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Noseweight

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peridot
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Noseweight

Post by peridot on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 11:08 am

Having just upgraded to a larger Dandy, I need to learn a bit more about towing stability, noseweight etc.

Car noseweight limit is 75kg. From the little I've read I believe that a noseweight of around 50 kg on my Riva Destiny Highside (2007) would probably give a good balance of compatibility with the car and towing stability.

Does anyone know what the ex-works noseweight of this Dandy is specified at, or typical noseweights of laden units?

I will have 2x4.5kg gas cylinders and the leisure battery in the front box, together with the usual bits and pieces. I'm going to upgrade the leisure battery to 110Ah and am wondering if keeping it in the front box may lead to excessive noseweight and whether I should consider relocating it closer to a position over the axle?
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jake001

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Re: Noseweight

Post by jake001 on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 1:13 pm

This is a link to Riva Dandy original specs

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I always prefer to have a reasonably high noseweight when towing anything and would regard 22kg as quoted as a minimum for stability. I don't think that 50kg is a problem, in fact my discovery is normally 45kg and it's a struggle to get down to that Shocked

You should of course use a proper noseweight gauge Smile

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Last edited by jake001 on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 1:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : link to gauge added)
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Tow Itch
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Tow Itch on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 2:16 pm

Nose weights on Dandys always seemed a bit odd. In the 1981 catalouge the figures given were quoted as a minimum but they used the same figures in the 90's catalogue (except for the 6/Destiny which went from 25lbs to 60lbs) without specifying minimum.

The last figures increase the nose weight on the small Dandys from 25lbs to 25Kg 0r 30 Kg and the much larger Designer dropped from 60lbs to a slightly lighter 22Kg (60lbs = 27.2Kg)

The caravan club used to recommend 7% and to speak to the Manufacturer if the car could only manage less than 5%. That seems to have become from 7% to 5%. All new cars must have a nose weight (s value) of at least 4% of the maximum permissible towable mass.
No idea on caravans if the nose weight has to counteract the thrust trying to tip the caravan backwards. The thrust comming from the drag on the top of the front of the caravan.

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Hard to use a scale if you can't decide what weight you want.

If you call Ian to clarify do try and get as much info on the varying nose weights as possible. Feel free to report back.

Nose weight could be a lot more critical on this than on the smaller Dandys. Mike had a moment with his 6 and a former Dandy owner Em had a very big moment with a Dark Blue Highside Designer . As did Owd Lad. So take care


Last edited by Tow Itch on Sun 10 Mar 2013, 1:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add Owd Lad to list of snake issues)
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Helen
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Helen on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 2:22 pm

You could always use a stabiliser Exclamation even when you get the nose weight thing right it's an extra precaution and may help ease your mind a bit

navver

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Re: Noseweight

Post by navver on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 2:23 pm

Hi, I have a Powrtouch mover on the caravan which I find great for manoeuvering up our steep and windy little drive.

I'm not sure what your existing battery is but mine is 110AmpHr and it is a very heavy beast that I'm not sure I would want in the front locker. Do you really need to upgrade as I think you will only have a possible problem if you spend a lot of time without EHU.

For stability you want the weight over the axle.

If you want to know the effect of weight in the locker it will be in inverse proportion to the relative distances from the hitch to the axle. If the distance of the box is 1/3rd of the distance from the hitch to the axle then the weight on the hitch will be 2/3rds. I would guess with the trailer 11.5 ft long and 3ft drawbar the box will be approx 2/3rds.

So assuming the gas bottles & battery weigh 50kg they will add 50 x 2/3 = 33kg at the hitch.
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mike
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Re: Noseweight

Post by mike on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 2:42 pm

navver wrote:Hi, I have a Powrtouch mover on the caravan which I find great for manoeuvering up our steep and windy little drive.

I'm not sure what your existing battery is but mine is 110AmpHr and it is a very heavy beast that I'm not sure I would want in the front locker. Do you really need to upgrade as I think you will only have a possible problem if you spend a lot of time without EHU.

For stability you want the weight over the axle.

If you want to know the effect of weight in the locker it will be in inverse proportion to the relative distances from the hitch to the axle. If the distance of the box is 1/3rd of the distance from the hitch to the axle then the weight on the hitch will be 2/3rds. I would guess with the trailer 11.5 ft long and 3ft drawbar the box will be approx 2/3rds.

