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Old 05-18-2020, 09:11 AM   #1
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Who'd you have do the work?

I know some of us are capable of doing the steps of wiring and mechanical installations needed to completely make your vehicle towable, but if you didn't, couldn't or simply don't have the time to install a braking, break away system and lighting pigtail adaptor, Who'd you trust to do the work and get everything set up right?

A trailer shop?

An RV service center?

A standard automotive garage mechanic?

How long did it take if you chose to let someone else do it and did they do it right?
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:29 PM   #2
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I installed the braking system, including the breakaway. Our (auto) mechanic installed the baseplate and the rear lighting system. Unhappily, the lighting system was not well-made, so I had to rework it- no fault of the mechanic.

In our corner of the Northeast experienced installers are few, so it made sense to use a mechanic whose work standards I trust.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:55 PM   #3
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In my local area, there is a great mechanic's shop that is honest, does good work and is familiar with doing toad setups. I wouldn't trust an RV repair shop, as a toad set up is more a vehicle repair, which a vehicle mechanic would be better suited to do.
Don & Mary
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Old 05-18-2020, 03:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post

I installed the braking system, including the breakaway. Our (auto) mechanic installed the baseplate and the rear lighting system. Unhappily, the lighting system was not well-made, so I had to rework it- no fault of the mechanic.

In our corner of the Northeast experienced installers are few, so it made sense to use a mechanic whose work standards I trust.
This would be my vote. I've done one complete install myself and it's not rocket science. Anyone with a little auto experience should be capable. I would prefer someone I trust even if they haven't done one before I'd trust a CW or big dealer I dont have a lot of experience or trust in.
Don & Marge
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:06 PM   #5
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I'd use an automotive shop or a body shop. The best way to find the right one is through friends. It's not highly skilled work; so honesty is the quality you are looking for!
Jeanie, Ed & Slade the GSD
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:43 PM   #6
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For what its worth, I've never done one before and just installed a Blue Ox base plate, Ready-Brake cable, Ready-stop emergency cable, and lighting on a 2006 Honda CR-V. Took me two good work days plus the research time before hand, and if I was doing a second one, it would probably take half as long.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:08 PM   #7
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I did the base plate install on our Honda Element several years ago. Excellent instructions from Blue Ox and it took about three hours including a couple of breaks.

When we got the Wrangler, I asked around the shop for one of the technicians (I was working P/T for BMW at the time) and found a good and reliable tech who wanted to make a extra $100 with no taxes . Took him a couple hours and he did all the locktite connections, fitted the skid pan to the baseplate etc.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:16 PM   #8
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We have a local, 2-man trailer hitch shop that installed all we needed to tow our CRV at about 2/3 of what the dealer charged us for the same procedure on our prior Liberty. We didn't know what we didn't know when we first got a motorhome.

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Old 05-18-2020, 09:25 PM   #9
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Camping World setup our two Jeep GC toads.

They did a decent job, but that was at least 15 years ago.

I would not trust them today.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:30 PM   #10
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I used a hitch shop that specializes in hitches and base plate installs. They also did the electrical and spent an hour showing me how everything worked.

Very satisfied with the work.

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Old 05-18-2020, 09:43 PM   #11
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Usually the manufacturer has recommended dealer locators on their website. You should be able to get some from there and then do a deep dive search on them to see what people say about their work.

I live close enough to Roadmaster and I was able to get everything installed at their factory shop. Your profile lists ID as your state, so Iím guessing Idaho so maybe a trip to Vancouver Washington to Roadmaster is an option.
John, Laurie & the 3 Schnauzers
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:54 AM   #12
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I talked to my Chevy dealer about putting a baseplate in a car only because I didn't want to deal with removing the bumper cover and fascia. Service department didn't want to do it, referred me to the Body Shop. Bodyd Shop didn't want to do it either. In the end I just elected to go get something more suitable to tow without having to do extensive changes to it. From there I did all my own installation work and setup.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:58 AM   #13
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Wow, some great advice here. Thanks everyone.

Since I'd posted this yesterday I'd found and watched an entire day's worth of YouTube vids on various systems and how installing & setting them up goes with each system. I think I will be ordering a Ready Brute Elite II today and just plan to do the simple mechanical cable(s) and electrical install work myself after all.

If the vehicle was any heavier, I'd opt for one of the air brake proportional systems, but since this will be my first attempt at "toading" anyhow, we are still going to have to prove the theory that dragging it will be worth the time & hassle.

Venetian lugging a light weight 2 door Wrangler...
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