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Old 02-28-2019, 03:05 PM   #1
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Base Plate + Brake System - did you install it yourself or pay to have it installed?

I'm going to start researching the tow setup for a Toyota Corolla (weight 2,900).


I'm pretty handy with tools so I'm tempted to do the work myself. Just don't want to get in over my head.


If I knew a 100% reliable place to take it I would do that - however, do you take it to a car dealer (Toyota) or an RV place? The car dealer will know the vehicle in and out, but maybe has not installed this equipment before (small town) while the RV dealer has probably installed 100s, but maybe not on this exact car?


If I do it myself I know it is done with the least damage to the vehicle because I'll check everything 10 times before I cut or drill anything.
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:13 PM   #2
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We have installed at least 3 on our many toweds over the years (some used purchases already equipped) with common shop tools in the garage on a Saturday afternoon.
We know everything was done right and to our level of standards.

If you were to choose an installer you would probably want to start with estimates from RV shops first.
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:25 PM   #3
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Many years ago when I was a lot more flexible, I installed base plates and wiring on our '04 Grand Cherokee with no problems. Just followed directions and used jack stands to stay safe. The pre drilled and threaded attachment holes were rusted so I bought the right sized tap to chase the threads, much easier after that.

I got a good deal on a used Brake Buddy so I didn't have to mess with a brake system.
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:26 PM   #4
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I have installed Blue Ox base plates on three different toads. The Blue Ox instructions are very specific and the process is pretty straight forward. As WinieView mentioned it only requires basic hand tools (including a torque wrench) and only takes 2 -3 hours. If you're comfortable doing mechanical repairs on your car, you should have no trouble doing the install yourself. If you don't have a torque wrench, most auto parts stores will lend them for free.
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:27 PM   #5
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I've done four toads so far, it's not a difficult DIY project in most cases. You can look at the baseplate maker's websites and download the detailed installation instructions to get an exact understanding of what's required for your specific vehicle.

They all make adapters, so if you wish for example Blue Ox base with a Roadmaster tow bar it's all doable. Often times the different brands of baseplates mount at differing heights or require cutting different body parts so it's worth looking at them all in detail, even if you're hiring it done.
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:45 PM   #6
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I installed the Blue Ox baseplate and the Ready-Brake braking system on our Ford Bronco II. The worst part of the install was drilling the hole in the firewall for the cable that attaches to the brake pedal. The main reason that was difficult was the tight clearance available for the power drill. If you follow the manufacturer's directions the project is very simple.

I agree with Finance to look at how the baseplates attach to the vehicle and look online at the instructions for how much cutting is required. In my case, the Blue Ox baseplate was much simpler to install. Also, some baseplates are more "hidden" versus others when not in use.

------- Jim
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:48 PM   #7
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I installed a Roadmaster baseplate on my 17 Honda Fit. I also put in an SMI Stay and Play brake system and all of the associated taillight wiring. Was actually a fun job, and I know a lot more about how my systems work than if I had paid someone to do it. The Fit was so low to the ground I had to make a set of ramps to make it easier to get up under it. Not bad for 70 year old fart



If your handy, it's not that bad of a job to do. Lots of YouTube videos to help and the installation instructions are pretty good.


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Old 02-28-2019, 04:26 PM   #8
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Do it yourself. That's the only way you'll be sure it's done right and the education you receive while doing it will help you in the event something goes wrong down the line. Not because you messed up, but Murphy is always watching in the wings, and if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Not only that, I can't tell you how many times I've been lied to by dealers, techs, manufacturers, and any and all others. Do it yourself, get your education and you'll sleep better for it.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:28 PM   #9
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Blue Ox for me. I have installed on 3 vehicles and Air Force 1 on current toad
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:30 PM   #10
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If you decide not to DIY, the best place to start researching places to have it done is to use the dealer locator function on the website of the base plate manufacturer (Roadmaster, Blue Ox, etc.). The facility could be an RV repair shop, a hitch shop, an RV dealership, a custom off-road truck shop, etc. but rarely will it be a Toyota dealership. Most shops will be able to do the installation no matter the model if they have experience with baseplate installations in general.

If you use a factory authorized dealer, that will be a good indicator that they've most likely done a number of installations and will at least be familiar with what to do. You can contact each authorized dealer in your area and interview them to see how comfortable you'd be to have them do the work.

For example, this is one that came from the Roadmaster website's dealer locator that might be in your area:

Texas Custom Trucks
4723 Jacksboro Hwy.
Wichita Falls, TX 76302

Before you make a decision, you may want to look through the instructions for your car. I know both Blue Ox and Roadmaster supply instructions so you may want to look those over before you make a decision on which way to go:

I've posted links to both the Blue Ox and Roadmaster instructions to the latest models of the Corolla if you want to look to see if it's something you want to tackle. If they're not the correct instructions for your model, you can go to the respective website to get the instructions for your particular car.

Blue Ox BX3788 Corolla -- PDF instructions

Roadmaster 521194-5 Corolla -- PDF instructions
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:37 PM   #11
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I installed the base plate on our CRV. I reviewed all 3 manufacturers to see which one require the least cutting or bending and that turned out to be the Demco.
Hardest part was drilling the holes through the hardened steel bumper bar that is behind the plastic fascia. I had to buy some cobalt drills for that.
Otherwise, watch a few YouTube videos and follow the directions.
I also installed a light kit but I let a ReadyBrute installer install the brake cables.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:36 PM   #12
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just finished up my blu ox base plate on the 2012 edge.
really not a huge issue...actually it was pretty darn easy.
instructions and videos were dead on and very helpful
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:30 PM   #13
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It's basic body work and twisting wrenches not rocket science. If you are comfortable w wrenches and have or can borrow a torque wrench you can do it.
eTrailer & others have excellent videos. Watch them and decide if you are up for it. If you know anyone that's good w body work that's the toughest part removal and reinstalling plastic body parts attached w plastic push pins. If you break some they are available at any auto parts store
Wiring light again EZ if you can follow directions.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfcentral View Post
I'm going to start researching the tow setup for a Toyota Corolla (weight 2,900).


I'm pretty handy with tools so I'm tempted to do the work myself. Just don't want to get in over my head.


If I knew a 100% reliable place to take it I would do that - however, do you take it to a car dealer (Toyota) or an RV place? The car dealer will know the vehicle in and out, but maybe has not installed this equipment before (small town) while the RV dealer has probably installed 100s, but maybe not on this exact car?


If I do it myself I know it is done with the least damage to the vehicle because I'll check everything 10 times before I cut or drill anything.
Did it myself on my Fiat 500, installed the supplementary light kit and wires and the breakaway switch. Took the better part of a day to do it, and I know it was done more carefully than the last one done by a dealer.
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