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Old 02-02-2016, 03:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ABrask View Post
I've been offline for a while, but have now caught up and appreciate all of the input. I actually owned a Smart for a few years, and I'd consider another one, but really need at least a "pretend" back seat to accommodate very small grandchildren periodically.

I've also looked at the Fiat 500 as someone suggested, but they, if anything, seem to have a quality record that is worse than the Smart or Mini. As another poster mentioned, however, that can be very much like the reputations on RVs...one owner's nightmare is another owner's dream. Our Palazzo, for instance, is abhorred by some, yet ours has simply been a joy. Go figure. For that matter, our Smart was trouble-free as well. Perhaps we're just lucky?

Back to the Mini.... Has anyone installed their own baseplate, braking systems and/or lighting kits on their cars? I hate the idea of paying a dealer big bucks to do something poorly, if I'm able to do it well myself....
Yes, we purchased a used 2007 and bought the Blue Ox baseplate and tow bar plus the Patriot braking system - had a Palazzo at the time. The install was straight forward - did it ourselves.

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Old 02-02-2016, 09:18 PM   #16
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Has anyone looked at impact fuel mileage? I swear that I seem to lose 0.5 mpg towing the SmartCar? Any experience with Mini or others? Seems like they should not impact mileage as light as they are.

Bill & Jenny - 2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35K, 36 ft, Ford V10 - Blue Ox and SMARTCAR. Once/month traveler in Midwest and Southern US. Home - Nashville, Indiana (Beautiful Brown County)
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:44 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ABrask View Post
Back to the Mini.... Has anyone installed their own baseplate, braking systems and/or lighting kits on their cars? I hate the idea of paying a dealer big bucks to do something poorly, if I'm able to do it well myself....
I hate paying someone to do stuff that I can do. I just installed a Roadmaster EZ5 baseplate, Readybrake brake system and Readystop Breakaway on a 2015 Focus this past weekend. Did it go perfect? No, there were a few things that I wasn't ready for. One of the baseplate supports didn't line up perfectly, so I had to do some drilling. I had a problem that when I installed the red thread locker that it setup so fast that the wires on the weldnuts broke off when I tried to tighten the bolts and it was a bear to get them torqued down once the wires broke off. I also had an issue that the firewall is a double firewall, which made drilling and fishing the aircraft cables through a real pain. I had to buy a 10" drill bit for that task. All I have left is a battery disconnect and taillight wiring, but my hands need a break

If you are handy with tools you should be able to install these items in a weekend. It can be a bit frustrating at times, and I was a bit apprehensive about cutting holes in the grill of the car, but I do enjoy doing stuff like that and overall I'm very happy how it came out.

Oh, the Focus is a great car too. Quiet, rides well, great gas mileage and it handles almost as well as my 99 Miata.
1998 Southwind Storm 34S
2015 Ford Focus Hatchback SE
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:54 AM   #18
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we have two mini's............they are great as a toad, but you cannot do 4 down, especially if automatic..........I talked to mini.........four down will void any warranty........you can do a "bypass", but it was more trouble than it was worth......we bought a car dolly.......hookup and tiedown are a cinch........dolly is easy to move and doesn't take much room to store.......when you are moving, you do not even know the mini is back there............AND, you can store a lot of stuff in the back of a mini..................so far, no real maintenance issues...........ours are 2007 and 2010.........................
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Old 02-03-2016, 05:39 AM   #19
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Mini Baseplate Installation

If you refer to YouTube.com you will find several baseplate installation step by step videos. This is a good source for better understanding the complexities of baseplate and tow light wiring requirements specific to the mini. Best wishes.
Paul & Tere
05 Damon Daybreak 3270F
Franklin, VA
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:38 PM   #20
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I installed the base plate on my 06. I had to cut a couple of small holes in the plastic base of the grill. Was not a hard install. I used magnetic lights but will probably try to add bulbs in the tail lights before I tow it again. I also installed cable for Ready Brake.

Bob, Sandi & Marmaduke the Big Pug
SW OREGON 2004 Journey 39K, 330 Cat
If towing: a 2006 Mini Cooper or 1995 Wrangler
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