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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all I hope someone can answer my query, I have a 61 plate antaraexclusive 2 wheel drive, I tow a folding camper with the highest noseweight if fully loaded of 60kg, I own a maxxraxx towbar mounted cycle rack which bolts on behind the fixed flange towball, this weighs 12kg + 2 bikes with a total weight of 42kg including rack, my question is can I tow and carry the bikes as well, I have enquired at tow trust who`s towbar it is and they say it is rated at150kg so should be fine yet the antara manual says the towball is 80kg does this mean that the downward pressure on the maxxraxx is separated from the downward pressure on the towball because ithas its own bracket andbolted behind the towball, although it uses the tow ball bolts.apologies if not very clear what I am asking

Keith
 

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The towbar is rated at 150kg,but the car is only rated at 80kg. So your nose weight plus you rack plus your bikes can not be more than 80Kg.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
chrisg thanks for your reply that is the way I understood it yet the technical people at tow trust who actually fitted me another bracket for the towbar because it was riding high said it would be absolutely fine, whether that is because the the maxxraxx has its own bracket bolted on through the flange towball and therefore is not technically on the tow ball I don`t know, they are made to tow and carry bikes at the same time, confusing!
 

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I don't think it matters where the load is applied from ie. towball, flangeplate - it is all load and the maximum the car will take,legally, is 80Kg.I know where your coming from,as my towbar states 150Kg and I tow a caravan,but can only load the nose weight up to 80Kg
 

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Keith I would phone vauxhall as the nose weight is the weight of the caravan at the hitch. If you put them on the front of the caravan it will count but you are loading the car so the caravan moving up and down will have no effect on it. You could just use a rack that fixes to the tail gate .
As long as the tow bracket fixing can take the weight it should all be ok.
If you get stopped they will weigh the total weight of the caravan and the nose weight of the caravan. They can only weigh it with the hitch of the ball
You could alway contact vosa as it will be them pulling you over to test it
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi keeff, chrisg I have just returned from talking to the technical guy at our local dealership and he says because the maxxraxx bracket/foot is sandwiched between the tow ball and the towbar that it will be absolutely fine as the nose weight from my camper is directly on the ball which allows 80kgand the weight of the bikes are not on the ball but on its own bracket it would be ok.
thanks for all your replies
Keith
 

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I'm sorry I think your technical guy needs to get himself retrained . You run the risk of overloading the rear suspension on your vehicle . Your total allowance is 80 kg if you run caravan at 80kg and then add the rack and bikes your asking for trouble
 

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Rd57chad said:
I'm sorry I think your technical guy needs to get himself retrained . You run the risk of overloading the rear suspension on your vehicle . Your total allowance is 80 kg if you run caravan at 80kg and then add the rack and bikes your asking for trouble
I don't want to rain on your parade,but Rd57chad is correct. The nose weight is not just the weight on the towball, its the downward force on the towing bracket and subsequentlycar. It is usually the towball but I have a bike rack like yours and that is included in the nose weight/downward force.
chris
 

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I agree with Rd57, a tow bar could be capable of a load much higher than needed but the max nose weight is normally quoted in the car owners manual, it is a calculation of what weight a fully loaded car that is then used for towing can take safely, it will be calculated based on suspension capability, stability (Antara has a trailer stability function), breaking performance on front and rear wheels etc.
Also I am sure the cars structure is capable of more loading but the loads transferred by a tow bar are more in the horizontal direction, i.e. a pulling force and not so much in the vertical direction (nose weight) so anything you add to a tow bar on the ball or the bracket is adding to the nose weight, it's just like sticking weight to the camper at the front.
I share my view as I don't think you have been given good advise and it could be unsafe.

One last point if your camper doesn't have a long draw bar you can seriously reduce the gap between the bike rack you fit and the front of the camper, if you needed to make a tight turn at some point the camper could push the bikes into the boot of your car... Just another thing to check..
 

