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Old 05-02-2008, 07:25 PM   #1
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I bought my wife a new Grand Vitara today.
She loves it.
I'm hoping someone else has one and tows it.
If so would you tell me which make and model # of baseplate it takes.
I see http://www.usa-trailer-hitches.com/products/BX3513 has baseplates for $350 but there seems like many different choices and lots of 'footnotes'. Some say, "it can't be used with Blue Ox 88152 adapter. I have no idea what that is.
I'd like a nice baseplate that you can't see when it's not being used but I'd like to be able to use it with my towbar that I already have. Which is nothing fancy and has simple connection point like to a jeep.
I won't be towing very often for a awhile so I don't want to buy one of the nice 5 to $800 tow bars that stay on the MH. Maybe some day.

Anybody install their own baseplate?

I found the right baseplate on the Blue Ox website but , looking at the photos, I don't think I can use my cheap tow bar with it.
I definitly give Blue Ox a big 'thumbs up' for their awesome instructions, with great color photos. And they even tell you the size wrench you need. It would be great if all companies gave instructions like this, rather than "see an authorized service cntr".
The job does look elaborate, with fascia, both grills and bumper removal tho.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:25 PM   #2
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I bought my wife a new Grand Vitara today.
She loves it.
I'm hoping someone else has one and tows it.
If so would you tell me which make and model # of baseplate it takes.
I see http://www.usa-trailer-hitches.com/products/BX3513 has baseplates for $350 but there seems like many different choices and lots of 'footnotes'. Some say, "it can't be used with Blue Ox 88152 adapter. I have no idea what that is.
I'd like a nice baseplate that you can't see when it's not being used but I'd like to be able to use it with my towbar that I already have. Which is nothing fancy and has simple connection point like to a jeep.
I won't be towing very often for a awhile so I don't want to buy one of the nice 5 to $800 tow bars that stay on the MH. Maybe some day.

Anybody install their own baseplate?

I found the right baseplate on the Blue Ox website but , looking at the photos, I don't think I can use my cheap tow bar with it.
I definitly give Blue Ox a big 'thumbs up' for their awesome instructions, with great color photos. And they even tell you the size wrench you need. It would be great if all companies gave instructions like this, rather than "see an authorized service cntr".
The job does look elaborate, with fascia, both grills and bumper removal tho.
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Old 05-04-2008, 04:22 AM   #3
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Max, I assume you have a ball mount tow bar such as the Blue Ox Adventurer. You may have a different brand, but if you look at the Adventurer, it has tabs on the end that attach to a standard Blue Ox base plate as shown in the Adventurer instructions. If you scroll down the instructions, you will see a photo of how the Adventurer attaches to the tabs on the base plate. Incidentally, the base plate shown has removable tabs, which makes the base plate almost invisible when the tabs are removed. If you have a different brand of tow bar, there may or may not be an adapter available.

If you can't find an adapter, you may want to consider buying an Adventurer tow bar. They are only $183 from RV Upgrades. They also have the Acclaim ball mount bar. The advantage of the Acclaim is that it has sliding arms to make hitching up much easier; but at a price of over $400, you may want to just stick with the inexpensive Adventurer. IMO, if you're going to spend over $400 for an Acclaim, you might as well go ahead and spend another $200 and buy a motorhome mounted tow bar.
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:39 AM   #4
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Thanks Paz, That tow bar looks almost identical to mine so the adapter mey work.
It's a little scary using a sub $100 towbar to pull a 25K car but it's rated for 5000lbs. so maybe I'll use it or maybe I'll buy a more expensive one.
I wonder if the expensive ones are really stronger or if we're just paying for light weight and easy to use?
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Old 05-04-2008, 04:09 PM   #5
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http://www.demco-products.com/manual...ls/tp20197.pdf

Maybe this pdf will help you make the decision to install yourself. Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:36 PM   #6
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Max,
I have a 99' Grand Vitara with a BX 3511 baseplate. I chose it because it looked easier to install than the Roadmaster. No facia or trim to remove, only two holes to drill and two bolts to remove and replace. It only looks easy on the literature.

