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Old 10-18-2020, 10:14 PM   #1
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Have my RV and tow vehicle -- now what?

Well, I recently bought a 2020 Bay Star Sport. I did my research on tow vehicles and today picked up a 2017 Honda Fit, manual transmission. I know that it's well within the weight limit of my Sport to tow, and I know that it's flat towable. I know, in principle, that I'll need a baseplate of some kind installed on the fit, plus a tow bar, plus probably some other stuff.

But I've never towed anything before. I'm not at all geometrically challenged, so I'm not at all worried about the actual process of towing the vehicle. But I have no clue what to do to make sure I've got all the gear necessary actually hook up the toad to the RV, link the toad braking/signals, etc. Is there anything I need to do to my Sport to tow something (it does have the hitch and the tow plug), or is it fully set up, so I just need to connect the right things to the hitch/plug and go?

I'll certainly need someone to install the baseplate into the Fit. But I'd appreciate any advice/suggestions you can give me, such as:
1) A recommended shop to install the baseplate into the Fit (and anything else that needs to be done). I'm in the Los Angeles area, more specifically Pasadena (San Gabriel Valley).
2) What do I need to tell that shop about the RV? Will I need to bring it there, or just bring some key measurements because all the setup on the Sport is standard stuff and everything's already there?
3) What brands/models of towing equipment (base plate, bar, and anything else)? This Fit is ideal for what we want to do now, but it's not a forever kind of vehicle. I want something safe, reliable, and relatively easy to use, but I don't want to invest a ton of money to get top-notch stuff attached to the Fit. I do plan to have an RV for quite a long time, though, and have my eye on a New Aire in 5-6 years, when the youngest will be off to college and I'd be able to use it more, so I am willing to pay for higher-end stuff (like the tow bar?) if it would transfer to the New Aire and/or the new tow vehicle we'll get then.

Thanks in advance for any advice and pointers you can give.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:34 PM   #2
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You will need:

Baseplate
Tow bar
7 pin to 5 pin umbilical cord for lights
Braking system for the Honda
Light kit
Breakaway braking switch
Breakaway cables

Check out Roadmasters website and specifically their Fit Master section for specifics.

https://roadmasterinc.com/pdf/vehicl...components.pdf
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:37 PM   #3
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I too am new to the MH/ toad vehicle scene but this is what my RV dealer recommended (and installed) for me.

As my Tiffan already had a receiver hitch I didn't need to purchase one - but it did need the following: a tow bar (OxBlood), safety chains, an electrical umbilical cord and a brake system (AirForce1) with its connecting air hose.

My toad required the base plate, the other half of the brake system, a break away switch and its cord, additional rear lights and a charging line to keep the battery up.

Optional were 3 Locking pins to prevent easy theft of the hitch (regular pins would have worked) and a protective hitch cover; because my two buggies (MH & toad) were close in height I didn't need a drop bar to keep the tow bar level.


This install ran nearly $5K (parts and labor). It's estimated install time of 11 hours ran a bit longer - likely because they were working in the Florida summer heat wearing masks.
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:02 AM   #4
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There is a good shop in Simi Valley called Bill's Automotive. He does a great/quality job, but he's pricey. I recommended someone previously who was VERY particular about how he wanted it done and later told me that Bill's did exactly what he wanted.
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:30 AM   #5
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12V Charge line for your Bay Star

I have posted a couple of times on installing a +12V charge line in a Bay Star and a Canyon Star. Look up my posts to get the details. There are several hard ways and one easy way to get it done. I think that I found the easy way. Here's a couple links:


https://www.irv2.com/forums/f103/wha...ml#post2752557

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f103/the...-240459-2.html

Regards,

Jerry
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:09 AM   #6
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6 years ago I bought my Class c, tow bar I bought at harbor freight, made my own ( base plate ) for a 2000 Tracker AT 4x4 rag top, still have it.

3 years ago bought The mh in my sig, traded in the class c, bought a Unlimited, perfect flat tow vehicle, went online bought a Blue ox complete kit, base Plate tow bar Alpha everything was in the kit cables everything install and go. While I was at it bought the plug in light kit and the unlimited tow hitch and light kit if I ever want to tow anything with the unlimited.

2 hours I installed the baseplate, plugged in the kits and installed the tow hitch on the unlimited.

Could not be happier...

1200.00 dollars plus 50 for the tow hitch on the Jeep and light kits I think another 50, I think it was 50.