So assuming the gas bottles & battery weigh 50kg they will add 50 x 2/3 = 33kg at the hitch.


I knew that lol! i didn't really but i will look good sitting outside a dandy quoting it Very Happy
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Tow Itch
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Tow Itch on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 3:25 pm

navver yes did the figures with the metric figures given on the website 355cm presumed wheel in the middle 180cm overall length 455cm so the drawbar is one metre so we have a lever with the fulcrum (wheel) at one point. The lift point (hitch) 280cm away if we say that the centre of mass for a battery or gas bottle is about 8"/20cm in from the front of the fibreglass then the downward force is.

Weight of additional Gas bottle or battery X 160 / 280 = Weight X 4 / 7
So with my model the 50Kg battery adds an extra 28.5 Kg or so.

These are just models though are the wheels in the centre of the body? If not that figure needs adjusting. Also the weight is not that of the new object but the weight of the difference between new and old.


I'll agree with you navver to the nth degree weight goes over the axle that is not the same as offsetting heavy things at the front with heavy things at the rear. One of campings great imponderables why do they put gas bottles at the front?

Helen thank you I love you

Helen wrote:You could always use a stabiliser Exclamation even when you get the nose weight thing right it's an extra precaution and may help ease your mind a bit


There are to big camps on this.
One says stabilisers remove snaking and so are wonderful.

The over says stabilisers remove low grade snaking and wont help you if you get the right situation for a catastrophic snake.

From that argument group 2 then say stabilisers are dangerous in two ways. You drive faster. There is nothing like a little feeling of snake to make the need to catch that ferry less important. It concentrates the mind wonderfully.
Because the outfit doesn't snake the careless are more likely to load carelessly because they don't get any warning.

I'm probably predisposed to group 2 but lets hear your thoughts tell me I'm wrong. I confess that I may have exceeded the speed limit towing. I have also owned a trailer tent/FC (It was between both) that snaked. I know not if the snaking occurred because it was a cretin loading it or the small tyres or bad basic design, it got junked and the wonderfulness of Dandys was revealed. Snaking slows you down no end. Yes I played with it and saw how far I'd push it but my bottle ran out. In the end it improved my observation I scrubbed speed just before the peak of hills because the unloaded trailer travelling downhill is always worse. I probably did other things in anticipation that I've forgot about.

This is a thread on stability and has some gems in it such as the weight of the towing vehicle has no bearing on snaking.

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Helen
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Helen on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 3:39 pm

We don't really find the dandy snaking but it is a smaller dandy, we had a touring caravan when I was a child .... before alko stabilisers were on the majority and I remember my dad driving once and the caravan snaking, my mum practically hysterical and my poor dad bearing the brunt the minute we stopped in the first lay-by. She refused to go with him anywhere with the caravan without what was basically a stabiliser bar and he used it without any problems, I know it's a different thing to tow a Dandy though so can't offer any real advice on if you should or shouldn't use one.
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Tow Itch
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Tow Itch on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 4:04 pm


I was overjoyed that you had brought stabilisers into the thread.

Why small Dandys are so stable is because the axle is 2/3rds of the length of the trailer from the hitch. The bigger the trailer or caravan the closer to 1/2 way along it becomes.
The basic geometry keeps it stable.
Caravans also have side winds and the effect of other vehicles on the wind to contend with.
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Helen
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Helen on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 4:27 pm

The Destiny high sides are as long as some caravans and they are higher than most Dandy's although no where near a caravan so this has to impact on stability, I don't know if there is a reason an alko system that caravans have wasn't fitted during manufacture unless it was just down to cost.
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Tow Itch
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Tow Itch on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 5:10 pm

Helen wrote:The Destiny high sides are as long as some caravans and they are higher than most Dandy's although no where near a caravan so this has to impact on stability, I don't know if there is a reason an alko system that caravans have wasn't fitted during manufacture unless it was just down to cost.

More important is the length ratio getting close to 1:2 though raising your centre of mass as on the Highside and certainly on caravans doest help.


An ALKO hitch on a dandy would have been proportionally a big cost. John picked one up second hand for next to nothing.

