Noseweight and towbars

Noseweight is a significant factor in towing stability and the National Caravan Council recommends a noseweight of about five to seven per cent of the weight of the loaded trailer. So a loaded trailer weighing 1,000kg should have a noseweight of not less than 50kg. The noseweight of the trailer applied on to the towball must also not exceed the motorhome manufacturer’s towball limit. It should be noted that the use of a chassis extension on a coachbuilt motorhome may reduce the permissible noseweight originally specified by the base vehicle manufacturer.

With a luggage trailer or caravan, noseweight can be adjusted to (or close to) the desirable weight by relocating kit fore or aft of the trailer axle. Where trailers are used to carry one large item such as a boat or car it is best to have a purpose-made trailer where the trailer axle is located to give a desirable noseweight with that fixed load.

Whatever you tow, whether a normal trailer or car using an A-frame, you will need to ensure you have a good towbar and towing electrical system fitted. If you have a relatively recent motorhome it is likely to have been the subject of European Type approval and as such must have a type-approved towbar fitted. Before buying a trailer check to confirm that a suitable towbar is available for your motorhome.

Sometimes there can be complications with underslung water tanks or other equipment impeding the satisfactory fitting of a towbar. A towbar fitter specialising in motorhomes is therefore recommended, especially where a chassis extension or towbar needs to be fabricated for the particular requirements of your motorhome.