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One last point, if you are ever unfortunate to have an accident and if overloading was a contributing factor,your insurance company may not want to pay out.chris
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi all thanks for your replies just to clarify a few of your concerns, as there are only 2 of us the car is never fully loaded so suspension should really not be a problem as I could tow with 4 adults plus luggage and still put 80kg on the towbar, I already know about the towing arc needed and until I fit the said rack I am not sure as I meet the criteria, if I were to use a rear window rack that is still adding to the downward pressure on the rear of the car, not sure if I have the trailer stability function as I do not have self levelling suspension, as regards overloading if I can carry 5 passengers and luggage and still tow I cant see that I would be overloaded with less weight than that would be, I do however take your concerns and opinions onboard andI am still not convinced by the towbar, technical peoples opinion hence the reason for posting on hear, I could buy the roof bars and put them on the roof but that means they are 10 feet at there highest point and they are bloody heavy to lift over 6 feet onto the roof, now I know the load would be spread but it is still extra downward pressure on the suspension, so the dilemma has turned into a saga
Keith
 

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Hi, Your bike rack and bikes come to 42kg therefore you have a max. of 38Kg nose weight for your folding camper.As a rule of thumb the nose weight should be between 5% and 7% of the total weight of the trailer, so if your trailer was 500kg MTPLM (fully loaded) then your nose weight should be in the region of 25kg to 35kg.
Your trailer may fall into this window and be ok.

What is the weight of your folding camper, fully loaded?

Edited by: chrisg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi chrisg the nose weight of the camper fully loaded is approx. 50-60, I am aware of all the weight regulations etc as I have been towing for a number of years and know that if I tot them up I have a weight of 90+, these maxxraxx are designed to be able to carry bikes and tow, I have conversed through forums with people that use them without any problems on estate cars such as vw passats, mondeos etc now there nose weight cannot be much greater than the antara if indeed they are as much, as I have only had the car a couple of months I am trying to find out as much as I can about its capabilities ie towing/carrying etc and that is the reason for my original question and as I have said I am taking on board all of the advice etc, please don`t any of you think I am a smart a--se it is just I am being told so much conflicting advice from here, towbar technicalpeoplewho incidently are not the tow bar fitters but the manufactures and also Vauxhall that its making my head spin, think it will be easier to walk. I would like to know however that why could I hang them from a rear door carrier but not from behind the tow ball surely the downward pressure on the suspension is the same.Keith
 

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the car has a maximum load/weight and if you hang your bikes on the back this will detract from the "user" payload. It certainly looks to be a grey area, but the maximum load of the car is 80Kg and that trumps the towbar limit.
 

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As far as I understand, the tow ball limit of 80kg has nothing to do with what you place on the towball, nor overloading the rear suspension, although it may have an effect on the self levelling rear suspension. It is more to do with the loading on the rear body of the car where the towbar is attached, that area of the car is designed to support 80kg any more and there is a possibility of the towbar distorting the bodywork and in a worse case scenario being pulled loose. Adding bikes to a rear tailgate mounted carrier will not impact on the towbar mountings obviously but a toball mounted carrier or rack on the front of a trailer will.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi all I have just been in touch with maxxraxx technical dept they asked me to read out the information label on the tow bar ie class d and 150kg they checked on their technical data and said the antara is absolutely fine with the rack and 2 bikes approx. 42kg which leaves nearly a 100 kg when I mentioned the downward pressure on the suspension/rear of car they said no everything is a ok so I am going to remove the flange towball and fix the rack bracket and refit flange ball and see how much distance I have between bikes and camper if all ok will give it a go carrying and towing at the same time, they did ask if I had a flange or swan neck ball don`t know if that makes a difference.
Keith
 

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Keith,Am I missing something here?
Yes maxxraxx technical dept say that the towing bracket is designed to take a down load on the ball of 150kg and it probably will if bolted to a Sherman tank, but vx state a limit of 80kg because the rear end of the Antara is not manufactured out of 1" thick steel.
Good luck whatever you choose to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi DaveIam not saying maxxraxx advocate carrying 150kg but they said because the bikes and rack approx. 42kg it still leaves approx. 100kg and as folding camper comes in at 55-60kg I would be absolutely fine, so that's the towbar manufactures tech dept, Vauxhall tech dept and maxxraxx dept all say absolutely fine, I am now running out of experts to ask, however I have looked at carrying 1 bike on the rear of the folding camper by using the sliding bed support and using a bike carrier that would be bracketed like they are on roof bars this too would offset the nose weight as there would only be the rack and 1 bike and the camper on the noseweight a fella on the ukcampsite forum has done this so will see, it is now doing my bloody head in I think I will use my bus pass
Keith
 

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Hi Keith,So have vx tech dept stated that it is ok to load 42 + 55 ie 97kg on the tow ball, if so then interesting as all their literature states max of 80.
 
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