It's just the fear of the Caravans you see nose up or nose down dreadfully loaded with the big ALKO handle at the front and I think at some point something will happen and the stabiliser won't help anymore.
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Helen
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Helen on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 5:32 pm

I know that loading is important even with an alko system it helps but isn't a cure all, I'm shamed to say we have been more cautious with the caravan than we have with the Dandy Embarassed we tend to put stuff in the same place when packing the dandy away and don't check every time we tow and by the end of a years camping there's always a lot more in there than when we started Laughing I think regular random checks will be the future for us ........ I wonder if insurance companies look into how trailers are loaded if an accident occurs. I'm sure they would affraid
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peridot
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Re: Noseweight

Post by peridot on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 6:02 pm

Wow ... thank's for all the information - I'll need to re-read and digest it all.

If the ex-works figure quoted is right it sounds like the placement of the gas bottles and battery in the front locker should be okay provided there's nothing much else in there.

I'll take some measurements over the weekend.

The reason for the bigger battery is that I am also going to be installing a Powrtouch mover as stowing the unit at home requires some tricky manoeuvring. I want to be sure that there's enough grunt in the battery after a camping trip to deal with this. We do also use some basic sites without facilities. It would make life a lot easier if the battery can go in the front locker.

The previous owner of the camper used a Snakemaster stabiliser and passed it on to me, although I would much rather get the loading etc. right than place any dependence on this.

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Tow Itch
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Tow Itch on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 7:51 pm

peridot wrote:Wow ... thank's for all the information - I'll need to re-read and digest it all.

If the ex-works figure quoted is right it sounds like the placement of the gas bottles and battery in the front locker should be okay provided there's nothing much else in there.

I'll take some measurements over the weekend.

The reason for the bigger battery is that I am also going to be installing a Powrtouch mover as stowing the unit at home requires some tricky manoeuvring. I want to be sure that there's enough grunt in the battery after a camping trip to deal with this. We do also use some basic sites without facilities. It would make life a lot easier if the battery can go in the front locker.

The previous owner of the camper used a Snakemaster stabiliser and passed it on to me, although I would much rather get the loading etc. right than place any dependence on this.


Which type of Snakemaster? The parallelogram linkage type? I'd be interested in buying a parallelogram linkage if it's not for you? I'm not being a hypocrite with what I've said. I'd like to try one of these for possible future use. It's not too desirable as parallelogram linkages can only be used on pre type approved towbars. R reg or earlier?

Go have a look at the items tucked on the end of trailer stability as these are the fundamentals of the subject.

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Re: Noseweight

Post by navver on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 9:34 pm

With regard to getting the weight over the axle; the moment of inertia is the thing that causes the snaking or pendulum effect and is the weight of the object multiplied by the square of the distance from the pivot or axle. So put the weight 2 feet away it's 4 times, 3 feet 9 times, 4 feet 16 times, 5 feet 25 times, 6 feet 36 times, and 7 feet 49 times.

Putting something at 6 feet instead of 4 feet more than doubles the effect. In practice anything heavy within 4 feet of the axle is fine so that gives an 8 foot length in which to load the heavy stuff.

In a rear entry Dandy, even the gas box is no more than 4 feet but in the big Dandy with a loo it's got to be 6 or 7 feet so would be best not to load it too much.

My caravan is 18 feet body length and everything heavy is put close to the axle by Bailey the manufacturers. That's spare wheel, battery, heater, water heater, cooker, fridge and it tows very stable. This one was fitted with an Alko stabiliser and is the first stabiliser I've ever had. I have forgotten to clamp it down when hitching and must admit it does feel a lot tighter and stiffer with it on.

I take the view that the stabiliser disguises the onset of a snake so when it does it's difficult to control but this van has never snaked for me. I used to have a motorbike and sidecar which had a damper for the steering. Solo it had to be off, but with the sidecar on and no damper, the handle bars very quickly started swinging from side to side. The damper soon took that out so maybe they do work.

My previous van had no stabiliser and yes, I would get the beginnings of a snake occasionally but it soon stopped. My father had a caravan and that used to snake violently at about 35mph. That gavehim a lot of earache from the passenger seat.

