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Old 08-26-2011, 06:33 PM   #1
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Tow plate installers

We just picked up a new Ford Fiesta as our toad. Install of the Roadmaster plates seems to be beyond my capabilities. Who does quality installation? Ford dealer? Camping world? The guy down the street with the beer belly? ( I am near Roanoke VA if anyone has suggestions for this area.)

Thanks TZ
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:40 PM   #2
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In my neck of the woods, I use the guy with the beer belly. We don't have a Camping Wolrld, I would not use it anyhow. Don't know about VA, even though I was born there a long long time ago.
Try an RV dealer or trailer hitch installer.
Good Luck
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:29 PM   #3
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I go to the local trailer hitch installer. I would not put the local U-Haul dealer in this catagory.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:38 PM   #4
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I have installed several of these for myself and friends. It is not really that difficult and the instructions (from both Roadmaster and Blue Ox) have been very good. Just follow the pictures and take your time. See Buick Lacrosse Baseplate for pictures of that install.

That said, I would suggest you go to the bracket maker (Roadmaster, Blue Ox, etc.) and download the instructions. Then, perhaps you could show the instructions to a decent auto body shop who could likely do this pretty easily. If you have a good relationship with your auto dealer, you might check with them as well.

The wiring can be independent with the tow bracket and can be done is several different ways from magnetic tow lights on the car to tapping into the factory tailights. This is not a hard job, but can take some time to physically route the wire back to the lights (of course, wireless light systems solve this as well).

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:49 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I really worry about taking the front fascia off of the brand new ride...
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:02 PM   #6
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I've used hitch specialists both times. They're used to working around the trim and bolting or welding to the frame. Only big difference is that they're working on the front instead of the rear. They also have good experience with toad wiring setups too.

joe
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2912N View Post
We just picked up a new Ford Fiesta as our toad. Install of the Roadmaster plates seems to be beyond my capabilities. Who does quality installation? Ford dealer? Camping world? The guy down the street with the beer belly? ( I am near Roanoke VA if anyone has suggestions for this area.)

Thanks TZ
I had mine done at Camping World. They did a great job and wired my lights on toad. Also had to cut a little trim and did that well.

Not a single problem in 10 years.
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:40 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info. I really worry about taking the front fascia off of the brand new ride...
Who do you think is going to be more careful doing that? You or a hitch installer?

If there's just no way, I like the idea of taking the directions to a local body shop.
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:51 AM   #9
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I would probably (unless you ask the wife...) be more careful. But I read the PDF from Roadmaster and it involves using some floor jacks etc to hold bits up and I don't have the facilities to do it right. At least if someone else screws it up I don't take direct blame.
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:17 AM   #10
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I had Camping World do mine.
They use Roadmaster plates. They are a little higher on the plate price and wiring kit. But they have a reasonable set install price. And did a good job.
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:19 PM   #11
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Did my own...

One afternoon, and I know it was done RIGHT!

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Old 08-28-2011, 03:28 PM   #12
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When I was in the auto body business, we installed face plates and wiring harnesses. Its mostly body type work. Remove a bunch of the plastic pieces under the hood, remove the grille, headlamps, bumper cover, etc. I installed mine with the help of a friend with a lift. It sure made it easier to work with the car five feet off the ground. It took us about 2.5 hours using air tools. We also installed the tail lamp diode light kit in another 1.5 hours.

Personally, I would not want a hitch shop doing body shop type work on my vehicle.
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:18 PM   #13
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I was originally going to use my 98 Explore Sport for a toad I chopped up and re-welded a new Blue Ox (because it was cheap to buy) and installed it with only having to remove the bottom valance, no real big deal. Then my wife bought a 08 Lincoln MKX AWD which was towable 4 down installation was a whole different story as the complete front end had to be removed as well as the bumper disregarded during installation. Some of the bigger holes they wanted made into the frame were totally uncalled for.

The extra plug on the Sport for you sharp eyes is a jump start unit since I use this for service calls.

If you feel comfortable installing your own go for it if not try to make sure what the final job will look like when whoever you get to install it when it's complete.

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Old 08-28-2011, 05:27 PM   #14
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If it was just bolting it to the frame I could do it. But I don 't have the air tools or the lifts to make the job go easier. Thanks all for the input. I am sure there are others who want to know how to go about this.
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