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Old 12-30-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
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Self Install Questions

Been looking at all the options on setting up my new 2013 Honda Fit for towing. I got a quote minus $900 in labor of $2800. I am seeing no more than 1800 in parts. Demco has good directions with pictures on how to install the base plate.

So, what I want to do is set up the base plate and lighting myself. Braking system is still up in the air. I will either go with the BrakeMaster or a surge system. Those systems I am more inclined to have it professionally installed.

Question is; Has anyone setup their own base plate and if so what problems or what should I look out for?

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Old 12-30-2013, 12:53 PM   #2
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If you have basic mechanical skills it is not hard at all.
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phinneyj View Post
Been looking at all the options on setting up my new 2013 Honda Fit for towing. I got a quote minus $900 in labor of $2800. I am seeing no more than 1800 in parts. Demco has good directions with pictures on how to install the base plate.

So, what I want to do is set up the base plate and lighting myself. Braking system is still up in the air. I will either go with the BrakeMaster or a surge system. Those systems I am more inclined to have it professionally installed.

Question is; Has anyone setup their own base plate and if so what problems or what should I look out for?

phinneyj
I've installed Roadmaster base plates on 2 different Saturns, (a '97 and a '07).

Neither installation was difficult, (using the detailed instructions that came with them).

However, the '07 took hours longer than the '97, because the front bumper cover had to be removed, modified slightly and reinstalled.

I have not yet set up my new to me '11 CRV for towing , (but the instructions do not look any more difficult than instructions for the '07 Saturn).

I also did the lighting on both cars myself.

I don't know anything about installing aux brakes, (I towed both Saturns over 50,000 miles without aux brakes).

Mel
'96 Safari, 132k miles
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:31 PM   #4
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Before you start look at the READY-Brake tow bar with the serge brakes. installing the base plate is a no brainer. Blue-ox or Demco base plates are almost alike. 4 to 6 bolts and it is done. On Hondas it requires removal of some plastic parts, but not hard. with the ready brake there is NO additional installation of lights, turn signals or brake lights. By far one of the cheapest systems overall and less intrusive on vehicle.
With wiring on Hondas you may need diodes or re wire extra tail lights. with ready brakes you use your system. be sure to wire a Hot line from the MH to your fit's battery or you have to remove a fuse every time you tow. when you re insert the fuse you have to reprogram all settings. Pain in backside. safe travels... ed
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:19 PM   #5
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My son and I installed our Blue Ox mounting plate on the front of a Captiva. While not hard to do, it was time consuming and took the better part of a day to do. Most vehicles that you would do this with will require removing and reinstalling the front facia on the vehicle, expect a lot of small plastic screws if you to this, and also expect to be surprised at how light your front facia weighs. Still, if you can save $900 for a days work, I'd say it makes sense to do it yourself.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:29 PM   #6
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I installed my own BlueOx base plate on my FIT. The hardest part was removing the front fascia. Although the the instructions didn't mention it, the right headlight and washer tank also needed removal. So, if you have basic mechanical skill, you can do it.

For brake wiring I suggest you look into the TowDaddy system. They have a plug and play kit for the Fit which might take you 30 minutes to install.

I used an RVi brake system which works great and takes 2 minutes to install.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:50 PM   #7
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I have installed 2 base plates by myself. Took me about 8 hours each. One was a Demco and one Blue Ox. Instructions were fair for both. Getting the baseplate in place is usually easy with the instructions provided. Putting the car back together is not always as simple as putting back the way it was taken apart because the base plate is now in the way. My last base plate required that base plate be taken off after install to get the power steering cooler in place.
I use a Ready Brute Elite tow bar and brake system. Cost for my complete system without labor was $1300.
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:09 PM   #8
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Check the web site etrailer.com. They have a utube video that gives very detailed instructions. I bought everything from them, they were very good to deal with. I also used ready brake, easy to install, easy to hook up when traveling.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:26 PM   #9
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I installed a RoadMaster baseplate on a Mini Cooper myself . . . was pretty easy with their good instructions. A few years before that I paid to have one installed on a Scion xA . . . should have done it myself!
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:49 PM   #10
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I installed the baseplate on a '97 Jeep GC and did all the wiring. On our '05 Ody, Roadmaster installed the baseplate and I did all the wiring. Oh yes, I got the baseplate for nothing as they used our Ody to test fit the production unit.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:18 AM   #11
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I have installed 3 Blue Ox base plates on various vehicles. Blue Ox has very good and easy step by step directions (I'm sure Demco does to). Takes 2 - 3 hours depending on the vehicle. You may have to drill a couple of holes. The hardest part is removing the bumper and grill (depending on model) and depending on age of toad, some bolts may be difficult to remove. All in all not a bad project at all...
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:30 AM   #12
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:05 AM   #13
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I have installed base plates and wiring on two Ford products. Both took me longer than hours called for to install, but nothing really hard about installing. My thoughts are the biggest thing to watch is if any drilling is required to check the area the drill bit will exit to make sure nothing will be damaged when the bit pushes through. In tight areas it will help to slip a piece of plate steel in to back up where the drill bit will exit.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:42 AM   #14
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Just got done putting Blue OX BASE PLATES on my 2014 silverado, not a bad job on it,but some of the smaller rigs be a lot tougher,still say go for it if your knees still work good enough to handle the ground,crawling around.
What Darwin said check etrailer and you tube i found good videos on Baseplates and readybrake that were very helpful...good luck
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