I have experimented with various nose weights and find with too little, the whole thing becomes very floaty and unstable. Similarly, too much weighs the back of the car down and makes the steering very light.My van is 1326kg max weight so 7% is 93kg and 4% 53kg. I find I end up with around 50kg and that feels very stable.

The caravan manufacturer imposes a noseweight limit of 100kg and the car is 75kg I think so I must use the lower. Dandy don't seem to quote a maximum, but their chassis are so strong, perhaps there isn't one. I understand you can even jack one up using the corner steadies, something you would never do in a caravan.

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peridot
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Re: Noseweight

Post by peridot on Sun 10 Mar 2013, 10:46 am

I took some noseweight measurements yesterday.

The Destiny has all factory supplied components in the trailer but is otherwise empty apart from some bedding and an empty water carrier. The cooker/sink, wardrobe, table, etc. are all stowed to the rear of the unit. The roof is folded in the centre and there is no awning in it. The trailer was level.

With an empty front box I measured the noseweight at 29.5 kg, somewhat heavier than the figure quoted in the specifications. With two 4.5 kg gas cylinders installed (one new, one slightly used) and a 70Ah leisure battery, The noseweight increased to 54kg.

I've decided that it will be best to put the new leisure battery inside the camper over the axle, which will allow the front box to be used for general storage without risk of exceeding the noseweight recommendations / limits.

The stabiliser is the simple blade type. The previous owner said he experienced slight snaking when first towing but this was avoided when he fitted the stabiliser.
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Helen
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Helen on Sun 10 Mar 2013, 11:26 am

When Mike and myself we're trying to find information on Dandy's for the Identification and information stuff that we wrote we found that Dandy's specifications sheets we're not the most reliable. We used tape measures and checked ourselves Laughing

We didn't look into nose weights though but it looks like the same problem we had with measurements.
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Tow Itch
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Tow Itch on Sun 10 Mar 2013, 12:02 pm

I believe Gérard Depardieu has had problems with noseweight as well
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Helen
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Helen on Sun 10 Mar 2013, 12:17 pm

Now I do know who he is
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mike
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Re: Noseweight

Post by mike on Sun 10 Mar 2013, 12:29 pm

peridot wrote:I took some noseweight measurements yesterday.

The Destiny has all factory supplied components in the trailer but is otherwise empty apart from some bedding and an empty water carrier. The cooker/sink, wardrobe, table, etc. are all stowed to the rear of the unit. The roof is folded in the centre and there is no awning in it. The trailer was level.

With an empty front box I measured the noseweight at 29.5 kg, somewhat heavier than the figure quoted in the specifications. With two 4.5 kg gas cylinders installed (one new, one slightly used) and a 70Ah leisure battery, The noseweight increased to 54kg.

I've decided that it will be best to put the new leisure battery inside the camper over the axle, which will allow the front box to be used for general storage without risk of exceeding the noseweight recommendations / limits.

The stabiliser is the simple blade type. The previous owner said he experienced slight snaking when first towing but this was avoided when he fitted the stabiliser.

Interesting this its totally different stowing to the six,at the rear are only the cushions and table plus whats in the lockers,the wardrobe goes over the axle (roughly)because it gets filled with stuff while laid down,the cooker goes along the edge of the front bed,the space left gets different things in it depending on if we have kept the gas bottle out for exchanging,or kept the toilet out for a deep clean.
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Tow Itch
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Tow Itch on Sun 10 Mar 2013, 1:59 pm

A bit but the intent of the 110AH battery is for the motor mover, Yes? Where are you on, on or off EHU. I think we have spoke just can't remember. If you're an off EHU type then the 4.5Kg bottles could do with exchanging for 7Kg bottles. Do 7Kg bottles fit in the front of your Destiny?
4.5Kg are not supposed to be exchangeable for 7Kg bottles see [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Most Calor depots aren't bothered.

Next question 4.5Kg is butane if you're an early in year, late in year or winter camper propane is for you. You will need a new regulator but butane is a waste of time in the cold.

Now if you try to exchange a 4.5Kg for a Calor Lite you might have problems. If you have a Go Outdoors card they have had an offer on Calor Lite gas [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] I might try them to see if the staff don't know the rules or don't care. Or if you regularly use a local Calor depot just offer the trade and if they won't say you're off to Go Outdoors then you just wanted to keep the trade local. I used the reverse to get £36 off a car radiator from euro car parts last week.

