Santa Fe 2.2 CRDT manual (pre 2010)882012 all petrol models60 Santa Fe 2.2 CRDT auto802012 all diesel models75 Santa Fe CRDi manual (post 2010)Ix35 all models80 Sonata (post ’94)10075INFINITI0844 243 all models100MODELFX all modelsKG100ISUZU0844 826 3.2 petrol/3.1 diesel120Denver Max120Rodeo 4X2 Single Cab100Denver Max LE120Rodeo LE Sport120Trooper 2.6 petrol/2.8 diesel110MODELKG9

JAGUAR0800 085 (post ’95)76XF75X-Type75All other models50XJ – no towbar availableN/AJEEP01908 301 ‘93KG90MODELKGCompass 2.4 petrol 4x4 auto75Cherokee post ‘94100Compass 2.0 petrol 4x260Cherokee 2.8 CRD Ltd manual140Patriot –all models75Cherokee 2.8 CRD Ltd auto125Ranger –‘9390Grand Cherokee 2.5 (’96-’98)120Ranger – ’94 onwardsGrand Cherokee 4.0 (’96-’98)140Wrangler ‘93Grand Cherokee ’99 onwards140Wrangler ’94 – ‘10100Compass 2.2 CRD 4x4100Wrangler 2.8 CRD Ultimate 2 dr100Compass 2.2 CRD 4x260Wrangler 2.8 CRD Ultimate 4dr14010080KIA0800 77 57 pre ‘0650Shuma70Carens post ‘0675Soul52Cee’d 1.4/1.6 petrol55SORENTOCee’d 1.6 diesel75Sorento pre ‘07112Cerato48Sorento 2.5 CRDi manual post ‘07120Clarus752.5 CRDi auto/ 3.3 petrol140Magentis752.4 petrol 2WD manual post ‘1080Mentor702.2 CRDi 2WD manual post ‘10100Pride502.2 CRDi 2WD auto post ‘10Pro cee’d 1.4/1.6 petrol552.2 CRDi 4WD manual post ‘10Pro cee’d 1.6 diesel752.2 CRDi 4WD auto post ‘10801008010

KIA0800 77 57 pre ‘1044Sportage pre ‘0570Rio post 201050Sportage post ‘0775Sedona pre ‘0880Venga75Sedona post ‘0885LANDROVER0800 110 pre ‘9575MODELRange Rover pre ‘95KG75Range Rover (if ’95 towbar fitted)150Range Rover post ‘95150Discovery (i

6 C4 C5 Tourer post 2010 1.6 Hdi 16v 110bhp (non dpfs) 66 1.6 Hdi 16V 110bhp 52 C4 PICASSO 2.0 Hdi 16V 160bhp 67 All models pre 2010 60 2.0 Hdi 16V 160bhp Auto 53 1.6i 16v Vti 120bhp 60 3.0 Hdi V6 240bhp Auto 63

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