They don't tell you that it is nearly impossible to snake the backer plates through the two channel bumper, then align them with the newly drilled holes. I had to drill additional alignment holes in the bumper in order to position the backer plates over the bolt-holes. The one hour install time, at least on mine, turned out to be several hours over two days, many "C-words" for such a poorly designed system, many scratches and sore muscles, etc. Plus, you need to Locktite the bolts that go into the motor mounts and backer plates. Good luck remembering to tell your garage to heat the mount bolts before attempted removal, should you need to replace those mounts.

Then as an added insult, it is "recommended" that you purchase additional safety cables to secure the base plate to the main frame of the vehicle. Those are in addition to the safety cables between the toad and the motorhome. You would expect that the base plate would be designed well enough for the use intended w/o redundant safety systems.

Enough venting. Good luck!

Tom
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:45 PM   #7
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by max49:

It's a little scary using a sub $100 towbar to pull a 25K car but it's rated for 5000lbs.

Max, I believe my tow bar is exactly like yours going by your description from a previous post. I have towed my 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara with it with no problems. It like yours is rated for 5000 lbs, which is close to a ton more than the Suzuki weighs. The Blue Ox base plate sure looks good, but a little pricy for what you get. Engineering costs I suppose. I made my own for my Suzuki.

Congrats on getting the new car, even if it is for your wife ,they are a great little machine and tow really well.

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Old 05-04-2008, 05:56 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by max49:
I wonder if the expensive ones are really stronger or if we're just paying for light weight and easy to use? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
IMHO, name brand tow bars are not necessarily stronger, at least if they are the same weight class; but they are probably better made and therefore longer lasting than off brand bars. Blue Ox really has a reputation for standing behind their products.

The more expensive tow bars are also easier to use because they have sliding arms. That means the toad doesn't have to be perfectly lined up before you hitch up. Although the Acclaim is a Class III (5,000 lb) ball mount tow bar, it costs over $400 because it has sliding arms.

There are also lightweight, aluminum tow bars and Class IV tow bars that are more expensive than the ball mounts.
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:50 PM   #9
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Thanks guys for sharing your experience.
I'd like to say that in 27 years of being with my wife, I have never seen her so excited about any material thing, like she is with this car. I'm not sure why but she just loves this car. I always drive! But not now. I sit in the passenger seat while 'lead foot' whips that thing around.
I've gotten her brand new Explorers and Blazers before but her Suzi must have something they did'nt have.
Donovan, Thanks for posting those instructions. I saved them. It does look like a pretty elaborate job. If I did'nt get her car back together perfect, I'd be in big trouble! But sometimes, I trust my self more than some of these shops. Anybody done this. Not too bad of a job? or something you would'nt do again?
T J Wolf, am I safe to assume that you are NOT recomending the BX3511 baseplate?
If you had it to do over again would you get a different one? Even if you had to remove the fascia, trim and maybe the bumper?
On the BX3520, Blue Ox has theses side notes.

1. Bumper fascia must be removed and replaced during installation.
2. Requires some trimming of bumper (fascia, plastic, and/or grill).
3. Requires some drilling (not major).
13. Use only with motorhome mount tow bars or the BX8833 or BX88151 adapters. Removable tabs with only one hole will not attach to car mount tow bars or other adapters. The Acclaim may only be used with removable tab baseplates that have 23 1/2" or greater spaced tabs. The Adventurer may be used with baseplates having 24"-40" spaced removable tabs. The Ambassador may only be used with 24" spaced removable tabs.

I'm hoping that one of the adapters (BX8833 or BX88151 ) is an adaptor to let me use it with a regular ball mount tow bar.

I can get the baseplate for $350 on line or locally for $450 plus installation , I'm sure.

I have another question about the Grand Vitara. All the book tells me is put the transfer case in neutral, tranny in park, pk brake off, and key in acc position to unlock steering wheel. But when I put the key in accessory position, the clock, temperature and MPG computer lights up. Won't this drain the battery? The book does'nt tell me which fuse disables this. Does anybody know?

Dieselclacker, I'm glad to hear someone else has used a cheaper towbar. You made your own baseplate? That must taken a lot of thought and time getting everything line up right. I made mine for the Blazer, but it just bolts up where the 2 tow hooks already were, with 2 bolts on each side, and it is butt ugly, but has held so far. I put a Suxuki 2" receiver tow hitch on mine and surprisingly it has 4 big bolts on each side. Made me think my homemade baseplate for the Blazer might be inadequate.
Thanks again guys
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