Tow car and caravan hitch weights

HappyDoggie replied on 29/06/2019 14:37

Posted on 29/06/2019 14:37

We are new to caravanning and purchased an Elddis 860 Supreme. The tow car is a LR Discovery Sport 7 seater HSE Lux. I read the hitch weight of the caravan is 100kgs and also the LR is 100kgs towball weight.

Does this mean the maximum weight I can have on the caravan hitch is 100kgs and also the maximum the car can have on the towball is 100kgs?

The problem is we have only had the van two months. When collecting it I was not excited to be told it did not come with a gas bottle or a leisure battery both of which were fitted by the dealer. We drove off and have used it twice since then but have not paid much attention to nose or towball weight.

I decided to check it in the storage unit with a new Milenco nose weight gauge and found it as stored to be about 130kgs or over weight. I shifted all the gear out of the front locker to the rear and also extracted the roll of new unused carpet from the under seat locker and put it to the rear. Essentially there is nothing in the lockers of any significance but the gas bottle and the leisure battery and I still have 115kgs on the gauge. 

Do I have to shift the gas bottle to the rear? Seems very strange I cannot have anything in the front lockers when towing and also when I was buying the van I was assured by the dealers a Jaguar 3.0D Sportbrake with a 75kgs towball weight was fine for towing the van.

EasyT replied on 29/06/2019 14:43

Posted on 29/06/2019 14:43

Does this mean the maximum weight I can have on the caravan hitch is 100kgs and also the maximum the car can have on the towball is 100kgs?

Yes

Tinwheeler replied on 29/06/2019 15:06

Posted on 29/06/2019 15:06

Your gas bottle is designed to be carried securely in its purpose made ventilated locker. I would never recommend moving it to the rear. Likewise it is foolhardy to travel with it in the car. 

Caravan dealers and car salesmen will usually say anything if it secures a sale. Always check things for yourself. 

JVB66 replied on 29/06/2019 15:19

Posted on 29/06/2019 15:19

On Alko hitches part of the moulding states 100kg  max not sure about other makes,on no account should gas cylinders be transported in other are than the designated secure labelled locker

 

lagerorwine replied on 29/06/2019 20:40

Posted on 29/06/2019 20:40

Being new to caravanning, thats a very large caravan you purchased. Out of interest, did the dealer ask if you had the correct driving licence to tow the rig you purchased.

If you told the dealer you were inexperienced, hopefully he did ask.

 

 

 

HappyDoggie replied on 30/06/2019 08:13

Posted on 30/06/2019 08:13

I have just checked the list of vehicle hitch weights on this website and find mine is actually 145 kgs so that is one half of the problem solved.

I take the advice about not shifting the gas bottle so I think it is down to me to manage the weight issue by judicious loading of the van.

comeyras replied on 30/06/2019 11:37

Posted on 30/06/2019 11:37

OK but your max noseweight is still 100kgs (Alko limit).  Trial and error with the loading will eventually solve the problem; but remember, heavy stuff low and over the axle, only light stuff in the front and rear top cupboards.  I put the awning in the car. You will get there.  I have my noseweight at approx. 90 - 95 kgs.

Is your licence OK to tow this heavy outfit as lagerorwine asked?

Wildwood replied on 30/06/2019 11:45

Posted on 30/06/2019 11:45

If the hitch limit and the cars tow ball limit are both 100 kg then anything over that is illegal.

Frankly 135 is completely ridiculous as Eldiss know full well that this figure is far too heavy for most cars and is going to leave purchasers with an illegal outfit or possibly even worse as unstable one. My opinion is that at that level it is simply unfit for purpose and you should be able to claim your money back from the dealer. I accept this is a costly move and is not sure to succeed and would need good legal advice. Put simply any caravan that cannot be towed safely and legally by your tow car should not be on the market.

You might want to speak to the clubs legal helpline on this one.

Lutz replied on 30/06/2019 13:05

Posted on 30/06/2019 11:45 by Wildwood

If the hitch limit and the cars tow ball limit are both 100 kg then anything over that is illegal.

Frankly 135 is completely ridiculous as Eldiss know full well that this figure is far too heavy for most cars and is going to leave purchasers with an illegal outfit or possibly even worse as unstable one. My opinion is that at that level it is simply unfit for purpose and you should be able to claim your money back from the dealer. I accept this is a costly move and is not sure to succeed and would need good legal advice. Put simply any caravan that cannot be towed safely and legally by your tow car should not be on the market.

You might want to speak to the clubs legal helpline on this one.

Posted on 30/06/2019 13:05

While I am not advocating exceeding the manufacturer’s limits perhaps you could point out which specific piece of legislation actually makes exceeding the limit illegal. Exceeding it by so much that it constitutes a dangerous load would, of course, be illegal, but that’s open to interpretation. Would 5kg over the limit, for example, already be considered dangerous? I doubt it.

On the other hand, exceeding the limit would affect the manufacturer’s warranty and product liability.

HappyDoggie replied on 06/07/2019 08:58

Posted on 06/07/2019 08:58

Well after a bit of careful thought I decided to repack the van and shifted the content of the front lockers to under the rear fixed bed. I also unloaded the kitchen contents into a couple of bags and placed those in the rear as well. Finally emptied the fridge and placed those heavy contents on the floor just to the rear of the axles.

Result, nose weight 85 kgs :-)

Van towed very comfortably. A little more trial and error should allow towing in the 85 to 100 kgs range.