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Old 11-29-2009, 08:59 PM   #1
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Baseplate tow bar brackets uneven

I recently traded toads and had Roadmaster baseplate installed on my new Saturn. Didn't notice till I got home but it appears the newly installed baseplate brackets are uneven making the crossbar not parallel to the front of the vehicle. I had to look at it from just the correct angle to notice but I'm sure the one bracket is about 1 to 1.5 inches longer than the other.
My concern and question is this. Is the fact that the crossbar is uneven a problem/danger? Will towing the toad with uneven baseplate bracket cause unnsafe or dangerous situation, cause non dangerous problems like premature tire wear, or is it a moot point and doesn't really make a difference?
I'd appreciate some expert advise. thanks
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:36 PM   #2
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I can't think of any legitimate reason for them to be uneven. Not sure what the effect, if any, would be when towing but I would want it installed correctly. A phone call to Roadmaster Tech Support might get you some support for insisting the installer correct it.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:45 PM   #3
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If by longer you mean one sticks out futher than the other, then your toad will not track straight behind the motorhome. I think the toad's front tires will wear out quickly. I would return to the installer and demand they install it correctly.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:40 PM   #4
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I'm with Gary. I'd start with Roadmaster. I installed my own baseplate on our 05' Vue and had a couple of situations while lining it up that I didn't like I ended up sending them pictures. I had several information exchanges before I was satisfied.

I'd do that before I went back to the installer. Roadmaster should be able help you determine if you do or do not have a problem. You might not get that figured out easily by talking to the installer.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:01 AM   #5
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I agree with Norm.

It will lead to excessive tire wear and may over stress the towbar/baseplate.
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV Roamer [Gary] View Post
I can't think of any legitimate reason for them to be uneven. Not sure what the effect, if any, would be when towing but I would want it installed correctly. A phone call to Roadmaster Tech Support might get you some support for insisting the installer correct it.
RV Roamer has exactly the right and complete response... Technically, no worries... Appearance wise, well, I can not think of any reason for them to be off either, which might imply an installation gaffe.

So, call Roadmaster, but here's the engineering and why those tow-bars are triangular in design with point/ball attachment points.....

Because we are talking free moving "point" attachments and not fixed/rigid connections and - here's the key point - a single pulling point (on the RV), the toad can never be pulled or dragged off parallel (i.e. dragged side to side scuffing tires) no matter what is going on with the baseplates.

Further, toad attach points not "in line" or parallel on the toad simply means the tow bar "triangle" will shift from directly on the center line of the rv/toad to slightly off. However, the pulling force will STILL be directly parallel to the toad and the toad will track dead "straight" BUT the toad will ride slightly off center to the RV. Hence, there is no tire wear issue. Aren't triangles and point attachments a wonderful thing?

Do make absolutely certain that the height from the road of the basplates and your RV hitch (at running height) are the same +/- 2". This is the key specification (beside weight ratings).


Warning - Engineering freebody top-view diagrams 101 follow.

unequal baseplates
(note how toad has shifted/rides to the right)
(in order to maintain equal tow bar lengths but is still pulled "straight")

..................toad
======X=============
================X===




========X========
.............RV

will pull as "straight" to the road as
(equal "length" baseplates)

.............toad
===X==========X===





========X=========
.............RV

So, no worries on tire wear or any other handling issues or any meaningful difference in baseplate forces (RoadMaster would have to be the final judge on that though).
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:09 PM   #7
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I ordered and was going to have a dealer install my Roadmaster Brackets on my new Ford Flex. When they arrived, they could not mount as the holes did not line up. They tried every which way and it would not work. When I looked at the brackets I realized that one of the brackets had been welded to the crossbar upside down. The Dealer called Roadmaster and they said that the Dealer could not take it off and have a welder put it on correctly and that all of the ones they made were probably wrong.

I called Roadmaster Tech Support and they were no help and actually rude to me. They could have cared less that they screwed up and they had no intention of doing anything about it. The quality control on their products in my opinion sucks! They are not worthy of our business!

I had the Dealer take it to his welder, cut off the upside down bracket, weld it back on correctly right side up, repaint the whole thing and install it. It cost me about $150.00 extra. It cost Roadmaster any future sales from me and a lifetime of me telling everyone that will listen that Roadmaster sucks!

Just so no one is confused, I think Roadmaster SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!



There Roadmaster, what do you think of them apples!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 12-01-2009, 01:28 PM   #8
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The best solution to this problem is go to BLUE OX. I just installed a BLUE OX on my third toad and am truly satisfied. I had a problem, I called them and they were very courteous and helpful.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:19 PM   #9
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Tom,

Let us know what Roadmaster says.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:25 AM   #10
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Is there a way to e-mail a thread like this to a manufacturer?

Wouldn'd that be great.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
Is there a way to e-mail a thread like this to a manufacturer?

Wouldn'd that be great.

In Roadmaster's case, it would make no difference, their arrogant and could care less!
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Is there a way to e-mail a thread like this...
I'll stick to the question/topic asked...

Yes, if you have a pdf printer on your PC use it OR use a free webpage to pdf utility like

Convert Web/HTML to PDF Free Online — PDF Download by Nitro PDF Software

and then email the pdf to whomever...

I've attached that pdf output of this thread for your use...
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