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Noseweight for towing

Posted: Fri, 11 Jul 2008, 6:47 pm
by txfsealord
Hi all, does anyone have an opinion on the ideal noseweight on an Ansfold when towing with a light car? We use a Morris Minor saloon.

I'm using about 50lb noseweight, now I've got 2 bottles on the drawbar which gives useful extra locker-room. It does mean loading bottom-heavy though to counteract their weight & as I've then got (relatively) heavy weight at both ends, the van's polar inertia's higher than I'd like. It doesn't quite snake at 70 without stabiliser but I wouldn't want to go faster (just as well 'cos I couldn't without a downhill/following wind). 60's fine. Problem is, more noseweight means the headlights are too high & the car's ride suffers as it's on the bumpstops at the rear. And Minors don't have remote headlight adjusters! I do have some Minor Traveller rear springs with more leaves in but if I fit those then the ride suffers solo car. I also have a 21hp Morris Six which, weighing 26cwt, should be the complete answer when it's roadworthy but it isn't yet so it's the Minor for some time to come. Is it worth adding even more weight to the van in the form of one of those spring-loaded sliding levelling devices? I've never tried those so I've no experience to go on.

Steve Lord

Posted: Sat, 12 Jul 2008, 3:42 pm
by Admin
Not sure on the ideal noseweight.

I've tried to keep most of my weight over the axle. On the off-side over the axle I've got the leisure battery and on the near-side just forward of the axle I've got the gas bottle. (I've put the bottle there because it's the locker with the biggest height.) The spare wheel gets put on the floor, when folding down, above the axle and the cushions placed over and around it.


Posted: Sat, 12 Jul 2008, 7:09 pm
by Gordon McLaren
have to agree , keep the weight above the axle , lighter things forward and back. however i mounted my sparewheel on the front of the body , as have some others , and it doesn,t seem to affect the towing performance at all .

Posted: Sat, 12 Jul 2008, 7:43 pm
by Admin
I was tempted to have the gas bottle and spare wheel fitted externally on mine, but as it was very original when I got it I didn't want to start attaching anything to the A frame that wasn't there already.

Plus if it's inside it's away from any weather!

I've also resisted making any extra holes on the inside.

Noseweight for towing

Posted: Thu, 17 Jul 2008, 5:26 pm
by txfsealord
Yes, well I can't claim virtue in either of those areas..... although my 'van did have an enormous bottle-box on the front when I acquired it. This box was big enough, though not deep enough, for 2 x 7kg. bottles, most unsuitable. It appeared to be original. That's why I've kept the bottles out front.

Perhaps a first purchaser could specify things like bottles on the A-frame when ordering if it suited him & his towcar could cope. Maybe everything else was alterable as well, in which case there's no such thing as a standard equipment spec at all, now. It's not mentioned in the brochure I got from here, & there's no other source of info, is there? It'd be here as well if there was!

Steve Lord

Posted: Thu, 17 Jul 2008, 10:47 pm
by Admin
Ah, actually, there was an optional extra of:

"Double Gas Bottle Carrier (will take two 10lb bottles) - £1.75"

So your box could be original...


Posted: Sat, 26 Jul 2008, 8:53 pm
by txfsealord
It certainly looked original; "patinated" is I believe the term for something this knackered, at least when it's on a motor someone's trying to sell......


Posted: Thu, 31 Jul 2008, 6:35 pm
by Admin
I've investigated the noseweight situation:

:arrow: The NTTA (National Trailer and Towing Association) say the noseweight should be at least 50kg.

:arrow: The RAC recommends between 50kgs and 75kgs.

:arrow: The Volvo Club say it should be around 7% of the laden weight of the trailer.

:arrow: My Mark 2 Ford Fiesta handbook says it should be between 25kgs and 50kgs.

I've weighed my Portafolds nosewight and it's currently 31kg, which makes it 6.9% of the weight of the trailer. I'm only 0.1% off the recommended :D

Re: Noseweight for towing

Posted: Mon, 25 Aug 2014, 7:14 pm
by Microhurtz
The answer to the nose weight question is definitely to aim for 7% of the trailer mass. A higher nose load (as apparently suggested by the RAC who should know better) will help stability but it also increases oversteer, ie it pushes the back of the car round when braking in bends which is nearly as bad as weaving. I suspect the 50 to 75kg figure is based on typical lardy caravans
I work at Land Rover and have done a bit of work on towing stability!

The suggestion to put the weight over the axle is also good sound advice. This reuces the polar moment of inertia which reduces the lateral force at the tow hitch.