Originally Posted by DancinCampers
My SMI system, circa 2005, consists of a vacuum control box that sits under the drivers seat, and vacuum cylinder similar to yours. It connects via tubing to the pedal and T's into brake booster. The wireless control has a transmitter/receiver in coach and car. My control is mounted in the coach cab vs car.
I wish mine had a wireless remote. What does the remote let you do? Apply the brakes, control the sensitivity or what?
Question, does the car odometer increase when towed?
Supposedly not but I have not yet towed it.
How hard was the base plate install?
Knowing what I do now I probably would choose the Roadmaster even though I installed the Demco. The issues I had are very unusual per Demco but at least one other person had them as well.
I knew there were three main choices: Roadmaster, Blue Ox, and Demco. I watched the Etrailer install videos for each one a few times.
All three bolt to the same frame flanges. There's not much metal on the rear vertical flange so you need to be careful to set the baseplate fully back as the instructions say.
This is what I gleaned from watching the Etrailer install videos:
The Roadmaster picks up a subframe mounting bolt on each side in addition to the flanges but does not have safety cables.
The Demco has a large 1/4" steel "support brace" that slips behind the bumper (a.k.a. "impact beam") and also bolts to the baseplate using 1/2" bolts. The Demco has safety cables.
The Blue Ox seems to just bolt to those flanges and picks up no other part of the frame. The Blue Ox does have safety cables but requires that you "gently hammer" those frame flanges for a "better fit". Seriously. The Blue Ox has the connections set a bit lower than the other two so it wedges into the fascia and does not require any fascia cutting, like the other two do.
My buddy picked the Roadmaster for his 2019 Equinox and had no issues with clearance or anything else. Another person reported they had problems with the clearance between the Roadmaster baseplate and the turbo intercooler and had to elongate some holes.
I chose the Demco because I liked the safety cables and how it had those heavy support braces and 1/2" bolts.
The Demco baselate installation did not go smoothly at all. I've detailed it here: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/anyb...ms-497666.html
Demco Support was superb and worked with me daily on the fitment problems. I have zero complaints there.
Because the Demco is right up against the turbo intercooler below the radiator, it actually shoves the intercooler backwards a bit. That made me very uncomfortable. The intercooler is on shock mounts so it does have some give but still... Demco said it was not an issue but it was to me.
I ended up completely cutting away the rubber gasket between the baseplate and the intercooler to give me about 1/8" more room on each side. That made the baseplate not push on the intercooler but it is right up against it. Demco Support advised that this will not cause any wear. I agree. The baseplate is not up against the metal part of the intercooler, just the plastic ends which are kind of ribbed.
When cutting the fascia I had to remove more of the fascia "ribs" with the Demco than my friend did for the Roadmaster. It does not look bad and I have a final installation picture in that link. This was due to how Demco mounts the 6-pin connector and the breakaway switch. I like the Demco method better because they use a steel bracket rather than two "poles" to hold the 6-pin connector.
I chose the Roadmaster Nighthawk tow bar and the Demco adapters bolt to the end of the tow bar, replacing the Roadmaster clevis on each end. That adds about 8" to the total length when stored
so the Roadmaster Nighthawk tow bar cover would not fit. The Roadmaster Stowmaster tow bar cover is longer and does fit.
The Demco clevis is noticeably thinner metal on the sides but may be a stronger material.
Had everything just fit properly the Demco baseplate would have been a 4-6 hour install and I work slowly. As it happened it took several days.
My friend's Roadmaster baseplate is about 16" from the ground to the center of the tow bar attach holes. My Demco is about 15". I'm guessing the Blue Ox may be 14". The Blue Ox safety cable attach points looked like they may stick out the furthest. Some people reported they could bump into them.
Does this help?