Itís what I did just passing it along ...
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:22 AM   #7
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To add to your list, you will likely need a drop receiver. The hitch on a gas coach will be higher than the tow bar connections on the car. You need to have the tow bar within 3" of level when connected.



Blue OX has everything you need and I recommend then all except the brake. RVi has a better brake.


I didn't see where you were located. Look for an independent trailer shop in your area to do the work. Will be about 1/2 price of RV dealers.
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:30 AM   #8
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Three years ago I was exactly where you find yourself today. Had the 2017 Baystar Sport and a 2014 Honda CRV. Looked locally but found out that ETrailer.com in Wentzville Missouri had an on site shop and would install their items for no added labor costs. Two requirements: you had to get both vehicles to Wentzville and you had to allow them to make video of their work for their own use. When you visit their website, you will see video for just about everything they sell. The videos are so detailed you will almost be inclined to do the work yourself. I thought about it then the wife said NO! While they performed the work, we rented a car and a timeshare at Branson and enjoyed ourselves. I returned to completed work, a complete review of the connection process. I would do this again through ETrailer.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:31 AM   #9
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I have used Redlands Truck and Performance Center for RV maintenance (on previous motorhome) in Redlands, CA.

They installed the baseplate and supplemental braking system on my 2013 Honda CR-V and on the 2017 Lincoln MKX. I was very pleased with their work on both vehicles.

They also have a RV Park for their customers not far from the shop.

Good luck, safe travels,
Mark
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Old 10-20-2020, 08:22 AM   #10
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We tow our 2017 Honda Fit with our Baystar with no issues. We have a Roadmaster tow bar and bracket that was not hard to fit. Instructions are quite complete All bought from eTrailer. Their videos are excellent. We also installed diode kits for the lights. The Fit lighting wires are very thin so be careful.
Some things to consider:
Remote charging for the Fit- You have to leave the power on in the car so the steering wheel doesn't lock. We installed a remote charging kit. Ran 12V through the tow plug.
Drop hitch extension - this was mentioned before but the Fit tow bar is pretty low to the ground and the Ford chassis hitch receiver is pretty high. Roadmaster tells you the maximum difference allowed (like 3"). We first bought a drop hitch extension that made the tow bar even with the hitch. Big mistake. The hitch extension dragged on the ground over a lot of bumps. We ended up buying another that wasn't so low (I think it's still an 8" drop).
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Old 10-20-2020, 08:55 AM   #11
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Iíll touch on something the others havenít and that is the actual process of towing.
1. Always, always do a walk around before you start drive and check Everything at the tow bar setup.
2. Do the same walk around whenever you do a rest stop.
3. Always keep in mind how long you are when manuevering. I leave my rear view camera on when driving so I can check on the toad and whatís behind it.
4. Compensate your acceleration and braking for the extra weight you are pulling.
5. Stay relaxed and warm up to the idea of driving 65 instead of 75. Driving a bit slower than normal reduces a lot of stress.
6. Work on your scanning skills and drive for the conditions 6-8 seconds ahead instead of the 2-4 if you were in a car.

Since you are giving the appropriate level of thought to the preparations I feel confident that you will do just fine.
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Old 10-20-2020, 02:47 PM   #12
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2X Klufinator's post. Be sure towbar is very close to level- height at coach receiver Vs. height at toad connection pins must be within 3" of one another to prevent under run - car goes under coach hitch or riding up- car goes on top of hitch, in the event of a really hard stop.

Happy Trails
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Old 10-20-2020, 10:51 PM   #13
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I spent about $2200 3 1/2 years ago on parts to do my own install of the tow bar plates, Blue Ox Avail tow bar, Stay & Play aux braking system, and lighting/control changes on my 2016 F150 TOAD. So you can save money if you are a serious DIY guy and trust your own work.

Lots of good comments above from other folks.

All I can think to add:
1) Most lighting change designs Ive seen I consider Micky Mouse design. I installed a relay controlled switchover in my F150 for the rear running/brake/turn filaments. It works fine and is switched to "Motorhome" whenever the aux brake control switch is ON.
2) Same as above with most aux brake systems "brake applied" indicator. I repurposed the brake control wire in my MH53 chassis 7-way to send the Toad brake light switch signal up to the motorhome dash, driving a dash-mounted LED with appropriate resistor. I love it. It also tells me if I have accidentally moved the brake pedal position on the TOAD, which changes the braking system application point.


an old post with a brief description of my install:
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/7-pi...ml#post3581160
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