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Old 03-21-2018, 02:57 PM   #1
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Install Pricing Sanity Check

My RV dealer is quoting the following for labor only:

Install Air Force: $1774
Install base plate and tow bar: $1400

Their labor rate is $130/hour so it looks 13.5 hours for the brake system and another 10.5 hour for the base plate and tow bar.

The TOAD is a Jeep Wrangler JL. One of the new models.

My initial reaction was sticker shock. But to be fair Ive never had this done before. We are moving from a tow dolly so I have no context.

As background, Im not mechanically inclined so I dont see doing this myself.

Id like to hear opinions and recommendations from those of you who have been down this road.

Thanks,

Rod
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclist922 View Post
Id like to hear opinions and recommendations from those of you who have been down this road.
I would get another estimate. Let us know your location and someone will give you a referral.

In my area Temecula California, I would suggest Ranch Muffler & Truck Accessories Auto Parts Temecula. All the best.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:13 PM   #3
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DO NOT EVEN Consider using a Campnig World shop....for anything....
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:23 PM   #4
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In my opinion you are getting ripped off.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:30 PM   #5
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I can’t comment too much on the labor since I don’t have the same tow vehicle as you but that does sound a little high on labor. I did install my baseplate and brake light wiring myself on a Jeep Liberty and it may have taken me 10 hours but I had never done it before plus I did it in a gravel driveway and no air tools. Does the labor include time for brake light wiring? If not sounds really high.

I would look for a shop with a lower labor rate that installs hitches, trailers and the like. They are used to dealing with vehicle mods of this type. The baseplate should be pretty straight forward just make sure you find someone that understands the braking system install (safety first).
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:33 PM   #6
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I would definitely get another opinion. I had the base for a Jeep but decided to go with an aftermarket bumper instead so never installed it but I did read through the instructions and from that and looking at it guessed no more than 3-4 hours tops to do.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:33 PM   #7
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X2, avoid CW.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:40 PM   #8
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The complete install (base plate, braking system and lights) on my CRV took 13 hours. Have a friend who just had a complete install (parts and labor) done on his CRV for $3900.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:57 PM   #9
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They must be using a blind, one armed man to do the installs. The base plates can be completed by ANY competent person in about three hours. The AF1 is a little more tricky when mounting the unit on the motor home. The first time I installed the newer, more sophisticated AFI unit on the motor home, it took me about three hours. Mounting in the car is about 2-3 hours.
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:39 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone, keep em coming.

We are located in the Columbus Ohio area. But Id be willing to drive a bit for this install.

Rod
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:25 PM   #11
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Install Pricing Sanity Check

When I did my first install which was AF1 and Blue Ox Base Plate on a Suburban. Took me about 8-10 hours.
Coach side was more involved with the AF1 as the extra tank and valve needed to be mounted and tapped in to the air system in 2 locations.
Suburban required removal of several body panels to mount base plate, then mounting AF1 components then adding in the wiring for tail lights.
Even with all this work your estimates do seem a little high.
At one time you could get the AF1 installed in Evansville, which is where the SMI/AF1 originated. Also I have seen a company mentioned in northern Indiana that does installs. Someone on here may have that name.
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Old 03-21-2018, 06:31 PM   #12
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Did the entire install in 2 days for $860. $0 cost labor, towbar, aux brake bought off craigslist. Only the baseplate I paid retail for.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:31 AM   #13
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Install Pricing Sanity Check

I just had the same work done, except it was on a Wrangler JK Sahara unlimited. I used a local, long established hitch shop that is also a dealer for Demco and the Air Force One. They installed a Demco tabless baseplate, the Air Force One with breakaway, and all ofthe toad light wiring and diodes. They did NOT sell me the tow bar as I was able to secure it on my own at a much better price. I did bring it to them, and they did all the set up on it.

They charged me for 16 hours of install at a rate of $65 per hour. I think your stated costs are very high. My total bill, labor and parts was $3,200 plus state sales tax.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UFO Pilot View Post
In my opinion you are getting ripped off.
Ditto. I was just quoted by a reliable shop: $1000 labor to install AF1, baseplate and wiring.
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