Of course this wil cause a whole new set of weight questions.
Also it's suggested bottles are safest stored upright. I couldn't say what I do. Ah ha, you're OK with a Highside the bottles will go iside upright. If you end up doing that I'd secure them. I could see all sorts of fun with moving gas bottles.
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peridot
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Re: Noseweight

Post by peridot on Mon 11 Mar 2013, 7:55 am


The 6kg lightweight cylinder looks perfect for my needs Tow Itch, thanks for highlighting them to me.

We do plan to do more early / late season camping in the new Dandy and use it both on and off EHU so a switch to Propane sounds sensible.

I'll check measurements and provided they fit will try to make the swap when I have a couple of empty 4.5kg cylinders to hand. The front box on the highside has a steeply sloping lid so hasn't as much clearance as you might expect, although I reckon it will be okay.

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Esermalda

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Re: Noseweight

Post by Esermalda on Mon 11 Mar 2013, 9:48 am

Can I show complete ignorance (of course I can). Is the upgrade to the battery causing the trouble? How much motor moving are you using? Does up grading mean a new battery? Can you keep one for the motor mover spare at home
Essie xxxx
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Tow Itch
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Re: Noseweight

Post by Tow Itch on Mon 11 Mar 2013, 1:03 pm

peridot wrote:
The 6kg lightweight cylinder looks perfect for my needs Tow Itch, thanks for highlighting them to me.

We do plan to do more early / late season camping in the new Dandy and use it both on and off EHU so a switch to Propane sounds sensible.

I'll check measurements and provided they fit will try to make the swap when I have a couple of empty 4.5kg cylinders to hand. The front box on the highside has a steeply sloping lid so hasn't as much clearance as you might expect, although I reckon it will be okay.


To expand:

There is also the BP Gaslight now under the umbrella of MacGas who are part of FloGas. Don't know what the availability or price of Gaslight is. Ah I do they're all listed as available through Homebase= Arm & Leg prices. Breaking news Just looked at Flo Gas website and they don't list 2 of my local suppliers neither do MacGas and these 2 supply BP listed bottles. Phoned up [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and they retail the 10Kg bottle at £23 a cracking price. If you fancy this supply will never be as good as Calor but prices may be better if you can find a tame supplier. Get an initial empty off eBay or similar or see if any Homebase stores are still panacking as last year when BP were quitting gas some had Bottle & Regulator deals.

If your going to go mostly off EHU then the ultimate answer is Gassit/Gaslow. No links because the bottles are expensive (set up£130+) but you end up buying LPG Autogas at an average £0.73 per litre. 1Kg of LPG equals about 1.95 Litres (Not an exact calculation There sort of isn't one!) So allowing 2 litres per KG you end up paying £1.46Kg so to refill becomes £8.76 per 6Kg not £20+. Probably worth while if you were doing 5 or 6 fills a year on 6Kg but if you can comfortably fit 12Kg bottles not the same saving at all. A 10Kg gaslight could be a good compromise if you got the security of supply & price. Who knows?

Conversely Mike is on his second or third year with the same 6Kg Calor lite. He uses exclusively EHU sites and has electric heating and an electric oven (&hob?)

I doubt you will know how far to one option or the other you will fall so I'd leave expensive decisions for 12 months when you know more. Do post as you form opinions.
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peridot
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Re: Noseweight

Post by peridot on Mon 11 Mar 2013, 8:37 pm

It's really just a case of getting to grips with having to understand how the larger unit will tow and the issues I need to consider regarding loading etc.

I need to get a new battery so I might as well get one that will cover me for some time off EHU and and be capable of reliable operation of the mover. I could put it in the front box and provided I didn't put anything else much in there I think I'd be ok. However I can see lots of other uses for the storage capability of the box so while it's a bigger job to relocate the battery, on balance I think it's worth it.

Having acquired the new camper I'm in 'doing' mode at the moment so will make the most of it while it lasts Smile

I don't think it will stretch as far as doing anything too radical for gas supply though. The Calor Lite still looks like the best option but I've three full 4.5kg propane cylinders which will probably see me through most of this season so will see how it goes.


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