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Old 05-09-2014, 10:02 PM   #1
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Roadmaster Baseplate Disaster

Hi: I installed the Roadmaster baseplates on my 2003 Toyota Highlander and all but two holes had to be reamed out in order to get them to fit. A one hour installation turned into two days. I complained to Roadmaster and didn't get a response. Is this normal? It seems like most people have had better luck. I had to trim out parts of the bumper all over the place and I still can't get the lower bumper screws in. I chose Roadmaster over Blue Ox because it looked like it would be a cleaner fit. And no, I have had the vehicle since new and no accidents. TomKriek
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:42 AM   #2
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sorry to hear that. no offense but
- did you buy it from roadmaster or an established shop/seller?
- did you order a correct part?
- did the seller send you a right part

the reason i am asking you these is i am using all roadmaster tow related items and all were perfect fit when i installed them myself. roadmaster has been in market for a long time, they normally walk extra miles to make things right. that you had to remove this and that, might really indicate something wrong...
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:43 AM   #3
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I had no problems with mine installation, I did trim some plastic no big deal since the bumper wasn't designed to have something sticking out of it. I don't understand why trimming everywhere would help it should be just where the 2 brackets bolt to the frame.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:02 AM   #4
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Did you call Roadmaster and explain the problem to them?

Model 1163-3 notes indicate some trimming needs to be done but not like you were having problems with.

Notes
1Trimming of spoiler, air dam, grill or plastic fascia may be required on some models of this vehicle.37This bracket will accommodate any ROADMASTER motorhome mounted tow bar. This bracket is designed for heavier vehicles. Make sure the tow bar you use exceeds the weight of the vehicle to be towed when fully loaded. Anchor brackets for Sterling cables will not fit MX or MS style brackets. To use MX or MS bracket with Sterling tow bar the Sterling cable anchors must be attached to the frame of the vehicle or welded to the receiver portion of the bracket. IMPORTANT NOTE: this bracket will not accommodate the Guardian rock shield, Tow Defender, Stowaway or the StowMaster, StowMaster All Terrain or Tracker tow bars.42Trimming of outside grill opening required for receiver to fit on 04 and 05 models only.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:58 AM   #5
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I had an experience very much like yours last year when I bought a 2014 Ford Focus. At the time Roadmaster was the only one offering brackets for the 2014. This was not the first vehicle I had installed brackets on in our years of RV'ing. The brackets came close to fitting, but holes didn't line up and I had to drill one new hole on each side through the bracket and the frame. Yes ours turned in to a 2 day job and extra trimming that had not been called for in the instructions. I contacted Roadmaster about all my problems. They would not admit to never trying to install the brackets on a 2014, but said the 2012 through 2014 all took the same brackets. About a week or two later I downloaded the instructions for the 2014 and they had used my wording almost to the letter on how to install them. Oh they send me a new Roadmaster hat for my trouble.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:41 PM   #6
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Thumbs down Roadmaster Debacle

Hi Everyone and thank you for your comments. I ordered the baseplates/bumper from etrailer and it shipped directly from Roadmaster. They had 3 versions listed and when I called Roadmaster they recommended 1163-1 as fitting the best for the 2003 Highlander. This mounts with a single bar that replaces the bumper core and the baseplates themselves are removable. The reason for all the trimming is that the 'bar' doesn't fit flush with the bumper unless you remove material every place it touches it. I guess their 'Finite Elemental Analysis' was never done with laser precision because whoever welded this thing together didn't get any of the dimensions right. If I wasn't on a tight timeline I would have stuffed it back in the box and reversed the charges. Each hole had to be reamed out differently and I suspect it was made too deep, hence the problem with the bumper still not fitting flush. I made sure the bar was tight against the frame, but with so many dimensions out of wack, I am not surprised it wouldn't fit like it should. I had to buy an air grinder just to get the job done in 2 days. I couldn't have done my research any better - just a faulty product and Roadmaster could care less than be bothered by me. Tom
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:26 PM   #7
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Tom I am suprised, are you sure you was dealing with Roadmaster Inc, there is another company called Roadmaster that sells Roadmaster eq, I had a problem with a set of brackets for a new toad and Roadmaster inc was very conserned and offered a new set and free return on the set with a minor problem, I ended up fix the problem my self by reaming the hole out as you did, i have installed over 15 sets of their brackets and had only that one peoblem.
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:36 PM   #8
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I installed Roadmaster base plate and tow bar on my 2012 Chevy Equinox with no problems. I bought everything from etrailer.com, they could not have been more helpful. They had videos on how to install which provied all information necessary. I to was surprised to hear your bad experience.
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:18 AM   #9
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Roadmaster Debacle

I did deal with Roadmaster Inc and the baseplates came from their Vancouver location. One out of 15 with a problem as one person said is still a high percentage. I might ask Camping World what their problem rate has been next time I am there. This bracket was not just a little bit off, it did not fit equally on each side, the lower left bracket hole had to be drilled out extensively to fit and didn't want to slide in as well as the left. They claim to check each one before sending out with their 'Finite Elemental Analysis', but this one never would have passed if this were done.

I even had to pound on the seams of the frame on the car at two points because the bracket wouldn't slide in all the way if I didn't. If I were redesigning this I would 1. Made all the holes wider, 2. Nibble off part of bracket where it meets the seams in the frame, 3. Put more play in distance between front face and bottom part of bracket and 4. Nibble off areas of bracket where it may contact the bumper so that you don't have to do so much trimming.

I suppose I could call Roadmaster Inc, but when you send an email and it is confirmed as having been received and you don't get a reply, I feel it is a sign that they don't care or don't have a good system of complaint handling. They may be great with most of their baseplates, but they failed me miserably. I am glad most people had good luck though. Tom
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:53 AM   #10
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I had a problem with one baseplate on my Geo Tracker. The baseplate was clearly way out of spec for "square" and wouldn't bolt flat on the frame. Etrailer shipped me a new one that was fine. Roadmaster claimed 1/2" out-of-square was within tolerance ... but the nice folks at etrailer took care of the issue.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:49 PM   #11
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Thank you for this information. One half inch out of square is certainly not acceptable to me. At least I know what to expect when I have to do this again or will build in enough time to send back a bad one. Wonder if Blu Ox is any better??
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:34 AM   #12
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Makes me think of the old saying:

Close enough for government work.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:54 AM   #13
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Most installations, no matter the brand, require some trimming of plastic in many cases. My Jeep Liberty needed some trimming through the grill in order to get the Adapters to the front of the vehicle to hook to the tow bar. This was the case no matter the brand.

Some vehicles do not easily adapt to 4 down towing, no matter the brand of tow bar. The vehicle manufacturers do not make their vehicles for this purpose and consequently do not always have holes in the frame where necessary for the installation. I have seen changes in design of the frame from year to year of the same vehicle that would cause these type of installation problems.

I would contact Todd at Tow bars and brackets. Todd was the most knowledgeable person I have ever met concerning Roadmaster, everything Roadmaster.



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Old 05-13-2014, 07:03 AM   #14
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Aha! You were installing Canadian baseplates on an American vehicle. It's that metric/SAE thing rearing its ugly head

Quote:
Originally Posted by tschleis View Post
I did deal with Roadmaster Inc and the baseplates came from their Vancouver location.
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