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Old 07-20-2014, 12:59 PM   #1
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2014 Chevy Equinox

Just replaced the old Saturn Vue with an Equinox LTZ. The Vue was the third vehicle we've towed and we had it since 2006 and loved it. I have a Roadmaster tow bar and use a Brake Buddy. On the first 3 toads I've installed the base plates and wiring kits myself without incident. For the tail lights I've always used the kit where you install another set of bulbs in the tail light housing. I'm either getting lazy, old or both but this time I'm considering having it done by someone else. I've got a few questions for folks that are towing an Equinox. #1 Has anyone had a base plate and wiring done on a toad at Camping World and how much do they charge for labor? I know I can buy the parts for less than $400. #2 I think the front of the car looks cleaner with the Blue Ox brackets and I think I heard that you can buy an adapter to use a Roadmaster Tow Bar with the Blue Ox brackets. Has anyone done this? Long term plan is maybe to find a deal on a Blue Ox Tow Bar. #3 I haven't pulled a tail light housing yet to look but for someone that has installed the extra lights is it very tight to get them in or is there plenty of room? Any other advice from Equinox owners is appreciated. Posted on another forum too but want as much input as possible. Thanks Bob
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:09 PM   #2
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Can't help with the Equinox, but for the tails lights what on did on my car was buy 2 red led units and mount these on the rear bumper. Looks like some cars have reflectors mounted there now so mine doesn't look too odd. It saves you from drilling in to those rear lights to mount the extra bulb which I didn't want to do.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:05 PM   #3
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Toad

I'm towing a 2114 Equinox using a Blue Ox from my old Saturn Vue. I had the base plate and wiring installed at my local U-Haul for $400. Base plate and harness and diodes included.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Hoegee View Post
I'm towing a 2114 Equinox using a Blue Ox from my old Saturn Vue.
Just so I understand (I'm part Polish), are you saying you're using the Blue Ox Tow Bar that you used with the Vue or you took off the base plate from the Vue and are using that on the Equinox? The base plates are vehicle specific so if they used that they had to modify it in some way. If it was an exact replacement, I'm sorry I didn't take it off before I traded the Vue in.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:08 PM   #5
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We recently purchased a 2014 Equinox LTZ V6. Supplied the dealer with the Blue Ox base plate and the wiring kit that uses two additional 1157 lamps. Can't tell you the cost as we rolled it into the purchase negotiations. Plenty of room in the housing for the additional lamps.
Tows great.
Also, owners manual says that if towing long distance to remove fuse 32 to avoid discharging battery. This fuse also controls to power outlet in the dash. I ran a charging line and leave the fuse in place. We tow all day with no issues. Does not rack up miles either.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:34 PM   #6
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We recently purchased a 2014 Equinox LTZ V6. Supplied the dealer with the Blue Ox base plate and the wiring kit that uses two additional 1157 lamps.
Dennis, your info was great! Is there any chance you could take a photo of the front of your car so I can see what it would look like when the tow bar is disconnected? I can send you my email or you could post the pic in this thread. Thanks again. We picked up the car yesterday and I'm anxious to get it set up. Bob
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Floridakamper View Post
Dennis, your info was great! Is there any chance you could take a photo of the front of your car so I can see what it would look like when the tow bar is disconnected? I can send you my email or you could post the pic in this thread. Thanks again. We picked up the car yesterday and I'm anxious to get it set up. Bob
This is our 2013 with a Blue Ox base plate, but it should look the same as the 2014. This is looking straight in. It is even less noticeable when looking at the normal viewing angle. Everything is mounted except the electrical connector, which attaches to the 2 rods in the center. It sits behind the license plate, which isn't mounted yet either.

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Old 07-21-2014, 11:48 AM   #8
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If I'm not mistaken, that's what the car looks like as soon as the tow bar is disconnected. I've used Roadmaster products for the last dozen years and they have served me well. But when I disconnect the tow bar, I've still got the two arms and the cross bar sticking out from the front of the car. Even though I could remove/disconnect those arms and crossbar....I don't. Too big of a pain because I have pad locks on them. I've always noticed the cars with Blue Ox brackets in various campgrounds and thought how much better they looked. I'll continue using my Roadmaster Falcon tow bar with the Blue Ox adapters until it's time to replace it. At least that's the current plan. I'm waiting for our local Camping World to call with a quote.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Floridakamper View Post
If I'm not mistaken, that's what the car looks like as soon as the tow bar is disconnected. I've used Roadmaster products for the last dozen years and they have served me well. But when I disconnect the tow bar, I've still got the two arms and the cross bar sticking out from the front of the car. Even though I could remove/disconnect those arms and crossbar....I don't. Too big of a pain because I have pad locks on them. I've always noticed the cars with Blue Ox brackets in various campgrounds and thought how much better they looked. I'll continue using my Roadmaster Falcon tow bar with the Blue Ox adapters until it's time to replace it. At least that's the current plan. I'm waiting for our local Camping World to call with a quote.
The only thing missing are the 2 tabs that the arms of tow bar connect to. The tow bar itself, of course, remains on the back of the motorhome. The tabs are 1/4 turn disconnect and are easy to remove - I can do each with one hand. They are also small to store (about 8" long), unlike the Roadmaster cross bar. The cleaner appearance is the reason I went with Blue Ox.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:00 PM   #10
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The only thing missing are the 2 tabs that the arms of tow bar connect to.
Do those two tabs come with the base or with the tow bar when purchased? I just discovered that Roadmaster now makes a base plate for SUV's that is hidden and does not have the crossbar. I'm going to investigate that a little more. And Camping world just called with a $900 estimate to install the Blue Ox base plate, the wiring kit and a charge line. I think it's 3 or 4 hundred too much. The parts can be purchased online for $400 so their charging $500 labor.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:34 PM   #11
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I know you really like using the extra bulb in the light housing technique, but I'm still going to urge you to look into diodes. They're easy to install and work great, and you don't have to drill holes into your light housings.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:41 PM   #12
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I know you really like using the extra bulb in the light housing technique, but I'm still going to urge you to look into diodes. They're easy to install and work great, and you don't have to drill holes into your light housings.
Over the years I've heard issues with the cars brain. And recently, with the Equinox, I've read of issues when the Brake Buddy actuates and turns on the brake lights and the motorhome is also sending the signal to turn on the brake lights. Supposedly there is some relay that can be added to prevent the conflict but it just seems easier/safer not use the cars wiring for lights. As I gather info my plan is always subject to change.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:55 AM   #13
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Do those two tabs come with the base or with the tow bar when purchased?...
The tabs come with the base plate.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:04 AM   #14
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Over the years I've heard issues with the cars brain. And recently, with the Equinox, I've read of issues when the Brake Buddy actuates and turns on the brake lights and the motorhome is also sending the signal to turn on the brake lights. Supposedly there is some relay that can be added to prevent the conflict but it just seems easier/safer not use the cars wiring for lights. As I gather info my plan is always subject to change.
It is correct that the computer in newer cars also controls many light functions. I got all the lights in our Equinox to work correctly using diodes, but if I had to do it over again, I would install separate bulbs. The only drawback to separate bulbs is they are not located at the focus of the parabolic reflector inside the light assembly, so they may not be quite as bright as the original bulbs.

There is a relay available that is used to turn off the power to the brake light switch from the car so the lights only receive a signal from the motorhome. However, the computer automatically cuts power from the car to the brake lights after 10 minutes, so I didn't bother with the relay.
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