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.

MollysMummy replied on 06/07/2019 09:04

Posted on 06/07/2019 08:58 by HappyDoggie

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.

Posted on 06/07/2019 09:04

So you're now towing a pendulum ..... 🤔🤞

SteveL replied on 06/07/2019 10:11

Posted on 06/07/2019 10:11

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

It is not so much how it tows under normal conditions that will be the issue. It's how it will react when white panel van man comes past at 80mph + on the dual carraigeway and induces some sway.

HappyDoggie replied on 06/07/2019 14:48

Posted on 06/07/2019 14:48

It is not so much how it tows under normal conditions that will be the issue. It's how it will react when white panel van man comes past at 80mph + on the dual carriageway and induces some sway.

So you're now towing a pendulum

Fair points.I have considered and plan to do some moving of weighty items from beneath the bed to the toilet which is tween axles and over the rear, and/or the shower opposite.

There was no sign or feel of any pendulum swinging of the rear and I was aware of that possibility when I was doing the weight shifting, the heavier stuff is actually forward of the bed but just behind the rear axle.

Nothing in the tail.

TonyBurton replied on 06/07/2019 15:13

Posted on 06/07/2019 15:13

This is a very annoying problem that is typical of so many fixed bed arrangements. The sales person shows you all these lockers, but you can't put anything in them. I have the same problem with my Lunar. I loaded so much heavy stuff towards the rear of the van to get the hitch weight right. Then I found the van was miles over weight and I now have to load a lot of heavy items in the boot. It's still not right, but never the less the van still tows very well. It's time for the manufacturers to fit axles that can take a much heavier payload. Can I suggest you take your outfit to a public weighbridge and check the overall weight? I wonder if there are any new vans that are actually fit for purpose. You'd think all these glossy write ups on new caravans in our magazine would point this out to the manufacturers.