I have a Swift Classic Barronette 1999, with a nose weight of over 90KGs. When i emptied the 2 gas bottles (6kg each) and Spare Wheel (10kg) it still hit 70KGs. I only have light stuff forward of the wheels and water hogs/waste pot at the rear end with the awning etc. Do i need more weight at the rear to balance it out? Any tips please.
It is a big no-no to put weight at the back of the caravan to achieve the required nose weight. It runs the danger of making the caravan tail heavy resulting in the tail wagging the dog and all sort of ensuing "nasties" such as snaking and loss of control. It is said that if the caravan is correctly loaded, the use of a friction hitch head is unnecessary. It is, however, prudent to have a friction hitch as a safety measure.
It is generally agreed that the nose weight should be around 7% of the MTPLM of the caravan. If that is in excess of the towbar/car manufacturer's max then you have a serious problem. If you exceed the towbar/car manufacturer's maximum nose weight downforce and, heaven forbid, have an accident, the insurers could wriggle out from under. Also, if you were stopped and measured by the boys in blue, they could assume that the insurance had been invalidated because the car/caravan combination was not within the towbar/car/caravan manufacturers' spec.
It is debatable if the awning should be carried in the caravan as this adds a fair old number of kgs to the load in the caravan and eats into the payload, that is the difference between the MIRO (Mass in Running Order, i.e. as the caravan came out of the factory without gas cylinders and all the other gubbins) and the MTLPM (Maximum Technically Permitted Load Mass, i.e the bare caravan plus all the bits and pieces we need to take with us, such as gas,water barrel, waste tank, clothes, food, crockery, cutlery etc, etc.). Both of these figures should be on a plate stuck to the side of the caravan, usually low down on the awning skirt rail near the door. The difference between them is the "payload" i.e what weight you are left with to take with you in the caravan. The MTPLM is governed by the load carrying capacity of the chassis suspension and the tyres and is decided at the design stage.
If there are only two adults in the car, one could use some of the car's spare payload, i.e, the weight of the missing adults. It follows that the awning could be carried in the car, using up some of the spare car payload. However, there is a caveat to that as well. You cannot exceed the car all up weight or the insurance could be invalidated. There is also the question of train weight, i.e. the weight of the car and the caravan combined to consider. Exceed the train weight, have an accident and the world will fall in on you.
The law says that it is permissable to tow up to the kerbweight of the towing vehicle but not, under any circumstances, over that weight. This, however is not wise as there is no safety margin. The advice from both the Clubs and the caravanning journals in general is that the weight of the caravan should not exceed 85% of the kerbweight of the towing vehicle. This allows for a safety margin. It is all down to matching the caravan to the car and the car to the caravan. Buy a heavy caravan and you need a heavy car and, no, loading up the car to make it heavier so that you can tow a heavier caravan is not on either. There is also the question of available power and torque for towing. A low powered, low torque car with a heavy caravan would be an absolute nightmare to drive even if the kerbweight restriction was observed.
Sorry if this all seems like doom and gloom but it is an attempt to show that there is more to this caravanning lark than buying a caravan, putting a towbar on the car, loading the caravan, hitching up and going.
It still didnt give me any answers/tips? I have been towing trailers for over 10 years and have my HGV C+E for the last 4 years, so i know a bit, it is just that the caravan when empty weighs over 70KGS on the nose.
If, as you say, the caravan noseweight is "over 70kgs" when empty then the towbar has to be able to take that weight. If that weight is more than the car manufacturer's maximum towbar load figure, the lower figure is the one to work with, regardless of the noseweight of the caravan. Moving the weight of the load in the caravan towards the rear is not the way to go as it introduces instability.
If the noseweight is higher than the towbar manufacturer or the car manufacturer's figures, then one has to rethink the choice of car/caravan/towbar and bring them into line.
most towbars are rated at 75kg nose weight you just need to check your car and caravan owners manual to see if they are ok with 75kg I had a similar problem with an ace pioneer I solved the problem by making sure the water was drained from the hot water tank that was forward of the wheels and I also filled the flush tank of the toilet which was to the rear of the wheels making sure it was full to the top to stop it sloshing about this cured my problem I hope that's of use to you