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Old 12-10-2007, 02:57 PM   #1
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I am new to motorhome ownership and I have purchased a pre-owned 2004 Winnebago Brave 34D. I am not sure what I need and what you folks would recommend for me to purchase to safely tow our 2005 AWD Honda CRV.I am moderately mechanically adept so is installation something that can be done by a non professional? Wiring is something I am not too good at. What is required to have the brake lights and turn signals functional? Please advise me so I can make an informed decision.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:57 PM   #2
RET
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I am new to motorhome ownership and I have purchased a pre-owned 2004 Winnebago Brave 34D. I am not sure what I need and what you folks would recommend for me to purchase to safely tow our 2005 AWD Honda CRV.I am moderately mechanically adept so is installation something that can be done by a non professional? Wiring is something I am not too good at. What is required to have the brake lights and turn signals functional? Please advise me so I can make an informed decision.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:40 PM   #3
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HERE is a link to a "Towing 101" article by Blue Ox. You will probably be interested in the section on tow bars as opposed to dollies and trailers since your CRV is towable 4 wheels down. Hopefully, the article will give you a starting point for more specific questions.

There are a lot of good towbars out there, but Blue Ox is a sponsor of our forum and Blue Ox is carried by RV Upgrades, another sponsor.

As far as lights go, there are basically 3 ways to go.
1. Magnetic lights
2. Add separate sockets and bulbs to the existing tail light assemblies of the toad
3. Use existing toad tail and brake light bulbs with diodes to prevent back flow from the toad to the motorhome

In summary, you will need a tow bar and a plate or mount to fasten the tow bar to the toad along with the appropriate safety cables. You will need tail and brake lights and turn signals for the toad along with the appropriate plugs and a cable. A supplemental braking system may or may not be required depending on your state's laws, but I recommend a good toad brake with breakaway protection. There are lots of good ones, including one from another forum sponsor, SMI.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:46 PM   #4
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I chose the Blue Ox products for our 2006 CRV. I am pretty handy with cars, but after looking at the directions for installing the base plate I had it done professionally. It involves removing a lot of the front end sheet metal.

I chose to install seperate lites and not tap into the CRV's wiring. There is a space at the bottom of the 06 tail lites where the new bulb fit nicely. The wires were then run under the carpet, thru the firewall and to the rear of the front bumper cover. A hole was drilled in the bumper cover and a 4 wire round trailer plug was installed. I use a 7 wire to 4 wire umbillical cord. I believe that was the simplest part of the entire installation. Not sure if your 04 can be done the same way.
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:24 AM   #5
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I have either installed or oversaw many base plate installations and the Honda CRV is one of the most challanging. Actually the light wiring was easier that the base plate install. THe Blue Ox is good equipment. Don't forget about a brake assist system. Let us know if you have more questions and we will try to help.
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Old 12-11-2007, 02:38 AM   #6
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Everyone prety much gives good advise. I think you have two choices of baseplates and bars either Blue Ox (already mentioned) or roadmaster. It is a matter of preference, I suggest you go to each website, find your vehcile and look to see the different installs and what is visually appealing to you. Look at the directions, and see what you are willing to do (they are posted on line to give you a heads up). I have installed both and both are great systems, it is a matter of opinion.

As far as the lighting goes, if their is room I suggest you install a seperate harness and bulb kit, this way you will not interfere with your toads lights, and it is real easy, you just need to drill a hole inside the tailight and wire it upo. Both blue ox and roadmaster sell these kits and they both have very good directions. The reason I suggest this I have heard where diodes go bad or if wired incorrectly will damage the toad computer or electrical system. If you ever have a problem with the bulb sysem, it is real easy to diagnose a simple harness and two bulbs.
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:21 AM   #7
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As a couple of people have said, the installation of the baseplate can be a little intimidating. If you go to the Blue Ox web site, look up the baseplate for your vehicle and click on the part number for the baseplate, it will bring up the complete instruction sheet with color photos. That way you can decide ahead of time if you want to tackle the job yourself. I don't know if the Roadmaster instruction sheets are available online or not, but I found that feature to be very helpful.
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:39 AM   #8
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I installed blue ox baseplate and bulb kit on 2003 CRV and I am not that handy. Blue ox does provide great directions. I suggest you go for and maybe just see if you cant find someone to assist you. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:32 AM   #9
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Roadmaster also has complete instructions with photos which you can download from their website.

I chose the RM towbar and baseplates, and the Brakemaster supplemental braking system. Camping World handled the install, using diodes for the existing brake/taillights.
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