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Old 03-12-2014, 10:21 AM   #1
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Readybrute Elite towbar - setup costs??

I'm ready to finally get my tow vehicle set up. I've decided to go with a ReadyBrute Elite tow bar and Blue Ox base plate. The local RV repair shop quoted me $2,400 out the door for the setup. They said that includes: ReadyBrute Elite tow bar, safety cables, umbilical cord from MH to jeep, Blue Ox base plate, lighting kit for the Jeep and all labor. The parts come to about $1,800 with tax. That means that there is about $600 in labor. This seems like a lot to me. The RV place said that would include instructions on setting everything up, leveling the hitch to Jeep and setting up and adjusting the ReadyBrute Elite cable. Does this sound right or is it way to expensive?
I've looked at the installation videos and it looks relatively simple. I'm just concerned with doing this since an error could be very costly.
Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:33 AM   #2
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It all depends on what they are installing. Most owners that have installed their own units report installation times to be around 4 - 5 hours if they include the monitoring system. That would make the shop labor rate about $75.00 per hour.

It is also somewhat dependent on the degree difficulty the system is to install in your particular vehicle. While some installations may only take 4 hours others could take substantially more time.

The local Ford and Chevrolet dealers charge between $100.00 and $110.00 per hour, so it sounds like the price is in the ball park.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:03 AM   #3
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That's what we paid last year, including the dash mounted monitoring light.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:57 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments. I know I'm capable of doing the installation myself. I'm just wondering if the $600 in labor is worth the peace of mind in having someone else be responsible for such important work.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:21 PM   #5
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I just did the whole set up on my Hummer H3 a few weeks ago. It took longer than 5 hours, but that was being very meticulous about everything. It's not difficult (maybe a 2 out of 5) and I feel I did a much better job than a shop would. As far as cost, I got everything you listed. Cost me about $1,200... but my base plate was a little cheaper than most. You can buy everything online and price shop. Adventure RV was great. Got the Ready Brute Elite with clevises for $975 shipped. So even at $1,400, your shop is charging you $1,000 to install the setup. Hey, they have to get paid for doing a job... but what they are offering to show you on top of the install is not worth much (my opinion), as you can see how to hook up, level (step up or step down hitch)and set the cable on the videos. I say just go for it. I hemmed and hawed about having somebody do it and now I'm glad I did...
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor3650 View Post
Thanks for the comments. I know I'm capable of doing the installation myself. I'm just wondering if the $600 in labor is worth the peace of mind in having someone else be responsible for such important work.
Cost aside... Peace of mind comes easier for me knowing that I ran every wire, every cable, and tightened every bolt correctly... and not depending on somebody else who may or may not pay as much attention and take as much care at doing a job as you would... Just my opinion...
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:57 PM   #7
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You might try getting a quote from a company that builds/sells utility trailers. They install tow hitches which is just a base plate on the back instead of the front. Most of those companies have expert welders and mechanics on staff. The company that did my Readybrute installation in Phoenix built the base plate. They said they can make it a lot cheaper than what Blue Ox charges. They also made the drop hitch for the back of the MH. The drop hitch took them about 15 minutes including the custom attach point for my bicycle rack. I can't find the invoice but I think it was less than $2000 including the Readybute.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:06 PM   #8
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I had a local paint & body shop install the base plate for $100. I did the rest. Really not difficult
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:49 PM   #9
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Because you're toad is going to be a Jeep, I think the cost sounds high to me. Jeeps are generally easier to mount the base plate onto than most other vehicles. I'm assuming you're going to use a Jeep Wrangler and not a different model that requires removal of the front facia. If it were just about any other vehicle I'd say the cost sounds fair, but it sounds high for a Jeep. The rest of the set up will also be quick and easy, running the brake cables shouldn't take long either. And the rest will pretty much just be plug and play.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor3650 View Post
I'm ready to finally get my tow vehicle set up. I've decided to go with a ReadyBrute Elite tow bar and Blue Ox base plate. The local RV repair shop quoted me $2,400 out the door for the setup
Sounds crazy expensive to me but I am a cheap SOB, have terrible luck with shops doing quality work on my vehicles, and like DIY projects. I spent $1300 for the BlueOx base plate and ReadyBrute (including tax and shipping) - caught a sale at RvUprades.com.

The base plate install is very easy. Too many people/businesses/etc... like to make you think that this type of thing is rocket science. It isn't.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:43 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the comments. Well, I looked over the on-line instructions and looked at my Jeep (1995 Cherokee). Everything looks pretty easy. Actually, my Jeep has an aftermarket tube bumper and I can see the bolts that need to be replaced. The base plate install shouldn't take very long at all.

So I made the decision and ordered all the parts. I'll pick up the Blue Ox base plate, wiring kit, clevis' and rv to Jeep electrical cord today. The ReadyBrute Elite tow bar will be here next Wednesday. I was hoping to have it all done for our camping trip next weekend, but I doubt it will. Plus, I don't want to rush anything.

Anyways, thanks for all the suggestions and I'm looking forward to the install as well as saving the $600 installation costs.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:19 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Thor3650 View Post
Anyways, thanks for all the suggestions and I'm looking forward to the install as well as saving the $600 installation costs.
You saved enough to pay for one tire for the MH!!!!
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:44 AM   #13
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Where did you end up buying the Ready Brute Elite?
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:39 PM   #14
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I bought all the materials, including the ReadyBrute Elite towbars and Roadmaster baseplate, online, and had a local truck accessories shop install the whole works. I think they charged me about $300 for the complete installation.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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